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Table of Contents

1.0 Index Properties and Soil Classification .......................................................... 1

1.1 Index Properties ................................................................................................. 1

1.2 AASHTO Classification System ........................................................................ 4

EXAMPLE 1-2 .................................................................................................. 5

1.3 Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)....................................................... 6

EXAMPLE 1-3 .................................................................................................. 8

2.0 Phase Relationships .......................................................................................... 9

EXAMPLE 2-1 ................................................................................................ 12

EXAMPLE 2-2 ................................................................................................ 13

3.0 Laboratory and Field Tests .............................................................................. 15

3.1 Proctor Laboratory Tests ................................................................................. 16

4.0 Vertical Total and Effective Stress .................................................................. 18

4.1 Total Vertical Stress ......................................................................................... 18

4.2 Pore Water Pressure ........................................................................................ 19

4.3 Effective Vertical Stress ................................................................................... 20

EXAMPLE 4-1 ................................................................................................ 20

5.0 Retaining Walls ................................................................................................. 21

5.1 Earth Pressure Introduction ............................................................................ 21

5.2 Rankine Earth Pressure Theory ...................................................................... 21

EXAMPLE 5-1 ................................................................................................ 22

EXAMPLE 5-2 ................................................................................................ 23

6.0 Shear Strength .................................................................................................. 24

6.1 Intro to Shear Strength Parameters ................................................................ 24

7.0 Shallow Spread Foundations .......................................................................... 26

7.1 Types of Foundations ...................................................................................... 26

7.2 General Bearing Capacity Theory ................................................................... 26

EXAMPLE 7-1 ................................................................................................ 27

EXAMPLE 7-2 ............................................................................................... 27

8.0 Consolidation .................................................................................................... 28

8.1 Load Distribution in Soils ................................................................................ 28

EXAMPLE 8-1 ................................................................................................ 28

EXAMPLE 8-2 ................................................................................................ 28

EXAMPLE 8-3 ................................................................................................ 29

8.2 Consolidation in Clay Soils ............................................................................. 30

8.3 Rate of Consolidation ...................................................................................... 32

EXAMPLE 8-4 ................................................................................................ 33

9.0 Permeability & Seepage ................................................................................... 34

9.1 Coefficient of Permeability Laboratory Tests ................................................ 34

EXAMPLE 9-1 ................................................................................................ 35

EXAMPLE 9-2 ................................................................................................ 36

9.2 Flow Nets........................................................................................................... 37

EXAMPLE 9-3 ................................................................................................ 38

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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1.0 Index Properties and Soil Classification

1.1 Index Properties

Box 1-1: Grain-Size Indices

(Reference FESRH, Pg 134)

Sieve Analysis used to obtain the grain size distribution of coarse-grained soils

(sands and gravels) larger than 0.075 mm (retained above No. 200 Sieve).

Hydrometer Analysis used to obtain the grain size distribution of fine-grained

soils (finer sands, silts and clays) smaller than 0.150 mm (passing No 100

Sieve).

Box 1-2: Sample Grain Size Distribution Curves

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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Grain Size Distribution Curve (Box 1-2) is a plot of “percent finer” vs. “particle

diameter” in mm on a log scale.

Distribution shape indices, coefficient of uniformity, C

u

and coefficient of

curvature, C

c

indicate the general shape of the curve.

60

10

u

D

C

D

and

2

30

60 10

( )

c

D

C

D D

D

n

is the particle size (diameter in mm) at which “n” percent of the particles are

finer.

The “effective particle size” (D

10

) is the particle size at which 10% of the

particles are finer.

Example 1-1:

Determine the coefficient of uniformity and the coefficient of gradation of the “gap-

graded” and “well-graded” soils shown in Box 1-2 on the previous page.

Solution:

“Gap-Graded” Soil:

D

60

_____ mm, D

30

_____ mm, D

10

_____ mm

60

10

__________

u

D

C

D

2

30

60 10

_________

z

D

C

D D

“Well-Graded” Soil:

D

60

1.0 mm, D

30

0.15 mm, D

10

0.02 mm

60

10

1.0 mm

50

0.02 mm

u

D

C

D

2 2

30

60 10

(0.15 mm)

1.13

(1.0 mm)(0.02 mm)

z

D

C

D D

(Answers given in Appendix)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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Box 1-3: Atterberg Limits

(Reference FESRH, Pg 134)

The Atterberg Limits tests (Box 1-3) are designed to determine the plasticity

of finer grained soils. These tests are performed on the fraction less than 0.425

mm (passing the No. 40 Sieve).

The liquid limit (LL) is the moisture content at which the soil sample passes

from the plastic state to the liquid state.

The plastic limit (PL) is the moisture content at which the soil sample passes

from the semisolid to the plastic state.

The plasticity index (PI) is the difference in moisture content from the threshold

of the plastic to liquid state to the threshold of the semisolid to plastic state.

