Fines Classification Based on Sensitivity to Pore-Fluid Chemistry

Junbong Jang, Carlos Santamarina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The 75-μm particle size is used to discriminate between fine and coarse grains. Further analysis of fine grains is typically based on the plasticity chart. Whereas pore-fluid-chemistry-dependent soil response is a salient and distinguishing characteristic of fine grains, pore-fluid chemistry is not addressed in current classification systems. Liquid limits obtained with electrically contrasting pore fluids (deionized water, 2-M NaCl brine, and kerosene) are combined to define the soil "electrical sensitivity." Liquid limit and electrical sensitivity can be effectively used to classify fine grains according to their fluid-soil response into no-, low-, intermediate-, or high-plasticity fine grains of low, intermediate, or high electrical sensitivity. The proposed methodology benefits from the accumulated experience with liquid limit in the field and addresses the needs of a broader range of geotechnical engineering problems. © ASCE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)06015018
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 28 2015


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