Reference : The soil of Luxembourg and the weak Rhaetian clay
Scientific journals : Article
Engineering, computing & technology : Civil engineering
The soil of Luxembourg and the weak Rhaetian clay
Van Baars, Stefan mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Engineering Research Unit >]
Cahier Scientifique - Revue Technique Luxembourgeoise
Association Luxembourgeoise des Ingénieurs, Architectes et Industriels
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
[en] Soft Clay ; Triaxial Test ; Slope Failure
[en] Luxembourg is geologically divided into two parts: Oesling in the North and Gutland in the Middle and South. Oesling is part of the Ardennes plateau. Gutland was formed in the Triassic and Jurassic ages and is much younger than Oesling. It consists mainly of sedimentary rocks.
Luxembourg has a variety of interesting, weak or problematic soils, such as the swelling gypsum layers, the layered schists of Wiltz and especially the weak Keuper-Rhaetian-clay. The Rhaetian clay layer is mostly rather thin and is found at a relatively constant altitude and the band where it comes to the surface is identified by the varying erosion erratically found throughout Gutland. Approximately two third of all landslides are found along this line.
Hence it was decided to investigate the Rhaetian clay in the geotechnical laboratory of the University of Luxembourg. Samples were taken from a pit at Rue de Mühlenbach on the north side of the city of Luxembourg and from a sliding slope of a building pit in Schutrange.
The friction angle was found to be phi = 8° at Mühlenbach and phi = 13° at Schuttrange, which are both record low friction angles, which explains the high number of landslides in Luxembourg.
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