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Title: Influence of desiccation fissuring on the stability of flood embankments
Author: Zieliński, Marcin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 9046
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2009
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It has been known since studies carried out by Cooling and Marsland for the 1953 North Sea Floods that desiccation fissuring of clay fill can play a major role in the failure of flood embankments under overflow conditions. However, very little scientific research has been carried out into the onset of desiccation fissuring in flood embankments and the potential failure mechanisms. To overcome this shortage of information, field and laboratory studies have been carried out into the desiccation fissuring of clay fill for flood embankments. The preliminary results confirmed that desiccation fissuring occurs to a depth of typically 60 cm within the outer surface of a flood embankment constructed from clay fill and can occur within 2 years of construction. The critical condition occurs when desiccation creates an interconnected network of sub-vertical and sub-horizontal fissures that increases the mass permeability of the fill material similar to that of coarse sand or gravel and hence allows rapid seepage of flood water through the surface layer of the embankment (crest and sides slopes). The aim of the thesis is to investigate the influence of desiccation fissuring on the stability of flood embankments. In particular, the main objectives of this thesis are as follows: 1. Survey of flood embankments in UK constructed from clay fill to determine the extent and nature of desiccation fissuring. 2. Construction and investigation of the behaviour of macro-scale embankmenmt odel subjected to desiccation processes. 3. Investigation of the innovative, non-invasive geophysical technique for desiccation cracking detection. 4. Investigation of the embankment model behaviour under different flooding conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral