Desiccation cracking behavior of MICP-treated bentonite

Cheng Zhu, Mark Vail, Chao Sheng Tang, Luke Anderson, Michael Moroski, Melissa Tabada Montalbo-Lomboy

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28 Scopus citations


This study aims to characterize the effect of microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP) on the desiccation cracking behaviors of compacted calcium bentonite soils. We prepare six groups of samples by mixing bentonites with deionized water, pure bacteria solution, pure cementation solution, and mixed bacteria and cementation solutions at three different percentages. We use an image processing tool to characterize the soil desiccation cracking patterns. Experimental results reveal the influences of fluid type and mixture percentage on the crack evolution and volumetric deformation of bentonite soils. MICP reactions effectively delay the crack initiation and remediate desiccation cracking, as reflected by the decreased geometrical descriptors of the crack pattern such as surface crack ratio. The mixture containing 50% bacteria and 50% cementation solutions maximizes the MICP treatment and works most effectively in lowering the soil cracking potential. This study provides new insights into the desiccation cracking of expansive clayey soils and shows the potential of MICP applications in the crack remediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number385
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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