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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2684297, 13 pages
Research Article

Unsaturated Seepage Analysis of Cracked Soil including Development Process of Cracks

1School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2College of Civil Engineering & Architecture, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China

Received 5 November 2015; Revised 17 February 2016; Accepted 21 February 2016

Academic Editor: Giorgio Pia

Copyright © 2016 Ling Cao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cracks in soil provide preferential pathways for water flow and their morphological parameters significantly affect the hydraulic conductivity of the soil. To study the hydraulic properties of cracks, the dynamic development of cracks in the expansive soil during drying and wetting has been measured in the laboratory. The test results enable the development of the relationships between the cracks morphological parameters and the water content. In this study, the fractal model has been used to predict the soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) of the cracked soil, including the developmental process of the cracks. The cracked expansive soil has been considered as a crack-pore medium. A dual media flow model has been developed to simulate the seepage characteristics of the cracked expansive soil. The variations in pore water pressure at different part of the model are quite different due to the impact of the cracks. This study proves that seepage characteristics can be better predicted if the impact of cracks is taken into account.