Geotechnical Characterization of Sevier and Rome Shale, East Tennessee

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Conference Proceeding

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A complex mosaic of Sevier (Ordovician) and Rome (Cambrian) Shale are widely distributed throughout the sedimentary sequences in the southern Appalachians. These shales exhibit variable geotechnical characteristics including the strength and durability. We have investigated the factors controlling the Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS) and Slake Durability Index (SDI) of Sevier and Rome Shale in order to better understand site-specific engineering problems associated with these shales and to predict their geotechnical behavior. The results have shown the variation in mineral content including expanding clay, calcite, gypsum, and presence of microfractures filled with calcite have significantly affected the durability and strength of shale rock mass. In order to obtain realistic estimate of time-dependent weathering patterns in the Sevier and Rome Shale, we have performed multi-cycle SDI; results have indicates that a 5-cycle SDI better estimates the disintegration pattern of shale and can be used to classify shale in terms of the degree of weathering.