Proceedings of the Institution of

Civil Engineers
Geotechnical Engineering 163
April 2010 Issue GE2
Pages 101–106
doi: 10.1680/geng.2010.163.2.101
Paper 800012
Received 12/02/2008
Accepted 13/07/2009
Keywords: geotechnical
engineering/rock mechanics
Sabah Said Razouki
Professor of Civil Engineering,
Nahrain University,
Al-Jadiriya, Iraq
Dahlia A. Al-Zubaidy
Formerly postgraduate
student in Civil Engineering,
Nahrain University,
Al-Jadiriya, Iraq
Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit
S. S. Razouki PhD, Dipl.Ing, Ceng, MASE and D. A. Al-Zubaidy MSc
Two charts for elastic (immediate) settlement at the
centerline of a flexible square footing on Burmister two-
layer elastic system are presented in this paper. The
charts are developed for different values of the modular
ratio E
1
/E
2
[where E
1
refers to the modulus of elasticity
of the first (top) layer and E
2
corresponds to the second
(bottom) layer] and relative layer thickness h/B (where h
refers to the first layer’s thickness and B to the side
length of square footing ). The first chart is devoted to
the case of a soft top layer on a stiffer bottom layer,
while the second chart is for a stiff top layer over a softer
bottom layer. The analytical solution for surface
deflection was based on Burmister analysis and extended
to the case of square footings. The paper reveals that the
surface settlement at centerline decreases with
increasing modular ratio for E
1
/E
2
> 1 and it increases
with decreasing modular ratio for E
1
/E
2
< 1 especially for
the higher values of h/B.
NOTATION
a radius of uniformly loaded circular area
B width (least dimension) of rectangular footing; diameter
of circular footing (B ¼ 2a); side length of square
footing
D
f
embedment depth
E modulus of elasticity (Young’s modulus) of soil
E
1
modulus of elasticity of first (top) layer
E
2
modulus of elasticity of second (bottom) layer
E
1
/E
2
modular ratio
F
0
surface deflection factor for flexible circular footing on
Burmister two-layer elastic system
F
S
surface deflection factor for flexible square footing on
Burmister two-layer elastic system, F
S
¼ F
0
/ˇð
f (x
i
) the function at the ith point
G function of N and m
h first layer’s thickness for two-layer elastic system
I
5
influence factor for flexible rectangular footing for
different values of L/B
J
0
Bessel function of the first kind, of order zero
J
1
Bessel function of the first kind, of order one
L largest dimension (length) of rectangular footing
m a parameter
N ratio used in Sections 2, 3 and 4 ¼ (E
1
/E
2
À 1)/
(E
1
/E
2
+ 1)
q intensity of contact pressure in units of E
r radial distance (horizontal distance) from centre of
loaded area to computational point
S
e
immediate settlement (elastic settlement)
w
i
weight of function at ith point
w
0
vertical surface deflection at any point on the surface at
horizontal radial distance r from centre of uniform
loading
x
i
position of function at ith point
ä
e
surface elastic settlement at centreline of a flexible
square footing
í Poisson’s ratio
í
1
Poisson’s ratio for first (top) layer
í
2
Poisson’s ratio for second (bottom) layer
1. INTRODUCTION
In general, the total settlement of a foundation consists of three
parts: immediate settlement, primary consolidation settlement,
and secondary consolidation settlement (Das, 1985, 2004). The
immediate settlement is also referred to as the elastic
settlement (Das, 1985) or initial settlement (Kezdi, 1964).
According to Bowles (1988, 1996), the immediate settlement
takes place as the load is applied, or within a time period of 7
days. According to Das (1985) and Bowles (1988), the
immediate settlement is the predominant part of the settlement
in granular soils. In practice, the immediate settlement is
usually calculated from the theory of elasticity using the
linearly elastic homogeneous and isotropic Boussinesq half-
space (Das, 1985). This means that the elastic soil layer extends
to an infinite depth. This assumption is far from being true in
many cases in practice. However, for an elastic soil layer
underlain by a rigid incompressible base, Das (1985) suggested
an approximate solution for the determination of immediate
settlement on the basis of a Boussinesq solution, and Poulos
(1967) and Poulos and Davis (1974) developed charts that
enable the elastic settlement for an elastic layer underlain by a
rough rigid base to be determined for various cases of loadings.
