Understanding the behavior of soft sensitive clays is a key aspect of geotechnical design, especially in those regions where constructions are planned in marine clay areas. In Finland, one of the major geotechnical issues is the stability and deformation of the railway embankments located on soft soil deposits. The Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and the Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) have been carrying out a research project aiming to a better understanding of strength and deformation properties of Finnish soft clays. As a part of this project, a detailed site investigation was conducted at Perniö site in Western Finland. This paper presents the details of the geotechnical investigation, including field testing, sampling operations, and the laboratory testing program. In particular, an open drive tube sampler with 132 mm diameter, designed at TUT, was used to collect high quality samples. For comparison, samples were also taken using the conventional piston samplers and Sherbrooke Mini-block sampler. Field testing included piezocone, vane shear, and seismic piezocone. Laboratory testing consisted of index, consolidation, triaxial and simple shear tests. A comprehensive study of all these data is presented in a framework to describe Perniö soft clay.
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