PI = LL - PL

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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1.2 AASHTO Classification System

Classification Procedures

1. Identify the percent passing the No.10, No. 40, and No. 200 sieves.

Identify the LL and PI of the fraction passing the No. 40 sieve.

2. Use AASHTO Classification Table (Box 1-4). Move from left to right

using process of elimination until the first group consistent with the

laboratory data is identified.

3. Calculate the group index or partial group index using the given

equations. If the equation yields a negative number, report it as zero.

Always round the Group Index (GI) to the nearest whole number.

Box 1-4: AASHTO Classification Table

(Reference FESRH, Pg 138)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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EXAMPLE 1-2

Determine the AASHTO Classification of soils A, B & C

Sieve No

Soil A

% Passing

Soil B

% Passing

Soil C

% Passing

No. 10 82 74 100

No. 40 46 52 90

No. 200 23 30 87

LL NP 25 71

PL NP 14 40

Solution:

Sample A:

LL = NP PI = _____

A) A-1-a

B) A-1-b

C) A-3

D) A-2-4

GI = ______

AASHTO Classification: ________

Sample B:

LL = 25 PI = _____

A) A-2-4

B) A-2-5

C) A-2-6

D) A-2-7

GI = ______

Classification: ________

Sample C:

LL = 71 PI = _____

A) A-5

B) A-6

C) A-7-5

D) A-7-6

GI = ______

Classification: ________

(Answers given in Appendix)

IMPORTANT TEST TIP:

Pay attention to the difference

between the “PL” and “PI”. If

the plastic limit is given:

PI = LL - PL

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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1.3 Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)

Group Symbols

First Letter: G Gravel

S Sand

M Silt

C Clay

Second Letter: For Course-Grained Soils - “G” or “S”

P Poorly Graded

W Well Graded

M Silty

C Clayey

For Fine-Grained Soils – “M” or “C”

L Low Plasticity

H High Plasticity or Elastic

Box 1-5: USCS Classification Table

(Reference FESRH, Pg 137)

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Classification Procedures:

1. Identify the percent gravel, percent sand and percent fines (using No. 4

and No. 200 sieves). Note that “fines” refer to soils passing the No. 200

sieve.

2. If the percent passing the No. 200 sieve is less than 50%, then the soil is

“coarse-grained”.

For soils with less than 5% fines, determine C

u

& C

c

to determine

group symbol (GW, GP, SW, or SP).

For soils with greater than 12% fines, determine the LL and PI of

fraction passing the No. 40 sieve and plot results on the

Casegrande Plasticity Chart to determine group symbol (GM, GC,

SM, or SC). If the fines plot in the “CL-ML” area, the group symbol

will either be GC-GM or SC-SM.

3. If the soil has 5 to 12 % fines, the soil will have a dual symbol.

First symbol will be GW, GP, SW, or SP, depending on values of C

u

& C

c

. Second symbol will be GM, GC, SM, or SC according to

where fines plot on the Casegrande Plasticity Chart. Only the

following combinations are possible:

GW-GM SW-SM

GW-GC SW-SC

GP-GM SP-SM

GP-GC SP-SC

4. If the percent passing the No. 200 sieve is greater than or equal to 50%,

then the sample is “fine-grained”.

Determine the LL and PI and plot results on Casagrande Plasticity

Chart. Note that “non-plastic” soil (PI < 4) classifies as non-plastic

silt (ML).

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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EXAMPLE 1-3

Determine the USCS Classification of soils A & B & C

Sieve No % Passing

Soil A

% Passing

Soil B

% Passing

Soil C

No. 4 100 98 77

No. 40 90 46 42

No. 200 87 23 10

LL 75 20 22

PI 20 6 5

C

u

26

C

c

0.2

Solution:

Sample A:

LL = 75 PI = 20

Gravel = _____ % Sand = _____ % Fines = _____ %

Coarse-grained or fine-grained?

USCS Group Symbol = _____

Sample B:

LL = 20 PI = 6

Gravel = _____ % Sand = _____ % Fines = _____ %

Coarse-grained or fine-grained?

USCS Group Symbol = _____

Sample C:

LL = 22 PI = 5

Gravel = _____ % Sand = _____ % Fines = _____ %

Coarse-grained or fine-grained?

USCS Group Symbol = _____

(Answers given in Appendix)

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2.0 Phase Relationships

Total Volume V = V

a

+ V

w

+ V

s

Total Weight W = W

w

+ W

s

V = V

v

+ V

s

Box 2-1: Phase Diagram

Box 2-2: Common Soil Properties

(Reference FESRH, Pg 134)

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Water content (ratio of weights) and saturation (ratio of volumes):

Moisture Content,

Weight of Water

100%

Weight of Solids

w

s

W

w

W

Degree of Saturation,

Volume of Water

100%

Volume of Voids

w

v

V

S

V

[True or False] The moisture content can be greater than 100%.

