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Geochemical, Geotechnical, Mineralogical and Microstructural Properties of the Cubitermes Sp Termite Mound Soil for Its Use in Construction

The geotechnical properties (grain size, Atterberg limits, compressive strength, CBR, linear swelling, static modulus, hydraulic conductivity, SSA, CEC, activity) of the cubitermes sp termite mound soil were determined. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy coupled with EDS and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry were used. The results show that the soil is composed of kaolinite, illite, chlorite and intermediate layers of rutile-quartz-hematite. Although the sand content of the soil is less than the minimum of 30% and the compressive strength is CS (3.89 MPa), termite mound soil can be used to make adobe bricks or compressed earth bricks. Termite mound soil is very consistent and impermeable, making it ideal for earthworks. Despite its CBR (33%), the soil contains 7.2% organic matter, well above the 2.5% standard for use as a pavement sub base layer. The soil has an Ac activity (0.603) and a 75% fines content, so lime would be better suited to this soil than cement in the process of improving mechanical properties. X-ray fluorescence analysis shows that the major elements are alumina and silica, which make up the soil's skeleton. The presence of alumina in the soil causes it to swell, which may limit its use in road construction. The presence of Al, Mg and Fe proves the respective existence of aluminum, magnesium and iron oxides in the soil. Titanium present in the soil in oxide form (TiO2).

Road Construction, Geotechnical Properties of Soil, Cubitermes Sp Termite Mound Soil, Soil Activity

Louis Ahouet, Sylvain Ndinga Okina, Adolphe Ekouya. (2023). Geochemical, Geotechnical, Mineralogical and Microstructural Properties of the Cubitermes Sp Termite Mound Soil for Its Use in Construction. International Journal of Materials Science and Applications, 12(4), 52-58.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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