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1 School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK 2 School of Life Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK 3 Singapore Meteorological Service, Changi Airport, Singapore Media Ltd, Keswick Hall, NR4 6TJ, Norwich, UK Acknowledgements: Geotechnical Engineering Office, Hong Kong Civil Engineering Office, Hong Kong Prof. Muneki Mitamura, Osaka Carolyn Sharp, University of East Anglia Self Weight Consolidation of Soft Sediments: Some Implications for Climate Studies N.Keith Tovey 1, Mike Paul 2, Yap Chui-Wah 3, and Simon Tovey 4 University of West Indies, Trinidad 9th January 2003 British Council

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What effect does self-weight consolidation (auto-compaction) have on our understanding of Marine Sequences? What processes are involved? What are the magnitudes of such effects? How easy is it to correct for these effects? The Problem

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation

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Why are such studies of relevance? Interpretation of sequences is often done on a linear length basis. i.e. two points in a sequence may be dated and a sedimentation rate estimated from dates and distances between the two points. This does not allow for self-weight consolidation - strictly it should be done using a linear mass interpolation - rarely is this the case. This is of particular importance in unravelling Holocene sequences where the apparent deposition rate is of the order of mm per year. It is of significance in dating studies, estimation of palaeo-water depths in tidal modelling, salt marsh studies, archeology etc.

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation

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Isopach of M1 Unit at Chek Lap Kok Good quality continuous cores are available from Hong Kong to depths of 20+m

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Bothkennar Site, Scotland

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Simplified Sequence of Deposition During last inter-glacial deposition of unit M2 When sea level fell, surface layer was exposed to desiccation, oxidation, pedogenesis, etc. In the Holocene, the sea probably covered the area around years ago deposition of unit M1 M1 T1 M2 ~ 10m

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From core record, several different sequences have been identified Present work models Holocene sequence Classification after Yim

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation

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Consolidation in Marine Sediments Two pore pressures to consider Sand Clay Assumes sand body is continuous and daylights to sea bed -i.e. two-way drainage. Hydrostatic pressure changes from sea level changes are insignificant with regard to sediment compression. Excess pore pressures are of critical importance. Single drainage - implies sand body is discontinuous and does not daylight 11

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Decompaction of Deposits During deposition, successive layers will cause under-lying layers to compress Dividing the total thickness by the time interval will lead to an under-estimation of true deposition rates.

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Decompaction of Deposits If the Void Ratio is known, then the saturated bulk unit weight ( i ) in the i th layer is given by:- However, e i depends on v(i) where G s is Specific gravity The stress i at the mid point of the i th layer is given by:-

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Decompaction of Deposits First assume a value of e i (say 1.0) and evaluate i in the i th layer from:- Must work down through layers not upwards! Now determine i at the mid point of the i th layer:- If the e - v relationship is known determine a revised value of e i and repeat above two steps iteratively.

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e 1 = log( ) R 2 = The parameter e 1 = [void ratio at 1 kPa] and gradient of line C c are used in the algorithms.

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation 17

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This is an interesting result: The relationship holds over all three units! It means that we only need to determine C c

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e1 = Cc However, an even more interesting correlation emerges It appears that data from Hong Kong and Scotland follow same trend

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Do you believe in Omega? Omega Point

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If this relationship were to hold more generally, then we can predict e 1 from C c

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Inclusion of many more data points still confirms a relationship e1 = Cc R 2 = Gassy sedimentsM1M2 T1

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation 23

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For typical Holocene deposits, the true sedimentation rate may be up to 2+ times the raw sedimentation rate.

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Assume 10 m Holocene sequence and C c approximately 1.0. If sea level rose about 6500 years ago, then raw sedimentation rate is about 1.5 mm per year But after correction, the true rate for the Hong Kong M1 unit is > 3 mm per year. Any modelling must use layers no thicker than this. What is a typical value for sedimentation rate?

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Measurement of Cc requires special testing A Problem But estimates are available using Liquid Limit measurements

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Now determine i at the mid point of the i th layer:- e - v can be plotted directly and hence C c can be deduced. An alternative if neither consolidation or liquid limit data are available Assume a detailed moisture/water content can be measured at moderate/high resolution. -valid for Holocene - i.e. degree of saturation is 100%.