[True or False] The degree of saturation can be greater than 100%.

If the moisture content is 0%, what is the degree of saturation? _____

If the degree of saturation is 100%, what is the moisture content? _____

(Answers given in Appendix)

Unit weight is a generic term to describe a weight per unit volume. The

descriptive terms “total”, “saturated”, “dry”, and “effective” all indicate a specific

weight-volume relationship.

Total unit weight:

Total Weight

Total Volume

W

V

Saturated unit weight is a special case of total unit weight, when 100% of soil

voids are filled with water (S = 1.0)

( ) ( ) Total Weight of Saturated Soil

Total Volume 1 1

sat s w s

sat

t

W G e G e

V e w

Dry unit weight:

Weight of Solids

Total Volume 1 1

s s w

d

W G

V e w

[True or False] If the dry unit weight of a soil is 100 pcf, the moisture content

must be 0%.

(Answers given in Appendix)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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Unit weight of water represents the weight of water per unit volume of water:

3

lb

ft

Weight of Water

62.4 (see pg 19 of FESRH)

Volume of Water

w

w

w

W

V

Unit weight of solids represents the weight of solids per unit volume of solids:

Weight of Solids

Volume of Solids

s

solids s w

s

W

G

V

Void ratio and porosity are both volume ratios. These parameters are directly

related.

Volume of Voids

Volume of Solids 1

v

s

V n

e

V n

Volume of Voids

Total Volume 1

v

V e

n

V e

Specific gravity:

Unit Weight of Solids

Unit Weight of Water

solids s

s

w s w

W

G

V

Notes: Weight-volume relationships (weight, W, and unit weight, ) can also be

expressed as mass-volume relationships (mass, M, and density, ), for

example:

or

s s

s s

s w s w

W M

G G

V V

Where the relationship of weight to mass is as follows:

W Mg where g = 32.2 ft/s

2

(English) = 9.81 m/s

2

(SI)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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EXAMPLE 2-1

A soil has a volume of 0.3 ft

3

and weighs 36 lbs. The specific gravity (G

s

) of the

soil sample is 2.67 and the moisture content (w) is 18%. Determine the moist unit

weight ( ), dry unit weight (

d

), void ratio (e), porosity (n), and degree of saturation

(S):

V (ft

3

) W (lb)

A 0

W

S

V

t

= 0.3 W

t

= 36

Solution:

Compute the weight of water:

0.18

w s s

W wW W

Compute the weight of solids:

36 lb

s t w w

W W W W

therefore:

36 0.18

30.5 lb and 5.5 lb

s s

s w

W W

W W

Compute the volume of water:

3

5.5 lb

0.088 ft

62.4 pcf

w

w

w

W

V

Compute the volume of solids:

3

30.5 lb

0.183 ft

(2.67)(62.4 pcf )

s s

s

s s w

W W

V

G

Compute the volume of voids:

3 3 3

0.3 ft 0.183 ft 0.117 ft

v t s

V V V

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

13

Solve for required parameters:

Moist unit weight:

3

lb

3

ft

36 lb

120

0.3 ft

t

t

W

V

Dry unit weight:

3

lb

3

ft

30.5 lb

101.7

0.3 ft

s

d

t

W

V

Void ratio:

3

3

0.117 ft

0.64

0.183 ft

v

s

V

e

V

Porosity:

3

3

0.117 ft

0.39

0.3 ft

v

t

V

n

V

Degree of Saturation:

3

3

0.088 ft

0.75 (75%)

0.117 ft

w

v

V

S

V

Relative density, D

r

, is a special weight-volume relationship used in sands and

gravels (not applicable to fine-grained soils).

Expressed in terms of void ratio or dry unit weight as determined by lab test

(see FESRH, pg 134):

( ) ( )

(%) 100% 100%

( ) ( )

max d d min d max

r

max min d max d min d

e e

D

e e

EXAMPLE 2-2

For a given sandy soil (

d

)

max

= 116.6 pcf, (

d

)

min

= 90.9 pcf and G

s

= 2.71. What is

the in-situ void ratio if D

r

= 65%?

What do you need to do first?

Can you write an equation for e in terms of

d

and G

s

?

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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Solution:

Use the relative density equation to solve for the in-situ dry unit weight:

( ) ( )

100%

( ) ( )

d d min d max

r

d max d min d

D

( )

1

( )

d min

d

r

d d

max min

d max

D

d

90.9 pcf

106.1 pcf

0.65

1 116.6 pcf 90.9 pcf

116.6 pcf

Solve for the void ratio:

2.71(62.4 pcf )

1 1 0.59

106.1 pcf

s w

d

G

e

(Answers given in Appendix)

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3.0 Laboratory and Field Tests

Table 3.0: Summary of Common Laboratory Tests for Soils

Test Appropriate for Properties Measured

See

Chapter

Mechanical Sieve,

D422

gravel, sand

Fraction of particle size

distribution > 0.075 mm

1

Hydrometer, D422

fine grained

soils

(silt, clay)

Fraction of particle size

distribution < 0.075 mm

1

Relative Density,

D4253

coarse sand,

gravel

Relative density, D

r

2

Proctor, Std, D698,

Mod, D1557

sand, silt, clay Moisture-Density Relationship 3

CU Triaxial

Compression,

D4767

sand, silt, clay

With pore pressure

measurements, total, c, , and

effective, c’, ’, shear strengths

6

Consolidation,

D2435

clay

Preconsolidation stress,

settlement properties

8

Falling Head

Permeability,

D5084

fine sand, fine

grained soils

Hydraulic conductivity, k,

soils with

k < 10

-3

cm/sec

9

Constant Head

Permeability,

D5084

coarse grained

soils

Hydraulic conductivity, k,

soils with

k > 10

-3

cm/sec

9

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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3.1 Proctor Laboratory Tests

Compaction is densification of soil by the reduction of air in the soil voids. The

degree of compaction is measured in dry unit weight (dry density).

Standard Proctor Test (ASTM D698) and Modified Proctor Test (ASTM D1557)

Proctor curve cannot plot above the “zero voids” line, which is a plot of dry unit

weight (

d

) vs. moisture content (w), at 100 percent saturation (S=100%).

Box 3-1: A typical compaction test proctor curve

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EXAMPLE 3-1

Standard proctor test results are given in the following:

Volume of Mold

(ft

3

)

Wt. of Moist Soil

(lb)

Moisture Content

(%)

1/30 3.53 11

1/30 3.85 13

1/30 4.01 15

1/30 3.97 17

1/30 3.77 19

Determine the maximum dry unit weight of compaction and the optimum moisture

content.

Solution:

Prepare the following table:

Volume of

Mold

(ft

3

)

Wt. of Moist

Soil

(lb)

Moist Unit

Weight

(lb/ft

3

)

Moisture

Content

(%)

Dry Unit

Weight

(lb/ft

3

)

1/30 3.53 11

1/30 3.85 13

1/30 4.01 15

1/30 3.97 17

1/30 3.77 19

Use the data in this table to estimate the maximum dry unit weight (

d

) and the

optimum moisture content (w).

Maximum dry unit weight = _____ pcf

Optimum Moisture Content = _____%

(Answers given in Appendix)

Relative compaction is the ratio of the field dry unit weight to the maximum dry

unit weight.

( )

Field Dry Unit Weight

100%

( )

Max Dry Unit Weight

d field

d max

RC

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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4.0 Vertical Total and Effective Stress

Box 4-1: Vertical Stress Parameters

(Reference FESRH, pg 135)

4.1 Total Vertical Stress

Total vertical stress,

v

, is generated by gravitation force acting on the soil

mass.

v i i

z

where:

v

= Total vertical stress

i

= Total unit weight of the soil layer(s)

z

i

= Thickness of soil layer(s)

Box 4-2: Example for Total Stress

The total vertical stress at Point A for the soil profile shown in Box 4-2 can be

calculated as:

1 1 2 2 v

z z

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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4.2 Pore Water Pressure

Pore water pressure is the result of buoyant force, u, exerted by water in the

soil mass.

CASE 1: Pore water pressure in hydrostatic conditions (no flow). Use this

case by default unless otherwise specified.

w w

u z

where: u = Pore water pressure

w

= Unit weight of water

h

u

= z

w

= Depth below the groundwater surface

(for no flow = phreatic surface)

CASE 2: Pore water pressure in seepage conditions (1-D upward or

downward flow).

w p

u h

where: u = Pore water pressure

w

= Unit weight of water

h

u

= h

p

= Pressure (piezometric) head at the point of interest

Box 4-3: Case 1 (hydrostatic conditions with no flow) and

Case 2 (seepage conditions)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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4.3 Effective Vertical Stress

Effective Stress is the portion of the total stress that will be supported through

grain contact. The vertical effective stress, ’

v

, in a soil element at a depth, z, is

the difference of the total vertical stress imposed by the weight above, minus

the pore water pressure, u.

Effective vertical stress, ’

v

:

u

v v

'

where:

v

= Total vertical stress (lb/ft

2

or kN/m

2

)

’

v

= Effective vertical stress (lb/ft

2

or kN/m

2

)

u = Pore water pressure (lb/ft

2

or kN/m

2

)

EXAMPLE 4-1

Assuming hydrostatic conditions, determine the total and effective vertical

stresses at Points A and B for the soil profile shown:

Solution:

Total vertical stress:

Point A:

3 2

lb lb

ft ft

(62.4 )(10 ft) 624

v

Point B:

2 3 2

lb lb lb

ft ft ft

(624 ) (130 )(20 ft) 3224

v

Effective vertical stress:

Point A:

2 3 2

lb lb lb

ft ft ft

' 624 (62.4 )(10 ft) 0

v

Point B:

2 3 2

lb lb lb

ft ft ft

' 3224 (62.4 )(30 ft) 1352

v

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5.0 Retaining Walls

5.1 Earth Pressure Introduction

Earth pressure is the force per unit area exerted by soil. The ratio of horizontal

to vertical stress is called coefficient of lateral earth pressure (K).

