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Mudrocks are a diverse group of very fine-grained argillaceous sedimentary rocks that are frequently encountered in most types of engineering projects. Upon excavation, the release of overburden stress and changes in the moisture content may cause certain apparently well indurated mudrocks to slake, producing a soil-like material. Because many mudrocks are nondurable, they have gained a reputation as problematic soft rocks. Geologists and engineers are confronted with the problem of selecting adequate parameters for accurately evaluating engineering behavior of mudrocks. The use of a single parameter (e.g. grain-size) is never considered to be enough and a combination of several parameters are normally preferred for the classification of mudrocks. Compressive strength, slake durability index, plasticity characteristics, swelling potential, absorption and density are some of the parameters that had been used by several investigators in the past. In order to overcome this problem, considerable research attention has recently been devoted to the use of geological properties (grain size, clay content and clay composition, texture, fracture frequency, degree of lamination, etc.) in conjunction with the engineering characteristics for classification purposes. This paper describes the origin and occurrence of mudrocks, and their different types of classification tests and systems.


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