The Divide Cut Section 3A of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is located in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Construction of this portion of the canal required the excavation of a cherty residuum. This material (hereafter referred to as cherty Paleozoic material) is a member of the Fort Payne Formation, of the Mississippian Period, of the Paleozoic era. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanical and engineering properties of the material, including its abrasiveness. Also, the mineralogy of the material was to be determined and a particular effort was made to determine if the material could be classified as Tripoli.

On June 22, 1982, a test pit was excavated east of the canal at Station 13179+75. The excavation was made with a tracked backhoe to a depth of approximately 16.4 feet. Excavation was done and samples were collected under the direct supervision of two geotechnical engineers of the Kentucky Transportation Research Program of the University of Kentucky.

The soil profile encountered at the test pit is illustrated in Figure 1. The location of sampling depths is listed in the same figure. All samples collected were sealed immediately to prevent a loss of moisture while being transported to the laboratory.

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