'

and

'

h h

v v

K K

Earth pressure forces can be at-rest (a), active (b) or passive (c).

Box 5-1: Nature of Lateral Earth Pressure on a Retaining Wall

(Source: Das, 2007)

5.2 Rankine Earth Pressure Theory

For level backfill ( = 0):

2

tan (45 )

2

A

K and

2

tan (45 )

2

P

K

The total active resultant force (where = 0) is solved for by:

2

1 1

2 2

A A A

P p H K H

The total passive resultant force (where = 0) is solved for by:

2

1 1

2 2

p p p

P p H K H

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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EXAMPLE 5-1

A 10 ft high gravity retaining wall with flat backfill ( = 0) retains a clean sand for

which = 120 lb/ft

3

and = 32 . Using Rankine’s earth pressure theory, calculate

the total active earth pressure, and the active resultant force.

Solution:

Calculate the active earth pressure coefficient:

2 2

32

2 2

tan (45 ) tan (45 ) 0.307

A

K

Calculate the active earth pressure and resultant force:

(120 pcf )(10 ft)(0.307) 368 psf

A A

p HK

1 1

(368 psf )(10 ft) 1842 plf

2 2

A A

P p H

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

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EXAMPLE 5-2

The sandy soil with an internal angle of friction of 30 degrees is retained behind a

9-foot retaining wall has moist unit weight of 128 pcf. Due to poor drainage, the

water table has risen to 6 feet above the base of the wall. The saturated unit

weight of the soil is 135 pcf. What is the total active resultant force acting on the

wall?

Solution:

Determine the resultant active earth force, P

a

:

2

30

tan (45 ) 0.333

2

A

K

1 2 3 A A A A W

P P P P P

1

1 1 1

2

0.5 (0.333)(3 ft)(128 pcf ) (3 ft) 191.8 plf

A A

P K H H

2 1 2

(0.333)(3 ft)(128 pcf ) (6 ft) 767.2 plf

A A

P K H H

1

3 2 2

2

' 0.5 (0.333)(6 ft)(135 pcf - 62.4 pcf ) (6 ft) 435.2 plf

A A

P K H H

1

2 2

2

0.5 (6 ft)(62.4 pcf ) (6 ft) 1123.2 plf

W w

P H H

191.8 767.3 435.2 1123.2 2517.5 plf

A

P

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6.0 Shear Strength

6.1 Intro to Shear Strength Parameters

Box 6-1: Shear Strength References

(Reference FESRH, Pg 135)

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EXAMPLE 6-1

A triaxial test is performed on a soil sample consisting of dry sand. Failure occurred

at a normal stress of 6,260 psf and a shear stress was 4,175 psf. Determine the

internal angle of friction and the major and minor principal stresses.

Solution:

Compute the internal angle of friction:

When c = 0,

1 1

4175 psf

tan tan 34

6260 psf

F

N

Solve for

I

and

III

by writing two equations using the geometry of the Mohr’s circle

and shear strength plot:

2( ) 2(4175 psf)

cos 10, 072 psf

cos(34 )

2

F F F

I III

I III

I III

t

2

sin +3.49 28,122 psf

2

I III

N

I III N N

I III

I III I III

s

t

By solving simultaneously: 14,092 psf and 4,020 psf

I III

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7.0 Shallow Spread Foundations

7.1 Types of Foundations

Foundations can be classified as shallow or deep:

(a) Shallow: spread footings and mats

(b) Deep: Driven piles, drilled shafts, and piers

For shallow foundation, depth is shallower than its width.

For deep foundation, depth (D

f

) is larger than its width (B). Generally, deep

foundations have the ratio (10 D

f

/B).

7.2 General Bearing Capacity Theory

The ultimate bearing capacity is theoretically the bearing pressure at which

shear failure will occur.

Terzaghi’s general bearing capacity equation is given as:

0.5 q cN D N BN

ult c f q

where: q

ult

= Ultimate bearing capacity

c = cohesion

D

f

= Depth of footing

= Unit weight of the soil

B = Width or diameter of footing

N

c

, N

q

, N = Bearing capacity factors based on

The allowable bearing capacity is the maximum bearing pressure the soil can

safely support with a reasonable factor of safety (typically 2 to 3 for

foundations):

q

q

ult

q

all

FS

Note that bearing capacity and bearing pressure can be thought of in terms of

“supply” and “demand”. The allowable bearing capacity is the available supply,

which must be greater than or equal to the applied bearing pressure, which is

the demand placed on the soil.

all applied

q Q

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

27

EXAMPLE 7-1

Determine the ultimate and allowable bearing capacities for a continuous footing

with a width of 3.5 feet. The foundation is bearing 2 feet below the ground surface in

sand with unit weight of 130 psf, and an internal angle of friction of 36 degrees (c =

0). Assume a factor of safety of 3.0.

