Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2013, Page: 58-65
Unsaturated Volcanic Tephra and Its Effect for Soil Movement in El Salvador
José Alexander Chávez Hernández, Department of Geotechnics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, ČVUT, Prague, Czech Republic
José Alexander Chávez Hernández, Unidad Ambiental, Oficina de Planificación del Área Metropolitana de San Salvador, OPAMSS, San Salvador, El Salvador
Jiři Šebesta, Czech Geological Survey, Prague, Czech Republic
Lubomir Kopecky, Department of Mechanics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, ČVUT, Prague, Czech Republic
Reynaldo López Landaverde, Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas, Universidad de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
José Landaverde, Departamento de Geotecnia, Escuela de Civil, Facultad de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Universidad de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Received: Apr. 9, 2013;       Published: Apr. 2, 2013
DOI: 10.11648/j.earth.20130202.15      View  2947      Downloads  204
Abstract
In El Salvador during the rainy season or when major earthquakes affect the area, processes like mass move-ments, liquefaction, erosion and floods affect the territory leaving environmental, social and economic damages. The vol-canic tephras called "Tierra Blanca Joven" (TBJ) which is a product of the last plinian eruption of the Ilopango Caldera are the more problematic region in the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador. In El Salvador during the summer and rainy season the groundwater level remains low in most of the areas, this means that the soils in the country are unsaturated and there are capillary forces that act on the soil structure making that an “apparent cohesion” (suction) improve the strength of the soil; this circumstance makes that the slopes are almost vertical and temporally stable, but will collapse when wetted or during seismic events. To that problematic is possible to add that the majority of the water pipelines are in bad condition and when they fail is possible to expect the collapse of entire streets or houses. Wetting of the soil is likely to occur following construction development, because evaporation is reduced by covering the ground surface with a structure. For unsaturated soils the use of two independent stress variables: net stress and suction are needed. Suction values of TBJ “G” unit of the proximal facie were obtained using pressure plate, tensiometer and filter paper to obtain a Soil-Water Retention Curve (SWRC); the use of this curve into finite elements software can help to obtain the shear strength and permeability properties. For monitoring, the use of Quickdraw tensiometers (suction) and TMS3 (soil moisture content) is proposed, because it could be a way to build a field methodology for early warning system for the slopes for urban planning and risk assessment.
Keywords
Tierra Blanca Joven, Erosion, Mass Movement, Unsaturated, Suction, Tensiometer, Soil Moisture Sensor
To cite this article
José Alexander Chávez Hernández, José Alexander Chávez Hernández, Jiři Šebesta, Lubomir Kopecky, Reynaldo López Landaverde, José Landaverde, Unsaturated Volcanic Tephra and Its Effect for Soil Movement in El Salvador, Earth Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2013, pp. 58-65. doi: 10.11648/j.earth.20130202.15
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