• Muhammad Safdar Earthquake Engineering Center, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar
  • Muhammad Waseem
  • Tosifullah
  • Faheem Shah
  • Waqas Ahmad
  • Naveed Ahmad


Expansive soil, geotechnical properties, geochemical properties, Kaolinite, Smectite


Expansive soils largely depend on climate, temperature variations and changes in moisture content. Expansive soils swell and shrink rapidly due to the addition and drying of moisture. Such characteristics of expansive soil is accountable for damages to the lightly loaded infrastructures (e.g., low story buildings, railways, pavements, roads) and significant economic losses. In this study, a number of disturbed and undisturbed soil samples are collected from Jalala, Mardan, Pakistan. Mineralogical and elemental composition is determined using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) techniques, respectively. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) along with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis is used to study the internal fabrics on micro level. In addition, different geotechnical laboratory tests [e.g., moisture content, soil classification, free swell or differential swell index, and one-dimensional consolidation tests] are performed to investigate the expansive behavior of such soils. Results show that the soils of Jalala have a moderate to high swelling potential, due to the presence of expansive clayey minerals (e.g., montmorillonite, smectite and kaolinite etc). Such expansive minerals must be taken in consideration before designing various geotechnical infrastructures. 


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How to Cite

Safdar, M., Waseem, M. ., Ullah, T., Shah, F. ., Ahmad, W., & Ahmad, N. (2021). GEOCHEMICAL AND GEOTECHNICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF EXPANSIVE SOILS. Bahria University Research Journal of Earth Sciences, 6, 1–15. Retrieved from