Weathering of submerged stressed calcarenites: Chemo-mechanical coupling mechanisms

M. O. Ciantia, T. Hueckel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Long portions of the Apulian coast are steep cliffs in carbonate soft rocks. These, especially the calcarenite, are affected by weathering processes that markedly alter their mechanical properties with time, potentially leading to instability of coastal geomorphological structures. Such alterations are mainly due to chemical reactions between the solid and fluid phases, and are driven by chemical variables, which are internal variables and hence uncontrollable. In a search for the variables that drive the process of rock weakening, recourse is made to the micro scale, at which most of the chemical processes are observed and quantified. Observations using scanning electron microsope, thin sections and X-ray computed tomography analyses appear to be crucial for the understanding, interpretation and definition of the degradation mechanisms of the material. A chemo-mechanical coupled model at the meso scale of the chemically reactive stressed porous system is presented and framed in the context of a multi-scale scenario of an array of coupled phenomena. An analogous model at the macro scale is developed in parallel together with upscaling and identification procedures for meso-scale and macro-scale material constants. The main outcome of the study is a tool for predicting the progress of time-dependent weathering phenomena, potentially allowing the stability of geological structures to be assessed as it evolves with a progressing chemical degradation in a specific configuration and under a specific set of loads.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBio- and Chemo- Mechanical Processes in Geotechnical Engineering - Geotechnique Symposium in Print 2013
EditorsLyesse Laloui
PublisherICE Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780727760531
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event17th Geotechnique Symposium in Print - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jun 2013 → …

Publication series

NameBio- and Chemo- Mechanical Processes in Geotechnical Engineering - Geotechnique Symposium in Print 2013


Conference17th Geotechnique Symposium in Print
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period3/06/13 → …


  • Chemical properties
  • Plasticity
  • Rocks/rock mechanics
  • Soft rocks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Soil Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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