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

12 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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