AbstractWith the recent advances in the biogeotechnics field and specifically microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), cone penetration testing (CPT) has become a valuable tool to overcome the challenges associated with intact sampling of improved soils, evaluate the spatial extent and magnitude of the applied MICP treatment, and assess the consequential improvement of engineering properties. Although the CPT cone tip resistance (qc) can effectively monitor the improvement of densified clean sands, no relationship exists to estimate cementation and strength parameters in MICP-treated sands. This paper proposes a relationship between the apparent cohesion (c) stemming from the MICP-induced cementation bonds at particle contacts and the change in tip resistance Δqc in initially loose sands. To develop a broadly useful correlation, available experimental CPT data in biocemented soils were used to guide computation simulations using a direct axisymmetric model of cone penetration in biocemented sands. The CPT numerical model uses the finite-difference method with a rezoning algorithm for large-deformation problems along with the Mohr-Coulomb constitutive model. The biocemented sand was characterized by Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters and an elastic shear modulus informed by shear-wave velocity measurements (Vs). The correlation parameters of interest were identified (c, qc, and Vs), and results of the numerical simulations were validated against available experimental data. Once validated, the numerical simulations were extended to different initial conditions, and the trends between parameters of interest were analyzed and interpreted. Results from the simulations are consistent with experimental data and show an increase in the cone tip resistance as the cementation level increases. The cementation level is modeled through apparent cohesion and the shear stiffness model parameters, which both increase as the cementation level increases. A linear relationship is proposed between the apparent cohesion and the change in cone tip resistance as a function of the confining stress.

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