Transition of gap-graded soil fabric – shear wave measurements and dispersion relation

Yang Li, Masahide Otsubo, Arian Ghaemi, Troyee Tanu Dutta, Reiko Kuwano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamic response of gap-graded soils is complex; it requires massive experimental and theoretical investigation in order for a sound understanding to be developed. The complexity of the behaviour of such soils arises partially due to the presence of many influential parameters, such as the finer sand/silt content (Fs), size ratio (Rd), and void ratio (e). In this contribution, experiments are conducted on a series of gap-graded soil mixtures, where the coarser sand is mixed with four different finer sands or non-plastic silt with different sizes, namely various Rd, and one well-graded material is also tested. The S-wave velocity (Vs) and low-pass threshold frequency (flp) are measured in the isotropic stress state using a triaxial apparatus equipped with planar piezoelectric transducers. The experimental results reveal that, for a given e or relative density (Dr), both flp and Vs decrease at a low Fs, but increase at a high Fs. The slope of the linear regression between flp and Vs appears to capture this transitional behaviour, depending on Fs and Rd, which can then be used to correlate the physical state of the gap-graded soil fabric. The transitional behaviour is more noticeable at a larger Rd, which is in line with the existing literature. To understand the effect of the Rd on the shear wave propagation at a low Fs, the particle-scale dispersion relation for binary chains is newly introduced and correlated with accompanying experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101092
Number of pages21
JournalSoils and Foundations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Dispersion relation
  • Frequency response
  • Gap-graded soils
  • Geophysics
  • Shear wave velocity

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