Abstract

Geological formations containing expansive clay layers have been reported by many authors all around the world. Identifying these layers during geotechnical prospection is important, as a slight change in their moisture content can produce changes in their behavior. Using simple tests such as free swell ratio, free swell index, free swelling, contraction index, superficial area, Atterberg ´s limits, mineralogy, granulometry using Mastersizer 3000 and DRX, it is possible to characterize and identify the swelling potential of expansive soils. Three potentially high expansive contiguous layers have been associated with numerous pathologies in Comodoro Rivadavia city. These layers, which have been widely studied and characterized, belong to two different geological formations: Sarmiento and Chenque. Sarmiento geological formation belongs to the Paleogene period, and it is formed by tuffs deposited on low slope alluvial plains. Chenque geological formation belongs to the Paleogene and Neogene periods, which are formed by sandstones and claystones with marine fossils. In this paper, properties of the three expansive clay layers, and methods employed to identify their swelling potential are presented.

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