Geotechnical Manual

October 2000

Geotechnical Manual
October 2000

Manual Notices
Manual Notice 2000-1
To: All Districts and Divisions
From: Kirby W. Pickett, P.E.
Functional Manual: Geotechnical Manual
Effective Date: August 29, 2000
Purpose
This manual is intended to guide the districts in performing geotechnical investigation and
design for project development.
Contents
The manual contains nine chapters – Field Surveys, Field Operations, Soil and Bedrock,
Classification and Logging, Engineering Properties of Soil and Rock, Foundations Design,
Retaining Walls, Slope Stability, Laterally Loaded Foundations, and Design Examples.
Instructions
This manual supersedes the previous Foundation Exploration and Design Manual.
Contact
For more information regarding any chapter or section in this manual, please contact the
Bridge Division Geotechnical Section.

Chapter 1
Field Surveys
Contents
This chapter contains the following sections:
Section 1 — Overview .......................................................................................................... 1-3
Introduction.......................................................................................................................................1-3

Section 2 — Preliminary Soil Surveys ................................................................................. 1-4
Overview...........................................................................................................................................1-4
Office Survey ....................................................................................................................................1-4
Field Survey ......................................................................................................................................1-5
Site Inspection...................................................................................................................................1-6
Data Acquisition ...............................................................................................................................1-7
Design Feature Consideration ...........................................................................................................1-7
Bridges ..............................................................................................................................................1-7
Retaining Walls and Embankments ..................................................................................................1-8

Section 3 — Final Soil Survey.............................................................................................. 1-9
Overview...........................................................................................................................................1-9
Existing Data.....................................................................................................................................1-9
Test Hole Location and Depth ........................................................................................................1-10
Subsurface Exploration Plan ...........................................................................................................1-12
Bridge Considerations.....................................................................................................................1-13
Stream Crossings ............................................................................................................................1-13
Grade Separations ...........................................................................................................................1-14
Load Considerations .......................................................................................................................1-14
Field Exploration ............................................................................................................................1-15
Retaining Wall Consideration .........................................................................................................1-15
Foundation Soil Investigation .........................................................................................................1-16
Soil Core Borings............................................................................................................................1-16
Groundwater ...................................................................................................................................1-17
Laboratory Testing ..........................................................................................................................1-17
Illumination and Signing Considerations ........................................................................................1-18
Slopes and Embankment Considerations ........................................................................................1-18
Cut/Fill Considerations ...................................................................................................................1-19
Soil Core Borings............................................................................................................................1-19
Groundwater ...................................................................................................................................1-19
Soil Testing .....................................................................................................................................1-19

Geotechnical Manual

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Chapter 1 — Field Surveys

Geotechnical Manual

Section 1 — Overview

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Field surveys are divided into two phases: ♦ Preliminary soil surveys ♦ Final soil survey The preliminary soil survey obtains general information about the site to guide general early project development.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction Field surveys are very important for obtaining information about field conditions for design. Geotechnical Manual 1-3 TxDOT 9/00 . Incorrect data or overlooked features can lead to inappropriate designs and costly field changes during construction. The final soil survey obtains detailed soils information to be used for final design of specific project features. The next two sections address both types of field surveys.

Survey Goals. Delineate any areas of exceptionally soft soils. Identify any soil instabilities such as slope failures or geologic faults. Survey Need. Preliminary soil surveys should accomplish the following goals: 1. The next subsections discuss ♦ Office survey ♦ Field survey Office Survey The purpose of the office soils survey is to examine all information in the files and literature. 3. constructing as little as six feet of fill can present a problem. Problem soil conditions may even dictate a different project alignment than that initially proposed: Building a grade separation in the middle of a swamp is not very feasible. 5. 4. Identifying problem soil conditions prior to schematic development will enable the designers to produce the most efficient and cost effective design. The need for a preliminary soil survey is most acute for large projects involving multiple bridges or retaining walls. Identify long term instabilities such as riverbed migration. which might yield useful information for the project.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 2 — Preliminary Soil Surveys Section 2 Preliminary Soil Surveys Overview The following paragraphs discuss preliminary soil surveys: ♦ Survey purpose ♦ Survey need ♦ Survey goals Survey Purpose. 2. In coastal areas with very soft soil. This office survey discussion covers ♦ Published literature ♦ Existing data Geotechnical Manual 1-4 TxDOT 9/00 . The purpose of the preliminary soil survey is to examine the general soil conditions at a construction project site. which will impact any proposed features of a project. Identify general soil and groundwater conditions at the site. Assess existing soil data. Embankments may also be critical depending on heights and soil strengths present at the site.

includes ♦ Old soil borings in plans ♦ Foundation construction records from permanent records (GSD Austin) ♦ Documentation of past construction problems from files or personnel Quite often the existing soil borings are adequate for the new construction proposed at a location if it is similar in scope to that which currently exists. which are costly or impossible to build. Failure to consider the site condition can lead to improper project features. Field Survey The purpose of the field soils survey is to determine which site conditions to consider in project planning. Discovering problem site conditions at the time of the final soil survey can require redesign of the project resulting in months or years of delay. If near surface soil conditions are important.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 2 — Preliminary Soil Surveys Published Literature. consider new borings if the surface soils are sensitive to moisture changes. Typical existing data. Typical soils information sources are ♦ Geologic maps (UT Bureau of Economic Geology) ♦ County soil survey (USDA) ♦ Topographic maps (USGS Quadrangle Maps) An examination of the literature gives a general idea of the soil and topographic conditions at the site. such as for retaining wall design. Figure 1-1 shows the results of failing to properly investigate the site. which is normally available. Existing Data. Examination of the topography can reveal problems such as sharp bends in stream channels subject to migration. Geotechnical Manual 1-5 TxDOT 9/00 .

Failure to do proper field investigation The next subsections give guidelines for these areas of field surveys: ♦ Site inspection ♦ Data acquisition ♦ Design feature considerations Site Inspection A visit to the proposed project site reveals such problems as ♦ Bodies of water which may need special consideration ♦ Soft soils indicated by wet areas or characteristic wet land vegetation ♦ Unstable slopes or stream banks ♦ Migrating river channels Immediately investigate any areas found which are soft at the surface if fill is to be placed or roadway built in the area. The excuse that the area is too soft for normal coring equipment to access is unacceptable. Geotechnical Manual 1-6 TxDOT 9/00 . Core borings need to be performed with special equipment intended for exploration in such areas.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 2 — Preliminary Soil Surveys Figure 1-1.

Groundwater Levels. Bridges Discussion on bridges in a preliminary soil survey covers these aspects: Geotechnical Manual 1-7 TxDOT 9/00 . gravity drainage is preferred to a pump station. only obtain one or two borings at a site. Since groundwater levels vary seasonally. If possible. Groundwater levels are especially important for facilities to be constructed below existing grade. Swell Potential. their presence on a project will be known. Should significant groundwater be present. Samples may also be tested in the laboratory in a triaxial shear device to determine strength or a consolidometer to determine compressibility. Soil Strengths. Design Feature Consideration Design features that warrant special attention at this time are ♦ Bridges ♦ Retaining walls and embankments While the exact location of these features may not be know at the time. Preliminary data to be obtained from the field normally consists of ♦ Soil strengths ♦ Compressibility (for very soft soils only) ♦ Groundwater levels ♦ Swell potential for expansive clays Due to the preliminary nature of the investigation at this point in project development.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 2 — Preliminary Soil Surveys Data Acquisition If a need for soil core borings is determined based on the site inspection. A simple bridge replacement project would not warrant preliminary borings. provisions for removing the water must be made in the project design. Swell potential for expansive clays may be evaluated using Test Method Tex-124-E. Soils that have significant swell potential may require stabilization. Groundwater levels are monitored with piezometers. soil core sampling or other appropriate testing should be scheduled. several months of observations are desirable to determine the maximum probable groundwater level. Texas Cone Penetrometer tests should be performed in firm soils. Soil strengths may be determined in the field with torvane testing on recovered cores or in place vane shear testing of soils too soft to be sampled. Compressibility.

Retaining Walls and Embankments The next paragraphs discuss ♦ Stability considerations ♦ Groundwater considerations Stability Considerations. Pier Location. Bridge approach embankment height may be limited based on soil strength and compressibility. Should a bridge pier be located in an unstable area. These features also exert significant vertical loads on the subgrade soils. locate bridges on a relatively straight section of a stream channel. The location of a structure with respect to stream meanders should be considered. the bridge approach height has been limited to approximately six feet (2m). the location of the main channel can change drastically. The location of bridge piers may also need to be altered to avoid unstable stream banks. Retaining walls proposed for cut sections must be evaluated for groundwater conditions. The result of excessive vertical loading may be settlement or bearing capacity failure. Groundwater Considerations. As the meanders migrate downstream.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys ♦ Approach embankment height ♦ Pier location ♦ Stream channel stability Section 2 — Preliminary Soil Surveys Approach Embankment Height. It is preferable that groundwater levels be observed for a year or longer to monitor seasonal variations. Geotechnical Manual 1-8 TxDOT 9/00 . If excessive groundwater volumes are suspected. Pump stations should also be designed with additional small pumps to handle base flow from groundwater. the foundations could be sheared off by a slope failure. Stream Channel Stability. If at all possible. monitor well pump down tests may be performed to determine the drainage system requirements. The presence of soft soils under bridge approaches may require that the bridge be longer than usual in order to reduce the height of the approach embankment. Retaining walls in fill sections and embankment fills have the same considerations as for bridge approaches. In extreme cases. The span lengths may have to be lengthened to span such areas. Subsurface stabilization methods may be utilized instead of reducing embankment height.

which is the weight of the drill stem when the test was performed. Any old borings that contain strength data are normally adequate for new construction. The goal is to obtain information for all project features at the same time. ) The next subsections offer guidelines on these final soil survey aspects: ♦ Existing data ♦ Test hole location and depth ♦ Subsurface exploration plan ♦ Bridge considerations ♦ Retaining wall considerations ♦ Illumination and signing considerations ♦ Slope and embankment considerations Existing Data Review all existing data prior to determining new data requirements. If the old plans predate the early 1950’s.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Section 3 Final Soil Survey Overview The purpose of the final soil survey is to obtain adequate data for the final design of a project. The project features for which data is necessary are ♦ Bridges ♦ Retaining walls ♦ Slopes and embankments ♦ Sign structures ♦ Illumination ♦ Sound walls ♦ Pavements All exploration should conform to the requirements set forth in Chapter 2. Old Texas Cone Penetrometer data typically has an additional value listed. making new borings necessary if a structure is to be replaced. Typically. the existing core data—even if only descriptive with no strength tests—is often adequate for the widening. no strength data is present. the foundation loads for a Geotechnical Manual 1-9 TxDOT 9/00 . Old bridge plans are the most common source of information. You can ignore this number and need not show it if the old borings are shown in new plans. Overview. Field Operations (see Section 1. If a bridge widening is proposed.

Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey widening are lower than for the initial construction. The next paragraphs offer discussion on these test hole location and depth topics: Geotechnical Manual 1-10 TxDOT 9/00 . and try not to space test holes more than 300 feet (100 meters) apart. consult the foundation construction records to verify as-built foundation lengths. The minimum number of test holes for common types of structures is illustrated in Figure 1-2. Test Hole Location and Depth The number of holes required for foundation exploration is determined by the complexity of the geological conditions and the length and width of the structure. The as-built lengths are then matched in the new construction. In this situation. Consider this test hole configuration the minimum.

Minimum number of test holes for common types of structures. Geotechnical Manual 1-11 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Figure 1-2.

a small number of preliminary borings should be obtained to aid in preliminary project layout. If the depth of the boring is questionable. Avoid these areas when locating test holes: ♦ Overhead power lines . give careful attention to such factors as ♦ Lowering of gradeline for an underpass ♦ Channel relocations and channel widenings ♦ Scour ♦ Foundation loads ♦ Foundation type As a general rule.always ♦ Underground utilities Avoid these areas if possible: ♦ Steep slopes ♦ Standing or flowing water Deviations within a 20-foot (6-meter) radius of the staked location normally would not be excessive. but note them on the logs and obtain the correct surface elevation.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys ♦ Test hole location ♦ Test hole depth Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Test Hole Location. The proper field performance of designs can only be assured when adequate soil borings are obtained. Subsurface Exploration Plan The next paragraphs cover these exploration plan topics: ♦ Preliminary borings ♦ Exploration plan variations Preliminary Borings.5 to 6 meters) deeper than the probable tip elevation of the foundation. embankment and cut slopes. Test Hole Depth. On major projects. retaining Geotechnical Manual 1-12 TxDOT 9/00 . Locate the test hole in an accessible area. drill a test hole 15 to 20 feet (4. Special attention should be paid to major structures where very high foundation loads may be encountered. When determining the location and depth of test holes. Preliminary borings will determine the influence of soils on pavement design. Make an estimate of the probable tip elevation from the results of Texas Cone Penetrometer tests and correlation graphs (Figures 5-14 through 5-18) and experience with foundation conditions in the area. consult the Bridge Division Geotechnical Section for a detailed analysis of the projected foundation loads and foundation capacities.

Major stream crossings require core borings in the channel if no existing data is available. Approximately one month of time is required to transport the barges to the project location. Make every attempt to obtain 100 percent core recovery where conditions warrant. a site inspection by the driller is necessary in order to evaluate site accessibility. Exploration Plan Variations. a boring in the channel may be necessary. Any requests for exploration requiring drilling in a channel should clearly state that barges are required. The usual set-up time to prepare the equipment for drilling on a body of water is one week. It should also be noted that the design of lighting poles and sign bridges also require soils information. and bridge lengths. Geotechnical Manual 1-13 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey walls. The exploration plan varies depending on the final use of the data. Should significantly different information be obtained from one side of the channel to the other. The primary purpose of a test hole is to gain as much information as needed and economically justifiable. Major Stream Crossings. Bridge Considerations Guidelines on the following topics appear below with respect to final soil surveys for bridge design: ♦ Stream crossings ♦ Grade separations ♦ Load considerations ♦ Field exploration Stream Crossings Discussion on these types of stream crossings appears below: ♦ Minor stream crossings ♦ Major stream crossings Minor Stream Crossings. In addition. Minor stream crossings do not require core borings in the river channel. Exploration for deep foundations is different than for retaining walls or slope stability. See Figure 1-3 for an example of a drill rig loaded on a barge. the final soil boring locations can be determined and appropriate soil testing specified. Once the preliminary soil borings are evaluated based on the design features to be constructed. For channels of less than approximately 200 feet (60 meters) in width. a boring on each bank as close to the water’s edge as possible will usually suffice.

A 15 to 20-foot (4. check to insure that an adequate foundation design can be performed from the boring data obtained. Once the initial boring is completed in the field. Additional testing may be required when Texas Cone Penetrometer tests are less than 5 blows per foot (300mm).5 to 6-meter) depth below the anticipated foundation depth is typical. Drill rig loaded on barges Plan foundation investigations for major stream crossings during times of seasonal low flows to allow maximum access. Grade Separations The normal boring interval for grade separations is approximately 200 to 300 feet (60 to 100 meters).Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Figure 1-3. perform additional borings for the bridge approach embankments. Obtain an initial estimate of the anticipated loads from the structure designer. Geotechnical Manual 1-14 TxDOT 9/00 . All too often boring inadequacies are discovered during the final structural design rather than during the foundation investigation. This has resulted in delays while additional core borings were performed. Load Considerations Exploration for bridge and other deep foundations should consider the magnitude of the foundation loads anticipated. This is usually in the summer. Holes drilled for embankments should concentrate on testing the upper soft soils with Texas Cone Penetrometer tests performed at 5-foot intervals as a minimum. If the structure borings indicate soft surface soils. The borings should extend a minimum of ten feet below the deepest foundation depth.

Fill out a complete soil and bedrock classification and log record for each test hole on THD Form 513. This is particularly important at proposed abutment locations for evaluating embankment stability. Soil Profile. Upper Soil Layer Tests. When testing by Texas Cone Penetrometer only. the logger plot a pencil profile of the material with test data using standard symbols. Test soft upper soil layers at 10-foot (3-meter) intervals in case a shallow foundation issue should arise during design. Test holes near each abutment of the proposed structure plus a sufficient number of intermediate test holes to determine the depth and location of all significant soil and rock strata 15 to 20 feet (4.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Field Exploration The exploration should include ♦ Test hole spacing ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer tests ♦ Upper soil layer tests ♦ Soil and bedrock classification ♦ Soil profile Test Hole Spacing. Soil and Bedrock Classification. When taking triaxial samples. If a cohesionless material cannot be recovered while sampling for triaxial test samples. If reasonable correlation is not obtained. If high fills are expected or exceptionally soft soils are encountered. A reasonable correlation between holes should be obtained. Retaining Wall Consideration The next subsections discuss these aspects of investigation for retaining wall design: ♦ Foundation soil investigation ♦ Soil core borings Geotechnical Manual 1-15 TxDOT 9/00 .5 meters) of non-recoverable material.5 to 3-meter) intervals beginning at 5 feet (1. additional test holes may need to be drilled. perform a Texas Cone Penetrometer test every 10 feet (3 meters). Logging). during foundation exploration. Section 3. including all information called for to complete the form (see Chapter 3. additional exploration may need to be performed in accordance with the section on exploration for slope stability. For large structures. as well as structures where the formations are nonuniform. take a penetrometer test of each 5 feet (1.5 meters) of depth. The logger and the engineer can use a study of this profile to help to determine where additional test holes are needed. run a test at the first indication of a material change. it is recommended that. Texas Cone Penetrometer Tests.5 to 6 meters) below the probable founding elevation. Perform Texas Cone Penetrometer tests should be performed at 5 or 10-foot (1.

This is only a small sample of issues. which can surface after a field investigation is completed. no additional testing is required. Walls anticipated as drilled shaft walls due to the proximity of a right of way line might not be feasible in low strength soils. Include the following in your exploration: ♦ Soil borings ♦ Boring depth ♦ Cut considerations ♦ Soft soil samples ♦ Other soil sampling ♦ Need for prompt sampling Soil Borings. no borings at all may need to be obtained based on previous experience or existing borings in the area. samples may be obtained for triaxial testing. When additional testing is deemed necessary. Special details may be necessary to accommodate groundwater in depressed sections. which will not fit within the right of way. Install a piezometer in at least one borehole for monitoring for cut walls. The strength of foundation soils may severely limit the height of walls. Soft soils typically have less than 10 blows per foot by the TCP test. Soil Core Borings Obtain soil core borings for walls greater than 10 feet (3 meters) tall in areas with questionable soils. Taller walls may warrant additional testing. In areas with very firm soils. Walls under ten feet tall require only minimal exploration if any at all. boring spacing should not exceed 500 feet (150 meters) in firm soils. Tiedback walls may need to be substituted with a resultant increase in right of way required. Texas Cone Penetrometer testing alone is adequate. Walls in depressed sections of roadways should be investigated for groundwater. When the Texas Cone Penetrometer values are more than 10 blows per foot (per 300 millimeters) for a proposed wall height of 20 feet (6 meters) or less. Soft soils behind a proposed tiedback wall may require the use of longer tiebacks. For most soils. Obtain soil borings at approximately 100 to 200 foot (30 to 60 meter) interval in areas with soft soils. Additional soil testing beyond normal Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) testing is often required for evaluation of wall stability. For soils softer than 3 to 4 blows per foot (per 300 Geotechnical Manual 1-16 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 1 — Field Surveys ♦ Groundwater ♦ Laboratory testing Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Foundation Soil Investigation Perform a detailed investigation of the foundation soils for retaining walls in advance of final design. which can be built without costly foundation improvement. Longer bridges and shorter walls may be more cost effective on soft soils. In general.

Borings for walls constructed in cuts should have adequate penetration below the bottom of the cut with ten feet being considered a minimum. and create a long-term drainage problem.5 meters) unless rock is encountered. Other Soil Sampling. Need for Prompt Sampling. The soil strength behind these wall types is critical to their design. weekly or monthly. Sampling for triaxial testing should not normally be attempted in hard formations or when gravel is present. In no case should borings extend more than five feet into rock for fill walls. Monitor groundwater levels with piezometers.5-meter) borings are adequate for most walls. which must be addressed in the project design. Laboratory Testing Tests conducted in the laboratory include the triaxial compression and consolidation tests. Boring Depth. The consolidation test is used to evaluate potential settlement of embankments. Exploration may include undisturbed samples for triaxial tests when foundation stability is an issue on soft soils. The triaxial test is useful for determining the shear strength at various overburden pressures for determining wall stability. Both tests require that undisturbed samples be obtained and carefully packaged for transport Geotechnical Manual 1-17 TxDOT 9/00 . Special details may be necessary to accommodate groundwater in depressed sections. Typically.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey millimeters). Cantilever drilled shaft walls will require the depth of boring to extend the anticipated depth of the shaft below the cut which is typically between one and two times the height of the wall. Begin sampling or testing as soon as possible in the boring. The depth of the boring should always consider the final grade lines taking into account any cuts to be made.5 meters). Borings for cut walls may need to penetrate rock significant distances depending on the depth of the cut. The minimum depth is 15 feet (4. and in no case deeper than 5 feet (1. Laboratory Tests. in-place vane shear testing may need to be performed depending on wall height. Very soft soils (less than five blows per foot TCP) will often require the in-place vane shear testing to accurately evaluate the soil strength.5meter) penetration into rock is adequate with the boring terminated at this point. 25-foot (7. over a period of several months for any walls to be built in depressed sections. Soft Soil Samples. Groundwater seepage can create soil instability during construction. Section 4. Soil nailed and tieback retaining walls require that the soil behind the proposed face of wall be tested and sampled if necessary. Cut Considerations. The depth of the boring should normally be as deep as the height of the wall. Five-foot (1. increase design loads on temporary shoring. described in Chapter 4. Groundwater Groundwater can present a serious problem for roadway sections constructed below existing grade.

