A large-scale normally consolidated fine-grained soil deposit was prepared from kaolin slurry to support research in the load-carrying capacity of suction caissons. The effort required the construction of a large tank equipped with an underdrain to speed consolidation. The progress of consolidation was tracked through instrumentation in the slurry. Laboratory equipment was designed and used to measure the engineering properties of the slurry, including the compressibility, rate of consolidation, and drained shearing strength of kaolin and caisson/kaolin interfaces. Numerical methods were used to compare the results of slurry consolidation tests to observations from the tank.
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