Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Moses Karakouzian

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the shear deformation mechanisms and structures of laboratory prepared layered soil specimens. Soil specimens made of alternating layers of sand and clay were produced in the laboratory with different layering schemes and layering geometries. Layering schemes are groups of specimens with similar layering geometries. Layering geometries refers to the number of layers of sand and clay, thicknesses of the layers and the layer positions within the specimen. The specimens were sheared perpendicular to layering using a specially designed deformation apparatus and their deformation mechanisms and deformation structures were identified and described. The descriptions of the deformation structures were used to compare the deformation of specimens within and between layering schemes; The study showed that as the sand layer thickness of the specimens increased, the sand deformation structures became more complex. The sand deformation structures, shear bands, did not appear to form in specimens with very thin sand layers, but, as the sand layer thickness increased, secondary shear bands, primary shear bands and tertiary shear bands formed; As the clay percentage of the specimen increased, the clay deformation structures became more complex. In specimens with a low clay percentage, slip lines and step structures were formed. As the clay content increased, clay smears and double clay smears were formed. Specimens with higher clay contents generally required more local strain to form clay deformation structures and have narrower shear zones than specimens with a lower clay content.


Deformation; Experimental; Investigation; Laboratory; Layered Soil; Prepared; Shear; Shear Deformation; Soil; Specimens

Controlled Subject

Civil engineering; Soil science

File Format


File Size

4577.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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