The deformation behaviour of the collapsing and destructured soils of the Sana'a area and their response to field treatment
Previous work has indicated the presence of collapsing and structured soils in the surface layers underlying Sana's, the capital of Yemen Republic. This study set out initially to define and, ultimately, to alleviate the problem by investigating the deformation behaviour of these soils through both field and laboratory programmes. The field programme was carried out in Sana'a while the laboratory work consisted of two parts, an initial phase at Sana's University carried out in parallel with the field programme on natural and treated soils and the major phase at Aston University carried out on natural, destructured and selected treated soils. The initial phase of the laboratory programme included classification, permeability, and single (collapsing) and double oedometer tests while the major phase, at Aston, was extended to also include extensive single and double oedometer tests, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectrum analysis. The mechanical tests were carried out on natural and destructed samples at both the in situ and soaked moisture conditions. The engineering characteristics of the natural intact, field-treated and laboratory destructured soils are reported, including their collapsing potentials which show them to be weakly bonded with nil to severe collapsing susceptibility. Flooding had no beneficial effect, with limited to moderate improvement being achieved by preloading and roller compaction, while major benefits were achieved from deep compaction. From these results a comparison between the soil response to the different treatments and general field remarks were presented. Laboratory destructuring reduced the stiffness of the soils while their compressibility was increasing. Their collapsing and destructuring mechanisms have been examined by studying the changes in structure accompanying these phenomena. Based on the test results for the intact and the laboratory destructured soils, a simplified framework has been developed to represent the collapsing and deformation behaviour at both the partially saturated and soaked states, and comments are given on its general applicability and limitations. It has been used to evaluate all the locations subjected to field treatment. It provided satisfactory results for the deformation behaviour of the soils destructed by field treatment. Finally attention is drawn to the design considerations together with the recommendations for the selection of potential improvement techniques to be used for foundation construction on the particular soils of the Sana's region.