Solution:

Determine bearing capacity factors:

Nc = 50, N = 56, Nq = 38

1) Solve for the ultimate bearing capacity.

0.5

ult c f q

q cN D N BN

2 3 3

lb lb lb

ft ft ft

(0 )(50) (130 )(2 ft)(38) 0.5(130 )(3.5 ft)(56) 22,620 psf

ult

q

2) Solve for the allowable bearing capacity.

22,620 psf

7,540 psf

3

ult

all

q

q

FS

EXAMPLE 7-2

Determine the factor of safety for a continuous footing with a width of 3.5 feet

carrying a load of 18 kips per lineal foot (plf). The foundation is bearing 2 feet below

the ground surface in sand with unit weight of 130 psf, and an internal angle of

friction of 36 degrees (c = 0).

Solution:

1) Solve for the ultimate bearing capacity (from previous solution)

2 3 3

lb lb lb

ft ft ft

(0 )(50) (130 )(2 ft)(38) 0.5(130 )(3.5 ft)(56) 22,620 psf

ult

q

2) Solve for the bearing pressure.

18,000 lb

9000 psf

2 ft 1 ft

P

Q

A

3) Solve for FS

q

.

22,620 psf

2.5

9,000 psf

ult

q

q

FS

Q

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

28

8.0 Consolidation

8.1 Load Distribution in Soils

EXAMPLE 8-1

A point load with a magnitude of 180,000 lbs acts at the ground surface. Determine

the vertical stress increase due to the applied point load at a vertical distance of 10

feet, and depth of 20 feet from the point of application.

Solution: (Reference FESRH, pg 139)

For uniformly loaded circular and rectangular areas, the increase in vertical

stress is determined by:

s z

p q I

where: q

s

= Applied bearing pressure

I

z

= Influence factor

and:

load

area

s

q

EXAMPLE 8-2

A flexible rectangular area measures 10 by 20 ft in plan. It supports an applied

pressure of 3,000 psf. Determine the vertical stress increase due to the applied load

at a depth of 20 ft below the corner of the rectangular area.

Solution: (Reference FESRH, pg 140)

( )(3000 psf ) 360 psf Iq

(Answers given in Appendix)

2 2

10 ft

0.5 0.2733

20 ft

180, 000 lbs

(0.2733) 123 psf

(20 ft)

r

r

r

C

z

P

p C

z

10 ft 20 ft

0.5 1.0

20 ft 20 ft

B L

m n I

z z

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

29

EXAMPLE 8-3

A cylindrical concrete tank has an outer diameter of 80 feet and a height of 40 feet.

The concrete is 24 inches thick along the walls and base. The tank is designed to

hold water with a maximum depth of 35 feet. Determine the maximum increase in

vertical stress (psf) induced by the tank at a depth of 20 feet (Point A) and 40 feet

(Point B) below the base of the tank.

Solution:

Find the volume of concrete and volume of water:

2 2

3

4

80 ft 40 ft 76 ft 38 ft 28,676 ft

conc OD ID

V V V

2 3

4

(76 ft) (35 ft) 158,776 ft

w

V

Determine applied bearing pressure:

3 3

2

3 3

lb lb

ft ft lb

2

ft

4

150 28, 676 ft 62.4 158, 776 ft

2827

80 ft

conc conc w w

V V

q

A

q

Determine p at Point A:

Note the maximum increase in stress will occur at the center of the loaded area.

(See FESRH, pg139)

20 ft 0 ft

0.5 0

40 ft 40 ft

z

z r

I

R R

( )(2827 psf ) 2587 psf

A z s

p I q

Determine at Point B:

40 ft 0 ft

1.0 0

40 ft 40 ft

z

z r

I

R R

( )(2827 psf ) 1826 psf

B z s

p I q

(Answers given in Appendix)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

30

8.2 Consolidation in Clay Soils

Settlement of fine-grained soils occurs in three stages. Immediate settlement

occurs rapidly and is based on the theory of elasticity. Primary consolidation

occurs due the extrusion of water from soil pores. Secondary compression (aka

“creep”) occurs as soil particles readjust and compress.

