Mineralogy and microfabrics of claybearing sediments of NE Peloponnese (Greece): indices for physical behaviour in civil engineering works

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The mineralogical composition, microfabrics and geochemistry of a set of eight samples derived from a narrow area of NE Peloponnese (Greece), where engineering works are presently in progress, were investigated in this study. No important mineralogical differences were observed between the samples other than a variation in the proportions of the participating phases. Analyses reveal that these sediments consist mainly of carbonates (calcite, dolomite), quartz and feldspars (albite, orthoclase). Carbonate minerals exhibit a micritic texture and a high degree of cementation bonding. Phyllosilicates and clay minerals are also common, with smectite and mixed-layer smectite-chlorite being the prevailing phases, followed by chlorite and white mica (muscovite, illite). According to the physical properties measured on bulk samples, the samples were found to exhibit a low to medium expansion, low to intermediate plasticity, normal activity and brittle behaviour. The porosity does not exceed 46% and the organic matter ranges between 3.80 and 5.00%. The high degree of cementation, the dispersed appearance of clays, the small pores (<10 μm) and the common occurrence of smectite in a mixed-layer with chlorite are all favourable characteristics, positively influencing the sediment's stability for engineering constructions.
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