Pure plastic clay has been used extensively for some time as the core material of most embankment dams throughout the world. Nevertheless, differences between the stiffness of the fine cohesive core materials and coarse granular shell materials have caused many construction difficulties and design problems. Adding some granular soils to pure plastic clay will increase the stiffness of the clay material and decrease the differential behaviour between these two zones of the earth dams.

In this paper the geotechnical and physical properties of the mixed clays, prepared for the core materials of the earth dam, are explained and described. The behaviour of this material in connection with the shell materials of the earth dams are studied and discussed. Finally, the overall performance of this material is assessed and justified with a study of the Karkheh dam, a large storage embankment dam recently constructed in southwest Iran using mixed clay core.

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