Engineering characteristics of soils of Fayette and Union Counties, Indiana, pertinent to residential housing

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


There is a need to obtain and make available preliminary subsurface investigation data applicable for light commercial and residential structures. Foremost among problems that this would alleviate are flooding, foundation failures due to adverse soil conditions, and improper location of absorption field disposal systems. This study investigates the feasibility of obtaining such preliminary soils data from available reports and maps and rates the suitability of soils in Fayette and Union counties, Indiana, for residential housing on the basis of published soil survey reports and maps and field laboratory study.

The greater portion of' Fayette and Union counties is covered with glacial deposits, thinly capped with loess, mostly modified by weathering. Bedrock of the Ordovician system underlies soil mantle throughout the two counties, except in a small area west of Fayette County. Most of the soils fall into the great soil group “Gray Brown Podzolio soils". With a few exceptions, all the soils are fine-grained and contain a high percentage of silt. None of the soils are of a high-swelling type.

The soils are grouped by terrain reconnaissance procedures and topography, and these groups or units are discussed in detail with reference to the problems of residential housing. Thie study reveals, neglecting frost action, that nearly 70 percent of Faye.tte and Union counties is suitable for residential housing. The ratings given may best be used primarily in planning more detailed investigations of soil nature and characteristics at the proposed housing project area.