Very soft samples require special packaging to minimize disturbance during transport. In soft soils the depth should be 40 feet (12 meters). Two conditions must be examined: ♦ Short-term stability ♦ Long-term stability Short-term Stability. The soil mass is usually the side slope of an embankment or the side slope in a cut. The next subsections give guidelines for these topics in regard to slope and embankment problems: ♦ Cut/fill considerations ♦ Soil core borings ♦ Groundwater ♦ Soil testing Geotechnical Manual 1-18 TxDOT 9/00 . Slope stability generally refers to a rotational soil failure of a soil mass. Inadequate field investigations can lead to project construction delays while slope stability issues are addressed. Long-term Stability. so experience with past embankments in the area must be used to determine acceptable side slopes.5 meters) for overhead sign structures in average soils. The depth of the boring should be approximately 25 feet (7. High mast illumination borings should be 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters) deep depending on ♦ Soil consistency ♦ Height ♦ Design wind speed Slopes and Embankment Considerations Slope and embankment problems can seriously impair the serviceability of a facility.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey to a laboratory for testing. Long-term stability affects side slopes and may require laboratory testing of undisturbed soil samples for evaluation. Illumination and Signing Considerations Conduct foundation investigations for high mast illumination and overhead sign structures when other borings are not located nearby. Proposed embankments obviously cannot be sampled and tested. Short-term stability can usually be evaluated with TCP testing of the soil beneath the proposed embankment.

Deep-seated failures of newly placed embankments involve the short-term soil Geotechnical Manual 1-19 TxDOT 9/00 . Also. Based to the size of the embankment.5 meters) high in areas with questionable soils. Texas Cone Penetrometer testing alone is adequate. Groundwater The presence of ground water in cut sections can require the use of additional drainage features in a project. Also. the reduction in stress can result in softening of the sideslopes with subsequent slope stability problems. Soil Testing Most slope and embankment problems are the result of long-term softening of high plasticity clay soils. Sample the soil under future embankments much as for retaining walls. no borings at all may need to be obtained based on previous experience or existing borings in the area. This stress increase may lead to a stability failure or excessive settlement when the fill is built on soft soils. Seepage forces in sideslopes can reduce slope stability. Soil may need to be sampled in proposed cuts to determine the allowable slope angle for stability.5 meters) in soft soils. French drains may need to be installed on the outside edge of the roadway to intercept water inflow. Soil in Proposed Cuts. The exploration should include ♦ Soil under future embankments ♦ Soil in proposed cuts Soil Under Future Embankments. determine groundwater levels in cut sections since this will affect stability. Pavement under drains may also be necessary to relieve hydrostatic pressure underneath the roadway. Removing natural soil to lower a roadway profile reduces the state of stress in the soil.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey Cut/Fill Considerations Constructing a fill increases the state of stress in the underlying soil. soil borings may need to extend deeper than 25 feet (7. Borings normally only need to extend five to ten feet below the finished grade of the cut. This reduction can result in heave in expansive soils. Soil Core Borings Obtain soil core borings for cuts greater than 10 feet (3 meters) deep or embankments greater than 15 feet (4. In areas with very firm soils. As a result. Test and sample soft soils as necessary. knowledge of the groundwater conditions is desirable for roadway cuts. For most soils. This type of stability problem manifests itself after a number of years as shallow mudflow type failures within the side slope.

Long-term Property Tests. The long-term strengths of clays soils may also be estimated based on the plasticity index property. The long termed or drained soil properties may be determined from ♦ Consolidated Undrained Triaxial Test ( R ) ♦ Drained Direct Shear Test These tests take days to weeks to perform and are quite expensive. while the results are sometimes inaccurate and difficult to apply.Chapter 1 — Field Surveys Section 3 — Final Soil Survey properties of the subgrade soils. The following soil tests are appropriate for these two conditions: ♦ Short-term property tests ♦ Long-term property tests Short-term Property Tests. The short termed or undrained soil properties may be determined from ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer ♦ In Place Vane Shear ♦ Triaxial Test (UU) ♦ Direct Shear test These tests may all be conducted quite rapidly and inexpensively. Geotechnical Manual 1-20 TxDOT 9/00 .

....2-10 Barge Work .................................................................... 2-14 Overview..................................................................2-23 Reading Frequency Guidelines ..............................................................................2-24 Inclinometers ...........................................................2-23 Piezometer Use .....................................................................................................................................................2-17 In-place Vane Shear Test ....................................................................................................................................................................................2-4 Core Drill Equipment...................2-8 Utility Clearance ......................................................................................................Chapter 2 Field Operations Contents This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview .................................................................... 2-4 Overview.........................................................................................................................2-23 Piezometer Installation Procedure ...................................................................................................2-24 Pneumatic Piezometer Alternative ............2-22 Piezometers ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................2-21 Monitoring Methods ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................2-14 Field Tests and Equipment...2-12 Wash Sampling or Fishtail Drilling .2-6 Site Preparation ................................................................................................................................................................................................................2-12 Push Barrel or Shelby Tube Sampler ....................................................2-6 Access .....2-3 Section 2 — Drilling ..................................................................................................................................2-17 Torvane & Pocket Penetrometer ....................................................................2-14 Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) Test ............................................................................................... 2-3 Introduction......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2-12 Overview....................................................................................................................2-24 Geotechnical Manual 2-1 TxDOT 9/00 ..........................................2-9 Traffic Control .....................................................................................................2-11 Section 3 — Sampling Methods ....................................................................................................................2-4 GSD Drill Rig ..........................................................................................2-24 Inclinometer Use ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................2-12 Diamond Core Barrel ..........................................................................2-14 Standard Penetration Test (SPT) ...........2-13 Section 4 — Field Testing .......................................................................................................2-10 Drill Hole Filling ...............................2-24 Inclinometer Description .................................2-10 Drilling Mud ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................2-12 Dry Barrel or Single Wall Sampler .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Chapter 2 — Field Operations Geotechnical Manual Section 1 — Overview 2-2 TxDOT 9/00 .

explore and analyze each job site considering ♦ Subsurface conditions ♦ Specific type of proposed features ♦ Foundation loads The engineer in charge of the foundation exploration must endeavor to furnish complete data in order to make a study of practical design options. Geotechnical Manual 2-3 TxDOT 9/00 . To acquire reliable engineering data. Procedures for foundation exploration for sites cannot be reduced to a simple guideline to fit all existing conditions.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction Foundation exploration is one of the first steps in the design process.

Figure 2-1 shows wet rotary drilling with a Falling 1500 drill rig. The following are some detailed items to consider prior to commencing core drill operations: ♦ Core drill equipment ♦ GSD Drill Rig ♦ Site preparation ♦ Access ♦ Utility clearance ♦ Traffic control ♦ Drilling mud ♦ Barge work ♦ Drill hole filling Most of these items are common to either department drilling operations or the use of drilling consultants. Utility clearance is an essential item that cannot be taken lightly or ignored. Bridge foundation exploration is accomplished with wet rotary core drill rigs.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Section 2 Drilling Overview Successful soil exploration requires careful advance planning to be conducted in the most expedient manner. Disrupted utilities can result in a tremendous liability to the department. Proper drill site selection and preparation are essential to minimize drill rig standby time and associated charges. Three wet rotary drill rigs operate in Texas as follows ♦ General Services Division (GSD) Austin ♦ Houston District Geotechnical Manual 2-4 TxDOT 9/00 . Core Drill Equipment Discussion follows on these areas of core drill equipment: ♦ Department drill rigs ♦ Drilling consultants ♦ District responsibility ♦ Special materials ♦ Rig features Department Drill Rigs.

Drilling consultants use both wet rotary and continuous flight hollow stem auger drill rigs. The terms of the individual consultant contract dictates how the contractor interacts with department forces and what services the department must supply. This includes ♦ Special core barrels ♦ Casing and drill stem ♦ Field testing equipment ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer equipment The GSD will assist the districts in any required manner with the operation and maintenance of the equipment. The charges for the operation of the rigs are made to the specific jobs involved. Special Materials. The Bridge Division geotechnical engineers are available to districts to assist with any special exploration needs or drilling problems. The operation of the departmental drill rigs and the responsibility for the personnel are the responsibility of the districts in which the rigs are located. The General Services Division has the responsibility of furnishing the districts the special material listed in the Core Drill Parts Catalog. District Responsibility. each rig serves some surrounding districts. Generally. Drilling consultants are used when additional drilling capacity is needed. Geotechnical Manual 2-5 TxDOT 9/00 . The scheduling of the Austin based rig is directed by the Bridge Division Geotechnical Section with rig maintenance and personnel furnished by the General Services Division (GSD).Chapter 2 — Field Operations ♦ Section 2 — Drilling Beaumont District Figure 2-1. Exploration work is scheduled according to priority by mutual agreement between the districts as well as specific assignments by the Bridge Division. Wet rotary drilling with Failing 1500 drill rig Drilling Consultants.

The rotary core drill rigs are mounted on trucks. Within each district.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Rig Features. requests for drilling should be made six months in advance of the time the information is needed. The water truck is equipped with ♦ Storage space for • • • • Drill stems Casings Bits Other tools ♦ Water tank with a capacity of 450 to 800 gallons (1700 to 3000 liters) ♦ Vacuum water pump and hose for obtaining drilling water from any accessible source GSD Drill Rig Scheduling the GSD drill rig is a responsibility of Bridge Division Geotechnical Section. Normally. Since rain. the GSD core drill works four ten-hour days. it is normally recommended that the most difficult holes be drilled first if they are accessible. has a water truck. Due to the long lead times for the Austin core drill. Monday through Thursday. In addition to the three-person crew of the GSD drill rig. the district representative coordinates job priorities with the Geotechnical Section of the Bridge Division. Site Preparation The next paragraphs deal with these site preparation issues: ♦ Level drill pad ♦ Overhead clearance ♦ Underground utility locations Geotechnical Manual 2-6 TxDOT 9/00 . The truck engine powers these rigs through a power takeoff mechanism that utilizes the truck transmission to give a wide range of power and speed at the drill head. water and mud are major hindrances. saving the most convenient holes for last or to drill when the others can't be reached. in addition to the rig. Other features of the rigs include ♦ Reciprocating type mud pump ♦ Hydraulically powered pull down ♦ Retracting drill head ♦ Portable mud pan Each core drill unit. the district must supply one person to log the core borings.

The kelly and mast of the drill rig are fixed to the truck bed and cannot swing. Underground Utility Locations. It is not safe to work within 25 feet (7. Drilling sites need to be prepared prior to arrival of the drill crew. If it is necessary to work closer. The mud pan must be level or slightly down slope. as some auger rigs can.6 meters) of an overhead power line.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Level Drill Pad. The truck is equipped with hydraulic jacks that can lift the front of the truck one-foot off the ground and one-foot on either side to accommodate uneven terrain. Trees cannot block the raising of the mast. the crew is not allowed to block up the jacks to accommodate greater slope angles. Overhead must be clear of obstructions. See Figure 2-2 for drill site requirements. the district will be asked to contact the power company to cut the power or install insulating safety boots. For safety reasons. The bed of the drill truck must he leveled in order to drill a vertical hole. Prior to extensive site work. If the slope of the site is steeper than one foot. You must know the exact location of underground utilities including ♦ High pressure gas lines ♦ Water lines ♦ Sewer and storm sewer lines ♦ Electrical and telephone conduits and cables The driller will be available to inspect locations and make recommendations on site preparation. consult the driller who performs the work for specific instructions. since waiting time is charged at the same rate as drilling time. Overhead Clearance. Often it is possible to begin drilling easy sites while preparing more difficult sites. the district needs to prepare a work pad 16 feet (5 meters) wide and 70 feet (20 meters) long to provide for leveling the rig and providing a safe place for the crew to handle the drill stem. Geotechnical Manual 2-7 TxDOT 9/00 .

Access District personnel should insure that the drill crew has access to drill sites upon arrival.500 kilograms) Geotechnical Manual 2-8 TxDOT 9/00 . Bridges to be crossed must have a capacity of at least 32. Drill Site Requirements. Problems have arisen in the past from hostile farm animals and uncooperative landowners.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Figure 2-2.000 pounds (14.

Figure 2-3 is an example of a general warning about the presence of utilities.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Utility Clearance All locations proposed for drilling must be cleared for utilities prior to arrival of the core drill. Geotechnical Manual 2-9 TxDOT 9/00 . When utilities are present. the exact utility location should be marked on the ground with paint or flags. Avoid verbal communication of approximate locations. their exact location should be clearly marked by the utility company. If drilling close to utilities.

but resupply is expected from the District Warehouse. Utility sign marking cable location The current number to phone for utility clearance is 1-800-545-6005. signs and cones when appropriate. Calls to this number automatically rotate to the three notification centers. The district will also have to provide personnel for assembly and launching of the barges. Drilling Mud Drilling mud is available from the General Warehouses for use with the GSD drill rig. The district representative should contact the Bridge Division Geotechnical Section core drill coordinator as soon as the need is known so use of the barges can be planned with adequate lead-time. Associated charges will be made directly to the appropriate district account. barges are used to obtain foundation information. Geotechnical Manual 2-10 TxDOT 9/00 . but a general rule of thumb is a bag and a half per hole. flaggers.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Figure 2-3. The crew normally moves with five to ten bags. See Figure 1-3 for a photo of a drill rig on a barge. Requirements vary widely with drilling conditions. Utility clearance must be obtained at least 48 hours and no more than 14 days prior to commencing core drilling. The three notification centers may be contacted directly as follows: ♦ Texas Excavation Safety System (TESS) 1-800-344-8377 ♦ Lone Star Notification Center 1-800-669-8344 ♦ Texas One Call 1-800-245-4545 Traffic Control The district will provide traffic control. Barge Work When a bridge must cross large bodies of water.

If surface contamination of lower aquifers or cross contamination is a concern. This is especially important in urban areas where ground contamination from leaking underground storage tanks is a common occurrence. backfill the hole with bentonite pellets or grout. Geotechnical Manual 2-11 TxDOT 9/00 . This prevents injury to livestock or people in the area and also minimizes the entry of surface water into the borehole.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 2 — Drilling Drill Hole Filling Drill holes must be filled or plugged.

This sampler recovers very good Geotechnical Manual 2-12 TxDOT 9/00 . The diamond barrel sampler has an inner and outer barrel. The core sample obtained is generally in a disturbed condition due to the pressure applied when cutting the core and packing it into the barrel for recovery.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 3 — Sampling Methods Section 3 Sampling Methods Overview This section discusses the following sampling methods: ♦ Dry barrel or single wall sampler ♦ Diamond core barrel ♦ Push barrel or Shelby Tube Sampler ♦ Wash sampling or fishtail drilling Dry Barrel or Single Wall Sampler The dry barrel sampler is commonly used to obtain cores for visual soil and bedrock classification and logging. The inner barrel is slightly oversized with a spring loaded core retainer at the bottom. Push Barrel or Shelby Tube Sampler The next paragraphs cover these push barrel sampler topics: ♦ Push barrel sampler description ♦ Push barrel sampler procedure Push Barrel Sampler Description. Although this method is called the dry barrel method. The push barrel sampler is used to obtain relatively undisturbed soil samples for field and laboratory tests and soil classification. Diamond Core Barrel Diamond core barrels are used to obtain intact rock samples for field or laboratory tests and classification. except very soft clays (mucks) and cohesionless sands. In hard formations. This device consists of a thin walled tube 24 to 36 inches (600 to 900 millimeters) long with one end sharpened to a cutting edge and the other end reinforced and designed for easy attachment to the drill stem coupling. When used for sampling in practically all foundation materials. a smaller volume of water is circulated while cutting the core. the dry barrel sampler obtains a sample containing all components in the original formation. The core is extracted from the barrel by water pressure. The amount and degree of disturbance depends upon the consistency and/or density of the material. circulating water is used. It employs the principle of steadily pushing the thin walled tube into the formation with the hydraulic pull down of the drill rig.

Geotechnical Manual 2-13 TxDOT 9/00 . support soft samples in their cartons. Store samples that are not immediately tested in a moist room. Bring push barrel to surface detach barrel from coupling mount barrel on the hydraulic sampler extruder extrude core. Fine dry sand poured around the sample in the carton provides excellent support during transport. Place samples in cartons for transport to the laboratory for testing. A step table of this procedure appears below: Step 1 2 3 3a 3b 3c 4 5 Push Barrel Sampler Procedure Action Force sampler into formation with slow. Therefore.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 3 — Sampling Methods undisturbed samples where it is adaptable. Attempts to classify the soil materials by watching the wash water may lead to erroneous conclusions about the subsurface soils being penetrated. but its usefulness is limited to materials which it can be forced into and which have sufficient cohesion to remain in the barrel while the sampler is being withdrawn from the hole. To insure minimum disturbance. Cut core into 6 inch (150 mm) lengths and wrap in thin plastic (plastic wrap for foods) to retain moisture content. steady push to within 3 to 4 inches (75 to 100 mm) of length. only those that offer an opportunity for sampling and testing the foundation materials without excessive disturbance are recommended. When sampling soft soils. sample disturbance can be a problem during transport to the testing location. Wash Sampling or Fishtail Drilling Although there are many methods for penetrating overburden soils. and instruct the core driller not to utilize this method unless absolutely necessary. Rotate sampler several turns to shear off core at bottom before withdrawing it. do not use wash sampling or fishtail drilling. Push Barrel Sampler Procedure.

the Bridge Division formed a bridge foundation soils group. The test utilized a hardened conical point that could be driven into soil or hard rock. the in situ test better evaluated rock formations that are difficult to test in the laboratory under realistic confining pressures. This group oversaw foundation design and field load tests of foundations for capacity verification. Development. This eliminated the need to obtain samples for laboratory testing saving valuable time and money. Around this time. Prior to 1940. The Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) test was then developed with cooperation from the Materials & Tests and Equipment & Procurement Divisions.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing Section 4 Field Testing Overview This section covers field tests and equipment and monitoring methods. One of the first projects of the foundation soils group was to develop a reliable soil test method for use in all soil and rock types with the exploration drill rigs. Furthermore. no consistent soil testing was performed to determine soil and rock load carrying capacity for foundation design. Geotechnical Manual 2-14 TxDOT 9/00 . Field Tests and Equipment Field tests and equipment include ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) Test ♦ Standard Penetration Test ♦ In-place Vane Shear Test ♦ Torvane and pocket penetrometer Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) Test The next paragraphs discuss these elements of the TCP test: ♦ Need ♦ Development ♦ First use ♦ TCP test procedure and guidelines ♦ TCP correlation graphs ♦ Old TCP data Need.

5. Drive cone 12 inches into relatively soft materials or 100 blows into hard materials. Predicted foundation capacities and field load test results continue to correlate exceptionally well. Seat penetrometer cone. Place automatic hammer on top of anvil. Attach anvil to top of drill stem. Drive cone 12 inches into relatively soft materials or 100 blows into relatively hard materials. (It is interesting to note that the Standard Penetration Test was developed at about the same time. the shear strengths of various soils were correlated with the Texas Cone Penetrometer test results. The test is performed as follows: Step 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TCP Test Procedure Action Attach penetrometer cone to drill stem. Make TCP test at regular intervals and changes in stratum. Lower stem to bottom of cored hole. Make reference marks. Drive the penetrometer cone 12 blows or 12 inches (300 mm). 7. Lower stem to bottom of cored hole. 2. Attach 3-inch (75-millimeter) diameter penetrometer cone to the drill stem. 7a. Make reference marks on the drill stem at 6-inch (150-millimeter) increments to prepare for the test. Attach the anvil to the top of the drill stem. 3. a total of 12 inches (300 mm) into relatively soft materials.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing First Use. Place the automatic 2' (600mm) drop tripping mechanism with the 170-pound (77kilogram) hammer in position on top of the anvil. whichever comes first. (Refer to the penetrometer point and hammer in Figures 2-4 Geotechnical Manual 2-15 TxDOT 9/00 . Texas Cone Penetrometer data first started to appear in department plans around 1954. During the next fifteen years. 1. to seat it in the soil or rock.) The Texas Cone Penetrometer correlation factors were modified slightly in 1972 and 1982 based on accumulated load test data for piling and drilled shafts. Load test data from piling and drilled shafts was also considered in the development of the correlation factors. 6. The Texas Cone Penetrometer test as it exists today was first used in 1949. The test procedure and correlation charts were first published in the 1956 edition of the Foundation Exploration and Design Manual. Drive the cone with the hammer in two 6-inch increments. TCP Test Procedure (Test Method Tex-132) and Guidelines. 4. Seat penetrometer cone.

Penetrometer point Figure 2-5. Geotechnical Manual 2-16 TxDOT 9/00 . automatic trip on right) 7b.) Note on the log the number of blows required for each 6-inch (150-millimeter) increment. In hard materials.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing and 2-5. Figure 2-4. Penetrometer hammers (Fully automatic on left. the cone is driven with the resulting penetration in inches accurately recorded for the first and second 50 blows for a total of 100 blows.

If it is clay. It correlates roughly with the Texas Cone Penetrometer test as follows: Clay: Ntcp = 1. the number of blows for the second 6 inches (150 mm) is significantly greater than that for the first 6 inches (150 mm). In-place Vane Shear Test The next paragraphs discuss these in-place vane shear test topics: ♦ Test description and use ♦ In-place vane shear description Geotechnical Manual 2-17 TxDOT 9/00 . It cannot be used in rock. This test is recommended mainly for granular soils but has been used in cohesive soils. Make the Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) Test at each 5-foot (1. Experience with the Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) Test indicates that the number of blows of the hammer for the first 6 inches (150 mm) and the second 6 inches (150 mm) of penetration should be recorded separately as this is indicative of the general type of material. If the soil material is granular. drive the penetrometer point into a formation 6 inches (150 mm) or 50 blows for each increment.5 kilogram) hammer at a drop of 30 inches (750 millimeters). Graphs based upon research and past experience with the TCP Test supplement this manual. Old Texas Cone Penetrometer data from existing plans typically has an additional value listed that is the weight of the drill stem when the test was performed. Standard Penetration Test (SPT) The Standard Penetration Test uses a 2 inch (50 millimeter) diameter pipe (split spoon) driven with a 140 pound (63.5 meter) to 10 foot (3 meter) interval of hole and at each significant change in stratum. TCP Correlation Graphs.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing In either case. This number can be ignored and need not be shown if the old borings are shown in new plans. the number of blows required for the first and second 6 inches (150 mm) are generally about the same. The test is described in ASTM procedure D 1586. Section 4 gives discussion on using these graphs in design. Old TCP Data. These graphs show the relationship between the test results and the shear strength of the soils as calculated in the laboratory and the relationship between the test results and the measured dynamic driving resistance. depending upon which occurs first. 8. The test correlations presented here are intended only for approximate evaluation of design adequacy from outside sources and not recommended for normal foundation design work.5 Nspt Sand: Ntcp = 2 Nspt The general use of the Standard Penetration Test for foundation exploration is not recommended. Chapter 5. Make TCP test at regular intervals and changes in stratum.

The In-place Vane Shear Test is used to determine the in place shearing strength of fine-grained soils. however. The splined hub of the torque pulley engages the splined shaft. It is designed to resist a force in any direction. The torque table assembly attaches rigidly to the drill rig. The vane assembly connects to the drill rod that extends to the top of the ground. must be free of gravel or large shell particles. Use the test with extreme caution in soils that require over 20 blows per foot (300 mm) with the Texas Cone Penetrometer. See a picture of the Inplace Vane Shear. below. A splined shaft threads into the drill rod at the surface of the ground. Geotechnical Manual 2-18 TxDOT 9/00 . since pushing the vanes through these obstructions would disturb the sample and probably cause physical damage to the vanes. This rod is attached to a torque pipe which is mounted in a housing with two tapered roller bearings spaced about two feet apart. Figure 2-6. The test consists of ♦ Four bladed vane which is rotated into undisturbed material ♦ Device for measuring the torsion required to fail the cylindrical surface area of soil being sheared by the vanes Use this test when encountering ♦ Organic silty clays (mucks) ♦ Very soft clays These materials. This assembly utilizes a proving ring and strain gauge with gearing apparatus to apply and to measure the torque necessary to test the shear strength of the soil. The In-place Vane is composed of four 2 inch by 8 inch (50 by 200 mm) stainless steel vanes welded to a stainless steel rod. In-place Vane Shear Description.Chapter 2 — Field Operations ♦ Section 4 — Field Testing Test procedure Test Description and Use. which do not lend themselves to undisturbed sampling and triaxial testing.

Attach spline rod to drill stem. Begin test. 2. Adjust pulley cable b. Attach sufficient drill rods to vane assembly. Geotechnical Manual 2-19 TxDOT 9/00 . Record initial reading. if desired. Record reading from proving ring dial gauge. Release cable e. Lower torque table assembly over spline. Adjust proving ring dial f. Slowly push vane into soil. Repeat steps 6 through 9. Carefully lower vane assembly into cored hole. a. Push vane further into undisturbed soil and repeat steps 6 through 9 until completing test. The following procedure is recommended for performing the in place vane shear test of soils that are consistently uniform and without gravel: Step 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 In-place Vane Shear Test Procedure Action Carefully lower vane assembly into cored hole. Turn handle d. Inspect setup c.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing Figure 2-6: In-place vane shear Test Procedure. Attach sufficient drill rods to the vane assembly to clear the rig pushdown with the vane resting on the bottom of the cored hole and the spline rod added. 1.

Slowly turn the handle clockwise until tension begins to record on the proving ring dial gauge. 5. 8. Slowly push vane into soil.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing 3. The vane will rotate at the rate of 6 degrees per minute in a clockwise direction. or at each one degree rotation of the torque pulley. Do not exceed 400 psi (2760kPa) pushdown as indicated on the drill rig hydraulic gauge. Release the cable to zero tension. Adjust the pulley cable for proper alignment and take up the slack. Begin the test by turning the handle clockwise at a rate of 20 revolutions per minute or 3 seconds per revolution. 6. 10. Repeat steps 6 through 9 to determine the disturbed or remolded strength. 4. if desired.0015264)(Dial Gage Reading) Tons/Ft2 or (. Push the vane further into undisturbed soil three vane diameters and follow steps 6 through 9 until the test series is completed. With the drill rig hydraulic pushdown. 7. Inspect the setup in general. 9. slowly push the vane into the undisturbed soil three vane diameters. Record the peak and ultimate values. Lower the torque table assembly over the spline and bolt it to the spider support on the rig. Geotechnical Manual 2-20 TxDOT 9/00 . Adjust the proving ring dial to zero reading and record the initial torque pulley reading in degrees. The formula for the design strength or one half the ultimate shear strength of the soil is: S = (. Record reading from the proving ring dial gauge every 10 seconds. Attach spline rod to drill stem.14617)(Dial Gage Reading) kN/M2 See Figure 2-7 for a photo of performing test.

hand-held. They only yield approximate information and are not suitable for foundation design. Torvane. A scale on the knob reads the approximate ultimate shear strength of the sample. Geotechnical Manual 2-21 TxDOT 9/00 . spring-loaded device that is pressed into the sample and turned. The torvane is a small. Performing test Torvane & Pocket Penetrometer These two test devices are useful for index and classification purposes.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing Figure 2-7. Very stiff samples often crumble rather than shear thereby yielding lower than actual values. The sample must be fairly cohesive to yield accurate results. Refer to Figure 2-8 for a picture of a torvane.

Figure 2-9 shows a pocket penetrometer. which is pressed into a sample.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing Figure 2-8: Torvane Pocket Penetrometer. a spring-loaded device. While penetration values are obtained from this device. The tester is adaptable to a wide range of soil types and strengths. The penetration resistance read on the side of the device is the approximate ultimate compressive strength. Figure 2-9: Pocket penetrometer Monitoring Methods Piezometers and inclinometers are monitoring methods discussed below. it is of questionable value for any design work. Geotechnical Manual 2-22 TxDOT 9/00 .

Piezometer Installation Procedure Install piezometers with care to insure that the groundwater levels are accurately measured without the intrusion of surface water. Finish the tube. Future Depressed Roadway Sections. add small amounts of drilling mud to the water. Drill the hole with no water if possible. This applies to both side slope stability and bearing capacity of embankments and retaining walls. Geotechnical Manual 2-23 TxDOT 9/00 . Piezometer Installation Procedure Action Drill hole.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing Piezometers The next subsections cover ♦ Piezometer use ♦ Piezometer installation procedure ♦ Reading frequency guidelines ♦ Pneumatic piezometer alternative Piezometer Use Piezometers are used to measure long-term groundwater levels. Inadequate sealing of the borehole may also allow contaminates to enter subsurface aquifers. If hole stability continues to be a problem. Some typical applications for piezometers are to evaluate groundwater levels in future depressed roadway sections and groundwater effects on slope stability. Slope Stability. The final installation may need special drainage features to control water inflows and provide a stable pavement section. drill with clear water. If this is not possible. Cover the hole to protect people or livestock from injury. Seal the remaining upper portion of hole. Should short-term observations of water levels be desired. Use this procedure to install piezometers: Step 1 2 3 4 5 1. Groundwater affects slope stability by reducing the effective stresses in the soil through buoyancy. Place piezometer tube in hole. The construction of future depressed roadway sections that are subject to groundwater infiltration can be impacted adversely by groundwater induced liquefaction of soils. leave exploration core holes open for several days to monitor the groundwater level. They are essentially water wells and are sometimes pumped to determine the permeability of the soil to predict seepage volumes in excavations. Place granular media in hole.

Inclinometer Description The inclinometer is a very sensitive device that measures deviations from vertical. Use a fairly coarse sand or pea gravel to allow easy placement through water. drill holes in a section of the tube and then wrap them with filter fabric. The most common application is for monitoring slope failures to determine the failure plane depth.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing 2. Use a locking cover if vandalism is possible. By recording these deviations at periodic intervals along a special casing grouted into a borehole. Reading Frequency Guidelines Take a reading immediately and weekly thereafter until the water level stabilizes. These readings are Geotechnical Manual 2-24 TxDOT 9/00 . 4. With this information. Seal the remaining upper portion of the hole with grout or bentonite pellets. Place the assembled piezometer tube in the hole. Finish the tube in such a manner as to not be a hazard to the public. pour several gallons of water over the pellets for 10 to 15 minutes to start expanding the pellets to seal the hole. pneumatic piezometers that may be read from a remote location are available. When using bentonite pellets in a dry hole. 5. or alternately. 3. Other uses include monitoring ground movements adjacent to excavations for foundations or tunnels. the cumulative deviation of the instrument may be determined. Monthly readings thereafter are normally sufficient unless the site exhibits large fluctuations in readings.5 to 3 meters) of the hole. The upper sections of the tube are not perforated. Inclinometers The next subsections cover ♦ Inclinometer use ♦ Inclinometer description Inclinometer Use Inclinometers are used to measure horizontal movements within a soil mass over time. Pneumatic Piezometer Alternative In areas where access is difficult. These use air pressure to read the depth of water above the probe. you may perform stability analyses to confirm soil strengths and determine the proper repair method. Either use a slotted screen. Place the granular media in all but the upper 5 to 10 feet (1.

Geotechnical Manual 2-25 TxDOT 9/00 . It is recommended that the Bridge Division Geotechnical Section be consulted if inclinometer measurements are required. The installation of casing and data reduction is quite complicated.Chapter 2 — Field Operations Section 4 — Field Testing taken periodically to monitor movements over time.

...................................................................3-7 Residual & Sedimentary Soils .................................3-12 Logging Method ..................................................................................................................................................................... 3-2 Introduction............................................3-14 Log Form .....................3-6 Soils 3-7 Soil Variations ...................3-22 Geotechnical Manual 3-1 TxDOT 9/00 .......................................................................................................................3-3 Bedrocks .............................................................................................................................................................................3-8 Cohesionless Soils .......3-18 Available Software ..........................................................................................................................................................3-2 Importance of Logging ...............................................................................................................................................................................................3-7 Soil Identification .......................................................................................................................................................3-4 Igneous Rocks ..............................................................................................................................................................3-14 Core Description Order ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3-7 Cohesive Soils.....................................................................................................................................................................................................3-2 Section 2 — Classification...................... 3-12 Overview.............................................3-2 Classification Objective ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 3-3 Overview.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3-4 Sedimentary Rocks ........................................3-4 Metamorphic Rocks ............Chapter 3 Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Contents This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview .......................................................3-12 Field Equipment ..................................................................3-7 Grain Size Descriptions ..................................3-5 Clastic Rocks ....................................................................................................................................3-8 Section 3 — Logging ...........................3-5 Nonclastic Rocks ...........................................

Importance of Logging All loggers need to realize that a good field description of the materials encountered is very important for the design of an economical foundation. The field classification is designed to be simple and orderly so that the use of the soil and bedrock terminology is uniform. This chapter defines the terminology used for classifying foundation materials and illustrates the methods of logging that supplies the information obtained in the field. take samples from the field to the laboratory where they can be analyzed to supplement the field classification. In certain cases.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction This chapter deals with the material types encountered during field exploration and the proper recording of observations made of the exploration process. The next subsections explain ♦ Soil classification objective ♦ Importance of logging Classification Objective The objective of soil classification is to identify the logging terminology of the foundation exploration through integration of soil mechanics and geology. Geotechnical Manual 3-2 TxDOT 9/00 . Therefore a reasonable amount of accurate information must be logged. The classification and logging process is important since it is the only record of the field exploration process. The logger and the core driller are the only people who witness the drilling and the material obtained.

Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification Section 2 Classification Overview This section covers the classification of both bedrocks and soils. Bedrock Classifications ♦ Igneous • • ♦ Granite Basalt Metamorphic • • • • ♦ Gneiss Schist Slate Marble Sedimentary • Clastic Shale (Claystone) Siltstone Sandstone Conglomerate Limestone Glauconite Lignite • Nonclastic Chert Iron deposits Gypsum Halite Soil Classifications ♦ Cohesive . The lists below give bedrock and soil classifications.Clay ♦ Cohesionless • • • Silt Sand Gravel Geotechnical Manual 3-3 TxDOT 9/00 .

Basalt. while others are massive or granular and called nonfoliated. gray. and some dark minerals (usually mica). Naturally. Basalt is heavier than most rocks. and the Trans-Pecos areas.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification Bedrocks Geologists divide bedrocks into three classes: ♦ Igneous rocks ♦ Metamorphic rocks ♦ Sedimentary rocks Sedimentary rocks make up 75% of the exposed surface area of the earth's crust while igneous and metamorphic rocks make up the remaining 25%. pressure. generally fine-grained rock. All of these variables complicate the identification so that a background in mineralogy and petrology is necessary to identify each properly. or both. South Central Texas. It is dark-colored (green. but igneous and metamorphic rocks must not be overlooked. which was pushed up from the interior of the earth. It is chiefly composed of quartz. Metamorphic Rocks Metamorphic rocks are formed by the alteration of preexisting rocks (igneous. These rocks are derived from cooled and solidified molten rock material. or black) with a glossy texture. mineral composition and mode of placement control the type. Magmas that cool beneath the surface form intrusive rocks and those that reach the surface form extrusive rocks. Igneous Rocks Igneous rocks are found in approximately 20 counties of the Llano Uplift. Granite has a crystalline texture and is usually evengrained (grains equal in size). sedimentary and other metamorphic rocks) by heat. feldspar. Information on both these types appears below. sedimentary rocks will be emphasized. Some metamorphic rocks are characterized by a banded or layered appearance and called foliated. generally coarse-grained rock which is light-colored (pink. Granite. Examples of the predominant type of each are as follows: ♦ Foliated • • Gneiss (irregular banding) Schist (regular banding) Geotechnical Manual 3-4 TxDOT 9/00 . The rate of cooling. Basalt is a very hard. These alterations develop new textures. texture. The igneous rocks that outcrop in Texas are generally described as intrusive (such as granite) or extrusive (such as basalt). red. Granite is a very hard. structures. and shape of rocks. and minerals. or gray) and heavier than most rocks. called magma.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are formed by the cementation of individual grains of respective particle sizes. Depending on the chemical composition. some shales may degrade quickly into clay when exposed to air and water. This rock is composed of gravel sized and larger particles. The next paragraphs describe these clastic rocks: ♦ Shale ♦ Siltstone and sandstone ♦ Conglomerate ♦ Limestone ♦ Glauconite ♦ Lignite Shale. Soluble minerals then cement the individual grains together. Shale is composed of clay particles cemented together. Clastic sedimentary rocks are classified according to size.S. The unified soil size classification chart shows the particle sizes in millimeters and inches in relation to the standard U. Most conglomerates are found in West and Central Texas. Occasionally silica cement is encountered.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging • ♦ Section 2 — Classification Slate (layered) Nonfoliated—marble Sedimentary Rocks There are two types of sedimentary rocks: ♦ Clastic rocks ♦ Nonclastic rocks Clastic Rocks Clastic rocks are formed from the accumulation of pre-existing rock fragments. Conglomerate. This erosion breaks the rock into fragments. The hardness of these rocks depends on the cementing agent with iron cemented the softest and silica cemented the hardest. Clastic sedimentary rocks are formed by mechanical processes such as erosion from a landmass. or plant material in the case of lignite. Sandstone is much more common than siltstone. These two rocks are composed of silt and sand size particles respectively. Siltstone and Sandstone. Sieve Sizes for clastic materials. Most shales in Texas are of a marine origin. which in turn are transported by either wind or water and redeposited. Common cementing agents for sandstone are carbonate and iron oxides. The most common cementing agent is Geotechnical Manual 3-5 TxDOT 9/00 .

Lignite is found in the gulf coastal region and east Texas. reddish brown to yellow). Limestone is considered clastic because the separate grains are usually transported by water prior to becoming cemented. Evaporites. in some cases. Descriptions of the following nonclastic rocks appear below: ♦ Chert ♦ Iron deposits ♦ Evaporites Chert. Glauconite. Flint is a gray to black variety of chert abundant in all parts of Texas. Chalk is a very soft limestone. finely disseminated iron oxide is responsible for the red soils and bedrocks. Iron Deposits. Iron deposits vary in color according to their oxidation state (from black. these sediments are loose and incoherent. Limestone. It breaks smoothly and is a common constituent of gravels and conglomerates. Chert is a very fine-grained crystalline silicate. Nonclastic sedimentary rocks are classified according to chemical composition. Evaporites are a group of water-soluble salts that have been precipitated upon the evaporation of water. red. Limestone is an interesting clastic rock. Iron oxide occurs as hematite. It is a hydrous silicate of iron and potassium and commonly occurs as a weakly cemented granular material. They are soft and. Dolomite is a modified form of limestone in which a portion of the calcium has been replaced by magnesium. Chert gravel in conglomerates makes this among the hardest materials encountered in the state. These chemical precipitants settle to the bottom of a body of water. especially when dry. which varies in color and is very hard. In many areas of Texas. and/or re-crystallization. siderite. and limonite in East Texas. Glauconite is a greenish mineral formed in marine environments. Nonclastic Rocks Nonclastic rocks are formed by the chemical precipitation of minerals from a solution. It will effervesce upon contact with dilute hydrochloric acid. cementation. especially sandstone. the cementing agent for bedrock.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification carbonate. Lignite is composed of decayed or partly decayed plant material and is a compact brownish black initial form in the coal process. they are slowly hardened by compaction. They are similar in physical characteristics in that they are white Geotechnical Manual 3-6 TxDOT 9/00 . composed of particles derived either by precipitation of calcium carbonate from solution (oolites) or from the carbonate shells of microscopic marine organisms. In time. When first deposited. Silica is also encountered occasionally. Lignite. It is extremely light. It usually occurs as a white to light gray or bluish-gray rock varying in hardness from soft to very hard. Dolomite effervesces only slightly with dilute hydrochloric acid.

Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification or light colored. generally soft and do not react with hydrochloric acid (except calcite). Halite and potash salts can be detected by their saline taste and are most commonly found in West and Northwest Texas. Soils The next subsections offer discussion on ♦ Soil variations ♦ Residual and sedimentary soils ♦ Soil identification ♦ Grain size descriptions Soil Variations Soils vary with parent material (bedrock). they are a result of the weathering. climate. and time. The criteria for these are ♦ Grain size ♦ Color ♦ Density or consistency ♦ Moisture content Grain Size Descriptions Under the major breakdown. plant and animal life. These factors are involved in the transfomation of an original geologic deposit into a soil profile. soil is described either as ♦ Cohesive—clay Geotechnical Manual 3-7 TxDOT 9/00 . Gypsum occurs extensively in West Texas. and decomposition of the parent material. there is no soil at all. The depth of soil ranges from a few inches to hundreds of feet. These are commonly found in river flood plains and in arid wind blown areas. based on the factors mentioned above. In some sections of the state. Sedimentary soils are formed from materials that have been moved from where they originated by either wind or water. That is. Residual & Sedimentary Soils According to their geologic origin. Residual soils are those that are formed in place. grain size. soils are either residual or sedimentary. disintegration. Soil Identification Soil is identified in the field by visual and mechanical tests. slope of the land.

The result is typically very soft surface clays that gradually increase in strength with depth. water evaporation rapidly removes fresh clay deposits to produce fairly firm soils. When clays are very wet. Cohesive Soils Cohesive soils (clays) are composed of extremely small mineral grains shaped like plates. Clays occur as both residual and sedimentary soils. Cohesionless soils are composed of larger. this usually does not occur due to high ground water levels. 4 sieve) Cobbles (3” to 12”) and boulders (>12”) are less commonly encountered. When dry.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging ♦ Section 2 — Classification Cohesionless • • • silt sand gravel Most soils consist of a mixture of these grains and organic material. Discussion follows on cohesive soils and cohesionless soils. Silts are fine enough that they exhibit some clay-like properties. Water is attracted between the plates by electrostatic forces to varying degrees based on the chemical composition of the clay. Geotechnical Manual 3-8 TxDOT 9/00 . 200 sieve) ♦ sand (passes a No. Clays exhibit a wide range of properties based on water content and chemical composition. In such an environment. the water is slowly squeezed from the clay by the weight of subsequently deposited overlying soils. The most commonly encountered cohesionless soils are: ♦ silt (passes a No. Cohesionless Soils The next paragraphs discuss these cohesionless soil topics: ♦ Grain size subdivision ♦ Apparent cohesion ♦ Cohesionless soil composition Grain Size Subdivision. 200 sieve) ♦ gravel (passes a 3” (75mm) and is retained on No. they exhibit an almost soupy consistency. In coastal areas. In upland areas. more rounded particles than clays and are subdivided based on grain size. clays are hard and rigid due to the close attraction between the grains. but they are still considered cohesionless. 4 and is retained on No. Clays of a sedimentary origin are initially deposited in a soup-like state. The larger sizes of the particles cause them to interact by mechanical means.

Cohesionless Soil Composition.42-2.005 and below Geotechnical Manual Unified Soil Size Classification Inches U.42mm=40 . Pure cohesionless soils are free flowing when dry or completely saturated. Figure 3-1 shows grain size photographs. Cohesionless soils are usually mainly composed of siliceous materials with minor constituents being ♦ Micas ♦ Feldspars ♦ Carbonates.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification Apparent Cohesion.005-0. The next table gives characteristics of silt and clay.4 0.4-4.75-19 2.S. Standard Sieve Size 12 and above 3-12 ¾-3 3/16-3/4 3/16”=4 3/32-3/16 3/32”=10 . Moist silts and sands often exhibit an apparent cohesion due to negative pore water pressures. The most common siliceous materials encountered are quartz and chert.42 0.074 0. The table below offers classifications of unified soil sizes.074mm=200 3-9 Particle Size Boulder Cobble Coarse Gravel Fine Gravel Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Silt Clay TxDOT 9/00 . Millimeters 256 and above 75-256 19-75 4. This apparent cohesion is quite low but still can result in an excavation face standing unsupported for some time prior to collapse.074-0.75 0.

Powder state) easily rubs off surface of sample. Dried Coat Bite Test Geotechnical Manual Gritty feeling between teeth. Toughness (plasticity in moist Plastic thread has little strength. Feels Visual Inspection and Feel slightly gritty when rubbed between fingers. High to very high reaction. Squeezing soil causes water to disappear. Dries quickly. Dry Strength (cohesiveness in dry Low to medium reaction. Dispersion (settlement in water) Settles out of suspension in 15 to 60 minutes.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification Silt and Clay Characteristics Characteristics Silts Dilatancy (reaction to shaking) Rapid reaction. Smooth greasy feel when rubbed between fingers. TxDOT 9/00 . Dries slowly. Dry lumps can be broken but not powdered. Plastic thread has good strength. Will not crumble in hands. Easily crumbled in hands. Slakes readily in water. No water appears on surface when shaken. Water appears on Movement of water in voids surface when shaken. Variable slake rate. 3-10 Clays Sluggish and no reaction. No individual grains observed. Dries quickly and dusts off easily. No gritty feeling between teeth. Settles in several hours or days unless flocculation occurs. Some grains barely visible. Powder does not rub off surface. state) Crumbles easily as it dries.

Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 2 — Classification Figure 3-1. Grain Size Photographs Geotechnical Manual 3-11 TxDOT 9/00 .

or casing as needed. drilling mud. such as caving. caverns. guidelines. In some cases a core cannot be recovered. sewer pipes. etc. but the logger can watch the color of the circulation water to see if any change takes place and analyze the cuttings to see if the material correlates with the previous core and subsequent cores. etc.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Section 3 Logging Overview This section offers discussion. 3 Locate any subsurface power lines. water sources for drilling purposes and secure permission for their use. and/or procedure on ♦ Logging method ♦ Field equipment ♦ Core description order ♦ Log form ♦ Available software Logging Method The purpose of the core drill operation is to obtain foundation data and not just to drill a hole. The logger must recognize the reasons for such things as the addition of extra water. In order to obtain data of maximum accuracy. the logger must work closely with the driller and consult with him as to changes in materials and coring operations while drilling. Geotechnical Manual 3-12 TxDOT 9/00 . 4 Locate. and the encountering of any groundwater. near job site. Reconnaissance and logging procedures appear below as follows: ♦ Procedure prior to drilling ♦ Procedure during drilling ♦ Procedure after hole completion The logger must follow all of these steps. boulders. telephone cables. gas lines. 5 Complete all steps above prior to core drill crew and rig arrival. He should note the difficulties in drilling. Procedure Prior to Drilling Step Action 1 Confirm landowner's permission to enter his property if drilling on private property. 2 Stake desired core drill hole sites and obtain ground elevations.

lawns. as obtained. and mark depth by stakes at each 5 foot interval. Pickup debris and clean up the area in general.). Repair any damaged property (fences. Geotechnical Manual 3-13 TxDOT 9/00 . Figure 3-2. Cores laid out for classification and logging Procedure After Hole Completion Action Step 1 2 3 4 Cover all uncovered core drill holes.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Procedure During Drilling Step Action 1 Lay out cores in succession. 3 Identify. and log the foundation materials and record all test data. describe. (see Figure 3-2) 2 Break open samples to expose fresh surfaces for accurate identification and classification. Deliver any samples retained for testing. 5 Prepare any undisturbed samples for laboratory by wrapping in plastic wrap and labeling for future identification. 4 Compare all cores with previous cores. etc.

Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Occasionally. Field equipment Core Description Order Keep core descriptions as simple as possible. Density or consistency. Moisture Geotechnical Manual 3-14 TxDOT 9/00 . Field Equipment In order to aid in an accurate description of the materials. chalk. it is recommended the logger have the following items: ♦ Pocket knife to cut the samples for testing hardness and exposing fresh surfaces ♦ Millimeter scale to determine the size of the particles ♦ Dilute hydrochloric acid to aid in recognizing calcium carbonate materials such as limestone. Figure 3-3. Remember that every small variation in a soil does not necessarily warrant description on the log. Material 2. The order of description is as follows: 1. core holes may need to be grouted or filled with bentonite pellets if the possibility exists for contaminates to enter from the surface or from subsurface aquifers. This is especially common in urban areas with petroleum-contaminated soils. or dolomite ♦ Magnifying glass (a 10x) to make a better identification of materials by enabling closer inspection Refer to Figure 3-3 for a photo of the field equipment needed. hardness 3.

Density or Consistency. Material. Unified Soil Classification System 8. Calcite. Schist. note this material as a modifier to the primary constituent. Descriptive adjectives 7. Density (Granular) Very Loose Consistency (Cohesive) Very Soft Soil Density or Consistency THD Penetrometer (blows/ft or blows/300mm) 0 to 8 Loose Soft 8 to 20 Slightly Compact Stiff 20 to 40 Compact Very Stiff 40 to 80 Dense Hard 80 to 5”/100 (125mm/100) Very Dense Very Hard 5”/100 to 0”/100 (125mm/100 to 0mm/100) Mohs’ Hardness Scale 5.5 – 10 3 .5 1–3 Characteristics Bedrock Hardness Examples Rock will scratch knife Rock can be scratched with knife blade Rock can be scratched with finger nail Sandstone. Color 5. Refer to the tables below for soil density and bedrock hardness. Chalk. Cementation 6.2”/100 (050mm/100) 1” . Granite. Hardness. Shale. A logger must first determine the major constituent in the core sample. some Shale Geotechnical Manual 3-15 Field Identification Core (height twice diameter) sags under own weight Core can be pinched or imprinted easily with finger Core can be imprinted with considerable pressure Core can only be imprinted slightly with fingers Core cannot be imprinted with fingers but can be penetrated with pencil Core cannot be penetrated with pencil Hardness Very Hard Hard Soft Approximate THD Pen Test 0” . Gneiss. Evaporites.5. Iron Deposits. most Limestone Gypsum.6”/100 (100-150mm/100) TxDOT 9/00 .5”/100 (25125mm/100) 4” . Rock Quality Designator (RQD) Section 3 — Logging The next paragraphs offer discussion on these descriptions. Chert. If a significant portion (greater than five percent) of a secondary material is present.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging 4. some Limestone Siltstone.

See Figure 3-5 for a graphed plasticity chart that shows typical Atterberg limit values for fine grained soils. The samples will be assumed dry if the degree of moisture is not indicated. call it multicolored. If any moisture exists.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Moisture. See Figure 3-4 for the Unified Soil Classification System chart. If free water is present. note the extent present. Cementation. This would be a sand. In cases like these. Unified Soil Classification System. Geotechnical Manual 3-16 TxDOT 9/00 . Descriptive Adjectives. use the two group symbols. The classification symbol may be placed on the log. which has silt and clay binder. which most nearly describe the soil. Those soils that are not readily identifiable in the field and the proper soil symbol designated necessitate sieve analysis and Atterberg limits tests. Use any descriptive adjectives that might further aid in the description. If one main color does not exist in a sample. Color. connected by a hyphen. Some soils have characteristics of two groups because they are close to the borderline between the groups either in percentages of the various grain sizes or in plasticity characteristics. the proper soil symbol can be determined. From these test results. Identify the degree of cementation if any is present. Describe the primary color and restrict description to one color. This soil system is based on the recognition of the type and predominance of the constituents. considering ♦ Grain size ♦ Gradation ♦ Plasticity index ♦ Liquid limit It contains three major divisions of soils: ♦ Coarse-grained ♦ Fine-grained ♦ Highly organic The group symbols for each major soil division are located on the chart. An example of this might be a SM-SC. but it is not required. describe the soil as wet or water-bearing.

Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Figure 3-4. Unified Soil Classification System. Geotechnical Manual 3-17 TxDOT 9/00 .

Always note the RQD on logs of borings for tunnels and other excavations. The RQD is determined for rock cores. Online users can click to see this illustration in PDF format. Log Form To promote consistency. use the standard log form (Form 513 available from General Services Division). Plasticity Chart. It is recommended that the RQD be noted for any rock encountered. then the RQD equals 50.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Figure 3-5. Geotechnical Manual 3-18 TxDOT 9/00 . If a core run is 24" (600mm) and 12" (300mm) of core was in pieces longer than 4" (100mm). It is a percentage of a core run that is composed of core pieces longer than 4" (100mm). Refer to Figure 3-6 for a sample of this form. Rock Quality Designator (RQD).

Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Figure 3-6. Geotechnical Manual 3-19 TxDOT 9/00 . Log Form.

The logger is generally more concerned with the depths. Hole coordinates may be entered in the Remarks section. which are provided in Figure 3-7. A change from a “slightly sandy” to a “very sandy” clay does not necessarily warrant a strata change. Show identified materials by standard symbols. Log Column. Ground water elevation is optional but recommended in certain situations. Elevation Column. since the elevation of a hole is not determined until after the hole is drilled. offset.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Break down the materials encountered into strata consisting of the same or similar constituents. Discussion follows on these parts of the log form: ♦ Heading data ♦ Elevation column ♦ Log column ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer test ♦ Description of materials ♦ Remarks Heading Data. The key is to define strata that have whether or not groundwater is present. Enter all heading data. It is desirable to keep the number of strata to a minimum. Fill out this column for ground elevation and for each stratum change. Quite often a hole cannot be drilled at the proposed location. Determine the station. Recording these data aids in correlating the exact elevations without problems of topography. Geotechnical Manual 3-20 TxDOT 9/00 . The clay would simply be described as “sandy”. and top of hole elevation as accurately as possible after the hole is drilled.

Record the pen test data. Geotechnical Manual 3-21 TxDOT 9/00 . The entry is made at the depth where the test is started.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Figure 3-7: Soil and Bedrock Symbology. Record this data to the right of the log column to indicate exactly where the tests were taken. Texas Cone Penetrometer Test.

The remainder of the log form—heading and signatures—must be filled out as completely as possible. Remember to keep descriptions to a minimum. Geotechnical Manual 3-22 TxDOT 9/00 . Groundwater observations should also be recorded here.Chapter 3 — Soil & Bedrock Classification & Logging Section 3 — Logging Description of Materials. Long descriptions only serve to confuse the primary issue: What is the major soil type? Remarks. The program is available from the Bridge Division. Soils and bedrocks have been described thoroughly in the first sections of this chapter (see the Soil and Bedrock Classifications table at the beginning of the chapter). The logger should record any additional information that is of importance in the Remarks column. Geotechnical Section. Available Software At the present time the Wincore program is available for producing printed logs.

4-10 Overview.........................................................................................................................................................................4-12 Direct Shear Test ....... 4-8 Overview..................................................................................4-3 Plasticity ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4-3 Overview.................................................4-14 Geotechnical Manual 4-1 TxDOT 9/00 .....4-3 Elasticity ............ 4-2 Evaluation Methods ....................................................................................................................................................................................4-10 Consolidation Test .............................................................................................................................4-5 Density .4-8 Strength and Hardness ......................................................................................................................................................................................4-6 Grain Size Distribution .................................................................................................................................................................................4-4 Cohesion ......................................................................................4-6 Shrink/Swell Potential ..............................................................................................................................................................4-14 Atterberg Limits..........4-6 Compressibility ...............4-2 Engineering Properties Determination ........................................4-2 Section 2 — Engineering Properties of Soils.............................................................................................................................................4-8 Density .........................................................................4-13 Swell Test .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Chapter 4 Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Contents This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview .....................................................................................................4-9 Joints and Faults....................................................................................4-9 Section 4 — Laboratory Tests .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................4-4 Moisture Content ......................................................................................................................................4-4 Angle of Internal Friction (Φ)...........................................4-10 Compression Tests ....................................................................................4-13 Moisture Content ..............................................................4-6 Section 3 — Engineering Properties of Rocks.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................4-3 Permeability ......................................................................................................4-8 Durability .............................................................

This chapter deals with the methods to accomplish this goal. This enables engineers in preliminary investigations as well as in design and construction to exchange ♦ Reliable information ♦ Experience ♦ Data Geotechnical Manual 4-2 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Evaluation Methods The properties of soil and rock must be accurately evaluated in order to produce safe and economical designs. it is advantageous to classify soils and rocks into groups that exhibit distinct engineering properties. Engineering Properties Determination Engineering properties of soils are determined by ♦ Parent material ♦ Mineralogical composition ♦ Organic matter content ♦ Age ♦ Method of transportation ♦ Place of deposition ♦ Method and degree of compaction ♦ Texture ♦ Gradation ♦ Structure Consequently.

and primary structure strongly influence the relative permeability of soil. This water movement is called percolation. gradation. the elastic limit of the soil must be exceeded to advance the pile. Any load applied that exceeds the shear strength of a soil will also exceed the elastic limit of the soil. openings. When a soil is disturbed by pile driving. The knowledge and extent of this condition is especially important in the design and construction of underground excavations. some of the important physical and engineering properties of soils are ♦ Permeability ♦ Elasticity ♦ Plasticity ♦ Cohesion ♦ Angle of internal friction (Φ) ♦ Moisture content ♦ Density ♦ Shrink/swell potential ♦ Compressibility ♦ Grain size distribution The subsections below discuss these properties. degree of compaction. Geotechnical Manual 4-3 TxDOT 9/00 . Generally. Elasticity Elasticity is a property indicating the ability of a material to return to its original shape or form after having been deformed by a load for a short period of time. etc. the soil structure and properties in the vicinity of a pile may be radically changed.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 2 — Engineering Properties of Soils Section 2 Engineering Properties of Soils Overview To the engineer engaged in the design and construction of bridge foundations. Soil texture. and it will not return to its original shape or form but will fail by plastic deformation. coarse-grained soils are much more permeable than fine-grained soils. Permeability Permeability is a property indicating the ease with which water flows or passes through a material. For this reason. although this is easily altered by presence of fines or cementing agents.

and plasticity of the soil. and is the capacity to resist shearing stresses as indicated by Coulomb's equation. this is the angle of approximately 30 degrees observed on the sideslopes of a stockpile. Geotechnical Manual 4-4 TxDOT 9/00 . The angle of internal friction is also the slope of the shear strength envelope. For a clayey or clay soil. and therefore. c + wh (tan Ν). represents the effect that increasing effective normal stress has on the shear strength of the soil. Angle of Internal Friction (Φ Φ) The angle of internal friction is a measure of the natural angle of repose of a soil. density. For dry sand.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 2 — Engineering Properties of Soils Plasticity Plasticity is a property indicating the ability of a material to be deformed permanently without cracking or crumbling. this is not the case since negative pore pressures generated by the low permeability of the soil matrix masks the expression of the frictional properties of the soil. Cohesion Cohesion is a very important property contributing to the shear strength of a soil. Cohesion varies depending on water content. Moderate to high plasticity clays exhibit a typical friction angle of approximately 15 degrees when pore pressures reach equilibrium. Refer to Figure 4-1 for a graph of the angle of internal friction versus the Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) test.

Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 2 — Engineering Properties of Soils Figure 4-1. TCP test vs. Geotechnical Manual 4-5 TxDOT 9/00 . cohensionless soils’internal friction.

Compressibility Compressibility is a property greatly influenced by soil structure and the load history of the deposit. but may also be the result of soils shrinking during extended dry periods. the clay may be molded and formed without cracking or rupturing the soil mass. silt and organic soil. Negative friction. in which the soil pulls down (down-drag) on the shaft or piling instead of supporting load. measures should be taken to reduce adverse effects upon the structure. Wet density is the unit weight of the solid particles and the natural moisture and is used in computations for determining design values for foundations above the water table. especially clays. Grain Size Distribution The next paragraphs discuss Geotechnical Manual 4-6 TxDOT 9/00 . Density Dry density is the unit weight of the solid particles of soil or rock per unit volume. If founding in this type of material cannot be avoided. Typical values for wet density of soils range from 120 to 135 pounds per cubic foot (1920-2160 kg/m3). such as a bridge abutment.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 2 — Engineering Properties of Soils Moisture Content Moisture content is the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of solids in a given volume of soil. deep enough to cancel out any negative skin friction. Between these extremes. Drilled shafts or footings should not bear in a material that is susceptible to a high degree of compression (consolidation). Shrink/Swell Potential Shrinking/swelling is a property of fine-grained soils. The consistency of clay may be very soft or very hard depending upon the water content. Moisture contents can range from a few percent for rocks to several hundred percent for very soft highly organic coastal clays. It is also recommended that all foundations for a particular structure element. The best solution is to found in a material below the point of possible moisture fluctuation. often occurs in regions of incompletely consolidated soft clay. Differential movement can be minimized by placing all footings with approximately equal bearing pressures within the same material. Submerged density is wet density less the unit weight of water and is used when the foundation is below the water table. resulting from buildup and release of capillary tensile stresses within the soil’s pore water and the varying degree of affinity for water that certain clay minerals exhibit. be founded at roughly the same elevation.

Well graded refers to the size of the particles being distributed over a wide range of sizes. soils with low permeability drain much slower. Gap graded refers to several distinct size ranges within a sample. As a result. which in turn may lead to difficulties in obtaining proper compaction in the field. The grain size distribution or range of particle sizes in a sample influence several soil properties. Soil Compactability. Figure 4-2. Geotechnical Manual 4-7 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock ♦ Soil permeability ♦ Soil compactability ♦ Grain size distribution chart Section 2 — Engineering Properties of Soils Soil Permeability. While the compactability is indirectly influenced by permeability. Soils consisting solely of particles within a narrow size range (Uniformly or Poorly Graded) may be difficult to compact due the lack of other particles to interlock with the predominate particle size. A granular soil with a wide range of grain sizes (Well Graded) especially in the finer ranges will be less permeable than a granular soil with most of the particle sizes within a narrow range. Grain Size Distribution Chart. it is also directly influenced by grain size distribution. Typical Particle size gradations (grain size distribution chart). Figure 4-2 is a grain size distribution chart showing some typical gradations. Uniformly graded refers to the size of particles being distributed over a narrow range of sizes. One of these properties is the permeability of the soil. The result is that density is difficult to achieve at the surface of the soil.

the physical properties are the least variable. In general. Some of these physical properties are ♦ Density ♦ Bonding ♦ Cementation Geotechnical Manual 4-8 TxDOT 9/00 . However. the physical properties of a rock depend to a large extent upon the degree of weathering. Some of the important engineering properties of rocks are ♦ Density ♦ Strength and hardness ♦ Durability ♦ Joints and faults The next subsections cover these engineering properties. excluding the effects of fracturing. Sedimentary rocks. the physical properties are affected by ♦ Constituent minerals ♦ Degree to which the grains are bound together ♦ Size and arrangement of the grains which produce such structures as banding and foliation ♦ Degree of fracture. Density The strength of rock is in direct proportion to its crystalline makeup and compaction or cementation. on the other hand. If the rock is fresh or unweathered. rock with ferrous constituents may have a high density and low strength. jointing and bedding of the rock mass For igneous rocks. are so variable that it is difficult to characterize their physical properties.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 3 — Engineering Properties of Rocks Section 3 Engineering Properties of Rocks Overview When rock is exposed to the weathering process. each deposit must be evaluated individually. the rock is ultimately broken down by physical and chemical agents into loose. Strength and Hardness These properties are a relationship between various physical constituents that make up an individual rock. Therefore. Consequently. unconsolidated material or soil. the strongest rocks are the densest.

quartzite and gneiss) are the most durable. If these conditions occur. Faults are breaks in rock where movement has occurred. Durability A rock’s physical and chemical characteristics determine its durability. basalt. If these features are inclined downward into a cut. The crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks (such as granite. They are normally not vertical but inclined at an angle. Cut Stability. Since these features divide the rock mass into discrete pieces. igneous or metamorphic in origin. a typical example is limestone or sandstone with a carbonate cement. is greatly affected by weathering. Faults with large displacements typically have a zone of fractured and weathered rock on each side of the fault that is unstable and behaves more like soil than rock. Joints are fractures in rock resulting from previous stresses to which the rock mass has been subjected. in general.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 3 — Engineering Properties of Rocks The strongest rocks are. Sedimentary rocks are variable and range from hard to the very soft. Joints and Faults The next paragraphs cover ♦ Joint description ♦ Fault description ♦ Cut stability Joint Description. Joints are normally nearly vertical. Fault Description. Sedimentary rock. Joints and faults impact the stability of cuts in rock. which is the least durable. but they may occur at almost any orientation. large masses of rock can fail unexpectedly into a cut with little warning. rock bolting or nailing to stabilize the face should be considered. the pieces may fall out of the cut face. Geotechnical Manual 4-9 TxDOT 9/00 . Joints typically occur at fairly regular intervals in a rock mass. The movement can range from a few inches (50 mm) to hundreds of feet (meters). Joints differ from faults in that little or no displacement is present along the joint.

No confining stresses are applied to the sample. The compression test may be broken down into the three major categories used by the department: ♦ Unconfined compression test ♦ Confined compression test (UU Triaxial) ♦ Consolidated undrained compression test (CU Triaxial) Unconfined Compression Test. Soil samples for this testing are obtained with push barrel samplers. perform laboratory tests in doubtful cases for engineering properties. some clay binder is necessary to hold the samples together. Reference is made to the Manual of Testing Procedures 100-E Series. It does not realistically model the strength of the in situ soil. Use the test with caution for design purposes since it usually under estimates in situ material strength properties. This test is commonly used on soil and rock samples. which outlines with examples the various laboratory tests and procedures. published by the Materials and Tests Section. Figure 4-3 provides a photo of the test. which exists under significant confinement. Cohesionless sand cannot be sampled and tested in this manner. The sample is cylindrical and trimmed to a length roughly twice the diameter. The unconfined compression test applies stress to the sample in the axial direction only. Geotechnical Manual 4-10 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 4 — Laboratory Tests Section 4 Laboratory Tests Overview In conjunction with field classification of soils and bedrocks. In order for the samples to be removed from the barrels and transported to the lab for testing. This test is used on rock samples to evaluate the strength and hardness of the rock for tunneling or other excavation projects. Discussion appears below on the following tests: ♦ Compression tests ♦ Consolidation test ♦ Direct shear test ♦ Swell test ♦ Moisture content ♦ Atteburg limits Compression Tests The compression test determines the strength of a soil sample under various stress conditions.

This test more accurately evaluates the strength of the in situ soil than the unconfined compression test. The confined compression test (Test Method Tex-118-E) is performed in a pressure vessel (triaxial cell) where confining pressure is applied to the sides of the soil sample as it is loaded. Unconfined compression test Confined Compression Test (UU Triaxial). Refer to Figure 4-4 for a diagram of the triaxial test. When most of the increased load is carried by the Geotechnical Manual 4-11 TxDOT 9/00 . Under these load conditions. some of the load is carried by increased pore water (the water between the soil grains) pressure. Figurer 4-4.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 4 — Laboratory Tests Figure 4-3. The confined compression test best models the response of soils to loads applied over short periods of time such as days or weeks such that there is inadequate time for drainage to occur. It is performed with the soil sample sealed so that no water can enter or escape from the sample during the test. Triaxial test (diagram). It is often referred to as an unconsolidated undrained (UU) test.

More typically. Geotechnical Manual 4-12 TxDOT 9/00 . As the sample is tested. Cost.6 kPa)). The next paragraphs discuss these consolidated undrained test (Test Method Tex-131-E) topics: ♦ Description ♦ Method ♦ Cost Description. Because of the time required for this test. a sample must be totally saturated. Method. which fails the sample at a slow enough rate to allow pore water to escape. the drained soil parameters are determined. Due to the variable nature of soils in the field. More compact air actuated test devices are available. The consolidation testers (consolidometers) in Figure 4-5 are of the dead weight type. has a low apparent angle of internal friction. Consolidated Undrained Test (CU Triaxial). the sample is then consolidated to bring the pore water into equilibrium. the pore water pressure is measured in order to adjust the strength data for the effects of pore water pressure.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 4 — Laboratory Tests pore water pressure. After this operation. seal the sample and shear it over a period of time determined by the previous consolidation rate of the sample. To perform this test. the soil does not exhibit much of an increase in strength with higher confining pressures and hence. Under these conditions. This test is used to evaluate the long-term (drained) soil strength parameters which occur over periods of months to years when the equilibration of pore water pressures in response to load has time to take place. most samples tested appear to possess some angle of internal friction. By removing the pore water effects. the compressibility of a sample and compression rate are determined for estimating settlement in the field. As a result. Once the sample is greater that 95 % saturated. This test is considerably faster than a true drained test. the settlements predicted from this test are often higher than settlements observed in the field. For this to occur. From this data. The time to fail the sample is usually 8 to 10 hours. samples are only partially saturated. the cohesion observed for the typical clay sample is quite low (< 200 psf (9. The reduction in height of the sample versus time is monitored for various loads on the sample. The angle of friction is typically in the range of 10 to 20 degrees. the sample is placed in a triaxial cell with water allowed to enter the sample over a period of several days. It usually takes three to four days to perform versus several weeks for a true drained test. it is quite expensive to perform. Consolidation Test The consolidation test is performed by placing a load on a thin soil sample.

This test may tend to overestimate the soil strength since the failure plane is predetermined. Based on the force required to shear the sample at various normal loads. The load on the sample that results in no swell of the sample is noted. The load divided by the area of the sample is referred to as the swell pressure. the cohesion and angle of internal friction are determined. Geotechnical Manual 4-13 TxDOT 9/00 . A sample is placed in the device under water. Consolidometers Direct Shear Test The direct shear test shears a soil sample along a predetermined plane. Loads normal to the shear plane are applied. Swell Test The swell test uses the same test device as the consolidation test. The triaxial test allows a failure plane to form along the weakest path and is therefore more accurate. Swell pressures in expansive soils can be on the order of thousands of pounds per square foot (100 kPa).Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 4 — Laboratory Tests Figure 4-5. The height of the sample is monitored with load added to the sample to counteract the swelling.

Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 4 — Laboratory Tests Moisture Content Moisture content is the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of solids in a given volume of soil. soils with high moisture contents tend to be quite weak. Because other properties such as compressibility or permeability depend on the interaction of soil particles and water. The values of these limits are affected by the interaction of the soil particles and the water present in the sample. Atterberg Limits The Atterberg limits identify the moisture contents for three soil states: ♦ Liquid limit (LL) ♦ Plastic limit (PL) ♦ Shrinkage limit (SL) Definitions of these limits and the Plasticity Index (PI) appear in the next paragraphs. Liquid Limit (LL). The moisture content of a sample is an indication of how stable the soil is with respect to strength and compressibility. Liquid limit device Plastic Limit (PL). This limit is determined as the point at which a thread of soil of a specified size begins to crumble when rolled. The liquid limit is defined as the boundary between the liquid and plastic states. the Atterberg limits can be related to these other properties. Figure 4-6. Also. Geotechnical Manual 4-14 TxDOT 9/00 . Samples with very high moisture contents may undergo large volume changes in response to applied loads. This limit is determined based on the number of blows required to cause a groove to close in a sample. All the limits are stated in the percent moisture content in the soil to attain the specific state. The plastic limit is defined as the boundary between the plastic and semi-solid states. Figure 4-6 is a photo of a liquid limit device.

or the water content below which no further reduction in sample volume occurs.Chapter 4 — Engineering Properties of Soil & Rock Section 4 — Laboratory Tests Shrinkage Limit (SL). The plasticity index or PI is the difference in moisture content between the liquid and plastic limits. the liquid limit increases more rapidly than the plastic limit. mudflow-type failures in embankments constructed of high PI clays. the higher the PI. The shrinkage limit is defined as the boundary between the semisolid and solid states. Geotechnical Manual 4-15 TxDOT 9/00 . As the soil particles exhibit a higher tenacity for water molecules. High PI soils are prone to significant shrinking and swelling with a subsequent loss of strength. the more active a soil tends to be. This limit is the amount of water just required to fill the soil pore with no change in volume. This loss of strength is the cause of embankment side slope. As a result. Plasticity Index (PI).

.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5-9 Overview..................................................................................5-18 Extreme Event Evaluation ........................... 5-3 Introduction.....................5-11 Drilled Shaft Foundations ................5-9 Selection Guidelines .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................5-34 Piling Size and Length .................................................................................................................................................................................................................5-16 Field....................................................................................................................................5-12 Foundation Guidelines for Widening Structures...............................5-17 Stream Scour ..5-14 Widening Structures on Spread Footings ........................................................................5-16 Data Required for Design .....................................5-14 Widening Structures on Piling .................................5-31 Piling Design....................... 5-37 Geotechnical Manual 5-1 TxDOT 9/00 ..................................................................................................................................5-19 Design Load ....................................................................................5-8 Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection .............5-9 Foundation Selection Factors ......................................................................................................................................................5-19 Susceptibility to Scour ...........................5-7 Spread Footings ...................................................................................................5-14 Widening Structures on Drilled Shafts ......................................................................................................................5-31 Foundation Design .......................................................5-3 Section 2 — Foundation Types ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Laboratory and Related Data ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5-16 Overview................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5-4 Piling .........................................5-33 Foundation Size & Length Design Recommendations ..........................................................................................................................................................................5-26 Available Software ................................................................................5-11 Pile Foundations ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5-21 Skin Friction Capacity .............................................................................................................................................................5-20 Foundation Design Methods ................................................................................5-31 Drilled Shaft Design ..............................5-14 Guidelines on Foundations in Lakes and Streams .........................Chapter 5 Foundation Design Contents This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview .....................................................................................................................5-4 Drilled Shafts ..............................................................................5-17 Soil Effects......................................................................................................5-34 Drilled Shaft Size and Length ........................................................................................................ 5-4 Overview........5-36 Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification ...............................5-20 Load Carrying Capacity Determination ............................................................................................................................................5-14 Section 4 — Design Guidelines ..........................................................5-22 Point Bearing Capacity ...........................................................................................................................

....Overview.........................................................................................................5-39 Test Piling for Capacity Verification ........................................................................................................................................5-41 Test Pile Driving .............................5-37 Dynamic Hammer Formula ............5-37 Piling Load Carrying Capacity ................................................................5-44 Plunging Failure Method for Pile Test Loads ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5-38 Wave Equation Analysis ..............................................5-46 Double Tangent Method for Drilled Shaft Loads ................5-41 Embankment Guidelines .....................................................................5-41 Test Piling Use .............................................................................................................................................................5-43 Double Tangent Method for Pile Test Loads ............................5-46 Plunging Failure Method for Drilled Shaft Loads .................................................................................................................................5-41 Alignment Hole Guidelines ......................................................5-42 Test Pile Driving Procedure ............................................................................................................................5-46 Data Interpretation .................................................5-37 Bearing Resistance During Driving ..............5-49 Geotechnical Manual 5-2 TxDOT 9/00 ......................................5-46 Drilled Shaft Load Carrying Capacity .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5-38 Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA).....5-41 Test Piling Length & Spacing .....................................................5-42 Pile Test Loads................................

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction This chapter introduces the various types of foundations used by the Department and explains the proper design procedures used for each type. Proper foundation design requires that adequate foundation exploration and proper soil classification be performed. It covers the factors which influence design and prescribe procedures for evaluating them. Design procedures presented are based on extensive load test correlation and experience. Figure 5-1: Large multiple pile footing Geotechnical Manual 5-3 TxDOT 9/00 . Proper field investigations assure the following: ♦ Correct foundation type ♦ Proper foundation size ♦ Minimal construction problems ♦ Minimum foundation cost Example problems. figures. Methods of obtaining skin friction and bearing strength values of soils or rock are discussed in detail. correlation curves and supporting data are given for the different foundation designs referred to in this chapter. Figure 5-1 illustrates a large multiple pile footing.

special construction procedures may be required. For instance. Pile foundations are divided into two categories: ♦ Foundation piling: piling supporting a footing (Figure 5-2) ♦ Trestle piling: piling extending above the ground directly supporting the bridge bent cap (Figure 5-3) Geotechnical Manual 5-4 TxDOT 9/00 . when selecting the foundation type in congested urban areas. whereas the size depends upon the load it must support. The foundation type depends upon the nature of the soil or rock in which it is to be founded. Economic and environmental factors govern the type of foundations selected. Show these procedures on the plans or in special provisions.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 2 — Foundation Types Section 2 Foundation Types Overview The purpose of a foundation is to transfer the structure loads to a satisfactory underlying material in a manner that minimizes settlement. consider the effect of ♦ Noise ♦ Vibration ♦ Pollution Under certain conditions such as in close proximity to existing structures. The most common foundation types are ♦ Piling ♦ Drilled shafts ♦ Spread footings Discussion on these foundation types appears in the subsections below. Piling Piling are long slender foundation elements driven into the ground with power hammers. The power hammers are operated by ♦ Air ♦ Diesel ♦ Hydraulics Old style drop hammers are inadequate for modern high capacity piling.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 2 — Foundation Types Figure 5-2: Constructing pile footings Figure 5-3: Constructing pile trestle bent The types of piling used by the Department are Geotechnical Manual 5-5 TxDOT 9/00 .

Concrete piling require large hammers to be driven efficiently due to the piling’s high mass. Metal Shell or Pipe Piling. Figure 5-4: Driving pipe piling Geotechnical Manual 5-6 TxDOT 9/00 . Open ended metal shell or pipe piling may plug at various stages of pile driving making their performance hard to predict. H piling are best suited for point bearing design. Concrete piling are considered displacement piling because of the relatively large volume of soil they displace during driving. Steel H Piling. Figure 5-4 illustrates pipe pile being driven. H piling are not recommended for frictional design in sands unless test piling or load tests are specified.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Concrete ♦ Metal shell or pipe ♦ Steel H Section 2 — Foundation Types Concrete Piling. however they may also be used in frictional design. Closed-ended metal shell or pipe piling are considered displacement piling because of the relatively large volume of soil they displace during driving. Steel H piling are considered non-displacement piling and are ideal for driving into or through soils such as dense sand and gravel which are difficult to penetrate with displacement piling.

Special cutting teeth or coring barrels are used in the hardest rock formations. Drilled shaft excavation. Geotechnical Manual 5-7 TxDOT 9/00 . Casing may need to be left in place when a shaft passes through the soft surface soils especially in coastal regions to prevent the collapse of the shaft. Casing and/or drilling slurry may be needed to keep the excavation stable. Drilled Shafts Drilled shafts are constructed by first excavating a hole with auger equipment (see Figure 55) and then placing reinforcing steel and concrete in the excavation (see Figure 5-6). Drilled shafts may be constructed in any soil or rock type.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 2 — Foundation Types Figure 5-5.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design

Section 2 — Foundation Types

Figure 5-6: Drilled shaft construction site showing completed shaft.
Drilled shafts may be used in groups to support footings or singly to support a column.
Drilled shafts are normally vertical but may be battered to satisfy structural requirements.
Avoid battered shafts if possible due to the difficulty of construction and resulting increased
cost. A single drilled shaft should have a diameter equal to or larger than the column it
supports except that the corners of square columns may be allowed to overhang the edge of
shaft. The department uses mainly straight shafts. Occasionally shafts with under-reamed
tips (bells) are used mainly to widen existing structures with belled shafts. Bells are prone to
collapse and impossible to inspect due to health and safety concerns.
Spread Footings
Spread footings support load by bearing directly on the founding stratum without the support
of piling or drilled shafts. They are generally used in stiff soils or in rock encountered at or
near the surface. Spread footings are seldom used due to considerations such as swelling or
erodible soils and lateral stability.

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Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection

Section 3
Foundation Type Selection
Overview
Selection of foundation type (piling, drilled shaft or spread footing) is based on a
comprehensive study and analysis of

Subsurface soil conditions

Field and laboratory test data

Environmental, structural and economic considerations

This section deals with

Foundation selection factors

Selection guidelines

Foundation guidelines for widening structures

Guidelines for foundations in lakes and streams

Foundation Selection Factors
The selection of the foundation is influenced by the following factors:

Design load

Subsurface formations

Soil characteristics

Corrosive conditions

Economic considerations

Aesthetics

Special design requirements

Study all the available soil data and choose the type of foundation most suitable to the
existing soil conditions and the particular structure. The choice is generally between piling
and drilled shafts with the final decision based on the above factors. Spread footings are
seldom used for bridge foundations in Texas.
Design Load. The magnitude of the design load dictates the required size of the foundation
from a structural standpoint.
Subsurface Formations. The depth and strength of subsurface formations determine the
type of foundation chosen. Very hard material at of near the surface makes driven pile
installation difficult.

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Chapter 5 — Foundation Design

Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection

Soil Characteristics. Soil characteristics such as being unstable during excavation may
make excavating for drilled shafts or pilot holing for piling difficult.
Corrosive Conditions. Salts, chlorides and sulphates are detrimental to foundations. Where
these conditions exist, preventive measures should be taken. The use of Type II cement,
corrosion inhibitors, and/or epoxy coated steel is recommended. Type II cement is required
for construction in seawater or high sulphate areas of Texas as shown in Figure 5-7. See
Figure 5-8 for an example of corrosion of a steel fender system.

Figure 5-7. This map represents known areas of possible corrosion due to sulphate soils or
salt water.

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Chapter 5 — Foundation Design

Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection

Figure 5-8: Severe fender system corrosion
Economic Considerations. Economics is considered in the final selection. Cost comparisons
of the foundation types should be made. The cost of a drilled shaft foundation, for instance,
may be less than piling. It may be feasible to use fewer piling at higher design loads, or
fewer drilled shafts with larger diameters to maximize economy.
Aesthetics. Aesthetics of certain structural features sometimes affect foundation type
selection. A good example is a trestle piling type versus a column footing type. Not only do
aesthetics affect type selection, but it also has a direct effect on design. Longer spans and
fewer columns raise design loads and may require larger and/or more foundation elements
per column.
Special Design Requirements. Special designs are sometimes necessary to straddle another
structure or utilities and may require a different type of foundation than that for the rest of
the structure.
Selection Guidelines
The next subsections provide guidelines for selecting

Pile foundations

Drilled shaft foundations

Spread footing foundations

Pile Foundations
Discussion on these pile foundation topics appear below:

Displacement piling

Metal shell piling

Concrete piling

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etc. Ease of buildup or cut-off makes them especially desirable. Dangerous driving conditions for concrete piling are very soft and very hard soils. Thin layers of hard material may be penetrated by punching through the layer. Construction techniques may have to be varied according to the nature of the founding material to obtain the desired penetration. which must be penetrated for stability. They may be specified when difficult or erratic driving is anticipated in the upper materials. however.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection Steel H piling Displacement Piling. If the design load is so large that one shaft cannot effectively carry it. Do not use metal shell piling in corrosive environments without protective measures. any additional end area necessary to support the load was supplied the addition of a bell (generally a maximum diameter of three times that of the shaft). Pilot holes or jetting may be required. they perform well in point bearing or any combination of the two methods of load transfer. larger shafts are supplied if additional capacity is required. Concrete Piling. Displacement piling generally reach refusal in soils harder than 100 blows / 12” (300mm) TCP. The primary advantage of drilled shafts is the very high capacity of each shaft installed. Trestle piling size may be governed by unsupported height and vertical and lateral loads. concrete piling are subject to high stresses which can be detrimental to the piling. During driving. Today. a footing with two or more shafts may be the best design approach. Very hard soils can cause high compressive stresses resulting in compressive failure of the concrete. Trestle bents taller than 20’ (6m) will probably require the use of piling larger that the standard 16” (400mm) square concrete piling. Thick hard layers can only be penetrated by first pilot holing through the material. Their size should be governed by the design load and the method of load transfer to the surrounding soil at an economical penetration. Concrete piling may be used in many different types of soil conditions. Concrete piling are very difficult to build up. Reduced pile driving energy may be needed. Steel H Piling. Very soft soils can cause high tensile stresses resulting in tension cracking. a drilled shaft is the same diameter as the column it supports directly but may be of any size when used to support a footing. Use them cautiously in variable soils. Drilled Shaft Foundations Generally. Metal Shell Piling. Be aware of conditions conducive to such damage to be able to specify protective measures for use in construction. Steel H piling are not recommended in loose to medium density sands due to the difficulty in obtaining driving resistance. Displacement piling are generally considered for friction conditions. Steel H piling are excellent for point bearing but are also subject to corrosion. In the past. Conditions that should be considered when selecting drilled shafts are ♦ High ground water ♦ Soft overlying soils Geotechnical Manual 5-12 TxDOT 9/00 . Bells are seldom used today. Drilled shafts are best suited for hard soils that stand open during the drilling process. Also avoid using them where very hard driving conditions are anticipated without the use of pilot holes or jetting in order to obtain minimum acceptable penetration.

or rock that is located near the ground surface. Spread Footing Foundations Spread footings are generally used in hard materials such as stiff clay. Most shales. Footings should normally be keyed into the founding stratum a minimum of two feet except for extremely hard rock such as granite where dowels may be drilled and grouted into the rock to insure lateral stability. For additional information on footing design. The founding material must not be subject to scour or heaving or shrinkage due to moisture fluctuation. Observe the following precautions for spread footings: 1. Foundation selection process.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection High Ground Water. Figure 5-9. shale. are subject to long-term degradation and as a result. Spread footings are designed using the same allowable bearing pressures as point bearing drilled shafts. Very soft overlying soils may require that casing be left in place. Very soft soils may not be strong enough to support the lateral pressure of the fresh concrete causing lateral loss of concrete during casing extraction resulting in shaft defects. make unsuitable founding strata for stream crossings. Geotechnical Manual 5-13 TxDOT 9/00 . Soft Overlying Soils. while being quite hard. 2. see the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges. Figure 5-9 summarizes the foundation selection process. High ground water that requires the use of casing or slurry construction techniques. Shaft construction under these conditions is warranted if good founding material is present. Do not use on expansive clays. Do not use in streambeds except in solid nonerodible rock.

Cofferdams add significant cost to a project. Widening Structures on Drilled Shafts Widen structures on shafts with shafts approximately at the same tip elevations. it may be desirable to widen with spread footings at the same elevation. If the existing footings are less than 6 feet (2 meters) below natural ground. Footings constructed below the surface require cofferdams to allow construction in the dry. remember that multi-pile footings constructed above water might tend to snag significant amounts of debris Geotechnical Manual 5-14 TxDOT 9/00 . Since the pile loads for piling supporting the widened portion of the structure are usually lower than loads for the original construction. This is not always practical. In a case such as this. Also. widening with drilled shafts is usually more economical with the shafts founded very near the existing footing elevation. consider special designs to prevent differential movement between the new and the old foundations. the new piling are normally tipped at the same elevation as the existing piling. The next subsections discuss ♦ Widening structures on piling ♦ Widening structures on drilled shafts ♦ Widening structures on spread footings Widening Structures on Piling Widen structures on piling with piling tipped in the same stratum. Quite often. Keep pile footings supporting columns above water if possible. Usually. For abutment and interior bents on deep spread footings. the old test boring data is adequate for widening the structure. such as in the case of widening a structure on spread footings with drilled shafts.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection Foundation Guidelines for Widening Structures Study test-boring data along with any available information regarding the existing foundation. Avoid the use of piling in widening structures founded on spread footings because of the possibility of vibration induced settlement of the spread footings. In widening structures. existing structures with belled shafts may be widened with straight shafts tipped at the same elevation due to the more recent higher allowable soil design loads. Guidelines on Foundations in Lakes and Streams Foundations constructed in standing water require special consideration when designing the structure and preparing the construction plans. evaluate the soil for possible shrink/swell potential. This is normally accomplished by founding the new foundations at approximately the same elevation as the existing foundations. Widening Structures on Spread Footings The most critical situation occurs when widening a structure founded on spread footings. Avoid extreme variations between the new and existing tip elevations if possible to minimize differential movement.

Locate the tops of drilled shafts one to two feet (300-600mm) above the normal water elevation. Debris accumulation may also cause increased scour. Typically. Allow casing required for construction to remain in place at the option of the contractor. Geotechnical Manual 5-15 TxDOT 9/00 . casings left in place do not detract from the appearance of the structure.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 3 — Foundation Type Selection during floods requiring removal by maintenance forces.

Subsurface conditions and size of structure should be the controlling factors in deciding the amount of data that can be utilized to full advantage with resultant savings in design and construction costs. correlation of field and laboratory test data with actual load tests. The next subsections give guidelines on these data required for design: ♦ Field. and experience gained from structure performance. laboratory and related data Geotechnical Manual 5-16 TxDOT 9/00 . probable construction procedures and anticipated performance of the foundation materials must be known in advance. taking into account pertinent site conditions and structural considerations. The application of field and laboratory data obtained from foundation exploration insures the selection of the proper type of foundation.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Section 4 Design Guidelines Overview These design procedures cover all types of foundations. The design procedures presented here are based on proven theoretical methods. data collection and soil classification is imperative since all foundation design values. The design guidelines in this section pertain to ♦ Data required for design ♦ Stream scour ♦ Design load ♦ Load-carrying capacity determination ♦ Foundation load transfer ♦ Foundation size and length design recommendations Data Required for Design Collection of pertinent data for foundation design is very important and should never be neglected. It should be reemphasized that an adequate program of foundation exploration. Good foundation design depends upon ♦ Evaluation of soil characteristics of the founding materials ♦ Adequacy and interpretation of the field and laboratory test data derived from subsurface explorations ♦ Engineering skill ♦ Experience ♦ Judgment Major controlling factors in the design of a foundation are the nature of the soil penetrated and the interaction of the foundation soil system under the design load.

and any and all drilling problems encountered. Figure 5-10 shows an abutment wingwall. Laboratory and Related Data The foundation exploration drilling log is the basis for field data interpretation. Downdrag is an additional force acting on a pile or drilled shaft foundation.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Section 4 — Design Guidelines Soil effects Field. Such forces typically develop by consolidation of soft soils underneath embankments. which has been pulled down by downdrag on a short pile foundation. Results from this test are interpreted as shear and/or bearing strength and forms the basis of the design curves. penetrometer test results at each five or ten-foot interval of depth. through which the foundation is placed. (TxDOT Test Method Tex-132-E) ♦ InPlace Vane Shear Tests (IVS) The Texas Cone Penetrometer is the basic test run in the field during foundation exploration drilling. Undisturbed samples taken during foundation exploration may be tested in the laboratory by triaxial or unconfined compression test to determine the shear strength of the material (TxDOT Test Method Tex-118-E or ASTM D 2850). Sufficient penetration into natural soil is required to counteract all of the anticipated negative friction plus dead and live load forces. As soil consolidation progresses. Data obtained in the field generally consists of a combination of the following: ♦ Soil classification for soil profile ♦ Water table ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer Tests (TCP). Tests for moisture content and Atterberg limits are also usually performed in conjunction with the testing of undisturbed samples. Disregard all fill material. This field data must include a soil and/or rock description and thickness. if applicable: ♦ Downdrag ♦ Lateral displacement ♦ Swelling and shrinking Downdrag. shear stresses (“drag” forces) are induced between the relatively “fixed” pile or shaft and the adjacent. Soil Effects Investigate any of the following soil effects and consider them in design. for load carrying capacity including several feet of the natural soil in order to compensate for the weight of the fill imposed on the load carrying strata. downward moving embankment soil. which tends to drag the foundation downward. Geotechnical Manual 5-17 TxDOT 9/00 . Fill out the log completely in the field as the drilling is taking place.

Lateral Displacement. Foundations may be displaced by lateral forces due to unbalanced weight of the adjoining fill or reduction of subsoil pressure caused by adjacent excavation. Downdrag of short wingwall piling If the design load of the foundation is roughly equivalent to the downdrag force. Swelling and Shrinking. the structure and proposed ground lines may need to be reconfigured to reduce the lateral forces. Most soils are subject to some shrinkage upon drying. additional foundation penetration may be required to prevent foundation settlement. Soft soils are susceptible to such lateral movement. review ♦ Gage records ♦ Cross sections of the channel at low and peak flow ♦ Soil materials in the stream and their resistance to scour Geotechnical Manual 5-18 TxDOT 9/00 . Displacements may be rapid or progressive over a long period of time. Stream Scour The effects of stream scour influence the foundation depths and the permissible load distribution along the embedded length of pile or shaft. an abutment) at or near the same elevation to prevent structural damage due to differential settlement. For this reason. To determine the extent of possible scour. the upper 10’ of soil is normally disregarded in foundation design. Whenever embankments are constructed on soft soils.g. which can cause differential movement. batter the foundation and take it deep enough to counteract the lateral forces. If the soil below finished grade is subject to swelling and shrinking due to moisture fluctuation. tip all foundations supporting a structural element (e. Where lateral displacement can be anticipated. If the forces are high enough. place the foundation below the moisture-affected zone.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-10.

which are exposed in a migrating stream channel. Refer to the table below for assumptions in assessing susceptibility to scour: Geotechnical Manual 5-19 TxDOT 9/00 . the allowable soil friction (SF = 2. That is.0. Figure 5-11: Drilled shafts exposed in migrating stream channel The next subsections discuss these stream scour data: ♦ Extreme event evaluation ♦ Susceptibility to scour Extreme Event Evaluation When evaluating a structure for the extreme 500-year scour event. Even the hardest of rocks are slowly degraded in stream channels over periods of thousands of years.0) may be doubled for analysis of the extreme event. Figure 5-11 is an example of the effect stream scour has on drilled shafts.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Section 4 — Design Guidelines Comparison of aerial photographs at the vicinity of the crossing to determine any stream migration The Hydraulics Section of the Design Division will assist in determining the probable magnitude of scour and other stream flow characteristics. In this case. weathering effects on soils are not considered. The same holds true for allowable point bearing. This event is assumed to occur in a span of days to weeks. Susceptibility to Scour All materials are subject to scour. the safety factor for foundation capacity may be reduced to 1. The key factor to keep in mind for the extreme 500-year event is the time factor.

(TxDOT Test Method Tex-132-E) ♦ Triaxial Tests (TAT). (TxDOT Test Method Tex-118-E) Geotechnical Manual 5-20 TxDOT 9/00 . Most negative friction forces are adequately accommodated by the safety factor of two used for design. wind. however. Most of the time. but not considered over time span of one flood event Mildly susceptible. Less than 4"/100 blows Limestone. They tend to break down and disintegrate. The design load is applied at the top of the foundation. and other lateral forces. Normally the weight of the foundation element is neglected since the weight of the foundation is close to the weight of the soil displaced. Determine these properties by one or more of the following tests: ♦ Texas Cone Penetrometer Tests (TCP). good foundation exploration and laboratory or other test data are essential in evaluating the load carrying capacity of foundation material. most shales are not considered susceptible to scour during a single flood event. The load carrying properties of a material depend on its shear strength. shaft. the design of a pile. Load Carrying Capacity Determination For a given load. Design Load The design load is the load derived from a combination of live and dead loads and the effects of stream flow. As a result. The typical rate of degradation of the shale in this situation is on the order of inches a year. but should be monitored for long term degradation. negative friction is not considered. An exception to this rule might be for foundations in deep water where a significant portion is above the mudline. Shale) (100mm/100 blows) Soft (Shale) Less than 12"/100 blows (300mm/100 blows) Hard (Redbed. Prior to design. When significant negative friction is anticipated. Shaley Clays. but not considered over time span of one flood event Susceptible to scour at a moderate rate Very susceptible Shales present a unique problem when exposed to repeated wetting and drying. This is major problem in northeast Texas where head cutting in the Sulphur river basin has resulted in the channels down cutting into the shale. the design load may need to reflect the amount of the negative friction loading. Very Stiff Clays) Less than 12"/100 blows (300mm/100 blows) Soft to Medium Greater than 12"/100 blows (300mm/100 blows) All All Susceptibility Not susceptible Mildly susceptible. or spread footing depends on the ability of the adjacent soil or rock to support loads.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Material Rock Clays Sands Section 4 — Design Guidelines Material Susceptibility to Scour Subtype Texas Cone Penetrometer Hard (Granite.

LL ≥ 50 Low plasticity clays and silt clay mixtures. however. The consistency of the results is well established. Normally. Foundation Design Based on Soil Classification & TCP Data. Static capacity equations. When both TCP and TAT tests are available. The TCP test is an empirical test method. Based on these values. OTHER) the design charts may be used to determine skin friction and point bearing values for use in design. Different correlation factors apply to each category. SC. the accumulative skin friction with depth can be determined. at least from one and sometimes all of these tests. LL < 50 Sand – Clay mixtures All other soils and rocks Once the soil is classified (CH. the TAT tests underestimate the soil strength due to presence of secondary soil structures. provide another approach to determine foundation capacity.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Section 4 — Design Guidelines Unconfined Compression Test. Sometimes. laboratory tests for determining soil strength are often omitted in routine subsurface investigations because of the expense. based on TAT and Unconfined Compression test data. TCP tests are normally used to determine allowable shear values for design purposes. However. The test has been calibrated over the years based on comparison with triaxial tests and field load tests. should the TCP values for one part of a strata vary significantly Geotechnical Manual 5-21 TxDOT 9/00 . The next subsections discuss these aspects of load carrying capacity determination: ♦ Foundation design methods ♦ Skin friction capacity ♦ Point bearing capacity ♦ Available software Foundation Design Methods The following paragraphs describe the two methods used to determine foundation capacities: ♦ Foundation design based on soil classification and TCP data ♦ Foundation design based on triaxial data The methods may be used separately or combined based on the availability of data. (TxDOT Test Method Tex-118-E with no confining pressure) Data. Soils are grouped into one of four categories when designing with TCP data. The categories are Category CH CL SC OTHER TCP Data Soil Group Categories Soil High plasticity clays. this is done on a strata by strata basis. are usually available for use by the designer in preparing accumulative skin friction graphs. compare the results from the tests for consistency. CL.

Coulomb’s formula may be used to determine the frictional resistance for each stratum. with this strength calculated for soil one foundation diameter below the foundation tip elevation. the data must be analyzed. plotting the data allows the designer to disregard test data that does not correlate well with the other test results for a soil strata. Foundation Design Based on Triaxial Data. If softer layers exist below this level. the lower strengths should be used to avoid a punching type point-bearing failure into the softer soil layers. Historically. Typically. Figure 5-12. the top five to ten feet of resistance is neglected. The failure envelope is then drawn as a best fit line for the circles as shown.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines from those in another. Then. analysis is done by the laboratory as part of the data reduction. the tip elevation is determined where the accumulative skin friction plus point bearing equal the design load. Allowable point bearing capacity may be assumed to be five times the Coulomb shear strength. Numerical analysis may also be used to analyze the data. c+wh (tanΝ). the strata should be subdivided into similar TCP values for design purposes. however. Angle of internal friction and cohesion test results on Mohr Circle plot. through an iterative process. A safety factor of two should be used for frictional resistance determined by this method. this has been done by plotting the test results on a Mohr Circle plot in Figure 5-12. This consists of correcting the raw data for strain induced enlargement of the failure cross section. Skin Friction Capacity The following aspects of foundation capacity by skin friction appear below: ♦ Skin friction ♦ Groundwater consideration ♦ Accumulative friction graph ♦ Group action consideration Geotechnical Manual 5-22 TxDOT 9/00 . Once the cohesion and frictional parameters are determined. Once the laboratory testing is completed. The next step is to determine the angle of internal friction and the cohesion. For soils.

friction may play an insignificant role in soil resistance. The total ultimate (safety factor = 1) skin friction (shearing strength) observed is the sum of the frictional and cohesive components of the soil resistance as per Coulomb’s equation. Groundwater Consideration. Depending on the clay. assume the groundwater surface at or near the ground-line. Geotechnical Manual 5-23 TxDOT 9/00 . The TCP values may be used without correction to determine the shear strength of the soil for foundation design as shown in Figure 5-13 and Figure 5-14. The wh term accounts for the normal (perpendicular) stress on the surface of the foundation resulting from the overlying soil (overburden). the term skin friction is applied to any soil resistance encountered along the vertical sides of a foundation. In cohesive soils such as clay. The influence of groundwater must be considered since soil below the water table weighs less due to the buoyant effect of the water displaced by the soil particles.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Skin Friction. This is referred to as the “effective stress” of the soil. the resistance is partly due to friction and cohesion (soil adhering to the side of the foundation). c + wh (tan Ν). The Texas Cone Penetrometer (TCP) test does not require consideration of groundwater since it is conducted in the ground (in situ). While pure friction actually only occurs in granular soils like sands or silts. Long. slender foundations such as piling and long drilled shafts gain a significant portion of their load carrying capacity from friction between the outside “skin” of the foundation element and the soil (Fr). If the location of the water table is not well known or stable.

Piling & drilled shaft foundation design – skin friction design (<100 blows/12”). Geotechnical Manual 5-24 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-13.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-14. Geotechnical Manual 5-25 TxDOT 9/00 . Piling & drilled shaft foundation design – skin friction design (<100 blows/300 mm).

Point bearing for piling larger than 24 inch should be considered. expressed in tons per foot of foundation perimeter (summation of products of layer thicknesses times shear strength). Section 7. A second line is commonly shown on this graph which is the reduced accumulative friction for drilled shaft design discussed under Drilled Shaft Design in this section. (ΣFr). Group Action Consideration. either increase the foundation spacing or use the perimeter of the group for the design. hence the effect of depth of overburden. The evaluation of group action involves summing the perimeters of the individual foundation elements and comparing this value to the outside perimeter of the group. Geotechnical Manual 5-26 TxDOT 9/00 . For shallow foundations.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Accumulative Friction Graph. The y axis is in terms of elevation or depth and the x axis in terms of accumulative frictional resistance. This dimensional unit allows the accumulative friction graph to be used with any diameter of foundation. the failure mode is by inelastic displacement of the soil at the surface. Figures 5-17 and 5-18 are used mainly for drilled shaft design. Piling generally cannot be driven more than a few feet (1 m) into soils harder than 100 blows/12” (100 blows/300mm). Point Bearing Capacity The bearing capacity of a soil is governed by ♦ Shear strength ♦ Soil type ♦ Overburden above the foundation level For deep foundations. Point bearing (Pb) is normally neglected for piling due to the small area of the tip. the depth of overburden is not considered since the failure mode is by the displacement of the soil to the side of the plunging foundation tip. prepare an accumulative friction graph of soil profile. After determining the shearing strength of the soil layers. Point bearing is considered in all drilled shaft design. Allowable point bearing from TCP data may be determined from the point bearing charts shown in Figures 5-15 through 5-18. If the outside perimeter of the group is less than that of the individual elements. Group action must be considered when placing multiple foundation elements in close proximity to one another such as under multiple pile or drilled shaft footings. These figures may be used for piling design with caution. Shallow foundation bearing capacity is discussed in the Bearing Pressure subsection of Chapter 6.

Geotechnical Manual 5-27 TxDOT 9/00 . Piling & drilled shaft foundation design – point bearing design (<100 blows/12”).Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-15.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-16. Geotechnical Manual 5-28 TxDOT 9/00 .. Piling & drilled shaft foundation design – point bearing design (<100 blows/300 mm).

Geotechnical Manual 5-29 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-17. Piling & drilled shaft foundation design – point bearing & skin friction design (<100 blows/12”).

Piling & drilled shaft foundation design – point bearing & skin friction design (<100 blows/300 mm). Geotechnical Manual 5-30 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Figure 5-18.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Allowable point bearing from TAT data is normally assumed to be five times the allowable shear strength as determined from Coulomb’s equation. This small movement is not adequate to allow the development of frictional resistance in the softer upper layers. When foundations are tipped in hard strata (< 3" (75mm)/ 100 blows) such as shale. A typical example is a steel H pile driven through soft materials to a firm seating in a stratum of either ♦ Rock ♦ Shale ♦ Dense sand ♦ Hard clay A combination of skin friction and point bearing is present to varying degrees in all piling with part of the load distributed into the upper strata and the remainder on the material at the pile tip. A typical example is a displacement pile driven through relatively soft strata without founding in a firm material. or very dense sand. point bearing or by a combination of the two. Available Software At the present time the Wincore program is available for performing foundation design. The resistance to movement developed at the tip of the pile is termed point bearing. Average shear strengths or TCP data for point bearing design over a distance of two foundation diameters below the foundation tip. Averaging strengths in this manner should account for soft layers below the foundation tip. The resistance to movement developed between the pile surface and the adjacent soil is termed skin friction. this should not outweigh sound engineering judgment. very stiff clay. limestone. where the pile transmits most of its load by bearing on a firm stratum. The program is available from the Bridge Division Geotechnical Section. the frictional resistance of the upper softer soil layers is usually neglected in capacity calculations. This is due to the small amount of movement needed to develop point-bearing resistance. however. where load capacity is developed by transferring the load to the various strata along the embedded length. Foundation Design The next subsections discuss these foundation design topics: ♦ Piling design ♦ Drilled shaft design Piling Design Piling transfer the load into the underlying strata by skin friction. Test loads of instrumented test piling have proven that virtually no point bearing exists until skin friction has been mobilized. The load is distributed downward and outward into the surrounding soil materials. The load capacity of a pile depends on a number of factors: Geotechnical Manual 5-31 TxDOT 9/00 .

