Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Effect of climate change on earthworks of infrastructure: statistical evaluation of the cause of dike pavement cracks

Effect of climate change on earthworks of infrastructure: statistical evaluation of the cause of... The flood protection embankments of Hungary and Europe face numerous challenges. Some dike bases were constructed more than 200 years ago; since then, they have been elevated and extended. Because of these iterative adaptations, the dikes bear many construction errors, which can trigger failures and slides. Due to climate change, droughts and low-water periods of the rivers in central Europe are becoming more frequent. As a result of these effects, the water balance of the dikes can alter and desiccate in the long term. The most staggering fissures appeared on dikes built from clays susceptible to volume change. The General Directorate of Water Management ordered a comprehensive survey of dike pavement cracks in Hungary. This was one of the most extensive surveys of such kind. Hungary has some 4400 km of primary flood protection embankments, out of which 1250 km is paved. There are multiple reasons why the pavement of an embankment can crack. The main features of crack patterns related to clays with shrink-swell potential are identified. The results of international studies and the present survey are synthesised. The main objective of this paper is to draw a correlation between drought (aridity) zones, plasticity index of the soil samples, and crack thickness. Keywords: Eec ff t of climate change, Pavement crack survey, Dikes, Swelling-shrinking, Clays Introduction conditions. The research was accelerated in the second Climate change influences and endangers earthworks of half of the twentieth century when desiccation polygons infrastructure. Due to the higher temperatures world- and cracks were widely observed on the surface of many wide, the increased evaporation leads to desiccation and natural and artificial formations such as dried lake beds, fissuring. The uneven rainfall patterns do not balance playas in the USA and in Australia (Neal 1968). the moisture content of the embankments. The mate - By that time, a considerable length of the Carpathian rial selected for their construction, decades or a hun- Basin’s flood protection system was already built. dred years ago, also contributes to fissuring. At that time, Another 40 years passed until the volume variable prop- research in the field of the shrink-swell capacity of clays erties of the clays used in Hungary for the construction was limited. One of the earliest examples of such was came into insight. The Carpathian Basin is more exposed done by Kindle (1917), who examined the formation of to the effects of climate change than most European ’mud-crack’ in two different clays under different drying regions (Hungary Today 2021). In the past 120 years, the warming reached 1.2  °C in Hungary, according to the Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ), while glob- *Correspondence: zsombor.illes@edu.bme.hu ally stayed at 1.1 °C. The droughts of 2022 in Hungary are unprecedented; fish ponds are drying out. Due to climate Department of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Műegyetem change, the region’s moderate continental climate is shift- rkp. 3, Budapest 1111, Hungary ing towards Mediterranean weather conditions. Periods Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/. Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 2 of 17 of high temperature and sunny days without precipita- floods and droughts. Floods can follow the snow melt - tion will become more and more common. Summers are ing or a rainy period, and flash floods sometimes fol - becoming longer, warmer and arider, while winters have low rapid events. Due to floods, the levees are wetted become milder with more precipitation (Kocsis 2018). to a different extent, depending on their materials. In The annual mean temperature (Izsák and Szentimrey the Carpathian Basin and on the territory of current- 2020), as well as the number of heat wave days (when the day Hungary, the two most common causes of dike fail- daily mean temperature is above 25  °C) (Kocsis 2018), ure were overtopping and hydraulic soil failures (Nagy show an uptrend. One indicator of climate change is the 2006, 2008). more frequent and more extreme rainfalls. Their spatial Due to climate change, flood risk may increase, so and time distribution is uneven (Kocsis 2018). The days authorities have to define the acceptable flood risk with high precipitation (above 20 mm) decreased during (Thistlethwaite et  al. 2018). Due to climate change, the second half of the twentieth century. However, in the drought risk has also increased. past two decades, years with the most days of high pre- Drought is a rather complex natural phenomenon cipitation have been recorded (Kocsis 2018), heavy rain- that, in many ways, can be characterised. According falls have the potential to cause flash floods (EEA 2012). to Palmer (1965), drought can be considered a persis- This article describes a survey that was conducted on tent and significant lack of precipitation. We can dis - the paved dikes of Hungary. The length of the paved pri - tinguish meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological mary flood protection system is 1250 km long. The pave - droughts, which can vary in the relative extent, dura- ment cracks are an indication of the deterioration of the tion, spatial extent, and possible consequences of water pavement and deterioration of the earthwork itself. This scarcity. Different indices are used to characterise the survey marks an important step as it serves as a baseline different types of droughts (Niemeyer 2008). Palmer for further crack surveys in Hungary. Due to the scale drought severity index (PDSI) (Palmer 1965) uses pre- and the results, it is valuable for researchers all over the cipitation and temperature data. While the Stand- world. The research presented in the current article fits ard Precipitation Index (SPI) (McKee et  al. 1993) is a into several studies dealing with the effect of climate relatively new drought index based only on precipita- change on earth embankments (Vardon 2015; Tang et al. tion, favourable in regions with limited data access 2018; Pk et al. 2021). (Mekonen et  al. 2020). Reconnaissance Drought Index At first, the article summarises the causes of desicca - (RDI) requires precipitation data and the calculation tion, the state of the flood defence system assessed, and of potential evapotranspiration (Tsakiris and Vangelis the climatic effects the earthworks face. Previous stabil - 2005; Tsakiris et al. 2007). ity surveys in Hungary and pavement crack surveys from The Pálfai Aridity Index (PAI) was developed in Hun - Texas, the USA, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia are gary (Pálfai 1990; Pálfai 1991), it is more complex than reviewed. The methodology of the pavement crack sur - PDSI and SPI. However, evapotranspiration, similarly to vey is presented, followed by the inspection results and SPI, is not taken into account. This limits the ability of the outcome of previous soil mechanical investigations of PAI and SPI to capture the effect of increased tempera - the damaged sections. The article discusses the effect of tures (linked to climate change) on moisture demand climate change, and finally, conclusions are drawn. and availability. It is an agricultural drought index and considers many aspects of water scarcity, such as: i) the number of extreme heat days (average temperature is Causes of deterioration and dike surveys above 30  °C), ii) length of low rainfall periods, and iii) The pavement cracks are an indicator of the deteriora - depth of the groundwater table. The above-listed fac - tion of the pavement and deterioration of the earthwork tors modify the following ratio: itself. This section lists the root causes of environmental- induced deterioration, such as the more arid climate and 100 · Apr. − Aug.(med.temp.) construction errors. To explore these causes, surveys PAI = (1) Sept. − Aug.(precipitation ) have been conducted in Hungary and in other parts of the world, for example, Texas, the USA (Jouben 2014), As aridity indices (including PAI) are developed the Netherlands (Chotkan 2021), and Saudi Arabia mainly for agricultural purposes, in the case of the pre- (Dafalla and Shamrani 2011). The outcome of these pre - cipitation values, they are weighted according to the vious surveys is summarised in this chapter. time-varying water requirements of the plants. A drought and water scarcity monitoring sys- Impact of floods and droughts tem was established in Hungary. It has more than Flood protection embankments can be damaged by the 150 operational monitoring stations. At the stations, effects of extreme environmental phenomena such as I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 3 of 17 meteorological parameters and the soil’s water con- regulation in the nineteenth century, and since then, tent are measured at different depths: 10, 20, 30, 45, 60 it has been developed (Nagy 2006). The layers created 75  cm (Fiala et  al. 2018; Drought monitoring). These by the raising and strengthening of the dikes are visible stations provide real-time aridity and water scarcity in Fig.  1. The layered structure is regarded as an ’onion value, which is essential for agronomists. shell’; typical cross sections of the Tisza and its tributary In case of floods and droughts, the national water rivers’ embankments are presented in Tóth and Nagy management body distinguishes the following prepara- (2006) and Schweitzer (2009). The embankments are tions (lowest to highest): no preparation, grade I., grade inhomogeneous, the layers are usually made of differ - II., grade III. and extreme level. The drought levels are ent types of soils. The method of such dike construction defined by the Hungarian Drought Index (HDI). It is contributes to the possibility of the following errors: i) based on meteorological data and the soil moisture con- certain layers are built from unsuitable earthwork materi- tent of the top 80  cm soil layer, data is coming from the als, ii) due to inadequate compaction, the layers are not drought monitoring stations. It is a soil-specific index, joined, iii) built-in cohesive soils with high water content, considering the soil’s water management properties. iv) unfavourable subsoil conditions (crossing of the pre- vious river bed). One or more of the above-listed errors Dike system of Hungary tend to occur at certain dike sections (Nagy 2000). During the nineteenth century, the river regulations Clay minerals determine the physical and mechani- transformed the slow-flowing meandering Tisza river cal properties of the cohesive soils. So it is also essen- into a waterway that could be used for transportation. In tial to investigate soils’ fine grain and mineralogical the meantime, most of its flood plains were reclaimed for composition. agricultural use. The Carpathian Basin has approximately 11 000 km of flood protection embankments. Out of that, Clay minerals 4900 km is located in Hungary, according to the General Clays susceptible to volume change were used to con- Directorate of Water Management (OVF). Most of the struct the Hungarian dike system. They do not consider dike system is made of cohesive soils, roughly 4200  km, it a threat until the water content is relatively permanent. and a considerable length of these embankments are The clays shrink when the water content decreases, and constructed of high plasticity clays (I > 30%) (EN ISO desiccation cracks form. 14688-2:2017). The three-layered clay minerals (2:1 clay) consist of an The embankments are mainly built from local materi - octahedral sheet surrounded by two tetrahedral sheets als, namely clay, peat, silt and sand, using historic con- such as illite, vermiculite and montmorillonite from the struction methods (Dyer et  al. 2009). The term cross smectite group. Montmorillonite swells strongly due to transportation was used for it; usually, the material is the presence of water, while vermiculite has a medium extracted from ditches at the waterfront. The construc - shrink-swell capacity. There are various ways, such tion of the dike system in Hungary began with river as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Differential Thermal Fig. 1 Onion shell structure discovered during the relocation of a dike near, Fokorú-puszta ( Tisza right bank, north of Szolnok) (authors illustration) Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 4 of 17 Analysis (DTA), to determine the clay mineral composi- Predictive models such as classification and regression tion of soils (Mitchell 1974). trees (CART) can forecast the cracks’ length and depth According to the geological map of the great Hungar- after identifying cracking indicators in a sample area and ian Plain (Stefanovits and Dombovári 1985), there is investigating their correlation (Chotkan 2021). ample, high plasticity, deformable clay near the surface, A framework based on the theory of linear elastic frac- especially in the Tisza valley where the soils have a high ture mechanics (LEFM), which provides a mathematical smectite content. The flood protection embankments’ description of the phenomenon of crack propagation, was swelling-shrinkage problem at the Tisza valley has been introduced by (Konrad and Ayad 1997a). Data obtained investigated for years (Szepessy 1991; Lazányi and Hor- during the experiments (Konrad and Ayad 1997b) was váth 1997). The mineralogical composition of the clays essential to validate the model. analysed and compared in this article are presented in Table 1. Summary of the previous investigations Apart from model development, it is also essential to Models for crack development conduct crack surveys, identify the causes leading to Soil science designates clay soils, which shrink when dry- crack formation and monitor the crack propagation and ing and swell upon wetting, as vertisols. These soil types closure. The following subsection summarises the large- are widespread in Hungary (Fuchs et al. 2015). In the case scale subsoil surveys and dike stability analyses con- of clay soils, the moisture transport based on hydraulic ducted in Hungary (Nagy 2000). Since then, the flood conductivity and water retention curve cannot be fully protection embankments crest was paved to ease trans- calculated as swelling and shrinkage result in the open- portation and surveillance. Visual inspections of dike ing and closing of cracks. Shrinkage characteristics have crests (paved and unpaved), road pavement (asphalt) to be introduced (Bronswijk 1988). Later on, Bronswijk surveys coupled with soil mechanical investigations (1991) conducted different field measurements to esti - were conducted internationally. These inspections are mate the three-dimensional shrinkage of soils. A frame- reviewed in one of the forthcoming subsections. work closer to the soil science approach was proposed by (Stewart et al. 2016). It connects three porosity domains Investigations in Hungary i) aggregate, ii) shrinkage cracks and iii) subsidence. By 1996, the stability survey of Hungary’s 4200  km long A numerical study of soil–vegetation–atmosphere dike system was completed. This survey comprises geo- interaction was conducted to analyse the effect of root electrical measurements, soil mechanical investigations zone cracking, and precipitation on the flood protection and subsoil stability calculations built upon one another embankments slope safety (Jamalinia et  al. 2020, 2021). (Nagy 2000). An essential finding of the mentioned research is that the Conventional (trench) sampling and non-destructive leaf area index (LAI) can be used as an indicator of the (geophysical) measurements were used to track the health of the embankment. possible depth and extent of desiccation cracks. At that Table 1 Mineralogical composition of soils with shrink-swell behaviour Minerals Formula USA, Texas, Taylor Dutch, River Clay Portugal, Hungary, (Arthur O. 1964) (Tollenaar et al. 2017) river Tejo, Körös river Formation clay