Similarly, Razouki and Issa (2001) presented charts for
determining the elastic settlement due to flexible embankment
loading on an elastic layer underlain by a rough rigid base.
In practice, the foundation engineer faces the problem of
layered soil systems. The simplest case is that of a two-layer
soil system with a modular ratio greater or less than 1, for
which charts of immediate settlement are required. This paper
Geotechnical Engineering 163 Issue GE2 Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit Razouki 101
is devoted to such a problem, but for the special case of square
footings only.
2. SURFACE SETTLEMENT DUE TO UNIFORMLY
LOADED RECTANGULAR AREA ON BOUSSINESQ
HALF-SPACE
The elastic surface settlement at the centre of a uniformly
loaded flexible rectangular area can be found using the
following equation based on Boussinesq half-space (Das,
1985).
S
e
¼
qB
E
1 Àí
2
ð Þ
I
5
1
where S
e
is the surface elastic settlement at the centreline of a
flexible rectangular footing; q is the intensity of contact
pressure; B is the width of the rectangular footing; E is the
Young’s modulus of elasticity of the soil; í is the Poisson’s
ratio of the soil; I
5
is an influence factor (depending on L/B for
surface deflection); and L is the length of the rectangular
footing.
For a square footing, I
5
¼ 1
.
122 (according to Das, 1985), and
Equation 1 yields
ä
e
¼ 1
:
122
qB
E
1 Àí
2
ð Þ
2
where ä
e
is the surface elastic settlement at the centreline of a
flexible square footing.
3. SURFACE DEFLECTION OF BURMISTER TWO-
LAYER ELASTIC SYSTEM
For the purpose of pavement design for highways (Huang,
1993; Yoder and Witczak, 1975) and airports (Horonjeff and
McKelvey, 1994; Huang, 1993), Burmister (1943) solved the
problem of a two-layer soil system representing a stiff soil
layer with a modulus of elasticity E
1
on top of a softer layer
with a modulus of elasticity E
2
subjected to flexible uniform
circular loading. Each layer of the system is assumed to extend
to infinity in the lateral direction. The top or first layer has a
finite thickness, whereas the bottom or second layer extends to
infinity in depth. Each layer is assumed to be linearly elastic
homogeneous and isotropic, with no slippage at the interface
between the two layers.
Burmister (1943) assumed that the top and bottom layers have
the same Poisson’s ratio of 0
.
5.
According to Huang (1969), the surface deflection at the
centreline of uniform flexible circular loading on top of a two-
layer soil system is given by
w
0
¼
qa
E
2
F
0 3
where w
0
is the vertical surface deflection at any point on the
surface at a horizontal radial distance r from the centre of the
circular loading; q is uniformly distributed load; a is the radius
of the circular loading area; E
2
is the modulus of elasticity of
the second (bottom) layer; and F
0
is the surface deflection
factor for a flexible circular footing on a Burmister two-layer
elastic system.
The surface deflection factor for the case of í
1
¼ í
2
¼ 0
.
5 for a
circular footing is given by (Huang, 1969)
F
0
¼
_
1
0
f m ð Þdm 4
where
f m ð Þ ¼ J
0
mr
h
_ _
J
1
ma
h
_ _
G m
E
1
E
2
_ _
5
G m
E
1
E
2
_ _
¼
1
:
5 1 þ4Nme
À2m
À N
2
e
À4m
ð Þ
E
1
=E
2
ð Þ 1 À2N 1 þ2m
2
ð Þe
À2m
þ N
2
e
À4m
_ ¸
m
6
N ¼
E
1
À E
2
E
1
þ E
2
¼
E
1
=E
2
À1
E
1
=E
2
þ1
7
m is a parameter; E
1
/E
2
is the modular ratio, where E
1
refers
to the modulus of elasticity of the first (top) layer and E
2
refers
to the modulus of elasticity of the second (bottom) layer; J
0
is a
Bessel function of the first kind, of order zero (Watson, 1966),
given by
J
0
mr
h
_ _
¼

1
K¼0
À1 ð Þ
K
mr=2h ð Þ
2K
K! ð Þ
2
8
and J
1
is a Bessel function of the first kind, of order one
(Watson, 1966), given by
J
1
mB
h
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_ _
¼

1
KÀ0
À1 ð Þ
K
mB=2h
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_ _
2Kþ1
K! K þ1 ð Þ!
