Dr. Mark Stringer, Senior Lecturer, Geotechnical Engineering, School of Civil & Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury and recipient of the NZGS 2018-2021 J W Ridley Geomechanics Paper Award
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Abstract: Pumice-rich deposits are found in a number of locations around the world, and in particular across large areas of the North Island of New Zealand. Pumice grains are commonly described as being lightweight, highly crushable, and vesicular in nature. These characteristics give rise to a unique set of behaviours under loading, and pumice-rich soils are highly problematic in terms of in situ characterisation in large part due to their crushability. The presence of pumice within a soil mixture has the potential to completely alter the stress–strain behaviour of these soils as well as require a different interpretation of results from commonly used site characterisation technique. It is therefore important to be able to determine quantitatively the percentage of pumice within a given soil deposit. This paper proposes a methodology based on a gravity separation of pumice-bearing mixtures with a heavy fluid. The application of the method to artificial mixtures of fine pumice and non-pumiceous sands is shown to be sufficiently accurate for engineering purposes.
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Kindly sponsored by the University of Canterbury and Geotechnics