dike Quartz SiO 20 50.2 43 30 Mikroklin KAlSi O – – 20 3 3 8 Albite NaAlSi O – – 8 8 3 8 Montmorillonite (Na,Ca)(Al,Mg) [Si O (OH) ]·H O 50 – 5 45 2 4 10 2 2 Chlorite Mg Al(Si Al)O (OH) – – 8 8 5 3 10 8 Illite (K,H O )(Al,Mg,Fe) [(Si,Al) O (OH) ·(H O)] 8 – 7 6 3 2 4 10 2 2 Calcite CaCO 10 5.8 2 – Anorthite Ca(Al Si O ) – 6.8 – – 2 2 8 Dolomite (Ca,Mg)(CO ) – – 2 – 3 2 Muscovite KAl [AlSi O (OH) ] – 16.2 5 – 2 3 10 2 Kaolinite Al O ·2SiO ·2H O 8 – – – 2 3 2 2 Vermiculite (Mg,Fe,Al) ((Al,Si) O )(OH) .4H O – 21 – – 3 4 10 2 2 I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 5 of 17 time (1990–1996), a smaller portion of the flood defence iii) block cracks and iv) yield (alligator) cracks. Block embankments crest was paved, and cracks were less cracks are visible in Fig.  4. they are larger, well-defined noticeable on the grassy and plain surfaces. Most stability pieces, usually caused by desiccation, while yield cracks survey sampling and measurements occurred on Tisza’s are parallel or interconnecting crack patterns evolv- river embankments surrounding the main river bed and ing due to the bending or horizontal movement of the the oxbow lakes (Salát and Nagy 2002). asphalt (Fig.  6 iii). During the Hungarian survey evalua- The application of different geotechnical drilling and tion, these two types of cracks were considered as crack geophysical measurements during the dike surveys in systems of transverse and longitudinal cracks. Hungary and other parts of Europe are summarised in While the first two mentioned surveys dealt with Table 2. paved roads, the third one (Chotkan 2021) describes a regional dike survey of Delfland, Netherlands (some of International pavement surveys the dikes were paved, but most of them were covered It is rare to conduct extensive field surveys on pave - with grass). A data set of more than 1000 crack observa- ment cracks. There are very few international surveys tions were analysed. The volume variable property of the usually focusing on a smaller region. The general belief soils is induced by the change in water content caused by that pavement cracks appear due to heavy traffic leads droughts and floods. to the lack of these surveys. However, the pavement of low-volume traffic roads can also become fissured. The Methodology rapture of the pavement can be caused by the volumet- The General Directorate of Water Management (OVF) ric strains induced by the swelling and shrinkage cycles ordered a comprehensive nationwide crack survey of the of the subgrade soil. It has been observed that longitu- paved surfaces of flood protection embankments in 2018. dinal cracks develop during the dry season in Central The survey was conducted by 12 territorial water direc - Texas, USA (Jouben 2014). In that study, 20 road sec- torates and supervised by the General Water Directorate. tions were selected from the area where expansive soils The scale of the survey is unprecedented in Hungary as were presumed in the subgrade. The cross-sections were well as in Europe. According to our knowledge, similar documented with photos, and undisturbed samples were surveys, somewhat smaller in scale, were made in Saudi collected from depths ranging from 0.6 to 3.0 m. Forced Arabia, concentrated on the region of Al Ghatt (Dafalla ventilated swell-shrink tests were conducted on speci- and Shamrani 2011) and in Austin, Texas (Jouben 2014). mens from six specific cross-sections of roads. This type The reason for starting with pavement fissures is that of test was developed and used at the University of Texas, they do not heal as easily as fissures on unpaved parts. Austin. It can be conducted on undisturbed or remoulded The dike crest is paved for multiple reasons. The most samples. The specimen is swelled (wetted) and then con - outstanding is to ease the flood control operations. solidated (and dried) under field loading. The drying pro - Inspections are more rapid and easier. Transport vehicles cess was accelerated by forced ventilation. This practical can move equipment faster and safer during flood pro - test method allows the engineers to determine the cor- tection operations. The pavement material in examined relation between vertical movement and water content sections is as follows: 94.8% asphalt, 2.4% concrete cover (Jouben 2014). and 2.8% sett. Dafalla and Shamrani (2011), near Al Ghat, Saudi Ara- Due to the viscous nature of the bitumen binder, bia, identified six types of pavement cracks related to asphalt can sustain significant deformation before the swelling and shrinking soils. From those, four types are crack comes into sight. This is an advantage from a main - also present on the paved dikes of Hungary. These were tenance point of view and a monitoring problem, as the following: i) transverse cracks, ii) longitudinal cracks, cracks appear on the crest with a delay. Paved dike crests Table 2 Application of geotechnical sampling and geophysical measurements Purpose Method Publications Water content distribution in a cross-section Direct sampling (Nagy 2010), (Nagy and Huszák 2012) Geoelectric cross-section (Nagy 2000) Identification of desiccation cracks and raptures Georadar measurement (Fauchard and Mériaux 2007; Nagy 2010) Saline solution pumping and electric (Nagy et al. 2008; Jones et al. 2014; Kovács et al. 2020) resistivity tomography investigation Water content distribution in the axis of an embankment Longitudinal geoelectric section (Fauchard and Mériaux 2007; Nagy and Huszák 2012) Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 6 of 17 have disadvantages as well: i) after long dry periods, the of the issue, such as soil layer susceptible to volume water cannot infiltrate into the dike body to normalise change, weak asphalt layers and the need for mainte- water content, ii) the rainfall runs off on the paved top nance. Crack thickness combined with the extent can surface and on the sides, iii) moisture is partially trapped indicate the seriousness of the fissure since a few meters after significant floods as there is no evaporation through long, thick crack (an indication of a few ten-centimetre the pavement. The asphalt or concrete layer acts as a deep penetrations) can cause strength reduction in the water barrier and disturbs the water balance of the dike. soil layer and by that affecting the slope stability. The In addition to the pavement’s state, the dike material’s Delfland Water Board has a policy that cracks longer knowledge is also essential to understand the section’s than 2  m or deeper than 50  cm are considered as dan- behaviour and the reasons for deterioration. gerous and should be repaired (Chotkan 2021). Along with the pavement crack survey, the results of To be able to form a database of the examined sites recent soil mechanical investigations were reviewed, and embankments, the following parameters were used and the soil parameters were collected. In the reviewed in the study: cross-sections, more than one layer of soil was usually encountered. The gathered data set was supplemented • Identification number of territorial water directo - with the literature’s soil parameters and desiccation crack rates (1–12), patterns. • Sign of flood protection embankment, • River and side (left, right), • Sectioning (embankment section marker), Dike pavement crack survey • GPS coordinates of the crack, The backbone of the research is the survey prepared and • Elevation of the dike, evaluated by the article’s authors at the request of the • The embankment’s axis compared to the north, in General Water Directorate. Altogether 1250 km of paved degrees, flood protection embankment were inspected, and 1987 • The subgrade of the embankment under the pave - smaller or bigger fissures were detected, which means an ment. average of 1.6 cracks/km. The following characteristics were collected as a marker for this paper: Database of soil mechanical investigations • Location of the crack(s) on the embankment (most The authors assembled the database of soil mechanical of them appeared on the crest of the embankments, investigations from recent soil explorations. In these 97.6% of all cracks), investigations, samples were collected from approxi- • Orientation of the crack(s) compared to the axis of mately 30 locations, signs of swelling and shrink- the embankment, age, cracks with height differences on the pavement • The extent of the crack(s) on the surface of the pave - and desiccation fissure patterns on the slopes were ment, observed. From these sections, 114 samples at differ - • The thickness of the crack(s), ent depths were taken. The locations are marked in • Height difference (dislocation) between the two sides Fig.  13. Since most of the soils used for embankment of the crack, construction are cohesive, apart from soil identification • Number and location of fissures (few, more parallel (Atterberg limits, based on ISO/TS 17,892-12:2004), cracks, network of cracks), shrinkage parameters such as linear shrinkage were • The aspect of cracks (crease, patched, wheel track – also determined in some cases. One of the most com- rutting, side rapture, sinkholes etc.), mon ways to describe a soil’s volume change capability • The reason behind the crack formation, is swelling potential, defined as the percentage of the • Environmental cause of the crack formation (floods swell of a confined sample in an oedometer test soaked and droughts). under a surcharge load of 7 kPa. The swelling potential is linked to: The geometry, location and aspect of cracks were docu - mented by photo(s). The same attributes were recorded • Atterberg limits, by other surveys (Dafalla and Shamrani 2011; Jouben • Linear shrinkage, 2014; Chotkan 2021) in the case of paved and turf-cov- • Colloid content, ered dike crests. • Activity index, Depending on the number of cracks, the extent (in m • Swelling index. or m ) of the fissured area indicates the spatial spread I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 7 of 17 From the soil mechanical part, the publication focuses on the correlations between swelling potential and Atter- berg limits, as it is the most widely measured soil param- eter in the case of cohesive soils. Results In this section, the results of the pavement crack survey and the gathered data set of soil mechanical investiga- tions are evaluated separately and together. Results in correlation with floods and droughst are also presented. Pavement crack characteristics According to the methodology described in the previous section Table  3 summarises the number of cracks and the length of the cracked embankments. The values are Fig. 2 Position of fissures on the paved dam crest presented separately for the Danube and the Tisza catch- ment areas. The behaviour of the floods, the embankment materials and their height also differ in these regions. cross-section. No difference was made regarding clas - Besides the number and length of cracked pavement, the sifying the cracks that appeared on one or both sides. length of paved flood protection embankments managed The flood plain on the waterside of the flood protection in the areas, and the specific number and length of cracks embankment is usually covered with some vegetation are also shown in Table 3. (floodplain forest), while the protected side is agricultural The system of flood control embankments in the Tisza land. Some dikes can hold water from both sides as they catchment area is generally higher and longer than in surround flood retention reservoirs. During the past dec - the Danube region. However, there are fewer, but longer ade, a series of emergency flood retention reservoirs were cracks on the dam crests in the Eastern part of Hungary constructed along the Tisza River in Hungary. (i.e. where the Tisza and its catchment area is located). The whole paved cross-section is considered fissured if Furthermore, results regarding the spatial distribution cracks are visible on the central strip and either side strip of cracks on the pavement, their direction and thick- (Fig.  2). This consideration may lead to the fact that the ness are evaluated. Finally, the dike materials under the entire cross-section is fissured in more than half of the cracked cross-section are overviewed. cases, as presented in Fig. 3. Location of the crack(s) Orientation of the crack(s) The width of road pavement is approximately 3  m. It is The orientation of the cracks was compared to the divided into three strips, each of them with 1  m width road axis. They were classified into six categories. The according to the schematic picture presented in Fig.  2. After the evaluation of the pictures and the received answers, the decision was made that the crack appear- ance was classified into the following groups: i) fractured sides, ii) cracked axis, and iii) fissures throughout the Table 3 Number and length of pavement cracks at the catchment area of the Danube and Tisza Catchment area [-] Danube Tisza No. of cracks pc 1158 829 Length of cracked pavement m 31,960 247,704 Length of paved dikes km 360 890 Specific number of cracks pc/km 3.22 0.93 Whole Axis Pavement sides No data Specific cracks m/km 8878 278.32 Fig. 3 Summation on the location of cracks at the paved cross Average dam height m 3.20 3.78 section Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 8 of 17 i) Parallel ii) Perpendicular iii)Parallel– Perpendicular(a) Tisza, Left bank 3+600 Moson-Danube, Leftbank 16+173Tisza, Left bank 2+500 iii)Parallel– PerpendicularBlock iv) v) Winding Undetermined cracks (b) Tisza, Leftbank 55+300Tisza, Leftbank56+250Tisza, Rightbank41+210 Fig. 4 Crack direction compared to the axis of the embankment categories are the following: i) cracks parallel to the road where the crack direction was not mentioned or not vis- axis, ii) perpendicular to the axis, iii) combination of par- ible. The ratio of categories is shown in Fig. 5. allel and perpendicular cracks, block cracking belongs to this category, iv) diagonal or winding cracks, v) undeter- Pavement crack thickness mined, there are extreme cases of ravelling and flushing, An arbitrary crack thickness classification was created causing total pavement failure, in these cases, the crack with the following categories: i) thin, ii) medium and iii) directions are not visible. The categories are presented in thick. Thin and medium cracks indicate an issue with Fig.  4. In a few cases, sinkholes were also documented. the pavement or with the sublayers (pavement work A category referred to as ’no data’ was created for cases gap, heavy traffic). However, thick cracks (> 5 mm) often I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 9 of 17 1–2  mm diameter cracks are classified into this group. The medium-thick cracks have an approximate breadth of 2–5  mm, while sturdy (thick) cracks are thicker than 5  mm. The surveyors measured the thickness, directly categorised or approximated from the photos. The crack width categories are demonstrated in Fig.  6, and their ratio is presented in Fig. 7. Reason of the crack formation – signs of shrink‑swell soil In the survey sent to the water directorates, we enquired about why cracks formed on the paved surfaces. Prior knowledge of the surveyors was essential in this ques- tion. The most common problem with 38% was traffic load; although half of these answers come from a single Parallel Perpendicular water directorate, it was followed by a lack of consolida- Parallel-Perpendicular Winding tion time (28%), which can be easily calculated. The three other categories that also scored 10% are; construction Undetermined No data and design shortcomings, swelling and desiccation, and Fig. 5 Proportion of crack directions unknown causes. As this article focuses on deterioration caused by shrink-swell soil, this phenomen and the crack layout are correlated. In 197 cases, out of the total 1987, swelling and shrink- age were reported as the leading cause. In those cases, coupled with pavement deflection (Jouben 2014) suggest 65.5% of the cracks were parallel to the axis of the problems of the embankment material, which can be the embankment, and 85% of the crack patterns observed volume change capability of a clay layer in it. The thin had parallel