Box 8-1: Three phases of settlement in fine-grained soils

(Source: Lui and Evett 2005)

The stress history of soils is summarized by:

For normally consolidated soils:

0 c

p p

For overconsolidated soils:

0 c

p p

where: p

o

= Initial (present) effective overburden pressure

p

c

= Preconsolidation pressure

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

31

Normally Consolidated:

0 c

p p

For a normally consolidated (NC) soil, primary consolidation settlement can be

calculated using the Compression Index, C

c

:

0

0

0 0

log

(1 ) (1 )

TOT

ULT v s s s

p p

Cc

p

e

S H H H

e e

Overconsolidated Case I:

0 0

and ( )

c c

p p p p p

For an overconsolidated (OC) soil where the final effective overburden pressure

does not exceed the preconsolidation pressure, primary consolidation

settlement can be calculated using the recompression index, C

r

:

0

0

0 0

log

(1 ) (1 )

TOT

ULT v s s s

p p

Cr

p

e

S H H H

e e

Overconsolidated Case II:

0 0

and ( )

c c

p p p p p

For an overconsolidated (OC) soil where the final effective overburden pressure

does exceed the preconsolidation pressure, primary consolidation settlement

can be calculated using the recompression index, C

r

and the compression

index, C

c

:

0

0 0 0

log log

(1 ) (1 )

TOT s c

ULT v s s

c

e H p p p

S H H Cc Cr

e e p p

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

32

8.3 Rate of Consolidation

Degree of consolidation U

AV

= S

t

/S

ULT

S

t

= settlement of the layer at time, t

S

ULT

= total settlement

The average degree of consolidation, U, of a saturated clay layer is a function

of the nondimensional time factor, T

v

where: T

v

= Time factor

c

v

= coefficient of consolidation

t = time

H

dr

= length of the drainage path

= H

s

/2 for two-way drainage

= H

s

for one-way drainage

(where H

s

is thickness of the layer)

Box 8-2: Two-Way and One-Way Drainage Paths

2

v

v

dr

c t

T

H

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

33

EXAMPLE 8-4

A 15-ft thick clay is bounded by sand at the top and bottom. The clay has a

coefficient of consolidation of 0.3 ft

2

/day. Determine the time when 50% and 90% of

the total settlement will occur.

Solution:

Double drainage H

dr

= _______

From Table FESRH, pg 141: For U = 50% T

v

= ____

For U = 90% T

v

= ____

Calculate the time for 50% and 90 % of consolidation to occur:

2

2 2

50

ft

day

(____)(7.5 ft)

37 days

0.3

v d

v

T H

t

c

2

2 2

90

ft

day

(____)(7.5 ft)

159 days

0.3

v d

v

T H

t

c

(Answers given in Appendix)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

34

9.0 Permeability & Seepage

9.1 Coefficient of Permeability Laboratory Tests

Constant head permeability test:

Box 9-1: Constant Head Apparatus

(Source: Coduto, 1999)

Appropriate for coarse-grained soils with permeability greater than 10

-3

cm/sec.

The coefficient of permeability via constant head is solved for by:

QL

k

hAt

where: Q = Volume of water

L

= Length of specimen between piezometers

A

= Cross-sectional area of specimen

t

= Duration of water collection

h

= Head difference

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

35

EXAMPLE 9-1

A constant-head permeability test was performed on a 110 mm diameter, 270 mm

tall fine sand sample in a permeameter similar to the one shown in Box 9-3. The

piezometers are spaced 200 mm apart and had readings of 1809 and 1578 mm. The

graduated cylinder collected 910 ml of water over 25 min 15 sec. Calculate the

hydraulic conductivity of the soil in cm/sec.

Solution:

Define the following parameters:

3

2 2

4

910 ml 910 cm

(11 cm) 95 cm

20 cm

180.9 cm 157.8 cm 23.1 cm

1515 sec

Q

A

L

h

t

Solve for k:

3

3

cm

sec

2

(910 cm )(20 cm)

5.5 10

(23.1 cm)(95 cm )(1515 s)

QL

k

hAt

Falling head permeability test:

Appropriate for fine-grained soils with permeability less

than 10

-3

cm/sec. The coefficient of permeability via falling

head is solved for by:

0

10

1

2.303 log

h aL

k

At h

where: h

0

= Head at the start of the test (t

0

)

h

1

= Head at the end of the test (t

1

)

L

= Length of specimen

A

= Cross-sectional area of specimen

a

= Cross-sectional area of standpipe

t

= Duration of water collection (t

1

-t

0

)

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

36

Box 9-2: Falling Head Apparatus

(Source: Coduto, 1999)

EXAMPLE 9-2

A falling-head permeability test was performed on a silty clay in a permeameter

similar to the one shown in Box 9-4. The diameter and length of the sample were

10.20 and 16.20 cm, respectively. The cross-sectional area of the standpipe was

1.95 cm

2

. The water in the standpipe dropped from a height of 100 cm at the start of

the test to 92 cm at the end of the test. The test duration was 35 minutes. Calculate

the coefficient of permeability in cm/sec.

Solution:

Define the following parameters:

2

2

81.7 cm

1.95 cm

16.2 cm

2100 sec

A

a

L

t

0

1

100 cm

92 cm

h

h

Solve for coefficient of permeability:

2

5

0

cm

10 10 sec

2

1

(1.95 cm )(16.2 cm) 100 cm

2.303 log 2.303 log 1.5 10

92 cm

(81.7 cm )(2100 s)

h aL

k

At h

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

37

9.2 Flow Nets

Laplace’s Equation represents energy loss through a resistive medium (i.e. flow

through soil). A flow net is a 2D graphical solution of Laplace’s Equation.

