Slake durability indices of shales from the Batu Arang Beds, Selangor Darul Ehsan

Warta Geologi 50 (1)-23.4.2024
Author : John Kuna Raj
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 8-14
Volume Number : 50
Year : 2024

Warta Geologi, Vol. 50, No. 1, April 2024, pp. 8-14

Slake durability indices of shales from the Batu Arang Beds, Selangor Darul Ehsan

John Kuna Raj

No. 83, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi 2, Taman Tun Dr, Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Email address:

Abstract: The Eocene to Oligocene Batu Arang Beds outcrop within an approximately triangular basin covering some 15 km2 and comprise stiff, structureless clays to well laminated and fissile shales inter-bedded with fine to coarse sandstones and several coal layers. The shales are often silty and even sandy and contain abundant carbonaceous material. The coal mostly occurs as thin laminae, though two thick seams, mined by open-cast and under-ground methods from 1915 to 1960, are found in the eastern part of the basin. To determine the weatherability characteristics of the shales, three samples (A, B and C) were collected at the western wall, and one sample (D) at the eastern wall, of an open-cast shale pit. Samples A and D are located some 10 m, and 5 m, below the ground surface, whilst samples B and C are 10 m, and 16 m, stratigraphically below sample A. Samples A, B and C, and D have average dry unit weights of 16.64, 14.49, and 15.40, kN/m3 and average apparent porosities of 26.2%, 35.7% and 31.7%, respectively. Slake durability indices of all samples for one standard cycle of wetting and drying (Id1) are between 98.3% and 99.3%, and for two standard cycles (Id2), between 96.7% and 98.9%. Durability indices for three standard cycles (Id3) are between 95.1% and 98.2%, and for four standard cycles (Id4), between 93.3% and 97.6%. The indices lead to the conclusion that the shales are of high to extremely high durability and suitable for use as highway embankment or construction material. The high durability classification is supported by recent excavations at an overburden dump where relatively fresh shale blocks with little disaggregation or disintegration are exposed even after being buried for 78 to 85 years.

Keywords: Batu Arang Beds, Eocene to Oligocene strata, shales, slake durability indices


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