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The Ballina soft soil Field Testing Facility

1 Priority Research Centre for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Newcastle, 2300, Australia
2 Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, SMEC, Australia

Special Issues: Characterization and Engineering Properties of Natural Soils used for geotesting

An overview of the work done at the Ballina soft soil Field Testing Facility (NFTF), established near the town of Ballina (New South Wales, Australia) by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering (CGSE), is presented in this paper. The testing facility is aimed at carrying out fundamental research for providing solutions to problems associated with energy and transport infrastructure in Australia. Development of the field testing facility was driven by challenges with soft soil engineering at the nearby Ballina Bypass motorway project. The state road authority, the contractor and the designers helped to create the concept which was fleshed out and delivered by the CGSE. The main outcomes of comprehensive in situ and laboratory characterization studies are presented and discussed. Results of experimental studies carried out by the CGSE to assess sampling disturbance in the soft soil deposits encountered at the Ballina site are also presented. Last but not least, the paper discusses the main findings and lessons learnt from an international symposium organized by the CGSE in 2016 to assess current practice for predicting the behaviour of embankments constructed on soft soils.
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Keywords soft clay; estuarine clay; Sherbrooke sampling; sampling disturbance; in situ tests; advanced laboratory testing; embankment behaviour

Citation: Jubert A. Pineda, Richard B. Kelly, Laxmi Suwal, Lachlan Bates, Scott W. Sloan. The Ballina soft soil Field Testing Facility. AIMS Geosciences, 2019, 5(3): 509-534. doi: 10.3934/geosci.2019.3.509

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