Types of Soil

     Hi Everyone, Welcome to "thecivilengineer18.com". I am a Civil Engineer with 9+ years of experience in civil engineering. On this website, I wrote articles about civil engineering like concepts, and the latest trends and also part from civil engineering I wrote about general things too regularly. In this article, I explained the transportation of the soil.

    Before entering into the topic read the topics on the Definition of SoilSoil formation cycle and types of soil formation and transportation of soil for a better understanding of the concept.

    There are various types of soil I will explain a list of the few important soil types from an engineering perspective. They are as follows.

  1. Alluvial Soil Deposits
  2. Black Cotton Soil Deposits
  3. Lateritic Soil Deposits
  4. Desert Soil Deposits
  5. Marine Soil Deposits
Alluvial Soil Deposits
    These were the deposits formed by the rivers. They have an alternating layer of sand, silt and clay. These deposits have low intensity and are liable to liquefaction in earthquake-prone areas.

Black Cotton Soil Deposits
    These were the residual deposits of the basalt rocks. They are clayey in nature and have low shear strength and are highly compressible. They are Clay of high plasticity. The bearing capacity of this soil was very low. Hence working with this soil in construction is very difficult.

Lateritic Soil Deposits

    These are the soil that has a high amount of Iron oxide content and hence they appear red or pink in colour. On the surface of this soil, there exists a hard crust of gravel size particles known as laterite. They have a high specific gravity due to the presence of iron oxide content.

Desert soil Deposits

    These soil are uniform in gradation and they are highly pervious and non-plastic in nature. Construction in this soil requires the densification of the soil. Most Arab countries have these kinds of soil.

Marine Soil Deposits

    These soils were found along the coast of the continents. These soil deposits have low shear strength and are highly compressible. They contain large amounts of organic matter. The Marine clay are soft and highly plastic if clay were found on these deposits.

Comparison of Soil with Other Materials

  Soil is a very heterogenous and naturally available material and engineering is very difficult when compared to other construction materials like Concrete or Steel. In both concrete and steel the properties and well-contained or engineered to our advantage.

    But if you take soil, it varies not only in composition but when we go deep into the earth the properties and the material in which the soil is formed are also different. For example, in the first layer, you may have black cotton soil in your locality but in the below layer, you may encounter laterite soil

    So, when dealing with the foundation design you need to consider both which is not the case with the others materials. And another problem is the testing procedure when we take samples for the soil we unknowingly disturb the actual state of the soil indirectly, so we can't get the actual set-up of the soil below.

    Most of the tests that we do consider only the top strata and the depth were exposed to us only during the execution in which we need to redesign or need to modify the structure for the below state of the soil.


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