fissures. In the whole data set, less than 50% category can also be regarded as hairline cracks. Only the i) Thin (Hairline) ii)Medium iii)Thick (sturdy) Tisza,leftbank, 0+690 Tisza,right bank,7+230 Tisza,right bank,126+260 Fig. 6 Crack width; thin (1–2 mm), medium (2–5 mm) and thick (> 5 mm) Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 10 of 17 Table 4 Percentage of crack patterns, all cases and cases of shrinkage and swelling All cases Shrink. & swell 528 Crack direction No. [%] No. [%] Parallel 854 43.0 129 65.5 Perpendicular 671 33.8 22 11.2 Parallel-perpendicular 297 14.9 32 16.2 winding 50 2.5 8 4.1 Undetermined 100 5.0 6 3.0 No data 15 0.8 0 0.0 Thin Medium Thick No data Sum 1987 197 Fig. 7 Summation of each crack width category methods when both limits are considered (Pitts 1985; of the cracks were parallel with the axis of the embank- Kalantari 1991). ment Tables 4. Histograms of the Liquid limit and Plasticity alongside their swelling potential are presented in Figs.  9 and 10. Dike materials The statistical parameters, such as; means, standard devi - Cohesive soils have the potential peril of swelling-shrink- ation and coefficient of variation, of Atterberg limits are age capability. In 87.3% of the cases when the soil type summarised in Table 8. was known, the embankment (subgrade) material under Atterberg limits of the soil sample data set (places the pavement was categorised as clay. with desiccation cracks) along with the samples avail- If we consider silty and sandy clays as well, the per- able in the literature are presented on the Plasticity chart centage rises to 92.9% of all the documented pavement (Fig.  11). It is difficult to compare samples from differ - crack cases. Dike sections might contain different lay - ent places. In Hungary, linear shrinkage is used to evalu- ers, mainly clays and silts. It is not so easy to character- ate shrinkage properties, while in the USA, clay activity ise a dike with a single material. In the territory of the (Skempton 1953), which is the fraction of plasticity index North-Transdanubia Water Directorate (01.), the levees and the clay fraction and shrinkage limit, is also a com- have a clay cover, but their core is less impervious. The mon index number. material of the dike section under the pavement cracks Two paved cross-sections are chosen as examples is summarised for the two river basins in Table  5. The (Fig.  12), where detailed soil investigations and photo territorial water directorates indicated the type of soil documentation are available. In these cases, soil layers under the sections with the fissured pavement. The high with swelling-shrinking potential were encountered. ratio of the not fully clay embankments is presented in The two selected sites were the following: the Tisza left Fig. 8. bank 25 + 689 and right bank 126 + 160. In the first site, the Clays prone to volume change were identified by the dike serves as the earthwork for a secondary road; in the crack patterns and dispersive clays (saline soils) by signs second case, many soil mechanical investigations were car- of erosion. They are susceptible to tunnel erosion, caus - ried out in the section. The cracks are parallel to the road’s ing damage to infrastructural facilities, mainly to dikes. axis, a bit winding, and there is a height difference between The identification (by pinhole test) and treatment of dis - the cracks’ sides. They are examples of desiccation cracks. persive clays have been researched from the ’70  s until today (Sherard et  al. 1976; Nagy et  al. 2015). Saline soils Results of environmental effects can be identified by their physico-chemical composition The survey, which was sent to the Water Directorates, (Nagy et al. 2016). explicitly asked whether the crack and damage emer- gence could be connected to floods or droughts. In Results of the soil investigations Table 9, the results are presented according to the catch- There are different criteria to evaluate swelling potential: ment area of the two main rivers. In one-fourth of the Peck et al. (1974) and Bowles (1996) consider the Plastic- case (500), the crack formation can be associated with ity index (I ), as presented in Table  6, while others only floods. 361 out of the 500 affirmative answers come from consider the Liquid limit (w ) (Dakshanamurthy and a Water Directorate in the Danube valley. Raman 1973; Kay 1990) (Table  7), there are evaluation I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 11 of 17 Table 5 Embankment material under the damaged pavement Table 6 Plasticity index and swelling potential (Peck et al. 1974; (number of sections) Bowles 1996) Plasticity Index (Ip) Swelling potential Percentage of samples [%] Materialofthe embankment Danube TiszaΣ < 15 Low 0.0 10–35 Medium 45.6 Clay 956 761* 20–35 High 42.1 > 35 Very high 54.4 Silty clay5049 Sandy clay7 16 23 Table 7 Liquidity limit and swelling potential (Dakshanamurthy Silt sandy clay6 0 6 and Raman 1973) Liquidity limit (w ) Swelling potential Percentage of Silt 50 5 samples [%] Sandysilt 81 0 20–35 Low 1.8 35–50 Medium 13.2 Sandy clayeysilt 80 50–70 High 59.6 Siltysandy gravel 21 0 21 > 70 Very high 25.4 Siltysand4 0 4 that damage in the Danube valley is related to flooding Mine barren 03 3 while in the Tisza valley to drought. No data 20 0 Effects of aridity Σ 1158 829 1987 According to PAI, Hungary’s aridity zones are presented * in Fig. 13; the dashed line is the border between the Dan- in 7 cracked cross sections dispersive clays were identified ube (to the west) and the Tisza (to the east) catchment area. The two main rivers (Danube and Tisza) and their tributaries flow on the lowland, such as the Small Hun - garian Plain and the Great Hungarian Plain. A consider- able part of the dike system lies here. The documented 8 cracks and the locations of soil mechanical investigations are also marked on the map (Fig. 13). The driest region of Hungary is the Great Hungar - 6 4 ian Plain which falls into medium-drought, heavy and extremely heavy-drought zones. Approximately 40% of Hungary’s territory and 75% of the agricultural areas in the country, which is more or less 28  000  km (Pálfai 2004). During floods, excess water is not diverted and stored. Combined with the prolonged drought spells becoming more frequent due to climate change, the situation is even Clay Silty clay Sandy clay Silt sandy clay Silt Sandy silt worse for the agricultural industry and the wetlands. Sandy clayey silt Silty sandy gravel Silty sand The connection of aridity zones and environmental Fig. 8 Proportion of non-clay embankment material effect such as: flood and drought is presented in Fig. 14. According to Fig.  14, in heavy and extremely-heavy drought zones (I. & II.), floods and droughts are respon - sible for approximately 30% of the damage, while in zone According to the answers, in one-fifth of all cases (400), III. it is much less because a large part of the Danube droughts played a role in the fissure and damage appear - valley is included, where silty and sandy soils are pre- ance. Most of the affirmative responses come from the sent (see Table  5), so the dikes are less sensitive to the Water Directorates operating in the Tisza valley, espe- drought-induced shrinkage. Also, the lower course of the cially from the river’s upper course. The survey shows Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 12 of 17 Plain is included, where the soil composition is differ - ent, and the appearance of high and very high plasticity 35 clays is less likely. On the other hand, the north-eastern corner of the country falls into this zone, where the Tisza river enters. There the clays have an expansive behaviour, and the dikes retain water for a shorter course, so the cause shifts towards drought again. The embankments in aridity zone V. do not hold floods for a long time. The 10 pavement is scraped by other means. There is no direct 2 2 relation between the aridity zones and the desiccation crack formation, so other factors probably play a signifi - cant role. 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100110 120 Liquid limitw [%] Swelling Aridity index (PAI), soil plasticity and possible crack potential Low-Medium High Very high pavement crack formation Fig. 9 Histogram of the samples Liquid limit (w ) and swelling L The layers’ order and thickness can affect the result - potential according to (Dakshanamurthy and Raman 1973) ing cracks, as well as the aridity zone and other factors such as i) the distance from the river, ii) frequency of inundation, iii) flood characteristics, depth of wetting, iv) orientation and v) nearby vegetation. It is difficult to characterise these five factors, so we would stay with the embankment’s material (cohesive soil) and the aridity zones (according to PAI) and correlate these factors with the thickness of the cracks. At 19 dike sections, approximately 45 drillings were deepened, and 114 samples (Fig.  11) were supplemented with ones where no signs of pavement fissure were vis - 4 4 ible (negative samples). The extended database com - prises more than 160 samples (sections with cracked and uncracked pavement). 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 The most determinate layers are added to each sec - PlasticityindexI [%] p tion and drillings list. By determinate layer, it was meant that a medium plasticity clay would determine Swelling Medium potential the dike section’s shrink-swell behaviour in case of a High Very high silty clay embankment. In the same manner, in the case Fig. 10 Histogram of the samples Plasticity index (Ip) and swelling of a medium plasticity section, high or very high plas- potential according to (Peck et al. 1974; Bowles 1996) ticity layers govern the volume change potential. A Matrix was created (Fig.  15), drought (aridity zones) on the horizontal axis, while the samples were Table 8 Statistical parameters of the Atterberg limits (114 categorised by their liquid limit into; low to very high samples) plasticity soil, and their plasticity index is presented on the vertical axis. The observed crack width is men - L.l. (w )P.l. (w )P.I. (I ) L P p tioned in each zone, according to Fig. 6. Mean μ 62.35 25.48 36.88 The spread, locality and skewness of the plasticity index StD σ 12.557 3.553 9.953 in the case of each group, if there is a sufficient number of CoV 0.201 0.139 0.270 samples, is demonstrated by a box plot (Fig. 15). At places of the most severe drought (Zone I.) the crack width increases with the plasticity of the materials. The same trend was not captured in the case of drought zone Danube is in this zone, where floods put a more signifi - II., as there were only a few samples of medium and low cant pressure. In the case of the moderate-drought zone plasticity soils from Texas (Jouben 2014). In the case of (IV.) the drought spells are responsible for roughly 25% of drought zones III. and IV. (medium and moderate) dikes the damage. A considerable part of the Little Hungarian Frequency, No.ofsamples Frequency, No.ofsamples I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 13 of 17 Illés& Nagy 2022 Dyer et al.2009 Dafalla &Shamrani2011 Puppalaetal. 2013 ClV Jouben 2014 Tollenaaretal. 2017 ClH Lisbon,TejoClay Aline SiV 30 Uline ClM SiH ClL SiM SiL 0102030405060708090100 110 Liquid limit (w ), [%] Swelling potential High Very high Low Medium Fig. 11 Plasticity chart after Casagrande, according to ISO 14688-2:2017, samples from investigations: Dyer et al. 2009; Dafalla and Shamrani 2011; Puppala et al. 2013; Jouben 2014; Tollenaar et al. 2017, are marked Tisza Leftbank 25+689Right bank 126+160 Liquid limit (W ) [%] 46,3365,4 Plasticity index (I ) [%] 25,7338,5 Linear Shrinkage [%] -14,8 Fig. 12 Pavement fissures caused by shrinkage and swelling Plasticity index(I ), [%] p Tisza Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 14 of 17 Table 9 Crack appearance connection to flood and drought expansive clay subgrade. On the other hand, Dafalla and Shamrani (2011) associated six different pavement crack Connection to Catchment area types with expansive clays. Flood Danube Tisza Σ The pavement crack patterns associated with swelling- shrinkage dike material are linked to the Tisza catch- Yes 361 139 500 ment area, where the soils are rich in montmorillonite No 797 667 1464 and other smectite minerals (Stefanovits and Dombovári Na data 0 23 23 1985; Lazányi and Horváth 1997). Σ 1158 829 1987 However, it is not only the embankment material that Drought affects the crack extent. A correlation matrix was created Yes 12 388 400 between aridity, soil plasticity and crack width to prove No 1146 424 1570 this. These properties were chosen because they can be Na data 0 17 17 easily quantified. When there were enough samples from Σ 1158 829 1987 the same drought zone, it was clear that crack width increased with plasticity. In less severe drought zones, there were fewer or no pavement cracks on the analysed with very high plasticity soils tend to exhibit all kinds of sections. For the analysis, mainly samples from Hungary pavement cracks, while other groups only have thinner were taken into account along with the result of the fol- fissures. No pavement cracks were observed in the mild lowing studies: Dyer et  al. 2009; Dafalla and Shamrani drought zone (V.). Only unpaved embankments (results 2011; Puppala et  al. 2013; Jouben 2014; Tollenaar et  al. of Dyer et al. 2009) exhibited fissure patterns. Due to climate change, it will be even more critical to Discussion quantify droughts. Pálfai Aridity Index was used in this The pavement crack survey showed statistically that research as it can be easily calculated. It would be advised crack patterns associated with swelling and shrinkage of to use a drought index, which takes into account soil mois- dike material contain predominantly longitudinal cracks. ture such as HDI. The state of the vegetation, especially Zornberg and Gupta (2009) and Jouben (2014) also soft stem plants, can indicate soil moisture content in concluded that longitudinal cracks are associated with Danube Pavement crack and sampling coordinates: Sampling location Drought zone V. Drought zone IV. Drought zone III. Drought zone II. Drought zone I. Drought zones: PAI 10% ≤5 Drought free zone PAI 10% =5-6 Mild-drought zone PAI 10% =6-7 Moderate-drought zone PAI 10% =7-8 Medium-drought zone PAI 10% =8-9 Heavy-drought zone PAI 10% =9-10 Extremely heavy-drought zone Fig. 13 Aridity map of Hungary (provided by OVF) and the coordinates of the pavement cracks presented Tisza Danube I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 15 of 17 Hungary), length of dikes (1250 km), and the number of Other identified sections: 1987. Upon request of the General Water Directorate of Hungary, the territorial water direc- No data torates conducted the survey. The encountered cracks, Flood their location, direction, pavement type of the embank- ment, dike construction material and probable cause Flood& were collected, and the cracks were documented with Drought photo(s). Drought I. II.III.IV. V. The gathered soil property data set, augmented with Aridityzones the available data from the literature, were analysed along Fig. 14 Aridity zones and causes of cracks the crack survey. They show that dike materials and pave - ment crack patterns correlate. In the case of high plas- ticity and very high plasticity clays, which have a high swelling potential, predominantly desiccation crack pat- embankments. The leaf area index (LAI) can be used as an terns were observed. 85% of cracks connected to shrink- indicator of the health of the dike (Jamalinia et al. 2020). age and swelling had a longitudinal component. As a result of climate change, the earthworks of infra- In regions with heavy drought, the deterioration of structure desiccate occasionally even beyond repair. flood protection embankments caused by desiccation It is important to monitor the moisture content of the can be as relevant as the damage caused by floods (see embankments and the crack propagation, as already done Fig. 14). by: Utili et al. (2015); Yu et al. (2021). When aridity (heavy and very heavy drought zones I. and II.) is associated with a reach swelling embank- Conclusions ment material and high plasticity soils, the desiccation The survey presented in this paper is the most extensive fissures are more pronounced. This observation is sup - inspection of fissures on paved flood protection embank - ported by the cases documented in Hungary and by the ments regarding the size of the covered area (territory of Pavement crack width Illés& Nagy 2022 Crack width: Dyer et al.2009 Thick > 5mm Medium 2-5 mm Puppalaetal. 