In unsaturated soil mechanics, the soil–water characteristic curve (SWCC) is the most fundamental soil attribute. All seepage analyses require SWCC to generate the pore-water pressure and water content distribution within the soil layers. SWCC is often determined using laboratory procedures. However, the expensive cost, long testing time, and difficulty of the SWCC tests hinder the use of unsaturated soil mechanics in engineering practice. Models for predicting SWCC have been proposed in the literature; however, the equations cannot be applied to soils of a wide variety, and their parameters lack physical significance. This work used a modified lognormal distribution function to generate the equations that best suit the grain-size distribution (GSD) and the model that estimates SWCC for a wide range of soil types. The parameters of the proposed GSD equation have well-defined physical meanings. The model for estimating SWCC was established based on the link between soil pore-size distribution and dry density, void ratio, and saturated water content. The air-entry value of coarse-grained soil is a function of inflection point of SWCC and percentage of coarse particle. The air-entry value of fine-grained soil is a function of saturated water content. Experiments were carried out as part of this study to evaluate the proposed equation as well as its model. The proposed model to estimate SWCC was compared with other models. The proposed model is better than other models in the estimation of SWCC from GSD.
- Grain-size distribution
- Lognormal distribution
- Soil–water characteristic curve
- Unsaturated soil
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Soil Science