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Technical paper: Earthworks control – assessment of "sustainability"

HG Baird, MIHT. This paper was first published in GE’s May 1988 edition.


This paper re-evaluates the existing method specified for the control of earthworks by the application of an upper limit of moisture content and investigates the MCV test (Parsons, 1976) which has been given increasing prominence.

Ten samples of brown glacial clay and one sample of sand from a typical site in Northumberland were subjected to rigorous and systematic testing. The natural moisture content, index properties and particle size distribution down to silt size were obtained for each sample.

No meaningful MCV could be obtained on the sand, confirming previous experience, and being cohesionless neither index properties nor unconfined compression tests were applicable. 

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