An overview of soil-water characteristic curves of stabilised soils and their influential factors

Eyo Umo Eyo, Samson Ngambi, Samuel Jonah Abbey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Since unsaturated soil conditions are normally experienced above the groundwater table, most treated or stabilised soils for roadworks, earth dams’ embankments, landfill sites, hydraulic barriers etc. could be regarded as existing in this region. The soil–water characteristic (or retention) curve (SWCC) is a useful conceptual tool by which an evaluation of unsaturated soil's property functions and corresponding macro-scale behaviour (strength, volume change, hydraulic conductivity, fluid flow, diffusivity, etc.) can be carried out. Hence, an examination of some of the various factors that could affect the hydraulic or water retention property of the stabilised soil is very vital both for laboratory studies and field practice. However, a thorough assessment of the water retention behaviour of stabilised soils can be understandably limited sometimes. This could be partly due to some of the perculiar conditions associated with soil preparation methods, soil type, soil-stabiliser mix proportion used, curing conditions, method of compaction, durability assessment modalities and other logistical issues surrounding either laboratory instrumentation or in-situ application. This article presents a critical and comprehensive review of these factors on the stabilised soil's water retention behaviour and also provides a systematic understanding of the mechanisms of stabilisation occurring at the micro- and macro-mechanical levels. Recommendations are also made to stimulate further discussions on the synthesis of SWCC of stabilised soils vis-à-vis factors influencing them with possible interpreted engineering behaviours such as shear strength and soil consolidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of King Saud University - Engineering Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Cement
  • Lime
  • Soil–water characteristic curve
  • Suction
  • Unsaturated soil
  • Water retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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