Creep Behavior of Intact Loess Followed Unloading Paths
zhenxiao LI#+
Northwest University, China

Several high-fill projects are carried out on the Loess Plateau, China, accompanying the progressive failure of slopes due to excavation. The compelling need requires a deep understanding of variation in the creeping behaviors of intact loess exposed to unloading. A series of creep tests of intact loess were performed under two separated unloading paths: decrease in confining pressure at constant deviator stress and decrease in confining pressure at axial stress. The results demonstrated that axial deformation followed the first unloading path always appears as compression. While the three forms of axial deformation followed the second path, depending on the applied axial stress level. At a low unloading stress level, the elongation of axial deformation was observed. At a relatively unloading stress level, the axial deformation of the soil experienced the first elongation and then compression. At a high unloading stress level, the axial deformation appeared as compression, and finally, failure occurred with the increase of the unloading stress level. The failure approach index was introduced to use as the criterion for the loess to transform from stable to accelerated creeping. Finally, a modified Burgers model was proposed to characterize the creeping behavior of intact loess followed unloading paths. There was a good comparison between the calculated and measured data of the soil that establishes the rationality and validity of the proposed model.