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The Soil Mechanics and Geoengineering Laboratory

Soil Mechanics and Geoengineering Laboratory is an important unit of the whole technical supporting system for the Institute of Geomechanics in the research field of geoengineering and geohazards, which provides technical support for research projects on major surveys of land and resources, public research programs of the Ministry of Science, scientific key projects of the Ministry of Science and National Natural Science Foundation, and projects related to major national construction program and important economic zone planning.

Soil Mechanics and Geoengineering Laboratory has been currently equipped or to be equipped with specialized testing facilities as follows: (1) soil composition testing device, (2) the basic physical property of soil testing device, (3) soil mechanics indicator testing device, (4) soil permeability testing device, and (5) testing device for poor engineering characteristics of special soils (loess, swelling soil, saline soil, lateriteclay, etc.).

Soil engineering test equipment and automatic test data acquisition system



The micro-structural charac-
teristics of sand loess

At 17:10 on July 25, 2002, landslides destroyed three loess caves built on a slope and 17 were people buried to death to the west of Shiyouzigou, Qixiang Community, Wuqi County, Shaanxi Province.  Field investigation and lab analysis showed that the collapse of the caves  was caused by material composition, structure and mechanical properties of loess.

Shear strength test results of sand loess


From August 28 to 30 of 2003, heavy rains triggered a debris flow in northern Ningshaan County, Shanxi.  The fast moving debris flow endangered several teaching buildings of Ningshaan Primary School, 312 houses of 104 residents collapsed at the slope toe, and 6,000 people were forced to evacuate.

The intensity variation tend of
clays at different moisture conditions


The Pleistocene thick-layered brown clay was first discovered by the  Laboratory in the Xianyou Temple region of the Zhouzhi Town, Mazhao County, at the northern margin of Qinling, which was named as "Xianyou Temple Clay".  Analyses show that the clay formed as slope flow deposit in the humid semi-humid hot climate around the late Pleistocene with material source of brown weathered surface deposit on the Qinling Mount; the Xianyou Temple  clay was proved a typical swelling clay (I/S).  The poor engineering properties of the clay triggered the instability of natural and artificial slopes in peripheral area of Xianyou Temple and the northern margin of the Qinling Mount along State Highway 108 as well, and resulted in a large number of landslides frequently under the rains.


Swelling power discrimination
diagram of Xianyou Temple clay

 X-ray diffraction curves of Xianyou Temple
clay with particle fraction of d <0.002mm


Triaxial permeability testing devoice of ELE soil

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