A flow net is a combination of flow lines and equipotential lines.

A flow line is a line along which a water particle travels.

There is no flow along equipotential lines, which are 90 degrees to flow lines.

The total head along an equipotential line is equal at all points.

The total flow rate (per unit width) though a flow net, is solved for by:

f

d

N

Q k h

N

where: Q = Total flow rate

N

f

= Number of flow channels in a flow net

N

d

= Number of potential drops

h = Head change from upstream to downstream

k = Coefficient of permeability

FE DS Civil Review Soil Mechanics and Foundations

38

EXAMPLE 9-3

For a flow net shown in the following figure, determine head loss at points A, B, and

C. The structure is approximately 100 feet long. Determine the flow rate in ft

3

/min

through the permeable layer. Assume hydraulic conductivity, k = 1.64 10

-4

ft/min.

.

Solution:

N

f

= ____ N

d

= ____

Total head loss (H) = ____

Head loss per drop = ____

Head loss at Pnt A = ____ Pnt B = ____ Pnt C = ____

Calculate seepage:

3

ft

__________

min

f

d

N

Q kH L

N

(Answers given in Appendix)

APPENDIX

Example 1-1

D

60

6 mm, D

30

0.3 mm, D

10

0.08 mm

60

10

6mm

75

0.08mm

u

D

C

D

;

2 2

30

60 10

(0.3mm)

0.1875

(6mm)(0.08mm)

z

D

C

D D

Example 1-2

Sample A

PI = NP

Classification: A-1-b

Sample B

PI = 11

Classification: A-2-6

Sample C

PI = 31

(87 35)[0.2 0.005(71 40)] 0.01(87 15)(31 10) 33.58 GI

Classification: A-7-5 (34)

6 mm

0.08 mm 0.3 mm

APPENDIX

Example 1-3

Sample A

Gravel: 100 – 100 = 0; Sand: 100 – 87 = 13; Fines: 87

Fine-Grained

Classification: MH

Sample B

Gravel: 100 – 98 = 2; Sand: 98 – 23 = 75; Fines: 23

Coarse-Grained

Classification: SC-SM

Sample C

Gravel: 100 – 77 = 23; Sand: 77 – 10 = 67; Fines: 10

Coarse-Grained

Classification: SP-SC

[True or False] The moisture content can be greater than 100%. - TRUE

[True or False] The degree of saturation can be greater than 100%. - FALSE

If the moisture content is 0%, what is the degree of saturation? 0 %

If the degree of saturation is 100%, what is the moisture content? > 0%

[True or False] If the dry unit weight of a soil is 100 pcf, the moisture content must

be 0%. - FALSE

Example 2-2

What do you need to do first?

Known information: (

d

)

min

, (

d

)

max,

D

r

= 65%

(

d

)

in-situ

G

s

= 2.71

Can you write an equation for e in terms of

d

and G

s

?

1 1

1

s w s w s w

d

d d

G G G

e e

e

APPENDIX

Example 3-1

Volume of

Mold

(ft

3

)

Wt. of Moist

Soil

(lb)

Moist Unit

Weight

(lb/ft

3

)

Moisture

Content

(%)

Dry Unit

Weight

(lb/ft

3

)

1/30 3.53 105.9 11 95.4

1/30 3.85 115.5 13 102.2

1/30 4.01 120.3 15 104.6

1/30 3.97 119.1 17 101.8

1/30 3.77 113.1 19 95.0

Maximum dry unit weight = 105 pcf; Optimum Moisture Content = 15 %

Example 8-2

(1.20)(3000 psf ) 360 psf Iq

Example 8-3

(0.915)(2827 psf ) 2587 psf

A z s

p I q

(0.645)(2827 psf ) 1826 psf

B z s

p I q

Example 8-4

Double drainage H

dr

= (15ft/2) = 7.5 ft

2

2 2

50

ft

day

(0.196)(7.5 ft)

37 days

0.3

v d

v

T H

t

c

;

2

2 2

90

ft

day

(0.848)(7.5 ft)

159 days

0.3

v d

v

T H

t

c

Example 9-3

N

f

= 4; N

d

= 8; Total head loss (H) = (20 ft – 8 ft) = 12 ft;

Head loss per drop = (12 ft/8 drops) = 1.5 ft/drop

Head loss at Pnt A = (1.5ft/drop) x 2 drops = 3 ft

Head loss at Pnt B = Pnt C = (1.5ft/drop) x 5 drops = 7.5 ft

3

4

ft

min

4 ft

(1.64 10 )(12ft) (100ft) 0.0984

8 min

f

d

N

Q kH L

N

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