Desiccation cracking in clayey soils: mechanisms and modelling

Jayantha Kumarasiri Kodikara, Warnakulasuriya D S M Costa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a summary of the work undertaken on desiccation cracking in soils with special reference to the work undertaken by the authors and co-workers at Monash University. All areas of historical field observations, laboratory modelling and identified mechanisms are discussed briefly. Analytical and numerical approaches for modelling of the desiccation cracking and process are discussed. Cohesive crack approach is presented as a viable approach for modelling of desiccation cracking and fracture evolution catering for consistency change of soil during desiccation. It is highlighted that both tensile strength and crack opening displacement increases, thereby increasing the fracture energy of the soil as the moisture content reduces. This modelling approach can be extended to model wetting/drying cycles and to model crack dynamics. Associated moisture transfer modelling also needs to be advanced for a complete solution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultiphysical Testing of Soils and Shales
EditorsLyesse Laloui, Alessio Ferrari
Place of PublicationHeidelberg Gernmany
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783642324925
ISBN (Print)9783642324918
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering
ISSN (Print)1866-8755

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