2013 Verg high Thin 1-2 mm Jouben 2014 Plasticity soils Thick Thick All kinds All kinds High Medium Medium Plasticity and thick Thick soils Medium Medium Hairline Plasticity Thick soils Low Medium Thick Plasticity soils Drought Drought Drought Drought Drought zone I. zone III. zone IV. zone II. zone V. Fig. 15 Drought zones (I. to V.), soil plasticity of the embankment and pavement cracks Causeofcrack,[%] Plasticityindex(I ), [%] Possibilty to crack No pavement cracks Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 16 of 17 References results of studies made in other countries and regions Arthur OB Jr (1964) Stratigraphy of the taylor formation (upper cretaceous), (see Fig. 15). East Central Texas. Baylor University, Department of Geology, Waco As a general statement, if the embankment has one Bowles JE (1996) Foundation analysis and design, 5th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York meter thick high or very high plasticity clay acts as a Bronswijk JJB (1988) Modeling of water balance, cracking and subsidence determinate layer, the formation of pavement cracks is of clay soils. J Hydrol 97(3–4):199–212. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/ 0022- more or less inevitable. If the flood protection embank - 1694(88) 90115-1 Bronswijk JJB (1991) Relation between vertical soil movements and water-con- ment is constructed of low and medium plasticity clay tent changes in cracking clays. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55(5):1220–1226. https:// layers and some silty layers, preferably one below the doi. org/ 10. 2136/ sssaj 1991. 03615 99500 55000 50004x pavement, it is less likely to form thick pavement fis - Chotkan S (2021) Predicting drought-induced cracks in dikes with artifical intelligence. Master’s Thesis, Delft University of Technology sures. However, as a result of climate change, arid areas Dafalla MA, Shamrani MA (2011) Road damage due to expansive soils: survey will increase, causing the previously uncracked low of the phenomenon and measures for improvement. Design, construc- plasticity clays to form desiccation fissures. The earth - tion, rehabilitation, and maintenance of bridges. American Society of Civil Engineers, Hunan, pp 73–80 works’ water balance can tumble due to prolonged Dakshanamurthy V, Raman V (1973) A simple method of identifying an drought experienced in the past decades and they can expansive soil. Soils Found 13(1):97–104. https:// doi. org/ 10. 3208/ sandf desiccate beyond repair. 1972. 13. 97 Drought monitoring. https:// aszal ymoni toring. vizugy. hu/ index. php? view= custo mmap. Accessed 11 May 2022 Dyer M, Utili S, Zielinski M (2009) Field survey of desiccation fissuring of flood Abbreviations embankments. Proc Inst Civil Eng Water Manag 162(3):221–232. https:// BME: Budapest University of Technology and Economics; ClL: Low plasticity doi. org/ 10. 1680/ wama. 2009. 162.3. 221 clay; ClM: Medium plasticity clay; ClH: High plasticity clay; ClV: Very high plas- EEA (2012) River floods — European Environment Agency. https:// www. ticity clay; HDI: Hungarian drought index; OVF: General directorate of water eea. europa. eu/ data- and- maps/ indic ators/ river- floods- 3/ asses sment. management; PDSI: Palmer drought severity index; PAI: Pálfai aridity index; SPI: Accessed 17 Mar 2021 Standardised precipitation index; SiL: Low plasticity silt; SiM: Medium plasticity European Committee for Standardization (2004) Determination of Atterberg silt; SiH: High plasticity silt; SiV: Very high plasticity silt. limits (ISO/TS 17892-12:2004). Belgium, Brussels Fauchard C, Mériaux P (2007) Geophysical and geotechnical methods for Acknowledgements diagnosing flood protection dikes. éditions Quae The authors would like to acknowledge the work of the Territorial Water Direc- Fiala K, Barta K, Benyhe B, Fehérváry I, Lábdy J, Sipos G, Győrffy L (2018) Oper - torates for executing the survey, and the support of the General Directorate atív aszály- és vízhiánykezelő monitoring rendszer (Operational drought of Water Management (OVF). The authors would also like to acknowledge the and water scarcity monitoring system). Hidrológiai Közlöny 98(3):14–24 remarks of Dr. Gábor Nagy assistant professor at BME, and Dr. Örs Antal, the Fuchs M, Láng V, Szegi T, Michéli E (2015) Traditional and pedometric head of the river regulation group at OVF. approaches to justify the introduction of swelling clay soils as a new soil type in the modernized Hungarian soil classification system. CATENA Author contributions 128:80–94. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. catena. 2015. 01. 024 The first author collected and analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. European Committee for Standardization (2018) Geotechnical investigation The second author provided some of the data analysed in the article and read, and testing. Identification and classification of soil. (ISO 14688-2:2017). edited and approved the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final Brussels, Belgium manuscript. Izsák B, Szentimrey T (2020) To what extent does the detection of climate change in Hungary depend on the choice of statistical methods? GEM Funding 11(1):17. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ s13137- 020- 00154-y Open access funding provided by Budapest University of Technology and Eco- Jamalinia E, Vardon PJ, Steele-Dunne SC (2020) The impact of evaporation nomics. "Prepared with the Professional Support of the Doctoral Scholarship induced cracks and precipitation on temporal slope stability. Comput Program of the Co-operative Doctoral Program of the Ministry for Innovation Geotech 122:103506. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. compg eo. 2020. 103506 and Technology from the source of the National Research, Development and Jamalinia E, Vardon PJ, Steele-Dunne SC (2021) The effect of soil–vegetation– Innovation Fund." atmosphere interaction on slope stability: a numerical study. Environ Geotech 8(7):430–441. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ jenge. 18. 00201 Availability of data and materials Jones G, Sentenac P, Zielinski M (2014) Desiccation cracking detection using The data sets used and evaluated during the current study are available from 2-D and 3-D electrical resistivity tomography: validation on a flood the corresponding author on reasonable request. embankment. J Appl Geophys 106:196–211. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. jappg eo. 2014. 04. 018 Declarations Jouben AJ (2014) A case study of pavement failures in central Texas due to expansive soils. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin Competing interests Kalantari B (1991) Construction of foundations on expansive soils. University of The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Missouri Columbia Kay BD (1990) Rates of change of soil structure under different cropping Author details systems. In: Stewart BA (ed) Advances in soil science 12, vol 12. Springer. Department of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, Faculty of Civil Engi- New York, NY, pp 1–52 neering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Műegyetem rkp. Kindle EM (1917) Some factors affecting the development of Mud-cracks. pp 3, Budapest 1111, Hungary. General Directorate of Water Management, Flood 135–144 Protection Department, Márvány utca 1, Budapest 1012, Hungary. Kocsis K (ed) (2018N) National atlas of hungary – natural environment. MTA CSFK Geographical Institute, Budapest Received: 21 March 2022 Accepted: 30 August 2022 Konrad J-M, Ayad R (1997a) An idealized framework for the analysis of cohe- sive soils undergoing desiccation. Can Geotech J 34(4):477–488. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1139/ t97- 015 I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 17 of 17 Konrad J-M, Ayad R (1997b) Desiccation of a sensitive clay: field experimental Stefanovits P, Dombovári L (1985) A talajok agyagásvány-társulásainak térképe. observations. Can Geotech J 34(6):929–942. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1139/ Agrokém Talajt 34(3–4):317–330 t97- 063 Stewart RD, Rupp DE, Abou Najm MR, Selker JS (2016) A unified model for soil Kovács A, Nagy L, Begidsán A (2020) Árvízvédelmi gát repedésének vizsgálata shrinkage, subsidence, and cracking. Vadose Zone J 15(3):1–15. https:// multielektródás geoelektromos módszerrel (Multielectrode geoelectric doi. org/ 10. 2136/ vzj20 15. 11. 0146 investigation of a cracked dike). Hidrológiai Közlöny 100(1):54–60 Szepessy J (1991) Árvízvédelmi gátak töltésének repedései - a kúszási Lazányi I, Horváth G (1997) Deterioration of flood protection dikes due to repedés (Cracks in flood levees, the creep crack). Hidrológiai Közlöny shrinkage cracking. In: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference 71(6):321–331 on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineerings. Hamburg, pp 351–357 Tang AM, Hughes PN, Dijkstra TA, Askarinejad A, Brenčič M, Cui YJ, Diez JJ, Firgi McKee TB, Doesken NJ, Kleist J (1993) The relationship of drought frequency T, Gajewska B, Gentile F, Grossi G, Jommi C, Kehagia F, Koda E, ter Maat and duration to time scales. Anaheim California HW, Lenart S, Lourenco S, Oliveira M, Osinski P, Springman SM, Stirling R, Mekonen AA, Berlie AB, Ferede MB (2020) Spatial and temporal drought Toll DG, Van Beek V (2018) Atmosphere–vegetation–soil interactions in incidence analysis in the northeastern highlands of Ethiopia. Geoenviron a climate change context; impact of changing conditions on engi- Disasters 7(1):10. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1186/ s40677- 020- 0146-4 neered transport infrastructure slopes in Europe. Q J Eng GeolHydrogeol Mitchell JK (1974) Fundamentals of Soil Behavior, 3rd edn. Wiley Publications, 51(2):156–168. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1144/ qjegh 2017- 103 USA Thistlethwaite J, Minano A, Blake JA, Henstra D, Scott D (2018) Applica- Nagy L (2000) Az árvízvédelmi gátak geotechnikai problémái (Geotechnical tion of re/insurance models to estimate increases in flood risk due to problems of dikes). Vízügyi Közlemények 82(1):121–146 climate change. Geoenviron Disasters 5(1):8. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1186/ Nagy L (2006) Dike breaches in the Carpathian basin. Periodica Polytechnica s40677- 018- 0101-9 Civil Eng 50(2):115–124 Today H (2021) Climate change to hit carpathian basin worse than EU average, Nagy L (2008) Hydraulic failure probability of a dike cross section. Per Pol Civil says weather service head. Hungary Today Eng 52(2):83. https:// doi. org/ 10. 3311/ pp. ci. 2008-2. 04 Tollenaar RN, van Paassen LA, Jommi C (2017) Observations on the desiccation Nagy G, Nagy L, Kopecskó K (2016) Examination of the physico-chemical and cracking of clay layers. Eng Geol 230:23–31. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. composition of dispersive soils. Period Polytech Civil Eng 60(2):269–279. enggeo. 2017. 08. 022 https:// doi. org/ 10. 3311/ PPci. 8896 Tóth S, Nagy L (2006) Dyke failures in Hungary of the Past 220 Years. In: Nagy L, Huszák T (2012) Száradási repedések a Tisza bal part 107+743 szelvé- Marsalek J, Stancalie G, Balint G (eds) transboundary floods: reducing risks nyében (Desiccation cracks at the Tisza left bank in section 107+743). In: through flood management. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp Magyar Hidrológiai Társaság XXX. Országos Vándorgyűlése. Kaposvár 247–258 Nagy L, Kovács A, Varga M (2008) Cracked dikes investigation with geoelectri- Tsakiris G, Vangelis H (2005) Establishing a drought index incorporating evapo- cal tomography. In: 4th International Symposium on Flood Defence. transpiration. Eur Water 9(10):3–11 Toronto, Ontario, Canada, p 152/1–9 Tsakiris G, Pangalou D, Vangelis H (2007) Regional drought assessment Nagy L, Nagy G, Illés Z (2015) Azonosítás és kezelés - diszperzív talajok az elmé- based on the reconnaissance drought index (RDI). Water Resour Manag letben és a gyakorlatban (Identification and treatment - Dispersive soils 21(5):821–833. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ s11269- 006- 9105-4 in theory and in practice). In: 4. Kézdi Árpád Emlékkonferencia. Budapest, Utili S, Castellanza R, Galli A, Sentenac P (2015) Novel approach for health pp 156–168 monitoring of earthen embankments. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng Nagy L (2010) 2009. évi töltésrepedések a Közép-Tisza gátjainál (Embankment 141(3):04014111. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1061/ (ASCE) GT. 1943- 5606. 00012 15 cracks from 2009 at the Middle Tisza dikes). In: A Magyar Hidrológiai Vardon PJ (2015) Climatic influence on geotechnical infrastructure: a review. Társaság XXVIII. Országos Vándorgyűlése. Sopron, pp 338–343 Environ Geotech 2(3):166–174. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ envgeo. 13. 00055 Neal JT (1968) Playa surface morphology: miscellaneous investigation. air Yu Z, Eminue OO, Stirling R, Davie C, Glendinning S (2021) Desiccation crack- force cambridge research laboratories, LG Hanscom Field, Bedford, ing at field scale on a vegetated infrastructure embankment. Géotech Massachusetts Lett 11(1):1–8. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ jgele. 20. 00108 Niemeyer S (2008) New drought indices. Drought management: scientific and Zornberg JG, Gupta R (2009) Reinforcement of pavements over expansive clay technological innovations. CIHEAM, Zaragoza, pp 267–274 subgrades. In: Proceedings of the 17 th International Conference on Soil Pálfai I (1991) Az 1990. évi aszály Magyarországon ( The drought of 1990 in Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. p 5 Hungary). Vízügyi Közlemények 73(2):117–132 Pálfai I (1990) Description and forecasting of droughts in Hungary. Proceed- Publisher’s Note ings 14th International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage, Rio de Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in pub- Janeiro, Brazil (No. 1-C):151–158 lished maps and institutional affiliations. Pálfai I (2004) Belvizek és Aszályok Magyarországon (Inland inundation and droughts in Hungary) Palmer W (1965) Meteorological drought. US Weather Bureau, Washington, DC Peck RB, Hanson WE, Thornburn TH (1974) Foundation engineering, 2d edn. Wiley, New York Pitts J (1985) A manual of geology for civil engineer. Halsted Press Book, Singapore Pk S, Bashir R, Beddoe R (2021) Eec ff t of climate change on earthen embank - ments in Southern Ontario. Canada Environ Geotech 8(2):148–169. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ jenge. 18. 00068 Puppala AJ, Manosuthikij T, Chittoori BCS (2013) Swell and shrinkage characterizations of unsaturated expansive clays from Texas. Eng Geol 164:187–194. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. enggeo. 2013. 07. 001 Salát P, Nagy L (2002) Quality controlled geotechnical−geophysical monitor- ing of flood levee’s condition in Hungary. Flood defence. Science Press New York Ltd., Beijing, pp 629–636 Schweitzer F (2009) Strategy or disaster. Flood prevention related issues and actions in the Tisza River basin. Hung Geogr Bull 58(1):3–17 Sherard JL, Dunnigan LP, Decker RS (1976) Pinhole test for identifying disper- sive soils. ASCE Geotech Eng Division 102:69–85 Skempton AW (1953) The colloidal activity of clays. In: Proceedings of the third international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering. Zurich, pp 57–61 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geoenvironmental Disasters Springer Journals

Effect of climate change on earthworks of infrastructure: statistical evaluation of the cause of dike pavement cracks

Geoenvironmental Disasters , Volume 9 (1) – Sep 23, 2022

