Definition and experimental determination of a soil-water retention surface
This paper deals with the definition and determination methods of the soil-water retention surface (SWRS), which is the tool used to present the hydromechanical behaviour of soils to highlight both the effect of suction on the change in water and total volumes and the effect of deformation with respect to the water retention capability. An experimental method is introduced to determine the SWRS and applied to a clayey silty sand. The determination of this surface is based on the measurement of void ratio, suction, and water content along the main drying paths. These paths are established for five different initial states. The experimental results allow us to define the parametric equations of the main drying paths, expressing both water content and void ratio as functions of suction and initial void ratio. A model of the SWRS for clayey silty sand is established in the space (void ratio - suction - water content). This surface covers all possible states of the soil inside the investigated range for the three variables. Finally, the SWRS is used to study the relations between water content and suction at a constant void ratio and between void ratio and suction at a constant water content.