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Defining Niger Delta Soils – Are They Laterites?

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Alayaki, Funmilayo 
Al-Tabbaa, Abir 
Ayotamuno, Josiah 


The ambiguity of the use of the term ‘laterite’ to generally classify tropical soils especially for engineering purposes needed to be addressed. An attempt was made to analyze the silica-sesquioxide ratio of some Niger Delta soils to establish whether these soils which are formed in the tropic are indeed laterites. This ratio is used because it is generally accepted as a parameter in the classification and specification of laterites and can be measured with some degree of accuracy in the laboratory. This study revealed that these soils (except the ferralsols) which were soft when wet and significantly hard when air-dried could not be called laterite soils because of the high silica-sesquioxide ratios. It is envisaged that this study would help the engineers in the region to have a better understanding of the soils which are erroneously acclaimed and handled as laterite soils.


This is the final published version. It was first published by IISTE at


Laterite, Niger Delta soils, Silica-sesquioxide ratio

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Journal of Civil and Environmental Research

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