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ABSTRACT

Areas with alluvium (Qa) soil from the Quartenary Era, have A-2-4, A-2-6, and A-
2-7 classifications according to the AASHTO Soil Classifications, while areas with sands
and clays (Qp) from coastal plain sands are mainly classified as A-7-5, and A-7-6 with few
locations having A-2-4, A-2-6, and A-2-7 classifications. Also, sands and clays (Qc) from
Chad formation of Quaternary Era have A-2-4, A-4 and A-6 classifications. Sands, clays,
and shales (Ti) of Illaro formation from the Tertiary era are of A-7-5 classification. Shales
and roundstone (Kro) of Nkporo shale group formed from cretaceous era have A-7-5, A-2-
7 and A-6 classification; Shales, and limestone (Kwn) of Agwu-Ndeaboh shale group
formed from cretaceous era are classified as A-6, A-2-7, and A-7-5; while black shale and
siltstone (Kea) of Eze Aku shale group formed from cretaceous era have A-2-6, and A-7-6
classifications.
Granitoids (Pcg) of older granites series in basement complex formed from Pan
Africa era are mainly A-7-6, A-7-5 with few A-6, and A-2-6 classifications; Gneiss
migmatate complex (Pcb) of Migmatate Gneiss schist complex formed from Basement
complex of Precambrian era have A-2-4, A-2-6, A-2-7, A-7-5, and A-7-6 classifications;
Meta-sediments/Volcanics Gneiss formed from Migmatate Gneiss schist complex of
Basement era have A-4, A-6, A-7-5 and A-7-6.
Generally, it is observed that the lower the Atterberg limits, the better the materials.
The sub grade materials in the North central zone have the percentage passing BS No 200
sieve from 7 to 94, while the liquid limit value ranged from non plastic (NP) to 72 % and
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plasticity index ranged from non plastic (NP) to 46 %. The soils used for sub-grade are
suitable except in few locations where the specification was not met.
The sub grade materials in the North east zone have the percentage passing BS No
200 sieve from 10 to 93, while the liquid limit value ranged from NP to 61 % and plasticity
index ranged from NP to 33 %. Suitable materials were met except in few locations where
the specifications were not met.
The sub grade materials in the North west zone have the percentage passing BS No
200 sieve from 2 to 89, while the liquid limit value ranged from NP to 77 and plasticity
index ranged from NP to 45. The soils are of good qualities in most locations except in
few areas with very fine soil where percentage passing BS No 200 sieve is greater than 35,
with high value of liquid limit These make the soils to be susceptible to high volume
changes upon contact or withdrawal of moisture.
The sub grade materials in the South west zone have the percentage passing BS No
200 sieve from 9 to 56, while the liquid limit value ranged from NP to 65 % and plasticity
index ranged from NP to 28 %.
The percentage passing BS No 200 sieve for sub grade materials in the South east
zone have ranged from 7 to 94, while the liquid limit ranged from NP to 72 % and
plasticity index ranged from NP to 46 %. The material was very fine and this region had
stone base and soil-cement in their base course.
The percentage passing BS No 200 sieve for sub grade materials in the South south
zone ranged from 15 to 60, while the liquid limit value ranged from NP to 70 % and
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plasticity index ranged from NP to 44 %. The material is very fine. This region has stone
base and soil cement in their base course