9
4. SURFACE SETTLEMENT OF SQUARE FOOTING
ON BURMISTER TWO-LAYER ELASTIC SYSTEM
To obtain the surface elastic settlement of a flexible square
footing with uniform loading on a Burmister two-layer soil
system, it is satisfactory for all practical purposes to replace
the square footing by an equivalent circular footing having
the same area and the same centre as the square footing, as
follows
ða
2
¼ B
2
or a ¼
B
ffiffiffi
ð
p
10
where a is the radius of the equivalent circular footing and B is
the width or side length of the square footing. Thus the elastic
surface settlement at the centreline of a square footing on a
Burmister two-layer system can be obtained as
102 Geotechnical Engineering 163 Issue GE2 Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit Razouki
w
0
¼
qa
E
2
F
0
¼
qB
E
2
ffiffiffi
ð
p F
0
or
w
0
¼
qB
E
2
F
S 11
where w
0
is the vertical surface deflection at any point on the
surface of the square footing, and F
s
is the surface deflection
factor at the centreline for the case of a square footing on
Burmister two-layer elastic system, given by
F
s
¼
F
0
ffiffiffi
ð
p
12
Making use of Equations 4 and 12, the surface deflection factor
F
s
becomes
F
s
¼
1
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_
1
0
f m ð Þdm
¼
1
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_
1
0
J
0
mr
h
_ _
J
1
mB
h
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_ _
G m
E
1
E
2
_ _
dm
13
It is obvious from this equation that the integrand f (m) is very
complicated, and therefore it is very difficult or rather
impossible to solve the integral analytically. Thus numerical
methods should be used for computing the deflection factors.
For the case of the centreline
J
0
mr
h
_ _
¼ J
0
0 ð Þ ¼ 1
14
and Equation 13 can be written as
F
s
¼
1
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_
1
0
J
1
mB
h
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_ _
G m
E
1
E
2
_ _
dm
15
Selvadurai (1979) showed that infinite integrals involving
products of Bessel functions are commonly encountered in the
analysis of the axisymmetric problem related to a finite elastic
footing resting on a linearly deformable medium. The
numerical evaluation of integrals of this type is carried out by
representing the integrals as an infinite series bounded by
subsequent zeros of the related Bessel functions. Integration,
which proceeds by one interval at a time, is carried out using a
15-point Gauss–Legendre quadrature. The 15-point Gaussian
formula (Selvadurai, 1979) was used in order to achieve higher
accuracy than that obtained from the commonly used four- or
eight-point Gaussian formulae. The summation was terminated
when the absolute value of the ratio of the area of the last sub-
interval to the summation of areas of all previous sub-intervals
became less than 0
.
001 (Huang, 1968).
Accordingly, the integrand f (m) was assigned to a rather
wide range of m, beginning from zero, until the effect of the
upper limit on the integral became insignificant. First, the
zeros of the Bessel function J
1
(mB=h
ffiffiffi
ð
p
) were computed by
using the computer program SDF (surface deflection factor)
written in Mathcad (2001) and checked by comparing them
with those tabulated by Watson (1966), and excellent
agreement was obtained. The area between every two
consecutive zeros was calculated using the Gaussian
quadrature procedure. The Gaussian quadrature was selected
to compute these areas owing to its highest possible degree
of precision (Engel, 1980).
The Gaussian 15-point formula is (Selvadurai, 1979)
_
1
À1
f x ð Þdx ¼

15
i¼1
w
i
f x
i ð Þ 16
where w
i
is the weight of the function at the ith point; x
i
is the
position of the function at the ith point; and f (x
i
) is the
function at the ith point. The values of x
i
and the weights w
i
are given by Selvadurai (1979).
