New Experiences in Dike Construction with Soil-Ash Composites and Fine-Grained Dredged Materials


The supporting structure inside a coastal dike is often made of dredged non-uniform sand with good compaction properties. Due to the shortage of natural construction material for both coastal and river dikes and the surplus of different processed materials, new experiments were made with sand-ash mixtures and fine-grained dredged materials to replace both dike core and dike cover materials resulting in economical, environmentally friendly and sustainable dikes. Ash from EC Gdańsk and dredged sand from the Vistula river were mixed to form an engineering material used for dike construction. The optimum sand-ash composites were applied at a field test site to build a large-scale research dike. Fine-grained dredged materials from Germany were chosen to be applied in a second full-scale research dike in Rostock. All materials were investigated according to the standards for soil mechanical analysis. This includes basic soil properties, mechanical characteristics, such as grain-size distribution, compaction parameters, compressibility, shear strength, and water permeability. In the field, the infiltration of water into the dike body as well as the erosion resistance of the cover material against overflowing water was determined. Results of both laboratory and field testing are discussed in this paper. In conclusion, the mixing of bottom ash with mineral soil, such as relatively uniform dredged sand, fairly improves the geotechnical parameters of the composite, compared to the constituents. Depending on the composite, the materials may be suitable to build a dike core or an erosion-resistant dike cover.

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