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/effect-of-climate-change-on-earthworks-of-infrastructure-statistical-ACaWsvnx28

References (74)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2022. corrected publication 2023
eISSN
2197-8670
DOI
10.1186/s40677-022-00221-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The flood protection embankments of Hungary and Europe face numerous challenges. Some dike bases were constructed more than 200 years ago; since then, they have been elevated and extended. Because of these iterative adaptations, the dikes bear many construction errors, which can trigger failures and slides. Due to climate change, droughts and low-water periods of the rivers in central Europe are becoming more frequent. As a result of these effects, the water balance of the dikes can alter and desiccate in the long term. The most staggering fissures appeared on dikes built from clays susceptible to volume change. The General Directorate of Water Management ordered a comprehensive survey of dike pavement cracks in Hungary. This was one of the most extensive surveys of such kind. Hungary has some 4400 km of primary flood protection embankments, out of which 1250 km is paved. There are multiple reasons why the pavement of an embankment can crack. The main features of crack patterns related to clays with shrink-swell potential are identified. The results of international studies and the present survey are synthesised. The main objective of this paper is to draw a correlation between drought (aridity) zones, plasticity index of the soil samples, and crack thickness. Keywords: Eec ff t of climate change, Pavement crack survey, Dikes, Swelling-shrinking, Clays Introduction conditions. The research was accelerated in the second Climate change influences and endangers earthworks of half of the twentieth century when desiccation polygons infrastructure. Due to the higher temperatures world- and cracks were widely observed on the surface of many wide, the increased evaporation leads to desiccation and natural and artificial formations such as dried lake beds, fissuring. The uneven rainfall patterns do not balance playas in the USA and in Australia (Neal 1968). the moisture content of the embankments. The mate - By that time, a considerable length of the Carpathian rial selected for their construction, decades or a hun- Basin’s flood protection system was already built. dred years ago, also contributes to fissuring. At that time, Another 40 years passed until the volume variable prop- research in the field of the shrink-swell capacity of clays erties of the clays used in Hungary for the construction was limited. One of the earliest examples of such was came into insight. The Carpathian Basin is more exposed done by Kindle (1917), who examined the formation of to the effects of climate change than most European ’mud-crack’ in two different clays under different drying regions (Hungary Today 2021). In the past 120 years, the warming reached 1.2  °C in Hungary, according to the Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ), while glob- *Correspondence: zsombor.illes@edu.bme.hu ally stayed at 1.1 °C. The droughts of 2022 in Hungary are unprecedented; fish ponds are drying out. Due to climate Department of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Műegyetem change, the region’s moderate continental climate is shift- rkp. 3, Budapest 1111, Hungary ing towards Mediterranean weather conditions. Periods Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/. Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 2 of 17 of high temperature and sunny days without precipita- floods and droughts. Floods can follow the snow melt - tion will become more and more common. Summers are ing or a rainy period, and flash floods sometimes fol - becoming longer, warmer and arider, while winters have low rapid events. Due to floods, the levees are wetted become milder with more precipitation (Kocsis 2018). to a different extent, depending on their materials. In The annual mean temperature (Izsák and Szentimrey the Carpathian Basin and on the territory of current- 2020), as well as the number of heat wave days (when the day Hungary, the two most common causes of dike fail- daily mean temperature is above 25  °C) (Kocsis 2018), ure were overtopping and hydraulic soil failures (Nagy show an uptrend. One indicator of climate change is the 2006, 2008). more frequent and more extreme rainfalls. Their spatial Due to climate change, flood risk may increase, so and time distribution is uneven (Kocsis 2018). The days authorities have to define the acceptable flood risk with high precipitation (above 20 mm) decreased during (Thistlethwaite et  al. 2018). Due to climate change, the second half of the twentieth century. However, in the drought risk has also increased. past two decades, years with the most days of high pre- Drought is a rather complex natural phenomenon cipitation have been recorded (Kocsis 2018), heavy rain- that, in many ways, can be characterised. According falls have the potential to cause flash floods (EEA 2012). to Palmer (1965), drought can be considered a persis- This article describes a survey that was conducted on tent and significant lack of precipitation. We can dis - the paved dikes of Hungary. The length of the paved pri - tinguish meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological mary flood protection system is 1250 km long. The pave - droughts, which can vary in the relative extent, dura- ment cracks are an indication of the deterioration of the tion, spatial extent, and possible consequences of water pavement and deterioration of the earthwork itself. This scarcity. Different indices are used to characterise the survey marks an important step as it serves as a baseline different types of droughts (Niemeyer 2008). Palmer for further crack surveys in Hungary. Due to the scale drought severity index (PDSI) (Palmer 1965) uses pre- and the results, it is valuable for researchers all over the cipitation and temperature data. While the Stand- world. The research presented in the current article fits ard Precipitation Index (SPI) (McKee et  al. 1993) is a into several studies dealing with the effect of climate relatively new drought index based only on precipita- change on earth embankments (Vardon 2015; Tang et al. tion, favourable in regions with limited data access 2018; Pk et al. 2021). (Mekonen et  al. 2020). Reconnaissance Drought Index At first, the article summarises the causes of desicca - (RDI) requires precipitation data and the calculation tion, the state of the flood defence system assessed, and of potential evapotranspiration (Tsakiris and Vangelis the climatic effects the earthworks face. Previous stabil - 2005; Tsakiris et al. 2007). ity surveys in Hungary and pavement crack surveys from The Pálfai Aridity Index (PAI) was developed in Hun - Texas, the USA, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia are gary (Pálfai 1990; Pálfai 1991), it is more complex than reviewed. The methodology of the pavement crack sur - PDSI and SPI. However, evapotranspiration, similarly to vey is presented, followed by the inspection results and SPI, is not taken into account. This limits the ability of the outcome of previous soil mechanical investigations of PAI and SPI to capture the effect of increased tempera - the damaged sections. The article discusses the effect of tures (linked to climate change) on moisture demand climate change, and finally, conclusions are drawn. and availability. It is an agricultural drought index and considers many aspects of water scarcity, such as: i) the number of extreme heat days (average temperature is Causes of deterioration and dike surveys above 30  °C), ii) length of low rainfall periods, and iii) The pavement cracks are an indicator of the deteriora - depth of the groundwater table. The above-listed fac - tion of the pavement and deterioration of the earthwork tors modify the following ratio: itself. This section lists the root causes of environmental- induced deterioration, such as the more arid climate and 100 · Apr. − Aug.(med.temp.) construction errors. To explore these causes, surveys PAI = (1) Sept. − Aug.(precipitation ) have been conducted in Hungary and in other parts of the world, for example, Texas, the USA (Jouben 2014), As aridity indices (including PAI) are developed the Netherlands (Chotkan 2021), and Saudi Arabia mainly for agricultural purposes, in the case of the pre- (Dafalla and Shamrani 2011). The outcome of these pre - cipitation values, they are weighted according to the vious surveys is summarised in this chapter. time-varying water requirements of the plants. A drought and water scarcity monitoring sys- Impact of floods and droughts tem was established in Hungary. It has more than Flood protection embankments can be damaged by the 150 operational monitoring stations. At the stations, effects of extreme environmental phenomena such as I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 3 of 17 meteorological parameters and the soil’s water con- regulation in the nineteenth century, and since then, tent are measured at different depths: 10, 20, 30, 45, 60 it has been developed (Nagy 2006). The layers created 75  cm (Fiala et  al. 2018; Drought monitoring). These by the raising and strengthening of the dikes are visible stations provide real-time aridity and water scarcity in Fig.  1. The layered structure is regarded as an ’onion value, which is essential for agronomists. shell’; typical cross sections of the Tisza and its tributary In case of floods and droughts, the national water rivers’ embankments are presented in Tóth and Nagy management body distinguishes the following prepara- (2006) and Schweitzer (2009). The embankments are tions (lowest to highest): no preparation, grade I., grade inhomogeneous, the layers are usually made of differ - II., grade III. and extreme level. The drought levels are ent types of soils. The method of such dike construction defined by the Hungarian Drought Index (HDI). It is contributes to the possibility of the following errors: i) based on meteorological data and the soil moisture con- certain layers are built from unsuitable earthwork materi- tent of the top 80  cm soil layer, data is coming from the als, ii) due to inadequate compaction, the layers are not drought monitoring stations. It is a soil-specific index, joined, iii) built-in cohesive soils with high water content, considering the soil’s water management properties. iv) unfavourable subsoil conditions (crossing of the pre- vious river bed). One or more of the above-listed errors Dike system of Hungary tend to occur at certain dike sections (Nagy 2000). During the nineteenth century, the river regulations Clay minerals determine the physical and mechani- transformed the slow-flowing meandering Tisza river cal properties of the cohesive soils. So it is also essen- into a waterway that could be used for transportation. In tial to investigate soils’ fine grain and mineralogical the meantime, most of its flood plains were reclaimed for composition. agricultural use. The Carpathian Basin has approximately 11 000 km of flood protection embankments. Out of that, Clay minerals 4900 km is located in Hungary, according to the General Clays susceptible to volume change were used to con- Directorate of Water Management (OVF). Most of the struct the Hungarian dike system. They do not consider dike system is made of cohesive soils, roughly 4200  km, it a threat until the water content is relatively permanent. and a considerable length of these embankments are The clays shrink when the water content decreases, and constructed of high plasticity clays (I > 30%) (EN ISO desiccation cracks form. 14688-2:2017). The three-layered clay minerals (2:1 clay) consist of an The embankments are mainly built from local materi - octahedral sheet surrounded by two tetrahedral sheets als, namely clay, peat, silt and sand, using historic con- such as illite, vermiculite and montmorillonite from the struction methods (Dyer et  al. 2009). The term cross smectite group. Montmorillonite swells strongly due to transportation was used for it; usually, the material is the presence of water, while vermiculite has a medium extracted from ditches at the waterfront. The construc - shrink-swell capacity. There are various ways, such tion of the dike system in Hungary began with river as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Differential Thermal Fig. 1 Onion shell structure discovered during the relocation of a dike near, Fokorú-puszta ( Tisza right bank, north of Szolnok) (authors illustration) Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 4 of 17 Analysis (DTA), to determine the clay mineral composi- Predictive models such as classification and regression tion of soils (Mitchell 1974). trees (CART) can forecast the cracks’ length and depth According to the geological map of the great Hungar- after identifying cracking indicators in a sample area and ian Plain (Stefanovits and Dombovári 1985), there is investigating their correlation (Chotkan 2021). ample, high plasticity, deformable clay near the surface, A framework based on the theory of linear elastic frac- especially in the Tisza valley where the soils have a high ture mechanics (LEFM), which provides a mathematical smectite content. The flood protection embankments’ description of the phenomenon of crack propagation, was swelling-shrinkage problem at the Tisza valley has been introduced by (Konrad and Ayad 1997a). Data obtained investigated for years (Szepessy 1991; Lazányi and Hor- during the experiments (Konrad and Ayad 1997b) was váth 1997). The mineralogical composition of the clays essential to validate the model. analysed and compared in this article are presented in Table 1. Summary of the previous investigations Apart from model development, it is also essential to Models for crack development conduct crack surveys, identify the causes leading to Soil science designates clay soils, which shrink when dry- crack formation and monitor the crack propagation and ing and swell upon wetting, as vertisols. These soil types closure. The following subsection summarises the large- are widespread in Hungary (Fuchs et al. 2015). In the case scale subsoil surveys and dike stability analyses con- of clay soils, the moisture transport based on hydraulic ducted in Hungary (Nagy 2000). Since then, the flood conductivity and water retention curve cannot be fully protection embankments crest was paved to ease trans- calculated as swelling and shrinkage result in the open- portation and surveillance. Visual inspections of dike ing and closing of cracks. Shrinkage characteristics have crests (paved and unpaved), road pavement (asphalt) to be introduced (Bronswijk 1988). Later on, Bronswijk surveys coupled with soil mechanical investigations (1991) conducted different field measurements to esti - were conducted internationally. These inspections are mate the three-dimensional shrinkage of soils. A frame- reviewed in one of the forthcoming subsections. work closer to the soil science approach was proposed by (Stewart et al. 2016). It connects three porosity domains Investigations in Hungary i) aggregate, ii) shrinkage cracks and iii) subsidence. By 1996, the stability survey of Hungary’s 4200  km long A numerical study of soil–vegetation–atmosphere dike system was completed. This survey comprises geo- interaction was conducted to analyse the effect of root electrical measurements, soil mechanical investigations zone cracking, and precipitation on the flood protection and subsoil stability calculations built upon one another embankments slope safety (Jamalinia et  al. 2020, 2021). (Nagy 2000). An essential finding of the mentioned research is that the Conventional (trench) sampling and non-destructive leaf area index (LAI) can be used as an indicator of the (geophysical) measurements were used to track the health of the embankment. possible depth and extent of desiccation cracks. At that Table 1 Mineralogical composition of soils with shrink-swell behaviour Minerals Formula USA, Texas, Taylor Dutch, River Clay Portugal, Hungary, (Arthur O. 1964) (Tollenaar et al. 