When the limits of the integral are a and b, the integration is
computed using the Gaussian quadrature method (Engel, 1980)
as
_
b
a
f x ð Þdx ¼
_
1
À1
b À a
2
f a þ
b À a
2
x þ1 ð Þ
_ _
dx 17
where
x ¼ a þ
b À a
2
x þ1 ð Þ 18
For the square footing, the values of h/B adopted in this work
varied between 0
.
01 and 25, and the values for the modular
ratios E
1
/E
2
were 0
.
01, 0
.
1, 0
.
2, 0
.
25, 0
.
3, 0
.
5, 0
.
75, 1, 2
.
5, 5,
10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000.
5. COMPUTER PROGRAM
To evaluate the elastic surface settlement at the centreline of a
square footing on a Burmister two-layer system, the surface
deflection factors at the centreline are required.
The computer program SDF has been written in the Mathcad
language. The first job of the computer program is to calculate
the zeros of the Bessel function J
1
. The next step is to evaluate
the areas between every two successive zeros of the integrand
of Equation 15.
The zeros of the integrand are determined by the zeros of the
Bessel function J
1
(mB=
ffiffiffi
ð
p
h).
After determining the zeros of the integrand (m values
corresponding to zeros of Bessel functions J
1
), the integral
between each two successive zeros is evaluated using a
15-point Gaussian quadrature as follows
Geotechnical Engineering 163 Issue GE2 Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit Razouki 103
_
b
a
f m ð Þdm ¼
b À a
2
_
1
À1
f a þ
b À a
2
x þ1 ð Þ
_ _
dx
¼
b À a
2

15
i¼1
w
i
f a þ
b À a
2
x
i
þ1 ð Þ
_ _
¼
b À a
2

15
i¼1
w
i
J
1
a þ
b À a
2
x
i
þ1 ð Þ
_ _ _ _
3
B
h
ffiffiffi
ð
p
_
G a þ
b À a
2
x
i
þ1 ð Þ
_ __
19
After calculating the areas by Gaussian quadrature, these areas
are summed together, and this summation terminates when the
ratio of the absolute value of the last area to the summation of
the preceding areas is less than 0
.
001. To validate the written
computer program, it is necessary to compare its results with
published results for special cases. Such a special case is given
by a square footing on a Boussinesq half-space as given
by Equation 1. For this purpose, the case of h/B ¼ 1 with
E
1
/E
2
¼ 1 was chosen, as it represents a case of a Boussinesq
half-space. For a Poisson’s ratio of í ¼ 0
.
5 (fully saturated
clay), Equation 1 becomes
S
e
¼
0
:
75qB
E
Á I
5
21
where E ¼ E
1
¼ E
2
is the modulus of elasticity of the
Boussinesq half-space.
According to Das (1985), the influence factor for a point lying
on the surface at centreline is I
5
¼ 1
.
122, so that the surface
deflection at centreline of the square footing becomes
S
e
¼ 0
:
8415
qB
E
22
Using the computer program SDF written in this work, it was
shown that for the case of h/B ¼ 1 with E
1
/E
2
¼ 1, Equation
15 yielded a surface deflection factor F
s
¼ 0
.
845034278.
Making use of Equation 11, the surface deflection at the
centreline of the square footing becomes w
0
¼ 0
.
845(qB/E).
This is in good agreement with that obtained above from the
Boussinesq solution directly. The difference between the two
results is due to the approximation of the square footing as an
equivalent circle.
6. DESIGN CHARTS
To simplify the use of the results of this work in practice,
design charts should be developed. These charts are useful in
rapid determination of the surface deflection factors to
compute the immediate settlement for a flexible square footing
based on a two-layer elastic system, taking into account the
geometry and strength properties of the system.
The behaviour of the surface deflection factor F
s
will differ
according to the value of the modular ratio and the geometry
of the foundation. In practice, two different cases may appear.
