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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2010 2019


The experience base of practitioners with expansive soils is largely devoid of directly measured soil suction. This historical lack of soil suction measurement represents an impediment to adoption of modern unsaturated soil engineering to problems of expansive soils. Most notably, soil suction-based analyses are paramount to proper design of foundations in expansive soils. Naturally, the best method to obtain design suction profiles is to perform an appropriate geotechnical investigation that involves soil moisture change-appropriate drilling depths, sampling intervals, and requisite laboratory testing, including suction measurement. However, as practitioners are slow to embrace changes in methodology, specifically regarding the adoption of …

Contributors
Vann, Jeffry David, Houston, Sandra, Houston, William, et al.
Created Date
2019

The public has expressed a growing desire for more sustainable and green technologies to be implemented in society. Bio-cementation is a method of soil improvement that satisfies this demand for sustainable and green technology. Bio-cementation can be performed by using microbes or free enzymes which precipitate carbonate within the treated soil. These methods are referred to as microbial induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) and enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP). The precipitation of carbonate is the formation of crystalline minerals that fill the void spaces within a body of soil. This thesis investigates the application of EICP in a soil collected from …

Contributors
Ross, Johnathan, Kavazanjian, Edward, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2018

Expansive clay soils, when subjected to substantial moisture change, can be extremely problematic causing various types of damage to lightly-loaded structures. Solving these problems requires an understanding of unsaturated soil mechanics. Soil suction, related to moisture content change, is important in the development of unsaturated soil properties and in the assessment of initial and final stress for heave computation. Direct measurement of soil suction on expansive clays to determine field suction profiles is quite limited due primarily to tradition and cost-driven geotechnical field investigation practices prioritizing water content measurement over soil suction measurement. This study employs a surrogate to estimate …

Contributors
Cuzme, Alan, Houston, Sandra, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2018

A large portion of the United States is known to have problematic expansive clay soil. These expansive clay soils can cause damage to major infrastructures such as roads and lightly loaded residential buildings. The shrinking or swelling potential of unsaturated expansive clay soils requires an understanding of unsaturated soil mechanics, such as matric suction profile and the site’s environmental condition, such as climate. In unsaturated soil engineering, the most used climatic parameter is Thornthwaite Moisture Index (TMI). Since its inception, there have been several versions of TMI models in the literature. Historically, TMI is used to predict suction parameters such …

Contributors
Singhar, Sai, Houston, Sandra, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2018

Laterally-loaded short rigid drilled shaft foundations are the primary foundation used within the electric power transmission line industry. Performance of these laterally loaded foundations is dependent on modulus of the subsurface, which is directly measured by the Pressuremeter (PMT). The PMT test provides the lateral shear modulus at intermediate strains, an equivalent elastic modulus for lateral loading, which mimics the reaction of transmission line foundations within the elastic range of motion. The PMT test, however, is expensive to conduct and rarely performed. Correlations of PMT to blow counts and other index properties have been developed but these correlations have high …

Contributors
Evans, Ashley Elizabeth, Houston, Sandra, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2018

Design and mitigation of infrastructure on expansive soils requires an understanding of unsaturated soil mechanics and consideration of two stress variables (net normal stress and matric suction). Although numerous breakthroughs have allowed geotechnical engineers to study expansive soil response to varying suction-based stress scenarios (i.e. partial wetting), such studies are not practical on typical projects due to the difficulties and duration needed for equilibration associated with the necessary laboratory testing. The current practice encompasses saturated “conventional” soil mechanics testing, with the implementation of numerous empirical correlations and approximations to obtain an estimate of true field response. However, it has been …

Contributors
Olaiz, Austin Hunter, Houston, Sandra, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation presents an investigation of calcium carbonate precipitation via hydrolysis of urea (ureolysis) catalyzed by plant-extracted urease enzyme for soil improvement. In this approach to soil improvement, referred to as enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP), carbonate minerals are precipitated within the soil pores, cementing soil particles together and increasing the dilatancy of the soil. EICP is a bio-inspired solution to improving the properties of cohesionless soil in that no living organisms are engaged in the process, though it uses a biologically-derived material (urease enzyme). Over the past decade, research has commenced on biologically-mediated solutions like microbially induced carbonate precipitation …

