Technical Papers
Jul 20, 2023

Equilibrium Suction Prediction Model for Subgrade Soils in Oklahoma

Publication: International Journal of Geomechanics
Volume 23, Issue 10

Abstract

A rational method for estimating soil suction variations within the so-called moisture active zone or vadose zone is required. Within the unsaturated zone, a soil suction envelope is defined by the maximum and minimum suctions at the ground surface (i.e., the suction amplitude), equilibrium suction, and depth to the equilibrium (or constant) suction. This paper presents a mechanistic-numerical model for predicting equilibrium suction that takes into account the effects of the diffusion coefficient and makes use of surface field suction measurements. The rational attenuation function in this study represents the rate of suction change within the unsaturated zone. The model can predict the equilibrium suction in response to changes in the subgrade moisture regime. The geographic information system (GIS) platform was used to create contour maps of the mechanistic-numerical equilibrium suction values for Oklahoma. In addition, the paper presents a reliable statistical-based equilibrium suction prediction model based on readily available parameters such as Thornthwaite Moisture Index (TMI), clay content, and relative humidity.

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Data Availability Statement

Some data, models, and codes generated or used during the study appear in the published article (2016–2019 equilibrium suction, climate data, and TMI 2019 as well as statistical models). Some data, models, or codes generated or used during the study are available from the corresponding author by request (TMI and equilibrium suction 1994–2015). Some data, models, and codes generated or used during the study appear in the published paper [Scott et al. (2013) made soil properties’ data available]. Some data used during the study were provided by a third party (Oklahoma Mesonet data). Direct request for these materials may be made to the provider as indicated in the Acknowledgments.

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and TranSET, Transportation Consortium of South-Central States, for providing funds for this research study. Oklahoma Mesonet data are provided courtesy of the Oklahoma Mesonet, which is jointly operated by Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. Continued funding for the maintenance of the network is provided by the taxpayers of Oklahoma.

Notation

The following symbols are used in this paper:
Di
day length correction factor for month i;
ei
unadjusted potential evapotranspiration;
Hy
annual heat index;
Ni
number of days in month i;
P
average annual potential evapotranspiration;
PETi
adjusted potential evapotranspiration for month i;
t
time;
ti
mean monthly temperature;
u
soil suction;
Ue
equilibrium suction below the moisture active zone depth;
Um
Fourier coefficients;
Uo
amplitude of suction variation;
y
depth of measured suction;
α
diffusion coefficient;
ΔTref
reference temperature differential; and
ψ
soil matric suction.

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Go to International Journal of Geomechanics
International Journal of Geomechanics
Volume 23Issue 10October 2023

History

Received: Jun 28, 2021
Accepted: Apr 3, 2023
Published online: Jul 20, 2023
Published in print: Oct 1, 2023
Discussion open until: Dec 20, 2023

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Amir Hossein Javid, S.M.ASCE [email protected]
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK 74078 (corresponding author). Email: [email protected]
Rifat Bulut, Ph.D. [email protected]
Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Oklahoma State Univ., 215 Engineering North, Stillwater, OK 74078. Email: [email protected]

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