The first represents the case of a soft top (first) layer over a
stiffer bottom (second) layer, reflected through a modular ratio
E
1
/E
2
, 1. The second important case is that of a stiff top
layer over a softer bottom layer, reflected through a modular
ratio E
1
/E
2
. 1.
For E
1
/E
2
, 1, Figure 1 shows the surface deflection factor at
the centreline of a square footing on a Burmister two-layer
elastic system, plotted against the relative layer thickness h/B
for values of the modular ratio E
1
/E
2
of 0
.
01, 0
.
1, 0
.
2, 0
.
25,
0
.
3, 0
.
5, 0
.
75 and 1.
For E
1
/E
2
.1, Figure 2 shows the surface deflection factor at
the centreline of a square footing on a Burmister two-layer
elastic system plotted against the relative layer thickness h/B
for different values of the modular ratio E
1
/E
2
of 1, 2
.
5, 5, 10,
25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000.
It is clear from Figures 1 and 2 that the surface settlement at
the centreline of a square footing decreases with increasing
100
40
30
20
10
4
3
2
1
0·4
0·3
0·2
0·1
S
u
r
f
a
c
e

d
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
,
F
s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 15 20 25
Relative layer thickness, h/B
0·01
0·1
0·2
0·25
0·3
0·5
0·75
E E
1 2
/ 1 ϭ
Figure 1. Surface deflection factor at centreline of a square footing on a Burmister two-layer elastic system for E
1
/E
2
, 1
104 Geotechnical Engineering 163 Issue GE2 Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit Razouki
modular ratio for E
1
/E
2
. 1, and it increases with decreasing
modular ratio for E
1
/E
2
, 1, especially for the higher values of
the relative layer thickness h/B.
7. APPLICATION
To show how the developed charts can be used in practice, the
case of example 5
.
6 treated by Bowles (1988) and shown in
Figure 3 will be discussed here.
Bowles (1988) required the estimation of the immediate
settlement at the centreline on the surface of a raft foundation
having a rectangular shape of B 3 L ¼ 33
.
5 m 3 39
.
5 m
subjected to uniform loading q ¼ 134 kPa. The soil is layered
clay, with one sand seam from the ground surface to the
sandstone bedrock at À11 m. The modulus of elasticity for the
top layer extending from 0 to 3 m is E
T
¼ 42
.
5 MPa, and for
the second (bottom) layer is E
B
¼ 60 MPa. For the sandstone,
Bowles (1988) reported E
s
> 500 MPa.
Bowles (1988) estimated the required settlement on the basis of
converting the top and bottom layers into an equivalent layer
having an average modulus of elasticity of
E
ave
¼
42
:
5 33 ð Þ þ 60 38 ð Þ
11
¼ 55 MPa
The equivalent layer rests on a rigid base. This means that
the sandstone was considered rigid. Accordingly, Bowles
(1988) reported an immediate settlement at the centreline of
16
.
5 mm.
First, to evaluate the immediate settlement on the centreline of
a square footing by making use of the charts developed in this
work, the rectangular raft should be converted into an
equivalent square raft with the same area and centre. This
yields a square raft of 36
.
4 m side length.
Because the ratio of depth of the raft D
f
¼ 3 m to its width
B ¼ 36
.
4 m is very small, the effect of foundation depth can be
neglected (Das, 2004).
To use the chart, the system will be considered as a two-layer
system. The first layer is that with E
ave
¼ 55 MPa, and the
second layer is the sandstone with E
s
¼ 500 MPa.
To evaluate the immediate settlement by the procedure
followed in this work, use can be made of Equation 11.
For h/B ¼ 11/36
.
4 ¼ 0
.
3022 and E
1
/E
2
¼ 55/500 ¼ 0
.
11, use
of the chart in Figure 1 yields F
s
¼ 1
.
503, and the immediate
settlement will be
w
0
¼
134 336
:
4 31000
500 31000
31
:
503
¼ 14
:
6621 mm
The difference between the two results can be attributed to
the following. First, Bowles (1988) assumed that the
sandstone is completely rigid, whereas in this work the
contribution of the sandstone to surface settlement is taken
into consideration. Second, the chart in this work is devoted
to a Poisson’s ratio of 0
.
