Mineral dissolution effects on mechanical strength

M. Khoa Tran, Hosung Shin, Yong Hoon Byun, Jong Sub Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The fabric of soil media may change due to certain factors such as the dissolution of soluble mineral particles, desiccation, and cementation. The fabric changes lead to mechanical behaviour changes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of mineral dissolution on mechanical strength. Experimental studies and numerical simulations are performed by using conventional direct shear and discrete element methods. The dissolution specimens are prepared with different volumetric soluble particle fractions in sandy soils. The dissolution of the specimens is implemented by saturating the salt-sand mixtures at the different confining stresses in the experimental study and reducing the sizes of soluble particles in the numerical simulations. Experimental results show that after the particle dissolution as the soluble particle fraction increases, the peak shear strength decreases, the void ratio increases, and the vertical displacement behaviour during shearing changes from dilative to contractive behaviour. The numerical simulations exhibit that the macro-behaviours match well with the experimental results. In addition, the micro-scale observation shows that the reduction in the shear strength of the soluble particle mixtures after the particle dissolution results from the reductions of the coordination number, the stability of the fabric, the ability to develop the anisotropy of the fabric, and the increases in the local voids and anisotropy. This study reveals that the particle dissolution has a significant effect on the shear strength, deformation, and fabric change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalEngineering Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 27


  • DEM
  • Direct shear test
  • Fabric
  • Mineral dissolution
  • Shear strength
  • Soluble mixtures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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