Water repellent soils: The case for unsaturated soil mechanics

Christopher Beckett, Andy Fourie, David Toll

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    346 Downloads (Pure)


    © 2016 The Authors.Water repellent (or "hydrophobic" or "non-wetting") soils have been studied by soil scientists for well over a century. These soils are typified by poor water infiltration, which leads to increased soil erosion and poor crop growth. However, the importance of water repellence on determining soil properties is now becoming recognised by geotechnical engineers. Water repellent soils may, for example, offer novel solutions for the design of cover systems overlying municipal or mine waste storage facilities. However, investigations into factors affecting their mechanical properties have only recently been initiated. This purpose of this paper is to introduce geotechnical engineers to the concept of water repellent soils and to discuss how their properties can be evaluated under an unsaturated soils framework. Scenarios in which water repellent properties might be relevant in geotechnical applications are presented and methods to quantify these properties in the laboratory and in the field examined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationE3S Web of Conferences: 3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    EditorsP. Delage , Y.-J. Cui, S. Ghabezloo, J.-M. Pereira, A.-M. Tang
    PublisherEDP Sciences
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
    Event3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils: E-UNSAT 2016 - Paris, France
    Duration: 12 Sep 201614 Sep 2016

    Publication series

    NameE3S Web of Conferences


    Conference3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils


    Dive into the research topics of 'Water repellent soils: The case for unsaturated soil mechanics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this