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
Title Page i
Declaration ii
Approvals iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgements v
Abstract vi
Table of Contents viii
List of Figure xii
List of Tables xii
Appendices xv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Preamble 1
1.2 Aim 2
1.3 Objective 2
1.4 Significance of the study 3
1.5 Limitation 3
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 4
2.1 Nature, Origin and Formation of Soil 4
2.2 Constituents of Soil 6
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2.2.1 Solid material in soils 6
2.2.1.1 Organic matter 6
2.2.1.2 Inorganic matter – mineral matter 7
2.2.2 The air in soil 7
2.2.3 Water in soil 8
2.2.3.1 Cohesion 8
2.2.3.2 Suction 8
2.2.3.3 Swelling 8
2.3 General Soil Types 9
2.4 Common Soil Types 11
2.5 Some Basic Soil Properties 12
2.5.1 Moisture content 12
2.5.2 Specific gravity 13
2.5.3 Unit weight 14
2.5.4 Void ratio 14
2.5.5 Porosity 15
2.5.6 Degree of saturation 15
2.5.7 Permeability 15
2.5.8 Capillarity 16
2.5.9 Shrinkage and expansion 16
2.5.10 Compressibility 17
2.5.11 Elasticity 17
2.5.12 Shearing resistance 18
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2.5.13 Compaction 18
2.6 Sieve Analysis 19
2.6.1 Liquid limit 22
2.6.2 Plastic limit 23
2.6.3 Plasticity index (P.I) 23
2.6.4 Shrinkage limit 23
2.7 Soil Classification for Highway Purposes 23
2.7.1 Unified Soil Classification System 24
2.7.2 AASHTO Soil Classification System 30
2.8 Application of Geology in Engineering 31
2.8.1 Geological deposits 31
2.8.1.1 Drift or superficial deposits 32
2.8.1.2 Solids deposits 32
2.8.2 Geological structures 37
2.9 Formation and Properties of Soils in Nigeria 38
2.9.1 South South 38
2.9.2 South West 41
2.9.3 South East 42
2.9.3 North East 45
CHAPTER THREE: COLLATION OF DATA 48
3.1 Preamble 48
3.2 Soils Groups 49
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CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF DATA 72
4.1 Analysis of Data 72
4.2 Discussion of Data 75
CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 99
5.1 Conclusion 99
5.2 Recommendation 103
REFERENCES 105
APPENDICES 112
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Project Topics

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 Preamble
For any highway to perform its traditional function of carrying vehicles and
passengers safely from one location to another it must be properly designed, properly
constructed, regularly maintained and at a later age, properly rehabilitated to improve on
its residual life. Highway construction and rehabilitation involves accurate survey works,
use of heavy and complex machinery and provision as well as placing in accepted manner,
all highway construction materials.
However, no matter how beautifully the highway is designed; no matter how
accurately the components are set out and no matter how efficiently the operator
manipulate the machines, if the construction materials are of poor quality, the highway will
not outlive its useful life. The situation is even more pronounced in highway pavement and
drainage structures.
With the large network of federal highways constructed in the 1970s and the
budgetary allocations to the Federal Ministry of Works, which are geared towards
rehabilitation of a significant proportion of this network, it has now become even more
necessary that the highway engineer must have a sound knowledge of highway
construction materials. It is necessary to know the important engineering properties of
construction material and how to control their quality at site in order to construct very
durable roads and rehabilitate the existing ones, thus saving the huge investment in the
highway sector of the economy.
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Nature has endowed different parts of the country with soils suitable for highway
construction. However, the soils are not evenly distributed and their basic properties differ.
Soils suitable for use in highway construction must be required to meet certain
criteria for use. For soils to be suitable for use they must have limited maximum values of
percentage passing BS No. 200 sieve; limited maximum values of plasticity index, limited
maximum values of liquid limit and they must meet certain strength criteria, the most
popular in Nigeria being the California Bearing Ratio (CBR).
Suitable soils for highway construction appear not to be evenly distributed
throughout the country. Certain areas are known to lack these materials in significant
proportions. These depend on geological formation of the rock bed and their geographical
formations. This study is presenting the AASHTO soil classification of common highway
soils encountered in Nigeria on a map.
1.2 Aim
The aim of this study is to present in a simplified format the distribution of
conventionally suitable soils in the country, to enable the engineer-planner in making
decisions concerning haulage and rates in the Bill of Engineering Measurements and
Evaluation (BEME).
1.3 Objectives
To enable the researchers and engineer-planner to have impression of the availability of
soils as construction materials in any area through which a highway is being proposed.
It will help in making decision concerning haulage and rates in the BEME.
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1.4 Significance of the study
Not all soils are suitable for use in highway construction and rehabilitation. The
conventionally suitable ones are not evenly distributed in all parts of the country. This
study is therefore meant to highlight the properties and distribution of suitable soils in
Nigeria. This result of study is presented in the form of a map for easy reference by the
engineer-planner, contractors and other stakeholders in the delivery of endurable highways
in Nigeria. It is also hoped that it would form a basis for further research by highway
engineers in future.
1.5 Limitations
This study was limited to existing carriageways. Existing data were collected where
possible. Materials sampling and classification tests were also carried out. The data
collected were limited to Materials sampling and classification tests and no California
Bearing Ratio (CBR).
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