Environmental Soil Properties and Behaviour: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Soil Properties and Behaviour

1st Edition

By Raymond N. Yong, Masashi Nakano, Roland Pusch

CRC Press

455 pages | 178 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2012-03-05
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From bridges and tunnels to nuclear waste repositories, structures require that soils maintain their design engineering properties if the structures are to reach their projected life spans. The same is true for earth dams, levees, buffers, barriers for landfills, and other structures that use soils as engineered materials. Yet soil, a natural resource, continues to change as a result of natural and anthropogenic stresses. As the discipline of soil properties and behaviours matures, new tools and techniques are making it possible to study these properties and behaviours in more depth.

What Happens to Soil Under Weathering, Aging, and Chemical Stress?

Environmental Soil Properties and Behaviour examines changes in soil properties and behaviour caused by short- and long-term stresses from anthropogenic activities and environmental forces. Introducing new concepts of soil behaviour, soil maturation, and soil functionality, it integrates soil physics, soil chemistry, and soil mechanics as vital factors in soil engineering. The book focuses on environmental soil behaviour, with particular attention to two main inter-related groups of soil–environment issues. The first is the use of soil as an environmental tool for management and containment of toxic and hazardous waste materials. The second is the impact of ageing and weathering processes and soil contamination on the properties and behaviour of soils, especially those used in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering projects.

A Transdisciplinary Look at Soil-Changing Processes

To determine short- and long-term soil quality and soil functionality, the authors emphasize the need to be aware of the nature of the stressors involved as well as the kinds of soil-changing processes that are evoked. This book takes a first step toward a much-needed transdisciplinary effort to develop a broader and deeper understanding of what happens to soil and how we can determine and quantify the effect of biogeochemical processes. It offers a timely resource for the study of soil properties and behaviours, effects of environmental changes, and remediation of contaminated soil.

Table of Contents

Origin and Function of Soils


Soil Origin and Formation

Soil Classification

Basic Soil Functions

Concluding Remarks


Nature of Soils


Clay Minerals

Nonclay Minerals

Soil Organic Matter

Soil Particles

Soil Structure

Interparticle Bonds

Microorganisms in Soils

Laboratory Determinations

Concluding Remarks


Soil–Water Systems


Water Retention

Clay–Water Interactions

Soil-Water Energy Characteristics

Water Uptake and Transfer

Chemical Reactions in Porewater

Physical Reactions and Hydration

Concluding Remarks


Swelling Clays


Swelling Phenomena

Water Uptake and Swelling

Water Movement

Concluding Remarks


Stressors, Impacts, and Soil Functionality


Stressor Sources and Stressors

Stressor Impacts

Soil Functionality Index (SFI)

Time-Related Change of Functionality

Concluding Remarks


Mechanical Properties


Mechanical Attributes

Concept of Effective Stress

Shear Strength of Soils

Mechanisms in Granular Soil Strength

Cohesive Soil Strength

Porewater Pressure

Shear Resistance Mechanisms

Compressibility and Consolidation

Creep Behaviour

Concluding Remarks


Thermal and Hydraulic Properties


Thermal Properties

Water Movement under Thermal Gradient

Hydraulic Properties

Swelling Clay Hydraulic Conductivity

Vapour and Gas Conductivities

Concluding Remarks


Sorption Properties and Mechanisms


Solutes, Contaminants, and Pollutants

Contaminant Interactions with Soil Particles

Contaminant Sorption Mechanisms

Laboratory Determination of Partitioning

Partitioning and Soil Composition

Concluding Remarks


Mobility and Attenuation of Contaminants


Interactions and Mobility

Mobility and Attenuation

Microstructure and Diffusive Transport

Attenuation of Organic Chemicals

Concluding Remarks


Environmental Soil Behaviour


Soil Evolution and Ageing Processes

Time-Related Changes and Soil Evolution

Biodegradation and Biotransformation of Contaminants

Freeze–Thaw Seasonal Impact

Concluding Remarks


About the Authors

Dr. Raymond N. Yong is the William Scott Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at McGill University, Canada, and emeritus professor at the University of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom. He is a fellow of the Royal Society (Canada), and a Chevalier de l’Orde National du Quebec. He is currently engaged in research on issues in geoenvironmental sustainability.

Dr. Masashi Nakano is the emeritus professor of soil physics and soil hydrogeology at the University of Tokyo, and director of the RISST (Research Institute of Soil Science and Technology), Japan. He was recently a member of the Science Council of Japan, and is now working on such issues in soil/clay science as adsorption/transport of chemicals on soils and mineral corrosion by microorganisms.

Dr. Roland Pusch is emeritus professor at Lund University, Sweden, and is presently guest professor at Lulea Technical University, Sweden, and honorary professor at East China Technological Institute. He is currently the scientific head and managing director of Drawrite AB, Sweden, and is working on issues of long-term stability of clay buffers in HLW repositories and on design and performance of hazardous landfills.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General