Properties of the Fractured Glacial Till at the Madison County, Ohio, Field Workshop Pit Site

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Water and contaminants obviously do move through the so-called impermeable glacial tills in Ohio. This study was conducted to illustrate the extensive presence of fractures in the till and to quantify the differences in hydraulic conductivity and physical and chemical properties between the fractureaffected zones and the till matrix. In situ measurements of the saturated hydraulic conductivity were made in small boreholes positioned either in the matrix or intersecting the fractures. Soil samples from both the fracture faces and the matrix were analyzed for particle size distribution, clay mineralogy, calcite, dolomite, and iron content. Hydraulic conductivity measured in boreholes intersecting fractures was 1.25 x 105 cm/sec (0.018 in/hr), one order of magnitude greater than in boreholes in the matrix. Particle size distribution was the same for the fracture faces and the matrix. The fracture faces showed no significant change in total clay content and a slight increase in expandable clay. Calcite content was 62% greater, dolomite content was 6% lower, and iron content was 73% lower on the fracture faces as compared to the matrix. The fractures affected approximately 7% of the soil volume.


Author Institution: USDA/ARS, Soil Drainage Research Unit ; School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University ; Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v100, n3-4 (June-September, 2000), 107-112