A practical method for estimating maximum shear modulus of cemented sands using unconfined compressive strength

Hyunwook Choo, Hongyeop Nam, Woojin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The composition of naturally cemented deposits is very complicated; thus, estimating the maximum shear modulus (Gmax, or shear modulus at very small strains) of cemented sands using the previous empirical formulas is very difficult. The purpose of this experimental investigation is to evaluate the effects of particle size and cement type on the Gmax and unconfined compressive strength (qucs) of cemented sands, with the ultimate goal of estimating Gmax of cemented sands using qucs. Two sands were artificially cemented using Portland cement or gypsum under varying cement contents (2%–9%) and relative densities (30%–80%). Unconfined compression tests and bender element tests were performed, and the results from previous studies of two cemented sands were incorporated in this study. The results of this study demonstrate that the effect of particle size on the qucs and Gmax of four cemented sands is insignificant, and the variation of qucs and Gmax can be captured by the ratio between volume of void and volume of cement. qucs and Gmax of sand cemented with Portland cement are greater than those of sand cemented with gypsum. However, the relationship between qucs and Gmax of the cemented sand is not affected by the void ratio, cement type and cement content, revealing that Gmax of the complex naturally cemented soils with unknown in-situ void ratio, cement type and cement content can be estimated using qucs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning ( NRF-2015R1A2A2A01006337 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cemented sand
  • Gypsum
  • Maximum shear modulus
  • Particle size
  • Portland cement
  • Unconfined compressive strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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