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Porosity varies significantly in uppermost 2m. Void ratio of 2 is equivalent to a porosity of Void ratio of 4 is equivalent to a porosity of 0.8

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The values of moisture content are almost always above the mean prediction suggesting a more open structure than expected

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation 30

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Equilibrium self-weight consolidation analysis assumes that after each increment all excess pore pressure is dissipated. Conventional wisdom suggests that with all normal sedimentation rates, dissipation will be complete within an annual deposition cycle. This is true provided drainage paths are NOT long. However, will this be true for deep sequences where drainage paths are long?

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The governing equation for dissipation of pore pressure (u) by:- where c v is the coefficient of consolidation and may be found from: where k is permeability and m v is determined from C c To proceed we need a relationship to determine k

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There appears to be a relationship between void ratio and permeability However, this relationship is likely to vary from one location to another.

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The dynamic model Properties of each layer vary as a result of self-weight consolidation. For a given value of C c determine equilibrium void ratio and hence unit weight and stress for each layer permeability from e - k relationship and hence estimate m v (from e - relationship) c v. (= k / m v ) If data exists, C c can also be allowed to vary between layers

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The void ratio varying rapidly in top 1 - 2m, and layer thickness must reflect this and also be able to model and annual accumulation. > Layer thicknesses ~ 3mm should be used. > ~ 3000 layers Choice of initial layer thickness A Problem: simple analysis using FTCS method will require time steps < 100 secs for stability - very computer intensive. Crank Nicholson method is stable irrespective of time step, although 100 iterations per year are still needed for spatial precision.

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Current model starts with 150 layers But, number of layers increases each year, and time to model 500 years becomes very long ~ hours with modern computers. However trends can be seen Crank-Nicholson requires inversion of matrices which have the number of rows and columns equal to number of layers. Solution - use layer thickness which progressively double at greater depths.

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Results of pore pressure dissipation over first 10 years - annual increment as determined by equilibrium analysis Below 3m there is no dissipation in year 1. There is evidence of a small amount of dissipation after 10 years.

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Results from years - assume Holocene depth - 10m Partial dissipation is taking place at base of Holocene - dissipation lines are getting closer together

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The presence of excess pore pressures would lead to higher water contents than predicted by steady state analysis Could this be difference be a result of bio-turbation? Unlikely to be the sole cause as deviation increases with depth just as residual pore pressures do.

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Recent results from Japan 18 consolidation tests were done on a single borehole different values of C c were measured. modify steady state analysis to allow for this variation predicted and actual water are similar at base of Holocene implies full dissipation of pore pressure > double drainage.

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation 41

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raw sedimentation rates significantly underestimate true sedimentation rates by a factor of 2 or more from consolidation theory, estimates of true porosity and hence sedimentation rates are possible excess pore pressures arising from annual deposition remain at the end of the year in sequences thicker than about 2m pore pressures continue to build up each year > higher than predicted equilibrium moisture contents the excess moisture content distribution gives an indication of drainage conditions prevailing. Conclusions

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correlation of excess pore water pressures with excess water content - does this explain the full difference between steady state model and actual data points? > need to model over the whole Holocene period develop model to include pre-Holocene layers > estimates of palaeo-hydrology And finally: The research in this paper is a direct consequence of discussions held at the 2nd Annual Meeting of IGCP-396 in Durham UK (1997). The future

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1. Background to self-weight consolidation issues 2. Site Locations 3. Equilibrium Self-Weight Compaction 4. Existence of Omega Point? 5. True Sedimentation Rates 6. Modelling pore-pressure dissipation 7. Conclusions 8. Postscript for ENV-2E1Y Holocene Marine Deposits: modelling self-weight consolidation 44

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From the relationship between e 1 and C c e 1 = C c Estimate C c from Plasticity Index i.e. C c = 0.5 * PI * G s or * PI for PL = 32 and LL = 68 Plasticity index = 36 C c = * 0.36 = Hence e 1 = Implications for estimating the consolidation behaviour of soils Equation of Virgin Consolidation Line > e = *log or e = – 1.325*PI*log Provides a more robust method to estimate consolidation behaviour from Atterberg Limits

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Implications for estimating the consolidation behaviour of soils Use data of m vc to estimate settlement from: m vc z Plot e vs Evaluate m vc at relevant stresses

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