Abstract

The results of a study on the influence of calcium carbonate content on the physical characteristics and compressibility parameters of Pliocene lacustrine deposits are discussed. The origin of CaCO3 has been investigated and it is thought to have been precipitated, after consolidation, as cement which partially filled the void spaces between soil particles. Average CaCO3 content was about 22% along a 116.5 m deep vertical profile. The CaCO3 in the clay and silt fractions (CaCO3*) was considered the best available estimate of that acting as cement. The relationships reported in the literature between Atterberg limits and CaCO3 content have been statistically confirmed by the tests performed on decalcified laboratory samples, but not by those performed on natural samples due to lithological heterogeneities. Yield stress, constrained modulus, swelling index and microstructure resistance were affected by CaCO3* content in the stress range lower than yield stress. In the stress range higher than σ′vy, no relationship was observed between Cc and CaCO3, while an inverse relationship between Cs and CaCO3 was observed in both the natural and remoulded samples and thus is thought to be due to the presence of inactive calcite. Moreover, the remoulded samples also show an increase in Cs with respect to the natural ones. From these findings it follows that the yield stress for cemented materials corresponds to the partial disruption of the structure.

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