Investigating the anisotropy of the shear modulus of natural Boom Clay

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Boom Clay is considered to be a potential host formation for a geological repository of radioactive waste in Belgium. In this context, a thorough understanding of its mechanical behaviour is thus important. In this study, the anisotropy of the shear modulus of natural Boom Clay samples was investigated using the bender element method. Seven samples located at different distances from the connecting gallery of the HADES underground research laboratory were tested for shearing in three different directions with respect to the bedding plane. The results obtained confirm the mechanical anisotropy of Boom Clay. Furthermore, the values of small-strain shear modulus in the near field of the gallery were found to be lower than those in the far field, suggesting that the mechanical properties of Boom Clay remain affected by gallery excavation damage that occurred more than 10 years ago.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-101
JournalGéotechnique Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • anisotropy, clays, laboratory tests, radioactive waste disposal, stiffness, suction

ID: 358088