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Physical classifications and engineering characteristics of in situ boulders in tropically weathered granite

Md Dan @ Azlan, Mohd Firdaus (2016) Physical classifications and engineering characteristics of in situ boulders in tropically weathered granite. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.


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The issues of boulder in tropically weathered granitic rock masses have roused a lot of problems and risks to the work performances and design quality in civil engineering. Although the presence of in situ boulder could be predicted through several methods and classified in several weathering classification schemes, the behaviour of tropically weathered in situ boulder is not well understood. The aim of this study is to establish physical classification and engineering characteristics of granite boulders and to catalogue the boulders in tropical weathering profile. A total of 46 panels of granitic profile consist of 88 in situ boulders from five quarry sites located in Johor, Malaysia were investigated involving several field and laboratory test programs. The field test programs conducted include geological field mapping, discontinuity survey and classification of physical characteristics of boulder as well as its surrounding material in various weathering zones. The physical characteristics examined include occurrence of boulders in moderately to completely weathered zone, shape, size and rindlets characteristics from respective weathering zone. The laboratory test programs involve determination of physico-mechanical properties and mineralogical analysis. The field study revealed five dominant weathering profiles with different significant types of weathering zone and occurrence of in situ boulder. This finding indicated that in situ boulder is the main character in the formation of heterogeneous zone in weathering profile especially in the moderately weathered (Zone 3), highly weathered (Zone 4) and completely weathered zone (Zone 5). The angularity, size and rindlets characteristics of the boulder from moderately to completely weathering zones significantly differ from each other. Due to these significant differences, the in situ boulders formed in completely, highly and moderately weathered zones are classified into three major types, namely Type A, Type B and Type C, respectively. Boulder Type A is surrounded by double rindlets zones which classified as inner and outer rindlets, while boulder Type B possess single rindlets zone which is classified as inner rindlets. On the other hand, boulder Type C has no rindlets and it is surrounded by joints and fractures. The differences in physical characteristics of boulders Type A, B and C could be used to predict their existence in different weathering zones. The result obtained from the laboratory study revealed the physico-mechanical properties which include dry density, porosity, durability, strength and permeability of rindlets and saprolites found in completely weathered zone showed significant variance compared to highly and moderately weathered zone. In conclusion, the in situ boulders formed in moderately to completely weathered zones possessed significant variance of physical and mechanical characteristics which can be used as an indicator in weathering classification and engineering design purposes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering > Department of Infrastructure and Geomatic Engineering
Depositing User: Mr. Mohammad Shaifulrip Ithnin
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 03:47
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 03:47
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/9229
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