Framework to estimate the soil-water characteristic curve for soils with different void ratios

Qian Zhai, Harianto Rahardjo, Alfrendo Satyanaga, Guoliang Dai, Yan Zhuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) contains information regarding the geometric pore space in a soil and is commonly used to estimate unsaturated soil properties, such as unsaturated hydraulic conductivity and unsaturated shear strength. Soil volume change can significantly affect the SWCC and the engineering properties of soil. Different SWCCs can be obtained if the soil specimens are prepared with different initial void ratios. The volumetric shrinkage curve (VSC) is commonly used to convert the SWCC in the form of gravimetric water content (w-SWCC) into a curve that is in the form of degree of saturation (S-SWCC). In this paper, a framework is developed in which different S-SWCCs are generated based on the measured w-SWCC of soil in a relatively loose condition and the VSC. The proposed framework is based on the concept of the pore size distribution function (PSDF). The estimated SWCCs corresponding to different initial void ratios from the proposed framework were verified by using experimental data from published studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4399-4409
Number of pages11
JournalBulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Framework
  • Pore-size distribution function
  • Soil volume change
  • Soil-water characteristic curve
  • Volumetric shrinkage curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Framework to estimate the soil-water characteristic curve for soils with different void ratios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this