Contributors
Almajed, Abdullah A., Kavazanjian, Edward, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2017

Laboratory testing was conducted to quantify strain concentrations adjacent to seams and scratches in high density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembranes. The tensile strain profile of remnants meeting the ASTM criteria for wide-width tensile testing from samples of field seams recovered for construction quality assurance testing was evaluated using digital image correlation (DIC). Strains adjacent to scratches on laboratory prepared samples loaded in tension were also measured using DIC. The tensile strain in the zone adjacent to a seam and the tensile strain adjacent to a scratch were compared to the tensile strains calculated using theoretical strain concentration factors. The relationship between …

Contributors
Andresen, Jake, Kavazanjian, Edward, Houston, Sandra, et al.
Created Date
2017

A numerical model for design of the geomembrane elements of waste containment systems has been validated by laboratory testing. Due to the absence of any instrumented case histories of seismic performance of geomembrane liner systems, a large scale centrifuge test of a model geomembrane-lined landfill subject to seismic loading was conducted at the University of California at Davis Centrifuge Test facility as part of National Science Foundation Network for Earthquake the Engineering Simulation Research (NEESR) program. Data collected in the large scale centrifuge test included waste settlement, liner strains and earthquake accelerations at various locations throughout the model. This data …

Contributors
Wu, Xuan, Kavazanjian, Edward, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2017

Concern and interest about the environment and ecologic systems have promoted the usage of earth as a construction material. Technology advancement has resulted in the evolution of adobe into compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEB). CSEB’s are prepared by compressing the soil-stabilizer mixture at a particular stress. In order to accomplish the required strength, cement has been used in a regular basis as stabilizing agent. It is of interest to find means to reduce the cement used in their construction without affecting its dry strength and durability. In this study, natural fibers were used along with lower proportions of cement to …

Contributors
Padmini Chikke Gowda, Rakshith, Zapata, Claudia, Kavazanjian, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2016

Nanotechnology has been applied to many areas such as medicine, manufacturing, catalysis, food, cosmetics, and energy since the beginning 21st century. However, the application of nanotechnology to geotechnical engineering has not received much attention. This research explored the technical benefits and the feasibility of applying nanoparticles in geotechnical engineering. Specific studies were conducted by utilizing high-pressure devices, axisymmetric drop shape analysis (ADSA), microfluidics, time-lapse technology, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to develop experiments. The effects of nanoparticle on modifying interfacial tension, wettability, viscosity, sweep efficiency and surface attraction forces were investigated. The results show that nanoparticles mixed in water can significantly …

Contributors
Zheng, Xianglei, Jang, Jaewon, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2016

A series of experiments were conducted to support validation of a numerical model for the performance of geomembrane liners subject to waste settlement and seismic loading. These experiments included large scale centrifuge model testing of a geomembrane-lined landfill, small scale laboratory testing to get the relevant properties of the materials used in the large scale centrifuge model, and tensile tests on seamed geomembrane coupons. The landfill model in the large scale centrifuge test was built with a cemented sand base, a thin film NafionTM geomembrane liner, and a mixture of sand and peat for model waste. The centrifuge model was …

Contributors
Gutierrez, Angel, Kavazanjian, Edward, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2016

The understanding of multiphase fluid flow in porous media is of great importance in many fields such as enhanced oil recovery, hydrology, CO2 sequestration, contaminants cleanup, and natural gas production from hydrate bearing sediments. In this study, first, the water retention curve (WRC) and relative permeability in hydrate bearing sediments are explored to obtain fitting parameters for semi-empirical equations. Second, immiscible fluid invasion into porous media is investigated to identify fluid displacement pattern and displacement efficiency that are affected by pore size distribution and connectivity. Finally, fluid flow through granular media is studied to obtain fluid-particle interaction. This study utilizes …

Contributors
MAHABADI, NARIMAN, Jang, Jaewon, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2016

