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Use of natural soils containing organic matter

Use of natural soils containing organic matter

Use of natural soils containing organic matter

French administration is creating a database on the use of unusual material in road engineering. A part of this database concerns natural materials containing organic matter, and we would like to know about the practice in other countries with such materials.

According a widely use guideline in France, soils containing less than 3% of organic matter are considered as good materials for use in road embankments for example (if other characterization are good). Between 3 and 10 % of organic matter, soils can be used in road embankments but their use in vegetal cover will be prefered. Up to 10%, their use is prohibited.

If anyone have a particular or original experience on the use of these materials, thanks for giving us some informations. We must say that the database will not be used as a guideline but only as an information base which could enable engineers to have an idea of what is possible or unrealistic to do.


RE: Use of natural soils containing organic matter

Just thought that I would advise you of Canadian practice - at least while I lived there on the west coast.  Much of Highway 1 - the TransCanada through Burnaby British Columbia was built using hogfuel embankments - waste tree-bark - as light weight fill.  It worked quite well.  Last I heard, they are still using it although they are encapsulating it in plastic due to leachate concerns.

I am sure that if you do a search (say mid 1960s) you will find some info on this. C.O. Brawner did some work on this when he was with BC Highways prior to joining Golders and then Prof at University of British Columbia.

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