Small-scale evaporation tests on clay: influence of drying rate on clayey soil layer

Roderick N. Tollenaar, Leon van Paassen, Cristina Jommi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cracks in drying soils have detrimental effects on the integrity of geotechnical structures. The evaporation rate is recognized to play an important role in fracture generation, having a direct impact on the amount of cracks produced. This investigation examined the drying behaviour of a clay with different initial water contents and under different evaporative conditions. Small-scale evaporation experiments were carried out using a river clay and commercially available suction-measuring equipment. The results showed that the initial conditions have great influence on the drying performance of a soil, which can be partly attributed to the influence of the surface texture and the pore structure. It was observed that under certain circumstances, the evaporation of a soil surface can be higher than that of open water. The different evaporation rates had a marked effect on the water distributions with depth within the soil. The evaporation rate also produced a dynamic response of the soil-water retention curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • Clay desiccation
  • Drying rate
  • Evaporation test
  • Soil drying
  • Suction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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