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DEDAN KIMATHI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

UNIVERSITY EXAMINATIONS
2015/2016 ACADEMIC YEAR

THIRD YEAR FIRST SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS


FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
IN
CIVIL ENGINEERING

ECE 2303 – SOIL MECHANICS I

DATE: 10TH SEPTEMBER 2015 TIME: 11.00AM – 1.00PM

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES

 This paper contains FOUR questions


 Answer questions ONE and any other TWO questions
 No mobile phones allowed in the examination room

THIS PAPER CONSISTS OF (3) PRINTED PAGES


QUESTION ONE (30 MARKS) - COMPULSORY

a) The discharge of water collected from a constant head permeameter in a period of 15


minutes is 400 ml. The internal diameter of the permeameter is 6 cm and the measured
difference in heads between the two gauging points 15 cm apart is 40. Calculate the
coefficient of permeability. If the dry weight of the 15 cm long sample is 7.0 N and the
specific gravity of the solids is 2.65, calculate the seepage velocity. [7 Marks]

b) Outline the following types of field compaction equipment;


i) Smooth-wheeled rollers
ii) Pneumatic rubber-tyred rollers
iii) Sheep-foot rollers [6 marks]
c) Explain TWO methods for the determination of bulk density of a soil in the field
[6 Marks]
d) Explain atleast FOUR soil characteristic factors affecting permeability
[4 Marks]
e) The following observations were recorded when a sand cone test was conducted for
finding the unit weight of a natural soil:
Total density of sand used in the test = 1.4 g/cm3
Mass of the soil excavated from hole = 950 g.
Mass of the sand filling the hole = 700 g.
Water content of the natural soil = 15 percent.
Specific gravity of the soil grains = 2.7
Calculate: (i) the wet unit weight, (ii) the dry unit weight, (iii) the void ratio, and (iv)
the degree of saturation. [7 Marks]

QUESTION TWO (20 MARKS)

a) By three phase soil system, prove that the degree of saturation S (as ratio) in terms of
mass unit weight (γ), void ratio (e), specific gravity of soil grains (G) and unit weight
of water (γw) is given by the expression. [7 Marks]

ᵞ= (𝐺+𝑆.𝑒)
(1+𝑒)
ᵞ𝑤

b) A layer of clay of 4 m thick is overlain by a sand layer of 5 m, the top of which is the
ground surface. The clay overlay an impermeable stratum. Initially the water table is at

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the ground surface but it is lowered 4 meters by pumping. Calculate δ’v at the top and
base of the clay layer before and after pumping. For sand e = 0.45, G = 2.6, Sr (sand,
after pumping) = 50%. For clay e = 1.0, G = 2.7. [13 Marks]

QUESTION THREE (20 MARKS)

a) A sample of soil was prepared by mixing a quantity of dry soil with 10% by mass of
water. Find the mass of this wet mixture required to produce a cylindrical; compacted
specimen of 15 cm diameter and 12.5 cm deep and having 6% air content. Find also
the void ratio and tile dry density of the specimen if G = 2.68. [10 Marks]

b) Derive an expression for Darcy’s coefficient of permeability under confined aquifer


condition. [10 Marks]
QUESTION FOUR (20 MARKS)

a) In a bulk density determination, a sample of clay soil with a mass of 683g was coated
with paraffin wax. The combined mass of clay and the wax was 690.6g. The volume
of the clay and the wax was found by immersion to be 350 ml. The sample was then
broken and moisture content and particle specific gravity tests gave 17% and 2.73
respectively. If the specific gravity of the wax is 0.89, determine;

i) Bulk density [2 Marks]


ii) Unit weight [2 Marks]
iii) Void ratio [2 Marks]
iv) Degree of saturation [2 Marks]

b) What is the height of capillary rise in a soil with an effective size of 0.06 mm and void
ratio of 0.72? [3 Marks]
c) Explain FOUR factors affecting compaction of soil. [4 Marks]
d) Using relevant diagrams, discuss “atterberg limits” as used in Soil Mechanics.
[5 Marks]

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