5 for both layers, whereas Bowles
(1988) assumed a Poisson’s ratio of 0
.
35 for the layered clay.
Third, the rectangular footing has been converted into an
equivalent square one.
To take approximate account of the rectangular shape of the
footing, the following correction can be suggested. For the case
1
0·01
0·001
0·0001
S
u
r
f
a
c
e

d
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
,
F
s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 15 20 25
Relative layer thickness, h/B
2·5
5
10
25
50
100
200
E E
1 2
/ 1 ϭ
0·1
500
1000
2000
Figure 2. Surface deflection factor at centreline of a square footing on a Burmister two-layer elastic system for E
1
/E
2
. 1
B L 33·5 m 39·5 m ϫ ϭ ϫ
q 134 kPa ϭ
D
f
3 m ϭ
3 m
8 m
Top layer ( 42·5 MPa, 0·35) E
T
ϭ ϭ ν
Bottom layer ( 60 MPa, 0·35) E
B
ϭ ϭ ν
z (m)
E
S
(sandstone) 500 MPa у
Figure 3. Elastic settlement below the centre of a flexible
foundation for Bowles (1988) example 5
.
6.
Geotechnical Engineering 163 Issue GE2 Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit Razouki 105
of a Boussinesq half-space, the effect of L/B on the surface
deflection factor at the centreline (where L refers to the length
and B the width of the rectangular footing) can be obtained
from Bowles (1988). For the given raft with L/B ¼ 39
.
5/33
.
5 ¼
1
.
18 the surface deflection factor I
5
(see Equation 1) becomes
I
5R
¼ 1
.
207, whereas for the square footing I
5S
¼ 1
.
122. Thus
I
5R
/I
5S
¼ 1
.
0757.
Similarly, according to Equation 1 of Boussinesq, the
approximate effect of Poisson’s ratio may be estimated as
1 Àí
2
a
1 Àí
2
u
¼
1 À 0
:
35 ð Þ
2
1 À 0
:
5 ð Þ
2
¼ 1
:
17
where ía is the actual Poisson’s ratio, and í
u
is the Poisson’s
ratio used.
Thus the settlement of 14
.
6621 mm at the centreline obtained
on the basis of this work should be multiplied by (1
.
17 3
1
.
0757 ¼ 1
.
2585) to give a more logical immediate settlement
of 18
.
45 mm, which is very close to the measured value of
18 mm as reported by Bowles (1988). It is worth mentioning at
this stage that if the immediate settlement is calculated on the
basis of the Boussinesq half-space a value of 98 mm will be
obtained, which is far from the actual measured settlement of
18 mm reported by Bowles (1988). This indicates the
importance of the developed charts.
Finally, because of the limitations of the charts for actual
ground conditions encountered by practising geotechnical
engineers, it is intended in the near future to extend the charts
to other (more actual) values of Poisson’s ratio, and to
rectangular footings, to encourage the application of the charts
in practice.
8. CONCLUSIONS
The main conclusions of this work can be summarised as
follows.
(a) The surface deflection at the centreline of a square footing
on a Burmister two-layer soil system obtained from the
developed solution of this work is in good agreement, for
the case of E
1
/E
2
¼ 1, with that obtained from the
Boussinesq solution.
(b) The surface deflection factor at the centreline of a square
footing on a Burmister two-layer elastic system depends on
the modular ratio and the geometry of the two-layer soil
system.
(c) For the case of a soft top layer over a stiffer bottom
layer, the surface deflection factor at the centreline of a
square footing increases with decreasing modular ratio,
especially for higher values of the relative layer thickness
h/B.
(d) For the case of a stiff top layer over a softer bottom layer,
the surface deflection at the centreline of a square footing
decreases with increasing modular ratio and increasing
relative layer thickness.
(e) There is a good agreement between the calculated and
measured surface deflection at the centreline of the raft
foundation studied by Bowles (1988).
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106 Geotechnical Engineering 163 Issue GE2 Elastic settlement of square footings on a two-layer deposit Razouki