2017) river Tejo, Körös river Formation clay dike Quartz SiO 20 50.2 43 30 Mikroklin KAlSi O – – 20 3 3 8 Albite NaAlSi O – – 8 8 3 8 Montmorillonite (Na,Ca)(Al,Mg) [Si O (OH) ]·H O 50 – 5 45 2 4 10 2 2 Chlorite Mg Al(Si Al)O (OH) – – 8 8 5 3 10 8 Illite (K,H O )(Al,Mg,Fe) [(Si,Al) O (OH) ·(H O)] 8 – 7 6 3 2 4 10 2 2 Calcite CaCO 10 5.8 2 – Anorthite Ca(Al Si O ) – 6.8 – – 2 2 8 Dolomite (Ca,Mg)(CO ) – – 2 – 3 2 Muscovite KAl [AlSi O (OH) ] – 16.2 5 – 2 3 10 2 Kaolinite Al O ·2SiO ·2H O 8 – – – 2 3 2 2 Vermiculite (Mg,Fe,Al) ((Al,Si) O )(OH) .4H O – 21 – – 3 4 10 2 2 I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 5 of 17 time (1990–1996), a smaller portion of the flood defence iii) block cracks and iv) yield (alligator) cracks. Block embankments crest was paved, and cracks were less cracks are visible in Fig.  4. they are larger, well-defined noticeable on the grassy and plain surfaces. Most stability pieces, usually caused by desiccation, while yield cracks survey sampling and measurements occurred on Tisza’s are parallel or interconnecting crack patterns evolv- river embankments surrounding the main river bed and ing due to the bending or horizontal movement of the the oxbow lakes (Salát and Nagy 2002). asphalt (Fig.  6 iii). During the Hungarian survey evalua- The application of different geotechnical drilling and tion, these two types of cracks were considered as crack geophysical measurements during the dike surveys in systems of transverse and longitudinal cracks. Hungary and other parts of Europe are summarised in While the first two mentioned surveys dealt with Table 2. paved roads, the third one (Chotkan 2021) describes a regional dike survey of Delfland, Netherlands (some of International pavement surveys the dikes were paved, but most of them were covered It is rare to conduct extensive field surveys on pave - with grass). A data set of more than 1000 crack observa- ment cracks. There are very few international surveys tions were analysed. The volume variable property of the usually focusing on a smaller region. The general belief soils is induced by the change in water content caused by that pavement cracks appear due to heavy traffic leads droughts and floods. to the lack of these surveys. However, the pavement of low-volume traffic roads can also become fissured. The Methodology rapture of the pavement can be caused by the volumet- The General Directorate of Water Management (OVF) ric strains induced by the swelling and shrinkage cycles ordered a comprehensive nationwide crack survey of the of the subgrade soil. It has been observed that longitu- paved surfaces of flood protection embankments in 2018. dinal cracks develop during the dry season in Central The survey was conducted by 12 territorial water direc - Texas, USA (Jouben 2014). In that study, 20 road sec- torates and supervised by the General Water Directorate. tions were selected from the area where expansive soils The scale of the survey is unprecedented in Hungary as were presumed in the subgrade. The cross-sections were well as in Europe. According to our knowledge, similar documented with photos, and undisturbed samples were surveys, somewhat smaller in scale, were made in Saudi collected from depths ranging from 0.6 to 3.0 m. Forced Arabia, concentrated on the region of Al Ghatt (Dafalla ventilated swell-shrink tests were conducted on speci- and Shamrani 2011) and in Austin, Texas (Jouben 2014). mens from six specific cross-sections of roads. This type The reason for starting with pavement fissures is that of test was developed and used at the University of Texas, they do not heal as easily as fissures on unpaved parts. Austin. It can be conducted on undisturbed or remoulded The dike crest is paved for multiple reasons. The most samples. The specimen is swelled (wetted) and then con - outstanding is to ease the flood control operations. solidated (and dried) under field loading. The drying pro - Inspections are more rapid and easier. Transport vehicles cess was accelerated by forced ventilation. This practical can move equipment faster and safer during flood pro - test method allows the engineers to determine the cor- tection operations. The pavement material in examined relation between vertical movement and water content sections is as follows: 94.8% asphalt, 2.4% concrete cover (Jouben 2014). and 2.8% sett. Dafalla and Shamrani (2011), near Al Ghat, Saudi Ara- Due to the viscous nature of the bitumen binder, bia, identified six types of pavement cracks related to asphalt can sustain significant deformation before the swelling and shrinking soils. From those, four types are crack comes into sight. This is an advantage from a main - also present on the paved dikes of Hungary. These were tenance point of view and a monitoring problem, as the following: i) transverse cracks, ii) longitudinal cracks, cracks appear on the crest with a delay. Paved dike crests Table 2 Application of geotechnical sampling and geophysical measurements Purpose Method Publications Water content distribution in a cross-section Direct sampling (Nagy 2010), (Nagy and Huszák 2012) Geoelectric cross-section (Nagy 2000) Identification of desiccation cracks and raptures Georadar measurement (Fauchard and Mériaux 2007; Nagy 2010) Saline solution pumping and electric (Nagy et al. 2008; Jones et al. 2014; Kovács et al. 2020) resistivity tomography investigation Water content distribution in the axis of an embankment Longitudinal geoelectric section (Fauchard and Mériaux 2007; Nagy and Huszák 2012) Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 6 of 17 have disadvantages as well: i) after long dry periods, the of the issue, such as soil layer susceptible to volume water cannot infiltrate into the dike body to normalise change, weak asphalt layers and the need for mainte- water content, ii) the rainfall runs off on the paved top nance. Crack thickness combined with the extent can surface and on the sides, iii) moisture is partially trapped indicate the seriousness of the fissure since a few meters after significant floods as there is no evaporation through long, thick crack (an indication of a few ten-centimetre the pavement. The asphalt or concrete layer acts as a deep penetrations) can cause strength reduction in the water barrier and disturbs the water balance of the dike. soil layer and by that affecting the slope stability. The In addition to the pavement’s state, the dike material’s Delfland Water Board has a policy that cracks longer knowledge is also essential to understand the section’s than 2  m or deeper than 50  cm are considered as dan- behaviour and the reasons for deterioration. gerous and should be repaired (Chotkan 2021). Along with the pavement crack survey, the results of To be able to form a database of the examined sites recent soil mechanical investigations were reviewed, and embankments, the following parameters were used and the soil parameters were collected. In the reviewed in the study: cross-sections, more than one layer of soil was usually encountered. The gathered data set was supplemented • Identification number of territorial water directo - with the literature’s soil parameters and desiccation crack rates (1–12), patterns. • Sign of flood protection embankment, • River and side (left, right), • Sectioning (embankment section marker), Dike pavement crack survey • GPS coordinates of the crack, The backbone of the research is the survey prepared and • Elevation of the dike, evaluated by the article’s authors at the request of the • The embankment’s axis compared to the north, in General Water Directorate. Altogether 1250 km of paved degrees, flood protection embankment were inspected, and 1987 • The subgrade of the embankment under the pave - smaller or bigger fissures were detected, which means an ment. average of 1.6 cracks/km. The following characteristics were collected as a marker for this paper: Database of soil mechanical investigations • Location of the crack(s) on the embankment (most The authors assembled the database of soil mechanical of them appeared on the crest of the embankments, investigations from recent soil explorations. In these 97.6% of all cracks), investigations, samples were collected from approxi- • Orientation of the crack(s) compared to the axis of mately 30 locations, signs of swelling and shrink- the embankment, age, cracks with height differences on the pavement • The extent of the crack(s) on the surface of the pave - and desiccation fissure patterns on the slopes were ment, observed. From these sections, 114 samples at differ - • The thickness of the crack(s), ent depths were taken. The locations are marked in • Height difference (dislocation) between the two sides Fig.  13. Since most of the soils used for embankment of the crack, construction are cohesive, apart from soil identification • Number and location of fissures (few, more parallel (Atterberg limits, based on ISO/TS 17,892-12:2004), cracks, network of cracks), shrinkage parameters such as linear shrinkage were • The aspect of cracks (crease, patched, wheel track – also determined in some cases. One of the most com- rutting, side rapture, sinkholes etc.), mon ways to describe a soil’s volume change capability • The reason behind the crack formation, is swelling potential, defined as the percentage of the • Environmental cause of the crack formation (floods swell of a confined sample in an oedometer test soaked and droughts). under a surcharge load of 7 kPa. The swelling potential is linked to: The geometry, location and aspect of cracks were docu - mented by photo(s). The same attributes were recorded • Atterberg limits, by other surveys (Dafalla and Shamrani 2011; Jouben • Linear shrinkage, 2014; Chotkan 2021) in the case of paved and turf-cov- • Colloid content, ered dike crests. • Activity index, Depending on the number of cracks, the extent (in m • Swelling index. or m ) of the fissured area indicates the spatial spread I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 7 of 17 From the soil mechanical part, the publication focuses on the correlations between swelling potential and Atter- berg limits, as it is the most widely measured soil param- eter in the case of cohesive soils. Results In this section, the results of the pavement crack survey and the gathered data set of soil mechanical investiga- tions are evaluated separately and together. Results in correlation with floods and droughst are also presented. Pavement crack characteristics According to the methodology described in the previous section Table  3 summarises the number of cracks and the length of the cracked embankments. The values are Fig. 2 Position of fissures on the paved dam crest presented separately for the Danube and the Tisza catch- ment areas. The behaviour of the floods, the embankment materials and their height also differ in these regions. cross-section. No difference was made regarding clas - Besides the number and length of cracked pavement, the sifying the cracks that appeared on one or both sides. length of paved flood protection embankments managed The flood plain on the waterside of the flood protection in the areas, and the specific number and length of cracks embankment is usually covered with some vegetation are also shown in Table 3. (floodplain forest), while the protected side is agricultural The system of flood control embankments in the Tisza land. Some dikes can hold water from both sides as they catchment area is generally higher and longer than in surround flood retention reservoirs. During the past dec - the Danube region. However, there are fewer, but longer ade, a series of emergency flood retention reservoirs were cracks on the dam crests in the Eastern part of Hungary constructed along the Tisza River in Hungary. (i.e. where the Tisza and its catchment area is located). The whole paved cross-section is considered fissured if Furthermore, results regarding the spatial distribution cracks are visible on the central strip and either side strip of cracks on the pavement, their direction and thick- (Fig.  2). This consideration may lead to the fact that the ness are evaluated. Finally, the dike materials under the entire cross-section is fissured in more than half of the cracked cross-section are overviewed. cases, as presented in Fig. 3. Location of the crack(s) Orientation of the crack(s) The width of road pavement is approximately 3  m. It is The orientation of the cracks was compared to the divided into three strips, each of them with 1  m width road axis. They were classified into six categories. The according to the schematic picture presented in Fig.  2. After the evaluation of the pictures and the received answers, the decision was made that the crack appear- ance was classified into the following groups: i) fractured sides, ii) cracked axis, and iii) fissures throughout the Table 3 Number and length of pavement cracks at the catchment area of the Danube and Tisza Catchment area [-] Danube Tisza No. of cracks pc 1158 829 Length of cracked pavement m 31,960 247,704 Length of paved dikes km 360 890 Specific number of cracks pc/km 3.22 0.93 Whole Axis Pavement sides No data Specific cracks m/km 8878 278.32 Fig. 3 Summation on the location of cracks at the paved cross Average dam height m 3.20 3.78 section Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 8 of 17 i) Parallel ii) Perpendicular iii)Parallel– Perpendicular(a) Tisza, Left bank 3+600 Moson-Danube, Leftbank 16+173Tisza, Left bank 2+500 iii)Parallel– PerpendicularBlock iv) v) Winding Undetermined cracks (b) Tisza, Leftbank 55+300Tisza, Leftbank56+250Tisza, Rightbank41+210 Fig. 4 Crack direction compared to the axis of the embankment categories are the following: i) cracks parallel to the road where the crack direction was not mentioned or not vis- axis, ii) perpendicular to the axis, iii) combination of par- ible. The ratio of categories is shown in Fig. 5. allel and perpendicular cracks, block cracking belongs to this category, iv) diagonal or winding cracks, v) undeter- Pavement crack thickness mined, there are extreme cases of ravelling and flushing, An arbitrary crack thickness classification was created causing total pavement failure, in these cases, the crack with the following categories: i) thin, ii) medium and iii) directions are not visible. The categories are presented in thick. Thin and medium cracks indicate an issue with Fig.  4. In a few cases, sinkholes were also documented. the pavement or with the sublayers (pavement work A category referred to as ’no data’ was created for cases gap, heavy traffic). However, thick cracks (> 5 mm) often I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 9 of 17 1–2  mm diameter cracks are classified into this group. The medium-thick cracks have an approximate breadth of 2–5  mm, while sturdy (thick) cracks are thicker than 5  mm. The surveyors measured the thickness, directly categorised or approximated from the photos. The crack width categories are demonstrated in Fig.  6, and their ratio is presented in Fig. 7. Reason of the crack formation – signs of shrink‑swell soil In the survey sent to the water directorates, we enquired about why cracks formed on the paved surfaces. Prior knowledge of the surveyors was essential in this ques- tion. The most common problem with 38% was traffic load; although half of these answers come from a single Parallel Perpendicular water directorate, it was followed by a lack of consolida- Parallel-Perpendicular Winding tion time (28%), which can be easily calculated. The three other categories that also scored 10% are; construction Undetermined No data and design shortcomings, swelling and desiccation, and Fig. 5 Proportion of crack directions unknown causes. As this article focuses on deterioration caused by shrink-swell soil, this phenomen and the crack layout are correlated. In 197 cases, out of the total 1987, swelling and shrink- age were reported as the leading cause. In those cases, coupled with pavement deflection (Jouben 2014) suggest 65.5% of the cracks were parallel to the axis of the problems of the embankment material, which can be the embankment, and 85% of the crack patterns observed volume change capability of a