Compacted bentonite materials are often considered as a buffer material in the geological radioactive waste disposal. This bentonite is expected to fill up the space between the waste and the surrounding ground by swelling. Therefore, understanding the surrounding ground, i.e., groundwater behavior in bentonite, as a buffer material, is essential in order to evaluate the bentonite buffer performance and guarantee long-term safety. The monitoring system of the water saturation level in compacted bentonite is required because water content in buffer material may influence its elastic properties. In this study, the correlation between water content and elasticity in unsaturated compressed bentonite was experimentally evaluated. The evaluation was done by measuring the sound velocity of both longitudinal wave and transverse wave. As a result, it can be confirmed that ultrasonic velocities could evaluate a degree of saturation and bulk modulus of compacted bentonite.

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