Geotechnical Characterization of Suape Soft Clays, Brazil

R.Q. Coutinho, M.I.M.C.V. Bello


Soils and Rocks, São Paulo, 37(3): 257-276, September-December, 2014 | PDF


Comprehensive research has been carried out by the Geotechnical Group (GEGEP) of the Federal University of Pernambuco in the soft clay deposits in Northeastern Brazil near the city of Recife. This paper presents the results of important geotechnical investigations of soft clays in two areas within the Suape Port and Industrial Complex. The geotechnical parameters were obtained from laboratory (classification, compressibility and strength) and in situ (SPT, vane and CPTU) tests, and were compared with regional empirical correlations and proposals presented in literature. The vane tests were performed to obtain undrained strength and overconsolidation ratio parameters. The classifications for soil behavior, together with flow characteristics, strength and overconsolidation ratio parameters, were determined by piezocone tests. The results are compared with results from reference tests, and discussed with results from the literature, including the results of Recife and other Brazilian clays. This study confirms that parameters can be obtained by means of in situ tests with correlations suited to the local/regional experience and the importance of having a joint laboratory and in situ test program. This prediction is fundamental for a proper geotechnical site characterization in studies and engineering projects.

Submitted on April 30, 2014; Final Acceptance on December 15, 2014; Discussion open until April 30, 2015.