clay layer in it. The thin had parallel fissures. In the whole data set, less than 50% category can also be regarded as hairline cracks. Only the i) Thin (Hairline) ii)Medium iii)Thick (sturdy) Tisza,leftbank, 0+690 Tisza,right bank,7+230 Tisza,right bank,126+260 Fig. 6 Crack width; thin (1–2 mm), medium (2–5 mm) and thick (> 5 mm) Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 10 of 17 Table 4 Percentage of crack patterns, all cases and cases of shrinkage and swelling All cases Shrink. & swell 528 Crack direction No. [%] No. [%] Parallel 854 43.0 129 65.5 Perpendicular 671 33.8 22 11.2 Parallel-perpendicular 297 14.9 32 16.2 winding 50 2.5 8 4.1 Undetermined 100 5.0 6 3.0 No data 15 0.8 0 0.0 Thin Medium Thick No data Sum 1987 197 Fig. 7 Summation of each crack width category methods when both limits are considered (Pitts 1985; of the cracks were parallel with the axis of the embank- Kalantari 1991). ment Tables 4. Histograms of the Liquid limit and Plasticity alongside their swelling potential are presented in Figs.  9 and 10. Dike materials The statistical parameters, such as; means, standard devi - Cohesive soils have the potential peril of swelling-shrink- ation and coefficient of variation, of Atterberg limits are age capability. In 87.3% of the cases when the soil type summarised in Table 8. was known, the embankment (subgrade) material under Atterberg limits of the soil sample data set (places the pavement was categorised as clay. with desiccation cracks) along with the samples avail- If we consider silty and sandy clays as well, the per- able in the literature are presented on the Plasticity chart centage rises to 92.9% of all the documented pavement (Fig.  11). It is difficult to compare samples from differ - crack cases. Dike sections might contain different lay - ent places. In Hungary, linear shrinkage is used to evalu- ers, mainly clays and silts. It is not so easy to character- ate shrinkage properties, while in the USA, clay activity ise a dike with a single material. In the territory of the (Skempton 1953), which is the fraction of plasticity index North-Transdanubia Water Directorate (01.), the levees and the clay fraction and shrinkage limit, is also a com- have a clay cover, but their core is less impervious. The mon index number. material of the dike section under the pavement cracks Two paved cross-sections are chosen as examples is summarised for the two river basins in Table  5. The (Fig.  12), where detailed soil investigations and photo territorial water directorates indicated the type of soil documentation are available. In these cases, soil layers under the sections with the fissured pavement. The high with swelling-shrinking potential were encountered. ratio of the not fully clay embankments is presented in The two selected sites were the following: the Tisza left Fig. 8. bank 25 + 689 and right bank 126 + 160. In the first site, the Clays prone to volume change were identified by the dike serves as the earthwork for a secondary road; in the crack patterns and dispersive clays (saline soils) by signs second case, many soil mechanical investigations were car- of erosion. They are susceptible to tunnel erosion, caus - ried out in the section. The cracks are parallel to the road’s ing damage to infrastructural facilities, mainly to dikes. axis, a bit winding, and there is a height difference between The identification (by pinhole test) and treatment of dis - the cracks’ sides. They are examples of desiccation cracks. persive clays have been researched from the ’70  s until today (Sherard et  al. 1976; Nagy et  al. 2015). Saline soils Results of environmental effects can be identified by their physico-chemical composition The survey, which was sent to the Water Directorates, (Nagy et al. 2016). explicitly asked whether the crack and damage emer- gence could be connected to floods or droughts. In Results of the soil investigations Table 9, the results are presented according to the catch- There are different criteria to evaluate swelling potential: ment area of the two main rivers. In one-fourth of the Peck et al. (1974) and Bowles (1996) consider the Plastic- case (500), the crack formation can be associated with ity index (I ), as presented in Table  6, while others only floods. 361 out of the 500 affirmative answers come from consider the Liquid limit (w ) (Dakshanamurthy and a Water Directorate in the Danube valley. Raman 1973; Kay 1990) (Table  7), there are evaluation I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 11 of 17 Table 5 Embankment material under the damaged pavement Table 6 Plasticity index and swelling potential (Peck et al. 1974; (number of sections) Bowles 1996) Plasticity Index (Ip) Swelling potential Percentage of samples [%] Materialofthe embankment Danube TiszaΣ < 15 Low 0.0 10–35 Medium 45.6 Clay 956 761* 20–35 High 42.1 > 35 Very high 54.4 Silty clay5049 Sandy clay7 16 23 Table 7 Liquidity limit and swelling potential (Dakshanamurthy Silt sandy clay6 0 6 and Raman 1973) Liquidity limit (w ) Swelling potential Percentage of Silt 50 5 samples [%] Sandysilt 81 0 20–35 Low 1.8 35–50 Medium 13.2 Sandy clayeysilt 80 50–70 High 59.6 Siltysandy gravel 21 0 21 > 70 Very high 25.4 Siltysand4 0 4 that damage in the Danube valley is related to flooding Mine barren 03 3 while in the Tisza valley to drought. No data 20 0 Effects of aridity Σ 1158 829 1987 According to PAI, Hungary’s aridity zones are presented * in Fig. 13; the dashed line is the border between the Dan- in 7 cracked cross sections dispersive clays were identified ube (to the west) and the Tisza (to the east) catchment area. The two main rivers (Danube and Tisza) and their tributaries flow on the lowland, such as the Small Hun - garian Plain and the Great Hungarian Plain. A consider- able part of the dike system lies here. The documented 8 cracks and the locations of soil mechanical investigations are also marked on the map (Fig. 13). The driest region of Hungary is the Great Hungar - 6 4 ian Plain which falls into medium-drought, heavy and extremely heavy-drought zones. Approximately 40% of Hungary’s territory and 75% of the agricultural areas in the country, which is more or less 28  000  km (Pálfai 2004). During floods, excess water is not diverted and stored. Combined with the prolonged drought spells becoming more frequent due to climate change, the situation is even Clay Silty clay Sandy clay Silt sandy clay Silt Sandy silt worse for the agricultural industry and the wetlands. Sandy clayey silt Silty sandy gravel Silty sand The connection of aridity zones and environmental Fig. 8 Proportion of non-clay embankment material effect such as: flood and drought is presented in Fig. 14. According to Fig.  14, in heavy and extremely-heavy drought zones (I. & II.), floods and droughts are respon - sible for approximately 30% of the damage, while in zone According to the answers, in one-fifth of all cases (400), III. it is much less because a large part of the Danube droughts played a role in the fissure and damage appear - valley is included, where silty and sandy soils are pre- ance. Most of the affirmative responses come from the sent (see Table  5), so the dikes are less sensitive to the Water Directorates operating in the Tisza valley, espe- drought-induced shrinkage. Also, the lower course of the cially from the river’s upper course. The survey shows Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 12 of 17 Plain is included, where the soil composition is differ - ent, and the appearance of high and very high plasticity 35 clays is less likely. On the other hand, the north-eastern corner of the country falls into this zone, where the Tisza river enters. There the clays have an expansive behaviour, and the dikes retain water for a shorter course, so the cause shifts towards drought again. The embankments in aridity zone V. do not hold floods for a long time. The 10 pavement is scraped by other means. There is no direct 2 2 relation between the aridity zones and the desiccation crack formation, so other factors probably play a signifi - cant role. 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100110 120 Liquid limitw [%] Swelling Aridity index (PAI), soil plasticity and possible crack potential Low-Medium High Very high pavement crack formation Fig. 9 Histogram of the samples Liquid limit (w ) and swelling L The layers’ order and thickness can affect the result - potential according to (Dakshanamurthy and Raman 1973) ing cracks, as well as the aridity zone and other factors such as i) the distance from the river, ii) frequency of inundation, iii) flood characteristics, depth of wetting, iv) orientation and v) nearby vegetation. It is difficult to characterise these five factors, so we would stay with the embankment’s material (cohesive soil) and the aridity zones (according to PAI) and correlate these factors with the thickness of the cracks. At 19 dike sections, approximately 45 drillings were deepened, and 114 samples (Fig.  11) were supplemented with ones where no signs of pavement fissure were vis - 4 4 ible (negative samples). The extended database com - prises more than 160 samples (sections with cracked and uncracked pavement). 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 The most determinate layers are added to each sec - PlasticityindexI [%] p tion and drillings list. By determinate layer, it was meant that a medium plasticity clay would determine Swelling Medium potential the dike section’s shrink-swell behaviour in case of a High Very high silty clay embankment. In the same manner, in the case Fig. 10 Histogram of the samples Plasticity index (Ip) and swelling of a medium plasticity section, high or very high plas- potential according to (Peck et al. 1974; Bowles 1996) ticity layers govern the volume change potential. A Matrix was created (Fig.  15), drought (aridity zones) on the horizontal axis, while the samples were Table 8 Statistical parameters of the Atterberg limits (114 categorised by their liquid limit into; low to very high samples) plasticity soil, and their plasticity index is presented on the vertical axis. The observed crack width is men - L.l. (w )P.l. (w )P.I. (I ) L P p tioned in each zone, according to Fig. 6. Mean μ 62.35 25.48 36.88 The spread, locality and skewness of the plasticity index StD σ 12.557 3.553 9.953 in the case of each group, if there is a sufficient number of CoV 0.201 0.139 0.270 samples, is demonstrated by a box plot (Fig. 15). At places of the most severe drought (Zone I.) the crack width increases with the plasticity of the materials. The same trend was not captured in the case of drought zone Danube is in this zone, where floods put a more signifi - II., as there were only a few samples of medium and low cant pressure. In the case of the moderate-drought zone plasticity soils from Texas (Jouben 2014). In the case of (IV.) the drought spells are responsible for roughly 25% of drought zones III. and IV. (medium and moderate) dikes the damage. A considerable part of the Little Hungarian Frequency, No.ofsamples Frequency, No.ofsamples I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 13 of 17 Illés& Nagy 2022 Dyer et al.2009 Dafalla &Shamrani2011 Puppalaetal. 2013 ClV Jouben 2014 Tollenaaretal. 2017 ClH Lisbon,TejoClay Aline SiV 30 Uline ClM SiH ClL SiM SiL 0102030405060708090100 110 Liquid limit (w ), [%] Swelling potential High Very high Low Medium Fig. 11 Plasticity chart after Casagrande, according to ISO 14688-2:2017, samples from investigations: Dyer et al. 2009; Dafalla and Shamrani 2011; Puppala et al. 2013; Jouben 2014; Tollenaar et al. 2017, are marked Tisza Leftbank 25+689Right bank 126+160 Liquid limit (W ) [%] 46,3365,4 Plasticity index (I ) [%] 25,7338,5 Linear Shrinkage [%] -14,8 Fig. 12 Pavement fissures caused by shrinkage and swelling Plasticity index(I ), [%] p Tisza Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 14 of 17 Table 9 Crack appearance connection to flood and drought expansive clay subgrade. On the other hand, Dafalla and Shamrani (2011) associated six different pavement crack Connection to Catchment area types with expansive clays. Flood Danube Tisza Σ The pavement crack patterns associated with swelling- shrinkage dike material are linked to the Tisza catch- Yes 361 139 500 ment area, where the soils are rich in montmorillonite No 797 667 1464 and other smectite minerals (Stefanovits and Dombovári Na data 0 23 23 1985; Lazányi and Horváth 1997). Σ 1158 829 1987 However, it is not only the embankment material that Drought affects the crack extent. A correlation matrix was created Yes 12 388 400 between aridity, soil plasticity and crack width to prove No 1146 424 1570 this. These properties were chosen because they can be Na data 0 17 17 easily quantified. When there were enough samples from Σ 1158 829 1987 the same drought zone, it was clear that crack width increased with plasticity. In less severe drought zones, there were fewer or no pavement cracks on the analysed with very high plasticity soils tend to exhibit all kinds of sections. For the analysis, mainly samples from Hungary pavement cracks, while other groups only have thinner were taken into account along with the result of the fol- fissures. No pavement cracks were observed in the mild lowing studies: Dyer et  al. 2009; Dafalla and Shamrani drought zone (V.). Only unpaved embankments (results 2011; Puppala et  al. 2013; Jouben 2014; Tollenaar et  al. of Dyer et al. 2009) exhibited fissure patterns. Due to climate change, it will be even more critical to Discussion quantify droughts. Pálfai Aridity Index was used in this The pavement crack survey showed statistically that research as it can be easily calculated. It would be advised crack patterns associated with swelling and shrinkage of to use a drought index, which takes into account soil mois- dike material contain predominantly longitudinal cracks. ture such as HDI. The state of the vegetation, especially Zornberg and Gupta (2009) and Jouben (2014) also soft stem plants, can indicate soil moisture content in concluded that longitudinal cracks are associated with Danube Pavement crack and sampling coordinates: Sampling location Drought zone V. Drought zone IV. Drought zone III. Drought zone II. Drought zone I. Drought zones: PAI 10% ≤5 Drought free zone PAI 10% =5-6 Mild-drought zone PAI 10% =6-7 Moderate-drought zone PAI 10% =7-8 Medium-drought zone PAI 10% =8-9 Heavy-drought zone PAI 10% =9-10 Extremely heavy-drought zone Fig. 13 Aridity map of Hungary (provided by OVF) and the coordinates of the pavement cracks presented Tisza Danube I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 15 of 17 Hungary), length of dikes (1250 km), and the number of Other identified sections: 1987. Upon request of the General Water Directorate of Hungary, the territorial water direc- No data torates conducted the survey. The encountered cracks, Flood their location, direction, pavement type of the embank- ment, dike construction material and probable cause Flood& were collected, and the cracks were documented with Drought photo(s). Drought I. II.III.IV. V. The gathered soil property data set, augmented with Aridityzones the available data from the literature, were analysed along Fig. 14 Aridity zones and causes of cracks the crack survey. They show that dike materials and pave - ment crack patterns correlate. In the case of high plas- ticity and very high plasticity clays, which have a high swelling potential, predominantly desiccation crack pat- embankments. The leaf area index (LAI) can be used as an terns were observed. 85% of cracks connected to shrink- indicator of the health of the dike (Jamalinia et al. 2020). age and swelling had a longitudinal component. As a result of climate change, the earthworks of infra- In regions with heavy drought, the deterioration of structure desiccate occasionally even beyond repair. flood protection embankments caused by desiccation It is important to monitor the moisture content of the can be as relevant as the damage caused by floods (see embankments and the crack propagation, as already done Fig. 14). by: Utili et al. (2015); Yu et al. (2021). When aridity (heavy and very heavy drought zones I. and II.) is associated with a reach swelling embank- Conclusions ment material and high plasticity soils, the desiccation The survey presented in this paper is the most extensive fissures are more pronounced. This observation is sup - inspection of fissures on paved flood protection embank - ported by the cases documented in Hungary and by the ments regarding the size of the covered area (territory of Pavement crack width Illés& Nagy 2022 Crack width: Dyer et al.2009 Thick > 5mm Medium 2-5 mm Puppalaetal. 