Forecasts have indicated that land impoundments used for the storage of dredged sediments would only last for only the next fifteen years due to the ever-increasing amount of sediments that are dredged from shipping channels. Therefore, methods of converting the sediments to bricks, road base or even aggregates in concrete are being investigated to help to ease the problem.
In the present investigation, four dredged sediment samples, from reclamation areas, and two industrial clays were tested for their physical and geotechnical properties through laboratory testing.
The relationship between the moisture diffusivity and the finite-strain coefficient of consolidation were investigated. Results from self-weight consolidation, low stress oedometer and moisture diffusivity tests were analysed and was determined that the diffusivity and coefficient of consolidation have the same physical meaning as the theory proposed by Kim et al. (1993)
Moisture characteristic curves of the soil samples are produced and used to convert to moisture content profiles into suction profiles. They are used for analysis and comparison with theoretical suction profiles of desiccation.
An analytical model was used to estimate the diffusivity of the soil samples. Empirical correlations between moisture diffusivity, liquid limit and plasticity index were determined. A strong linear relationship between diffusivity and the respective geotechnical properties was found. Improved modelling of desiccation remains desirable as actual suction profiles differ from the theoretical profile. This would require the accurate determination of the time of the start of desiccation.