Secondary compression of peat with or without surcharging

G. Mesri, T. D. Stark, M. A. Ajlouni, C. S. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secondary compression is important in peat deposits because they exist at high void ratios and exhibit high values of compression index Cc, display the highest values of Cα/Cc among geotechnical materials, and primary consolidation is completed in weeks or months in typical field situations. Secondary compression of Middleton peat was investigated by oedometer tests on undisturbed specimens. The observed secondary compression behavior of this fibrous peat, with or without surcharging, is in accordance with the Cα/Cc concept of compressibility. Near the preconsolidation pressure, the secondary compression index, Cα, increases significantly with time. In the compression range Cα decreases only slightly with time, and for most practical purposes a constant Cα with time can be used to compute secondary settlement. Postsurcharge secondary compression index, C′α, always increases with time. This is predicted by the Cα/Cc concept of compressibility. A secant post-surcharge secondary compression index, C″α, is therefore introduced for a simple computation of secondary settlement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geotechnical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Secondary compression of peat with or without surcharging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this