2013 Verg high Thin 1-2 mm Jouben 2014 Plasticity soils Thick Thick All kinds All kinds High Medium Medium Plasticity and thick Thick soils Medium Medium Hairline Plasticity Thick soils Low Medium Thick Plasticity soils Drought Drought Drought Drought Drought zone I. zone III. zone IV. zone II. zone V. Fig. 15 Drought zones (I. to V.), soil plasticity of the embankment and pavement cracks Causeofcrack,[%] Plasticityindex(I ), [%] Possibilty to crack No pavement cracks Illés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 16 of 17 References results of studies made in other countries and regions Arthur OB Jr (1964) Stratigraphy of the taylor formation (upper cretaceous), (see Fig. 15). East Central Texas. Baylor University, Department of Geology, Waco As a general statement, if the embankment has one Bowles JE (1996) Foundation analysis and design, 5th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York meter thick high or very high plasticity clay acts as a Bronswijk JJB (1988) Modeling of water balance, cracking and subsidence determinate layer, the formation of pavement cracks is of clay soils. J Hydrol 97(3–4):199–212. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/ 0022- more or less inevitable. If the flood protection embank - 1694(88) 90115-1 Bronswijk JJB (1991) Relation between vertical soil movements and water-con- ment is constructed of low and medium plasticity clay tent changes in cracking clays. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55(5):1220–1226. https:// layers and some silty layers, preferably one below the doi. org/ 10. 2136/ sssaj 1991. 03615 99500 55000 50004x pavement, it is less likely to form thick pavement fis - Chotkan S (2021) Predicting drought-induced cracks in dikes with artifical intelligence. Master’s Thesis, Delft University of Technology sures. However, as a result of climate change, arid areas Dafalla MA, Shamrani MA (2011) Road damage due to expansive soils: survey will increase, causing the previously uncracked low of the phenomenon and measures for improvement. Design, construc- plasticity clays to form desiccation fissures. The earth - tion, rehabilitation, and maintenance of bridges. American Society of Civil Engineers, Hunan, pp 73–80 works’ water balance can tumble due to prolonged Dakshanamurthy V, Raman V (1973) A simple method of identifying an drought experienced in the past decades and they can expansive soil. Soils Found 13(1):97–104. https:// doi. org/ 10. 3208/ sandf desiccate beyond repair. 1972. 13. 97 Drought monitoring. https:// aszal ymoni toring. vizugy. hu/ index. php? view= custo mmap. Accessed 11 May 2022 Dyer M, Utili S, Zielinski M (2009) Field survey of desiccation fissuring of flood Abbreviations embankments. Proc Inst Civil Eng Water Manag 162(3):221–232. https:// BME: Budapest University of Technology and Economics; ClL: Low plasticity doi. org/ 10. 1680/ wama. 2009. 162.3. 221 clay; ClM: Medium plasticity clay; ClH: High plasticity clay; ClV: Very high plas- EEA (2012) River floods — European Environment Agency. https:// www. ticity clay; HDI: Hungarian drought index; OVF: General directorate of water eea. europa. eu/ data- and- maps/ indic ators/ river- floods- 3/ asses sment. management; PDSI: Palmer drought severity index; PAI: Pálfai aridity index; SPI: Accessed 17 Mar 2021 Standardised precipitation index; SiL: Low plasticity silt; SiM: Medium plasticity European Committee for Standardization (2004) Determination of Atterberg silt; SiH: High plasticity silt; SiV: Very high plasticity silt. limits (ISO/TS 17892-12:2004). Belgium, Brussels Fauchard C, Mériaux P (2007) Geophysical and geotechnical methods for Acknowledgements diagnosing flood protection dikes. éditions Quae The authors would like to acknowledge the work of the Territorial Water Direc- Fiala K, Barta K, Benyhe B, Fehérváry I, Lábdy J, Sipos G, Győrffy L (2018) Oper - torates for executing the survey, and the support of the General Directorate atív aszály- és vízhiánykezelő monitoring rendszer (Operational drought of Water Management (OVF). The authors would also like to acknowledge the and water scarcity monitoring system). Hidrológiai Közlöny 98(3):14–24 remarks of Dr. Gábor Nagy assistant professor at BME, and Dr. Örs Antal, the Fuchs M, Láng V, Szegi T, Michéli E (2015) Traditional and pedometric head of the river regulation group at OVF. approaches to justify the introduction of swelling clay soils as a new soil type in the modernized Hungarian soil classification system. CATENA Author contributions 128:80–94. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. catena. 2015. 01. 024 The first author collected and analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. European Committee for Standardization (2018) Geotechnical investigation The second author provided some of the data analysed in the article and read, and testing. Identification and classification of soil. (ISO 14688-2:2017). edited and approved the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final Brussels, Belgium manuscript. Izsák B, Szentimrey T (2020) To what extent does the detection of climate change in Hungary depend on the choice of statistical methods? GEM Funding 11(1):17. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ s13137- 020- 00154-y Open access funding provided by Budapest University of Technology and Eco- Jamalinia E, Vardon PJ, Steele-Dunne SC (2020) The impact of evaporation nomics. "Prepared with the Professional Support of the Doctoral Scholarship induced cracks and precipitation on temporal slope stability. Comput Program of the Co-operative Doctoral Program of the Ministry for Innovation Geotech 122:103506. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. compg eo. 2020. 103506 and Technology from the source of the National Research, Development and Jamalinia E, Vardon PJ, Steele-Dunne SC (2021) The effect of soil–vegetation– Innovation Fund." atmosphere interaction on slope stability: a numerical study. Environ Geotech 8(7):430–441. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ jenge. 18. 00201 Availability of data and materials Jones G, Sentenac P, Zielinski M (2014) Desiccation cracking detection using The data sets used and evaluated during the current study are available from 2-D and 3-D electrical resistivity tomography: validation on a flood the corresponding author on reasonable request. embankment. J Appl Geophys 106:196–211. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. jappg eo. 2014. 04. 018 Declarations Jouben AJ (2014) A case study of pavement failures in central Texas due to expansive soils. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin Competing interests Kalantari B (1991) Construction of foundations on expansive soils. University of The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Missouri Columbia Kay BD (1990) Rates of change of soil structure under different cropping Author details systems. In: Stewart BA (ed) Advances in soil science 12, vol 12. Springer. Department of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, Faculty of Civil Engi- New York, NY, pp 1–52 neering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Műegyetem rkp. Kindle EM (1917) Some factors affecting the development of Mud-cracks. pp 3, Budapest 1111, Hungary. General Directorate of Water Management, Flood 135–144 Protection Department, Márvány utca 1, Budapest 1012, Hungary. Kocsis K (ed) (2018N) National atlas of hungary – natural environment. MTA CSFK Geographical Institute, Budapest Received: 21 March 2022 Accepted: 30 August 2022 Konrad J-M, Ayad R (1997a) An idealized framework for the analysis of cohe- sive soils undergoing desiccation. Can Geotech J 34(4):477–488. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1139/ t97- 015 I llés and Nagy Geoenvironmental Disasters (2022) 9:20 Page 17 of 17 Konrad J-M, Ayad R (1997b) Desiccation of a sensitive clay: field experimental Stefanovits P, Dombovári L (1985) A talajok agyagásvány-társulásainak térképe. observations. Can Geotech J 34(6):929–942. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1139/ Agrokém Talajt 34(3–4):317–330 t97- 063 Stewart RD, Rupp DE, Abou Najm MR, Selker JS (2016) A unified model for soil Kovács A, Nagy L, Begidsán A (2020) Árvízvédelmi gát repedésének vizsgálata shrinkage, subsidence, and cracking. Vadose Zone J 15(3):1–15. https:// multielektródás geoelektromos módszerrel (Multielectrode geoelectric doi. org/ 10. 2136/ vzj20 15. 11. 0146 investigation of a cracked dike). Hidrológiai Közlöny 100(1):54–60 Szepessy J (1991) Árvízvédelmi gátak töltésének repedései - a kúszási Lazányi I, Horváth G (1997) Deterioration of flood protection dikes due to repedés (Cracks in flood levees, the creep crack). Hidrológiai Közlöny shrinkage cracking. In: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference 71(6):321–331 on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineerings. Hamburg, pp 351–357 Tang AM, Hughes PN, Dijkstra TA, Askarinejad A, Brenčič M, Cui YJ, Diez JJ, Firgi McKee TB, Doesken NJ, Kleist J (1993) The relationship of drought frequency T, Gajewska B, Gentile F, Grossi G, Jommi C, Kehagia F, Koda E, ter Maat and duration to time scales. Anaheim California HW, Lenart S, Lourenco S, Oliveira M, Osinski P, Springman SM, Stirling R, Mekonen AA, Berlie AB, Ferede MB (2020) Spatial and temporal drought Toll DG, Van Beek V (2018) Atmosphere–vegetation–soil interactions in incidence analysis in the northeastern highlands of Ethiopia. Geoenviron a climate change context; impact of changing conditions on engi- Disasters 7(1):10. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1186/ s40677- 020- 0146-4 neered transport infrastructure slopes in Europe. Q J Eng GeolHydrogeol Mitchell JK (1974) Fundamentals of Soil Behavior, 3rd edn. Wiley Publications, 51(2):156–168. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1144/ qjegh 2017- 103 USA Thistlethwaite J, Minano A, Blake JA, Henstra D, Scott D (2018) Applica- Nagy L (2000) Az árvízvédelmi gátak geotechnikai problémái (Geotechnical tion of re/insurance models to estimate increases in flood risk due to problems of dikes). Vízügyi Közlemények 82(1):121–146 climate change. Geoenviron Disasters 5(1):8. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1186/ Nagy L (2006) Dike breaches in the Carpathian basin. Periodica Polytechnica s40677- 018- 0101-9 Civil Eng 50(2):115–124 Today H (2021) Climate change to hit carpathian basin worse than EU average, Nagy L (2008) Hydraulic failure probability of a dike cross section. Per Pol Civil says weather service head. Hungary Today Eng 52(2):83. https:// doi. org/ 10. 3311/ pp. ci. 2008-2. 04 Tollenaar RN, van Paassen LA, Jommi C (2017) Observations on the desiccation Nagy G, Nagy L, Kopecskó K (2016) Examination of the physico-chemical and cracking of clay layers. Eng Geol 230:23–31. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. composition of dispersive soils. Period Polytech Civil Eng 60(2):269–279. enggeo. 2017. 08. 022 https:// doi. org/ 10. 3311/ PPci. 8896 Tóth S, Nagy L (2006) Dyke failures in Hungary of the Past 220 Years. In: Nagy L, Huszák T (2012) Száradási repedések a Tisza bal part 107+743 szelvé- Marsalek J, Stancalie G, Balint G (eds) transboundary floods: reducing risks nyében (Desiccation cracks at the Tisza left bank in section 107+743). In: through flood management. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp Magyar Hidrológiai Társaság XXX. Országos Vándorgyűlése. Kaposvár 247–258 Nagy L, Kovács A, Varga M (2008) Cracked dikes investigation with geoelectri- Tsakiris G, Vangelis H (2005) Establishing a drought index incorporating evapo- cal tomography. In: 4th International Symposium on Flood Defence. transpiration. Eur Water 9(10):3–11 Toronto, Ontario, Canada, p 152/1–9 Tsakiris G, Pangalou D, Vangelis H (2007) Regional drought assessment Nagy L, Nagy G, Illés Z (2015) Azonosítás és kezelés - diszperzív talajok az elmé- based on the reconnaissance drought index (RDI). Water Resour Manag letben és a gyakorlatban (Identification and treatment - Dispersive soils 21(5):821–833. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ s11269- 006- 9105-4 in theory and in practice). In: 4. Kézdi Árpád Emlékkonferencia. Budapest, Utili S, Castellanza R, Galli A, Sentenac P (2015) Novel approach for health pp 156–168 monitoring of earthen embankments. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng Nagy L (2010) 2009. évi töltésrepedések a Közép-Tisza gátjainál (Embankment 141(3):04014111. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1061/ (ASCE) GT. 1943- 5606. 00012 15 cracks from 2009 at the Middle Tisza dikes). In: A Magyar Hidrológiai Vardon PJ (2015) Climatic influence on geotechnical infrastructure: a review. Társaság XXVIII. Országos Vándorgyűlése. Sopron, pp 338–343 Environ Geotech 2(3):166–174. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ envgeo. 13. 00055 Neal JT (1968) Playa surface morphology: miscellaneous investigation. air Yu Z, Eminue OO, Stirling R, Davie C, Glendinning S (2021) Desiccation crack- force cambridge research laboratories, LG Hanscom Field, Bedford, ing at field scale on a vegetated infrastructure embankment. Géotech Massachusetts Lett 11(1):1–8. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ jgele. 20. 00108 Niemeyer S (2008) New drought indices. Drought management: scientific and Zornberg JG, Gupta R (2009) Reinforcement of pavements over expansive clay technological innovations. CIHEAM, Zaragoza, pp 267–274 subgrades. In: Proceedings of the 17 th International Conference on Soil Pálfai I (1991) Az 1990. évi aszály Magyarországon ( The drought of 1990 in Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. p 5 Hungary). Vízügyi Közlemények 73(2):117–132 Pálfai I (1990) Description and forecasting of droughts in Hungary. Proceed- Publisher’s Note ings 14th International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage, Rio de Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in pub- Janeiro, Brazil (No. 1-C):151–158 lished maps and institutional affiliations. Pálfai I (2004) Belvizek és Aszályok Magyarországon (Inland inundation and droughts in Hungary) Palmer W (1965) Meteorological drought. US Weather Bureau, Washington, DC Peck RB, Hanson WE, Thornburn TH (1974) Foundation engineering, 2d edn. Wiley, New York Pitts J (1985) A manual of geology for civil engineer. Halsted Press Book, Singapore Pk S, Bashir R, Beddoe R (2021) Eec ff t of climate change on earthen embank - ments in Southern Ontario. Canada Environ Geotech 8(2):148–169. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1680/ jenge. 18. 00068 Puppala AJ, Manosuthikij T, Chittoori BCS (2013) Swell and shrinkage characterizations of unsaturated expansive clays from Texas. Eng Geol 164:187–194. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. enggeo. 2013. 07. 001 Salát P, Nagy L (2002) Quality controlled geotechnical−geophysical monitor- ing of flood levee’s condition in Hungary. Flood defence. Science Press New York Ltd., Beijing, pp 629–636 Schweitzer F (2009) Strategy or disaster. Flood prevention related issues and actions in the Tisza River basin. Hung Geogr Bull 58(1):3–17 Sherard JL, Dunnigan LP, Decker RS (1976) Pinhole test for identifying disper- sive soils. ASCE Geotech Eng Division 102:69–85 Skempton AW (1953) The colloidal activity of clays. In: Proceedings of the third international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering. Zurich, pp 57–61

Journal

Geoenvironmental DisastersSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 23, 2022

Keywords: Effect of climate change; Pavement crack survey; Dikes; Swelling-shrinking; Clays

There are no references for this article.