Most engineers may agree that an optimum design of a particular structure is a proposal that minimizes costs without compromising resistance, serviceability and aesthetics. Additionally to these conditions, the theory and application of the method that produces such an efficient design must be easy and fast to apply at the structural engineering offices. A considerable amount of studies have been conducted for the past four decades. Most researchers have used constraints and tried to minimize the cost of the structure by reducing the weight of it [8]. Although this approach may be true for steel structures, it is not accurate …

Contributors
Raudales, Eduardo Rene, Fafitis, Apostolos, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2016

Ground coupled heat pumps (GCHPs) have been used successfully in many environments to improve the heating and cooling efficiency of both small and large scale buildings. In arid climate regions, such as the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area, where the air condi-tioning load is dominated by cooling in the summer, GCHPs are difficult to install and operate. This is because the nature of soils in arid climate regions, in that they are both dry and hot, renders them particularly ineffective at dissipating heat. The first part of this thesis addresses applying the SVHeat finite element modeling soft-ware to create a model …

Contributors
North, Timothy, Kavazanjian, Ed, Redy, T. Agami, et al.
Created Date
2014

Expansive soils impose challenges on the design, maintenance and long-term stability of many engineered infrastructure. These soils are composed of different clay minerals that are susceptible to changes in moisture content. Expansive clay soils wreak havoc due to their volume change property and, in many cases, exhibit extreme swelling and shrinking potentials. Understanding what type of minerals and clays react in the presence of water would allow for a more robust design and a better way to mitigate undesirable soil volume change. The relatively quick and widely used method of X-ray Diffraction (XRD) allows identifying the type of minerals present …

Contributors
Shafer, Zachery, Zapata, Claudia, Kavazanjian, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2014

ABSTRACT Enzyme-Induced Carbonate Precipitation (EICP) using a plant-derived form of the urease enzyme to induce the precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shows promise as a method of stabilizing soil for the mitigation of fugitive dust. Fugitive dust is a significant problem in Arizona, particularly in Maricopa County. Maricopa County is an EPA air quality non-attainment zone, due primarily to fugitive dust, which presents a significant health risk to local residents. Conventional methods for fugitive dust control, including the application of water, are either ineffective in arid climates, very expensive, or limited to short term stabilization. Due to these limitations, engineers …

Contributors
Knorr, Brian Mark, Kavazanjian, Edward, Houston, Sandra, et al.
Created Date
2014

This thesis presents a probabilistic evaluation of multiple laterally loaded drilled pier foundation design approaches using extensive data from a geotechnical investigation for a high voltage electric transmission line. A series of Monte Carlo simulations provide insight about the computed level of reliability considering site standard penetration test blow count value variability alone (i.e., assuming all other aspects of the design problem do not contribute error or bias). Evaluated methods include Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design procedures, the Federal Highway Administration drilled shaft LRFD design method, the Electric Power Research Institute transmission foundation design procedure and a site specific variability based …

Contributors
Heim, Zackary, Houston, Sandra, Witczak, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2014

The purpose of this research was to introduce unsaturated soil mechanics to the undergraduate geotechnical engineering course in a concise and easy to understand manner. Also, it was essential to develop unsaturated soil mechanics teaching material that merges smoothly into current undergraduate curriculum and with sufficient flexibility for broad adaptation by faculty. The learning material consists of three lecture modules and a laboratory module. The lecture modules introduced soil mechanics for the general 3-phase medium condition with the saturated soil as a special case. The three lecture modules that were developed are (1) the stress state variables for unsaturated soils, …

Contributors
Ramirez, Eddy, Houston, Sandra, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2013

The objective of the research is to develop guidelines for identifying when settlement or seismic loading presents a threat to the integrity of geosynthetic elements for both side slope and cover systems in landfills, and advance further investigation for parameters which influence the strains in the barrier systems. A numerical model of landfill with different side slope inclinations are developed by the two-dimensional explicit finite difference program FLAC 7.0, beam elements with a hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, zero moment of inertia, and interface elements on both sides were used to model the geosynthetic barrier systems. The resulting numerical model demonstrates the …

Contributors
Wu, Xuan, Kavazanjian, Edward, Zapata, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2013