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The geotechnical characterization of coarse granular materials (CGM) is an important topic in geotechnical engineering, but at the same time not well studied and developed. On the one hand, CGM are generated by external geological processes (transport, erosion and sedimentation), but also by direct extraction from the parent rock (for example quarry rockfill, mining blasting materials), which implies that each CGM has unique intrinsic particles properties, particularly in terms of shape and particle’s strength. In addition, gradations of CGM can contain blocks with particle diameters greater than 1 m, which greatly complicates the execution of in-situ and laboratory testing programs. For this latter, there are currently different size-scale methodologies for particle size distributions, which, unfortunately, have important limitations in their use. Thus, the geotechnical characterization of CGM is a complex subject to study, especially in important civil engineering and mining structures such as rockfill dams and waste rock dumps.
This exclusive course taught by Dr. Leonardo Dorador, Civil Engineer with specialization in Geotechnics and Geological Engineering, is presented through video tutorials and multimedia content within the Moodle virtual platform, with exercises like tests and practical cases.
The objective of this course is to provide the necessary knowledge to perform a geotechnical characterization related to coarse-grained soils and rock-piles, with special emphasis on its mechanical properties.
This course covers the study of different types of coarse-grained materials and their main geotechnical characteristics. In addition, an important part of the course is oriented to the size-scaling methodologies, which are fundamental for the execution of small-scale laboratory tests, required along the design of engineering projects.
Finally, this course includes an in-depth analysis of the shear strength of CGM. The use of the Leps’ chart is discussed, and new shear strength envelopes are presented, including large-scale triaxial and large direct shear tests up to date. Finally, additional variables of the MMG such as deformation modules, minimum and maximum densities, particle breakage, among others are also analyzed in detail.