This limit may not be true for nondisplacement piling such as H piles. The soil shear strength at the pile surface decreases due to the remolding of the soil during driving. Allowable Friction Values. while for longer piling it is frequently 80 to 90 percent.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Clay (cohesive) soils • • ♦ Section 4 — Design Guidelines shear strength soil sensitivity Sand (cohesionless) soils • • relative density soil dilatancy Discussion of both cohesive and cohesionless soils appears below. expect that the increase in pile capacity to depend on the sensitivity and shear strength of the soil. This increases the load capacity of the pile with time. immediately after driving. Therefore. The strength regained eventually corresponds to some percentage the product of the original shear strength of the soil and the surface area of the pile. is the product of the shear strength of the remolded soil and the surface area of the pile. The majority of a small load is carried by skin friction.4 tons per square foot. In clay soils. These piling can penetrate very hard soils with a minimal disruption of the soil structure. The point bearing of a pile depends on the magnitude of the skin friction resistance. Pile Point Bearing. take the allowable frictional values from Figure 5-13. the remolded soil regains considerable shear strength due to its reconsolidating around the pile (“soil setup”). The evaluation of skin friction under these conditions should be based on test-driven or test-loaded piling if possible. while the larger part of a higher load is carried by point resistance. Hard to very hard clays reconsolidate less around a pile than soft to medium clays. For design purposes. The next paragraphs cover these cohesive soil topics: ♦ Dynamic driving resistance ♦ Pile point bearing ♦ Maximum skin friction ♦ Allowable frictional values Dynamic Driving Resistance. Cohesive Soils. The ratio of the intact strength to remolded strength of the soil is referred to as the "sensitivity" of the soil. The skin friction. Geotechnical Manual 5-32 TxDOT 9/00 . The maximum recommended skin friction for displacement piling is approximately 1. The skin friction resistance of a relatively short constant diameter pile is often less than 30 to 40 percent of the total bearing capacity. Quite commonly during construction when initial driving resistance indicates inadequate bearing capacity. Maximum Skin Friction. Piling driven through hard soils exhibit less set up and therefore do not achieve full capacity after driving. it is common practice to leave a pile several feet above grade for redriving after several days. Following a period of hours to days after driving. dynamic driving resistance differs from the soil resistance determined by a static test load.

the majority of the load is often resisted by skin friction. “setup” is not a significant factor but. The design for skin friction is similar to piling. During driving. Friction in the overlying softer soils is disregarded because the point bearing material is so much stiffer than the overburden (strain compatibility). and should be used cautiously and only when a dry hole can be assured. belled shafts have been used to increase the point bearing area of the shaft. instead. drilled shafts are typically designed to carry their entire load in point bearing. Most drilled shaft designs are a combination of point bearing and skin friction. they may exhibit relaxation due to pore pressure dissipation with a consequent decrease in piling load capacity with time. Sr.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines Cohesionless Soils. The length of the shaft is a function of the design load with the allowable friction resistance of the soils acting on its accumulative perimeter and the allowable bearing strength at the tip. The reason for this is disturbance of the soil during drilling. except for the addition of a soil reduction factor. In cohesionless materials. Investigations have also shown that the zone of influence and increase in relative density caused by the driving operation is larger for loose sand than for dense sand. “dilation” is a factor. Drilled Shaft Design. Drilled Shaft Design The next paragraphs give guidelines on ♦ Shaft point bearing and skin friction ♦ Drilled shaft design ♦ Point bearing and skin friction design ♦ Belled shafts Shaft Point Bearing and Skin Friction. When founding in softer shales (TCP 4"-6"/100 (100-150mm)). In isolated cases. Point Bearing and Skin Friction Design. A friction and point bearing shaft is designed to transmit part of its load to the various strata through skin friction and the remainder by bearing at its tip. When founding in a hard stratum. although they are greatly affected by consolidation and densification by the pile driving operations. A soil reduction factor is not applied to soils harder than 12"/100 blows (300mm/100). This is the tendency to lose load capacity after driving due to pore water pressure dissipation. Bells cannot be constructed in sands or slicken-sided clays that are prone to collapse. In this type of load transfer. the relative density increases near the pile surface due to vibrations and imposed stresses for a distance of 7 to 12 pile diameters from the friction surface and 3 to 5 pile diameters below the pile point. When a hard strata (TCP <2"-3"/100 (50-75mm/100)) is present close to the surface. The capacity of piling driven into cohesionless soils depends primarily on the relative density of the soil. The skin friction values for drilled shaft design are reduced by the soil reduction factor for TCP values softer than 12”/100 (300mm/100). Geotechnical Manual 5-33 TxDOT 9/00 . Bells are generally not recommended. Cohesionless materials show little or no soil setup. A point bearing shaft is designed to transmit the total load by bearing on a high strength soil or rock. A drilled shaft transfers load into the underlying strata by point bearing and skin friction. skin friction in the softer overburden is not considered.

Foundation Size & Length Design Recommendations The minimum size of a foundation is determined by the structural considerations of load and unsupported height. 96 inch (2400mm) shafts may easily be constructed to depths much in excess of 100 feet (30m). Belled Shafts. this is dependent on shaft diameter. A point bearing belled shaft is designed to spread the design load in point bearing over a larger area to keep the unit bearing pressure on the founding soil within allowable values and for economy by transferring the load by means of a relatively small and/or shorter shaft. Jetting can be difficult if encountering clay layers. etc. Design in moderate strength soils considers skin friction contribution along the entire length of the shaft. this size foundation may not be able to resist the applied load within a reasonable penetration into the ground or within the depth for which soils data is available. Belled shafts are used when the founding stratum cannot support the design load on a straight shaft in point bearing alone. Normally the first five feet or one shaft diameter of soil is disregarded in friction computations in consideration of moisture fluctuations. a value of 0. skin friction is calculated in the harder founding layer only. Only specify bells when it is certain that a dry hole can be drilled. techniques including pilot holes or jetting are used to aid in driving the piling to the foundation elevations.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines In the past.7 have been used depending on construction method. A normal maximum length for drilled shafts is around 100 feet (30m). disturbance. Based on a substantial load test history. Piling cannot be driven through very stiff clays or dense sands. Installing piling with pilot holes can be difficult with shallow groundwater and sandy soils. values of the soil reduction factor between 0. The following subsections address normal maximum design loads for foundations and other design considerations for ♦ Piling size and length ♦ Drilled shaft size and length Piling Size and Length The fact that piling are driven into the ground dictates that the ground be soft enough to drive the piling through. Bells are seldom used due to difficulty of construction and inspection. The next paragraphs discuss these piling topics: ♦ Maximum lengths Geotechnical Manual 5-34 TxDOT 9/00 .7 is now used for all drilled shafts. Drilled shafts 18 inches (450mm) in diameter are difficult to construct deeper than 40 feet (12m). Typically when the founding strata is harder than 3”/100 blows (75mm/100). A shaft with a bell may be designed to transmit a portion of its load in skin friction with the remainder being transferred in point bearing.5 and 0. The height of the bell and one shaft diameter above the bell is normally disregarded for skin friction capacity. the softer overlying layers are disregarded. While this is the minimum structural size. however. however. Design in hard soils at depth must consider strain compatibility between the hard lower strata and the softer overburden soils. When these materials are encountered. In this case.

The structural designer should be consulted about the suitability of maximum piling size/length combinations. settlement could also be an issue. The maximum lengths for piling are governed by handling considerations. A minimum pile penetration is sometimes specified if stream scour or some other anticipated future condition is envisioned to jeopardize structural stability. The ability of the foundation to develop these capacities for the specific site soil conditions should be verified prior to final structural design. The table below lists the maximum recommended lengths and structural loads for piling. Point bearing piling are founded in material harder than 12"/100 (300mm/100). it is desirable to lengthen the foundation to insure ample capacity and eliminate the possibility of build-ups. Nondisplacement piling. Soils harder than this will probably require pilot holes or jetting for penetration. Minimum Penetration. The exact penetration prior to refusal will depend on the pile type and strata hardness. Once the lengths are determined. If the zone of decreasing strength is soft enough. Piling will normally penetrate such hard strata several feet prior to reaching refusal. Piling Tipped Above Hard Strata. Piling lengths are determined as described previously. Point Bearing Piling. penetrate farther than displacement piling into hard strata. The loads may need to be increased or decreased based on the performance of a detailed structural analysis. such as H piling. Size 14" & 15" (350 & 375mm) 16" (400mm) 18" (450m) 20" (500mm) 24" (600mm) Maximum Allowable Pile Service Loads Maximum Length Abutments & Trestle Bents (per pile) 80' (24m) 60 tons (535kN) 85' (26m) 75 tons (665kN) 95' (29m) 90 tons (800kN) 105' (32m) 110 tons (980kN) 125' (38m) 140 tons (1245kN) Footings (per pile) 100 tons (890kN) 125 tons (1110kN) 175 tons (1555kN) 225 tons (2000kN) 300 tons (2670kN) A general rule of thumb is that piling may be driven through soils of less than 12”/100 blows (300mm/100) as determined by the TCP test.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Point bearing piling ♦ Minimum penetration Section 4 — Design Guidelines Maximum Lengths. When a foundation design determines a founding elevation within a short distance of a hard layer. Two key items to look out for are ♦ Piling founded in zone of decreasing strength ♦ Piling tipped above hard strata Piling Founded in Zone of Decreasing Strength. In Geotechnical Manual 5-35 TxDOT 9/00 . they should be plotted on layouts for examination against the soil core borings. Piling founded in a zone of decreasing strength may reach capacity during driving but lose capacity when encountering such a zone.

When rock is present at or near the surface. The Maximum Allowable Drilled Shaft Service Loads table lists the maximum recommended structural loads for drilled shafts. Of special consideration is the temporary condition during construction when no superstructure is in place to brace the bents. a minimum shaft length of three diameters is recommended. When rock is present more than two drilled shaft diameters below the surface and adequate shaft capacity cannot be developed in the overlying soils. a minimum penetration of one diameter into rock should be specified on the plans. The ability of the foundation to develop these capacities for the specific site soil conditions should be verified prior to final structural design. or a combination of point bearing and skin friction.” Rock at Surface. which should be applied to short drilled shaft foundations when stream scour is of no concern: ♦ Rock at depth ♦ Rock at surface Rock at Depth. This penetration may need to be increased if additional skin friction is required to safely transfer the shaft load to the rock. This does not necessarily mean a three diameter penetration into rock. Drilled Shaft Size and Length Drilled shafts may carry load in point bearing. A typical note on the bridge layout would read: “Drilled shafts shall be founded at the elevations shown or deeper as necessary to obtain a minimum of one shaft diameter penetration into hard shale. The loads may need to be increased or decreased based on the performance of a detailed structural analysis. These paragraphs give rules.” Geotechnical Manual 5-36 TxDOT 9/00 . For this situation. but only a three diameter shaft length minimum. Drilled shaft lengths are determined based on TCP or TAT data. Maximum Allowable Drilled Shaft Service Size Load 30" (750mm) 275 tons (2445kN) 36" (900mm) 400 tons (3560kN) 42" (1050mm) 525 tons (4560kN) 48" (1200mm) 700 tons (8005kN) 54" (1350mm) 900 tons (8005kN) 60" (1500mm) 1100 tons (9785kN) The minimum length of a foundation is determined by lateral stability considerations. A typical note on the bridge layout would read: “Drilled shafts shall be founded a minimum of one shaft diameter into hard shale. A very short shaft in rock could suffer a rotational failure under wind or construction loads resulting in collapse of the bent. load carrying capacity should be considered along with stability of the superstructure on the foundation. a note on the plans should state that the piling tip elevations shown are to be considered as a minimum penetration with no piling cutoffs above this elevation allowed.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 4 — Design Guidelines such a case.

Occasionally there are wide differences that produce large variations in pile lengths that can be costly or detrimental to the foundation. The theoretical load carrying capacity of piling can be correlated to ♦ Bearing resistance obtained during driving ♦ Test pile data ♦ Test load data The theoretical carrying capacity of drilled shafts is correlated to test load data. This section covers the following load carrying capacity verification aspects: ♦ Piling load carrying capacity ♦ Drilled shaft load carrying capacity Piling Load Carrying Capacity Generally. Sometimes. and one or more of several methods are generally used. If they can be anticipated. laboratory work. A good correlation generally indicates that foundation exploration. special consideration must be given to achieve the most economical foundation. These variations can result from a particular combination of soil conditions. a suitable method can be specified to properly evaluate them during construction. correlate well with the methods used in the field to determine bearing values. The next subsections cover these piling topics: ♦ Bearing resistance during driving ♦ Test piling for capacity verification ♦ Pile test loads Bearing Resistance During Driving Bearing resistance is estimated during driving by either ♦ Dynamic hammer formula ♦ Wave equation analysis Geotechnical Manual 5-37 TxDOT 9/00 . driving equipment and type of piling.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Section 5 Load Carrying Capacity Verification Overview Conditions are often such that the foundation design must be proven. and design procedures were performed satisfactorily. calculated during design. Designers also specify some methods as a basis for adjusting plan lengths. the anticipated bearing values.

Dynamic Hammer Formula The Engineering News (ENR) formula determines the bearing resistance of piling. Description and Use. large variations in pile lengths can occur. type. designers can modify hammer formulas to yield values that correlate well with actual static bearing capacities. While dynamic hammer formulas consider only hammer energy. Usually. such as pile test loading. Wave Equation Analysis The next paragraphs discuss these wave analysis topics: ♦ Advantages ♦ Description and use ♦ Large hammer effect ♦ Computer analysis Advantages. accurate soil. This analysis takes into account the quake and the damping of the soil. Hammer formulas can be used to compare driving characteristics of individual piling. the wave equation method takes into account other pertinent effects of the hammer as well as cushioning. experience indicates that dynamic hammer formulas regardless of complexity do not consistently and accurately predict load carrying capacity for all the combinations of soil conditions. must be used to determine the true capacity of the foundation to avoid excessive costs or possible failure of the foundation. These variables are incorporated in an available computer program and can be varied within the program to simulate actual driving conditions. In such cases. Quake is the elastic rebound of the soil and represents the amount the pile will rebound once the impact force of the hammer has Geotechnical Manual 5-38 TxDOT 9/00 . pile and hammer data are necessary. However. However. The simplest methods of verifying the load carrying capacity of a pile are by hammer formula or by wave equation analysis. Computer software makes possible the use of the wave equation analysis. The static bearing resistance of piling at the time of driving can be determined more accurately by wave equation analysis than by any other presently available method. The safety factor in the bearing values they yield varies. However when driving resistances are erratic or very low. pile type and mass and soil conditions. size and length of piling and driving equipment. these two methods are all that is required. This formula uses the energy developed by the hammer and the penetration of the pile to determine pile capacity. By the use of test loading and other methods. The wave equation program is an analysis by which a dynamic bearing value is computed and converted into a static bearing value. The advantages of the wave equation over the dynamic hammer formula are its flexibility and ability to include the majority of the variables that affect a pile during driving. other methods.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design ♦ Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Pile driving analyzer Discussion on these tests appears in the next subsections.

The results of the computer output data have been and will continue to be checked against actual pile load tests. this prediction is not always accurate. A computer analysis of the data determines a bearing graph that relates blow count per foot versus bearing resistance in tons. pile type. the contractor selects a hammer that meets specification requirements. The wave equation method may be specified when the designer anticipates that bearing requirements cannot be obtained at plan length with the hammer formula due to soil conditions. The accuracy of the Wave Equation Analysis method is only as reliable as the input data. Quake and damping may vary greatly in clays. From this data and certain assumptions about the dynamic soil properties. For clay soils. Large Hammer Effect. Figures 5-19 and 5-20 show typical PDA equipment.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification dissipated after each blow. Geotechnical Manual 5-39 TxDOT 9/00 . Quake and damping are well known for sand soils. Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) The pile driving analyzer is an instrument which monitors the force and acceleration at the pile head during driving through the use of strain gages and accelerometers attached to the pile. As a result. The wave equation is also useful to determine the maximum compressive and tensile stresses that the pile will be subjected to during driving. wave equation analysis works best in sands. or a combination of both. Pile driving is then monitored using the bearing graph. Computer Analysis. Experience shows that the best use of the pile driving analyzer is for checking the performance of the driving hammer. Damping is the dissipation of energy by the soil that reduces the effective energy for driving the pile. the ultimate capacity of the pile may be predicted. the designer should be aware of the possible use of a large hammer. Piling must be at approximate design depth as analyzed for wave analysis to apply. After the project is let. Since the design load and total pile weight control the minimum requirements for hammer size. The required information for use of the wave equation is listed in the Standard Specifications. Large hammers result in conservative dynamic bearing values when using the hammer formula.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Figure 5-19: PDA data acquisition Figure 5-20: Force-time plot Geotechnical Manual 5-40 TxDOT 9/00 .

They are used to correlate design values with those determined by hammer formula or wave equation analysis. This permits pile fabrication to appropriate lengths and avoids excessive cut-offs or build-ups during construction. If any wide discrepancy exists. possible channel deepening. moisture fluctuations. etc. If test piling must be driven through an embankment. Embankment Guidelines Do not drive test piling through embankments since additional bearing resistance will be developed in the fill. the alignment hole should be provided only to the bottom of the footing to eliminate all skin friction above that elevation. plan lengths are generally adjusted on the basis of the test pile data. the subsurface soil conditions govern the spacing. Test Piling Length & Spacing Test piling are normally 10 feet (3m) longer than the tip elevation indicated by design capacity calculations and spaced at approximately 500 ft (150m). Alignment holes up to five feet below the footing may be permitted under special conditions to account for scour.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Test Piling for Capacity Verification The next subsections cover ♦ Test piling use ♦ Embankment guidelines ♦ Test piling length & spacing ♦ Alignment hole guidelines ♦ Test pile driving ♦ Test pile driving procedure Test Piling Use Test piling are used primarily with concrete piling to verify that the required bearing will be developed with the lengths shown on the plans. specify oversize pilot holes through the fill so the friction resistance developed therein will not adversely affect the length of any interior bent piling governed by the test. Geotechnical Manual 5-41 TxDOT 9/00 . Alignment Hole Guidelines On bents with footings.

Occasionally pieces of piling will break off during driving. the dynamic pile driving formula resistance at the time of initial driving does not necessarily reflect the final capacity of a pile after the soil has had time to reconsolidate after driving. This is 13 feet (4m) above the test pile tip elevation if it is 10 feet (3m) longer than the regular piling. a. 2. Wait 7 days for soil setup to occur. Drive test piling initial distance. Record blow counts for each inch of 1st 3 feet. which must each be performed properly to obtain valid information from a test pile: ♦ Initial driving ♦ Redrive Never stand immediately next to a pile during driving. Blow counts should be recorded for each foot of the pile driven.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Test Pile Driving There are two distinct operations. Geotechnical Manual 5-42 TxDOT 9/00 . Drive test piling to 3 feet (1m) above grade of other regular piling in the immediate foundation. or wave Equation bearing graph. 1. b. Due to the disturbance and remolding of soil during driving. This is always subject to some engineering judgement. a Schedule of Piling is prepared which reflects the pile lengths approved for construction. Test Pile Driving Procedure Step 1 2 3 4 Test Pile Driving Procedure Action Drive test piling initial distance. Record blow counts for each foot of remaining 10 feet. Redrive test pile. The next paragraphs cover these test pile driving topics: ♦ “K” factor ♦ Schedule of piling K Factor. These approved lengths are used for fabrication of piling which are driven to authorized tip elevations or deeper as necessary to obtain the required bearing resistance as determined by the hammer formula. The Bridge Division Geotechnical Section may be contacted for assistance. This factor is applied to subsequent initial pile driving resistances. Wait 7 days for soil setup to occur. Record the blow counts from a safe distance with the aid of a transit. The “K” factor is developed based on the ratio of the initial driving resistance and the average resistance for the first foot of the redrive. After all test pile driving is completed. Analyze data. Schedule of Piling. etc. The ratio of the initial driving resistance to the final resistance is referred to as the “K” factor.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification 3. Record blow counts for each foot (300mm) of the remaining 10 feet (3m). A straight edge or wire is strung across the pile to provide an accurate reference. 4. The Maximum Safe Static Load as interpreted from the Load-Settlement Graph indicates gross settlement in inches Geotechnical Manual 5-43 TxDOT 9/00 . Record the hammer stroke and blows per inch for the first three feet of the redrive. Record the blow counts for each inch (25mm) of the first 3 feet (0. Redrive test pile. Pile test loads are used to ♦ Determine the true load carrying capacity which is derived from the proven static design load ♦ Determine the relationship between the proven static bearing capacity and that determined by hammer formula or wave equation bearing graph ♦ Verify the ability of the pile-soil system to develop the required bearing capacity at a predetermined elevation Figure 5-21: Pile test load The cost of test loads is easier to justify on large projects. Test loading of piling is performed in accordance with the Item. Redrive the test pile after 7 days have elapsed since initial driving. 5. 6. but they should be used on any job where a definite need for them exists. After the pile is driven three feet.9m) of the redrive. “Foundation Test Load” of the Standard Specifications. the stroke and blows per foot are recorded for each foot (300 mm) thereafter. Analyze data to determine regular piling lengths and appropriate “K” for use on the project. Pile Test Loads See Figure 5-21 for an example of a pile test load.

the Maximum Safe Static Load shall be 50 percent of the load indicated by the intersection of two lines. The Maximum Safe Static Load will be the value used to establish a “K” Factor to be used with the hammer formula during construction. Geotechnical Manual 5-44 TxDOT 9/00 .) 3. The next subsections cover these pile test load topics: ♦ Double Tangent Method for pile test loads ♦ Plunging Failure Method for pile test loads ♦ Data interpretation Double Tangent Method for Pile Test Loads When evaluating by the Double Tangent Method. and provide reasonable assurance that long term settlement is kept within tolerable limits.3Ε measured off the vertical. one drawn tangent to the initial flat portion and the other to the steep portion of the gross settlement curve.05 inch per ton for the last increment of load applied.) 4. Plot the second line tangent to the downward slope of the gross settlement curve where the rate of settlement approaching plunging failure exceeds 0. tangent to the initial flat portion and slope of the gross settlement curve. (For the recommended scale and scales of the same ratio. Figure 5-22.) 2. This method involves the following steps for determining the Maximum Safe Static Load: 1. Plot one line originating at zero load and settlement. The Maximum Safe Static Load is 50 percent of that load indicated by the intersection of the two tangents plotted on the Load-settlement graph. (These scales may be doubled to fit the load and settlement requirements. this is an angle of 11.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification against load in tons and should provide an adequate factor of safety. Plot the load-settlement graph (see Figure 5-22) using a horizontal scale of one inch equals twenty tons (1mm = 7kN) of load and a vertical scale of one inch equals two tenths inch of settlement. (This line is generally drawn to the same slope as the recovery line.

Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Figure 5-22. Geotechnical Manual 5-45 TxDOT 9/00 . Pile test load interpretation.

Geotechnical Manual 5-46 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Plunging Failure Method for Pile Test Loads Use this method as a check of the Double Tangent Method.3 which is a combination safety and correction factor. This is done in the same manner as for piling but larger loads must be applied and a heavier and stronger test load set-up is required. The next subsections discuss these drilled shaft topics: ♦ Double Tangent Method for drilled shaft loads ♦ Plunging Failure Method for drilled shaft loads Double Tangent Method for Drilled Shaft Loads The Maximum Safe Static Load shall be 50 percent of that load indicated by the intersection of two lines. The method involves the following steps for determining Maximum Safe Static Load: 1. the Maximum Safe Static Load proven by test load shall be the Plunging Failure Load divided by a factor of 2. one drawn tangent to the initial flat portion and the other to the steep portion of the gross settlement curve. The hammer formula modified by the "K" factor yields bearing values that conform to the Maximum Safe Static Load and is used to determine the driving resistance of all regular piling in the structure or within the test load limits of influence. Data Interpretation The Maximum Safe Static Load and the hammer formula resistance determine a “K” factor. The method of evaluation is also slightly different. The "K" factor is defined as follows: K = L/P. (The scale may be doubled to fit the load and settlement requirements). where: K = Pile Test Load "K" factor L =Maximum Safe Static Load by test load in accordance with interpretation covered herein. Plot the Load-settlement graph (see Figure 5-23) using a horizontal scale of one inch equals one hundred tons of load and a vertical scale of one inch equals 4 tenths inch of settlement. provided the Load-Settlement Graph shows a definite break to plunging failure. Drilled Shaft Load Carrying Capacity The only method of verifying the capacity of a particular shaft soil system is by test load. P = Dynamic driving resistance determined by the appropriate hammer formula. In this method. which is applied to the hammer formula as a multiplying factor for computing the resistance of all regular piling.

8° measured off the vertical). (This line is generally drawn to the same slope as the recovery line).Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification 2. Use the Maximum Safe Static Load to establish a test load soil factor to modify the foundation design. Plot the second line tangent to the downward slope of the gross settlement curve where the rate of settlement exceeds one hundredth inch per ton for the last increment of load applied. provided gross settlement at the selected design load is not more than one half inch. this is an angle of 21. Geotechnical Manual 5-47 TxDOT 9/00 . 3. Plot one line originating at zero load and settlement. 4. (For the recommended scale. The Maximum Safe Static Load is 50 percent of that load indicated on the Load Settlement Graph by the intersection of the two tangent lines. tangent to the initial flat portion and slope of the gross settlement curve. and others using the same ratio.

Geotechnical Manual 5-48 TxDOT 9/00 . Drilled shaft test load interpretation.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Figure 5-23.

Use this method as a check of the Double Tangent Method.Chapter 5 — Foundation Design Section 5 — Load Carrying Capacity Verification Plunging Failure Method for Drilled Shaft Loads The Maximum Safe Static Load is the Plunging Failure Load divided by a factor of 2. Geotechnical Manual 5-49 TxDOT 9/00 .3. which is a combination safety and correction factor. provided the gross settlement at design load is not more than one half inch.

..........................6-28 Temporary Slopes ..................................................................6-16 Wall Selection Criteria ........................................................................................................................................Chapter 6 Retaining Walls Contents This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview ..........................................................................................................6-16 Cut or Fill Determination .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-23 Preliminary Retaining Wall Layouts.........................................................................................................................................................6-28 Railroads ............................................................6-20 Alternate Walls ........................................................................................6-9 Nailed Walls .......6-4 Fill Walls ............................................................6-6 Cut Walls ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-12 Drilled Shaft Walls ...................................................................................................6-3 Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types....................................................................................................6-14 Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection ..............................................................................................................6-26 General Notes .................................6-25 Plan View...........................................6-4 Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-28 Temporary Shoring ...............................................................................6-21 Section 4 — Retaining Wall Layouts ......................................................................................................................................6-9 Tiedback Walls .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-32 Wall Layout Considerations .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 6-28 Overview.......................................................................................................................................................................................6-25 Typical Section ............................6-16 Constructability .........................................................................................................................6-28 Traffic Surcharge ..................................................................................................6-28 Roadways ....................................................... 6-16 Overview..............................................6-13 Sheet Pile Walls .................................................................6-23 Layout Content .......................................................................6-25 Elevation View ...........................6-4 Spread Footing Walls................................................................................................................................................. 6-23 Overview................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-20 Aesthetics .........................6-32 Geotechnical Manual 6-1 TxDOT 9/00 ....................................................................................................6-26 Section 5 — Temporary Shoring ...................................................................................................................................................................... 6-4 Overview...................................................6-29 Railroad Surcharge ..... 6-32 Overview......................................................6-29 Section 6 — Design Considerations .......... 6-3 Introduction.....................................................................................................................

...............6-33 Depressed Sections ..............................................................................................................................................................6-42 Geotechnical Manual 6-2 TxDOT 9/00 .................................................6-40 Drilled Shaft and Sheet Pile Walls................................................................................................6-35 Rotational Stability .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Embankment Side Slopes .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-39 Earth Pressure Distribution .....6-41 Eccentricity ...................... 6-39 Overview...................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-41 Bearing Pressure ....................................................6-39 Internal Analysis ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-40 Sliding and Overturning ............................................................................................................................................6-37 Section 7 — Design Procedures..........................................................6-41 Rotational Stability ...........................................................................................................................................6-34 Eccentricity .............6-33 Stability ........................................................6-33 Bridge Abutments ................................................................................................................6-34 Sliding and Overturning ........6-37 Settlement ......................................................................................6-33 Structures Behind Wall ...............................................................................................................................................................6-39 Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls ............................................6-35 Bearing Pressure ..................................................................................6-40 Tiedback Walls .......................................................................................................................................................................6-40 External Analysis .6-32 Widening Fill Sections..........................................................................

Tiedback and MSE walls Geotechnical Manual 6-3 TxDOT 9/00 . with each type individually suited for different field situations. As a result. while others are better used in cuts or in limited right-of-way situations. Figure 6-1.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction The Department has traditionally been one of the largest users of retaining walls in the country and a leader in the research and development of retaining wall technology. the Department has helped pioneer several of the wall types in use today. The Department utilizes a variety of retaining wall types. Figure 6-1 is an example of tiedback and MSE walls. Some wall types are better suited for fills.

Fill Walls While fill walls can be constructed in a cut situation. Gravity walls are seldom constructed any more because of the development of more economical wall types. The footing and wall stem are relatively thin and heavily Geotechnical Manual 6-4 TxDOT 9/00 . This wall got its name from the stem. Forms are then placed on the footing so that the stem can be cast. temporary shoring is required as well as space for the excavation in which to construct the wall.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Section 2 Retaining Wall Types Overview Retaining walls are generally divided into fill walls and cut walls. Spread footing walls are divided into two types: ♦ Gravity walls ♦ Cantilever walls Gravity Walls. These walls are usually constructed of solid concrete or rock rubble mortared together. Gravity walls resist overturning and sliding by the weight of the wall itself. The footing is poured first. Cantilever Walls. The next paragraphs discuss these cantilever wall topics: ♦ Description ♦ Standard designs ♦ Standard details ♦ Applications Description. These walls are not usually reinforced with steel since the massive nature of these walls develops little or no tension in the mass. A typical application for a cut wall would be a depressed section in an urban environment. The two common types of fill walls are ♦ Spread footing walls ♦ Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls Spread Footing Walls Spread footing walls resist the forces of soil pressure by using the weight of the wall to keep the wall stable. Cut walls are associated with facilities built below existing grade. which acts as a cantilever structural element. Cantilever spread footing walls are composed of a footing and stem which are typically made of cast in place concrete. Fill walls are constructed in conjunction with fills such as bridge approach embankments.

5H to 1V. but as a result apply greater loads to the underlying soils and therefore require higher soil strengths. level surcharges of up to 0.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types reinforced to resist the bending forces present. The high-pressure walls use smaller footings.5H to 1V (horizontal:vertical). Standard detail sheets are available for both high and low footing pressure walls.6m. The English standard sheets cover wall heights of up to 32 feet (10m). The metric standard sheets cover wall heights of up to 10m. and sloped surcharges as steep as 2. level surcharges of up to 7 feet (2m). Cantilever wall construction Standard Details. thus reducing the maximum pressure applied to the soil. and sloped surcharges as steep as 1. Figure 6-2. For a given wall height and surcharge condition. the wall designer can look to the standard sheets and find ♦ Required footing and stem dimensions ♦ Required reinforcing steel Geotechnical Manual 6-5 TxDOT 9/00 . The cantilever spread footing retaining walls used by the department can be grouped into two categories: ♦ High footing pressure designs ♦ Low footing pressure designs The low-pressure walls use larger concrete footings to distribute soil loads over a large area. Standard Designs. The weight of the soil above the heel helps keep the wall stable. Figure 6-2 shows a cantilever wall stem under construction.

See Figure 6-3 for a photo of a panel type MSE wall. The original MSE walls developed by the Reinforced Earth Company were constructed with a metal face to which reinforcing strips were attached. MSE walls are also referred to as proprietary walls since they are designed and supplied by outside suppliers. All of the systems are covered by one or more patents held by the suppliers. The use of spread footing walls in cuts requires over excavation and possibly shoring of the cut material. The internal design of the wall is performed by the supplier. which are mechanically attached to the soil reinforcements. Later. Although at one time the vast majority of the retaining walls the Department constructed were spread footing. constructing. The reinforcements can be either metallic or plastic. Panel type MSE walls are the most common walls built in Texas. The Department must only design the general geometry and check for wall stability. Spread footing walls are used mostly in fill situations since considerable room is required behind the walls for forming.3m2) to a maximum of 50 square feet (4. The area of each panel ranges from 25 square feet (2. therefore. The select fill is a granular material capable of engaging the reinforcements through friction. new technologies have almost completely replaced this type of wall. which provided better appearance and durability.6m2). The metal face was soon replaced by concrete panels. MSE walls are divided into three categories depending on the facing elements: ♦ Panel walls ♦ Concrete block walls ♦ Temporary earth walls Panel Walls.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls ♦ Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Maximum footing pressure applied to the underlying soil Applications. MSE walls are composed of a mass of select fill held together by reinforcements to which a face is attached. The panel shape and size varies depending on the supplier. and backfilling the footings and stems. small concrete blocks with interlocking plastic reinforcements entered the market to compete with the larger panel walls. Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls are the most economical and. Spread footing wall construction is generally limited to small applications or specialized situations. the most common wall type constructed. MSE panel walls use large reinforced concrete facing elements. Geotechnical Manual 6-6 TxDOT 9/00 . such as the construction of sidewalls and partitions for storm water detention basins.

Figure 6-4 shows an example of terraced concrete block walls. The reinforcements are usually plastic geogrids. Panel type MSE wall Concrete Block Walls. Figure 6-4. although fabric and metallic reinforcements have been used.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Figure 6-3. These walls are usually built on a batter. which varies between 1:6 (horizontal:vertical) and 1:48. Concrete block walls are constructed of small blocks that have a surface area of approximately one square foot. The reinforcements are laid between courses of blocks and depend on friction between the blocks or on a mechanical device for anchorage. Terraced concrete block walls Geotechnical Manual 6-7 TxDOT 9/00 .

These walls have a wire mesh face backed with filter fabric to retain the fill. Figure 6-5. Temporary earth walls are utilized when a fill will be constructed in two or more stages. The wall is then buried by subsequent stages of embankment construction. See Figures 6-5 and 6-6 for photos of temporary earth walls.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Temporary Earth Walls. Temporary earth walls – IH 35 San Marcos Geotechnical Manual 6-8 TxDOT 9/00 . These walls are approximately one third the cost of panel type MSE walls and cheaper than sheet piling for temporary shoring.

with respect to the top of wall extending above the existing ground. The tensile force may be provided by either a deadman anchor or a prestressed ground anchor.) Cut Walls Cut walls are constructed in areas where the finished grade will be substantially below existing grade. The cost saved by eliminating the temporary shoring can offset the higher cost of cut type walls. The various types of cut walls are ♦ Tiedback walls ♦ Nailed walls ♦ Drilled shaft walls ♦ Sheet pile walls Tiedback Walls These walls consist of a vertical structural element. which eliminates the need for temporary shoring. Cut walls are constructed with a top down construction sequence. which is anchored back into the existing ground with tension elements. Temporary earth walls – IH 35 San Marcos (cont. Tiedback walls can be either Geotechnical Manual 6-9 TxDOT 9/00 . Some of the wall types are more sensitive than others.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Figure 6-6.

Deadman anchors consist of bars or cables which pass through the face of the wall which are anchored to a large object buried behind the wall referred to as a “deadman. Prestressed ground anchor or tiedback walls consist of vertical structural elements tied back with tension elements embedded in the earth behind the wall. and may be either reinforced concrete drilled shafts or double channels backfilled with cement stabilized sand. The force holding the wall back is generated by passive soil pressures acting on the deadman.” which is usually either concrete or sheet piling. Double channel soldier piling Geotechnical Manual 6-10 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls ♦ Deadman anchored walls ♦ Prestressed ground anchor walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Deadman Anchored Walls. The next paragraphs deal with these prestressed ground anchor wall topics: ♦ Description ♦ Construction procedure ♦ Top of wall consideration ♦ Tieback length consideration Description. The deadman must be located far enough behind the wall so that the active failure zone and the passive resistance wedge in front of the deadman do not overlap. Figure 6-7. (See Figure 6-7) The double channel soldier piling are preferred because of the ease of installing additional tiebacks as required. The vertical elements are most commonly soldier piling. which are installed first. Prestressed Ground Anchor Walls. The vertical element is sometimes composed of sheet piling.

Drilling tieback holes Geotechnical Manual 6-11 TxDOT 9/00 . The prestressed ground anchors or tiebacks consist of highstrength bar or strand grouted into an inclined hole drilled behind the face of the excavation. Figure 6-8 depicts hole drilling. Figure 6-8. the permanent facing is attached to the soldier piling. Once the excavation is complete.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Construction Procedure. Figure 6-9 shows preparations for attachment of permanent facing. Lagging is installed between soldier piling as necessary to control soil raveling. The tiebacks are installed and tensioned as the excavation progresses downward. If sheet piling are used for the face. the tiebacks are anchored to wale beams running along the face of the wall.

problems can occur during tieback tensioning. If the top of wall is more than three feet above the existing ground line.6m) and more typical lengths are in the 40-50 foot range (12-15m). Backfill placement behind the wall prior to stressing may not totally solve this problem. Tiebacks cannot cross the right-of-way line unless a permanent easement is obtained. Installing stud anchors & filter fabric Top of Wall Consideration. Nailed Walls These walls consist of a large number of reinforcing elements drilled and grouted into the ground. Tieback Length Consideration. Minimum tieback length is 25 feet (7. the permanent facing is attached to the nails. As each level of nails is completed. Either soil or rock may be nailed. Another consideration for tiedback walls is the distance the tiebacks extend behind the wall.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Figure 6-9. Tiedback walls are very sensitive to the location of the existing ground line and the top of wall. Tiedback walls may be installed in rock. however. reinforcing mesh and gunnite are applied to the face of the excavation to insure temporary stability. Nails are installed as the excavation progresses downward. Nails in rock are shorter and more widely spaced Geotechnical Manual 6-12 TxDOT 9/00 . Once the excavation is complete. nailing may be more economical.

as shown is Figure 6-11. These walls consist of drilled shafts installed in the ground behind the face of wall on as much as 10 foot (3m) centers or as little as one foot clear between the shafts. and soil conditions. Drilled Shaft Walls The next paragraphs discuss ♦ Description ♦ Cost and utilities considerations ♦ Existing and proposed grades Description. Nailed walls are commonly used for constructing turnarounds at existing structures when part of the header bank must be removed. loading. Nailed walls are designed for the specific ground conditions at each location. The shaft excavation is accomplished with rotary drilling equipment.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types than nails in soil. the facing is attached to the shafts. See Figure 6-10 for an example of soil nailed walls. After installation of the shafts and completion of the excavation. Figure 6-10. Soil nailed wall with gunnite applied. depending on wall height. Geotechnical Manual 6-13 TxDOT 9/00 .

a large pipe or culvert may prove impractical to design around. These walls are constructed with either steel or prestressed concrete sheet piling. Because of the possible close spacing of the shafts. Sheet Pile Walls These next paragraphs cover ♦ Description ♦ Steel sheet pile use ♦ Concrete sheet pile use ♦ Existing and proposed grades Description. Existing and Proposed Grades. As a result. Shafts may be extended above existing grade as columns to which the facing is attached and the wall then backfilled. Carefully control the placement of backfill to minimize wall movements due to compaction equipment loads. Drilled shaft walls are not sensitive to the relation of the existing and proposed grades. storm sewers or culverts passing through the wall below grade may create serious design problems. Geotechnical Manual 6-14 TxDOT 9/00 . these walls can be quite expensive. Facing attached to drilled shafts. The shafts typically penetrate one to two times the height of the wall below grade depending on the ground conditions. While it is possible to design a wall to accommodate a small pipe passing through the wall.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Figure 6-11. The piling are driven into the ground with either impact or vibratory hammers. Cost and Utilities Considerations.

Generally. Hard ground can be difficult to penetrate because they are displacement piling. or contain a concrete facing attached to provide corrosion resistance.5 to 2 times the wall height below grade. Steel Sheet Pile Use. Steel sheet piling are used for either temporary or permanent walls. the sheet piling is either painted. Sheet pile walls are not sensitive to the relation of the existing and proposed grades. galvanized.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 2 — Retaining Wall Types Because the piling are driven. the ground must be soft enough to allow the piling to penetrate with reasonable driving effort. These piling offer excellent performance in highly corrosive environments. Existing and Proposed Grades. avoid driving through soil harder than 50/12" (50/300mm) Texas Cone Penetrometer. When used for permanent walls. Concrete Sheet Pile Use. The piling are typically embedded 1. The placement of backfill should be carefully controlled to minimize wall movements due to compaction equipment loads. may be driven into relatively hard soil (softer than 12"/100 (300mm/100) Texas Cone Penetrometer). Geotechnical Manual 6-15 TxDOT 9/00 . Steel sheet piling are nondisplacement piling and therefore. Penetration through sands by jetting is discouraged due to possible unpredictable disturbance of the soil causing excessive deflections of the piling under load. Prestressed concrete sheet piling are used only for permanent walls.

If adequate space exists. When building fill walls in cuts. This section deals with ♦ Wall selection criteria ♦ Alternate walls Wall Selection Criteria The following criteria are considered in wall selection: ♦ Cut or fill determination ♦ Constructability ♦ Aesthetics Cut or Fill Determination The first criterion in wall selection is to determine whether a wall will be built in a cut or fill situation.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection Section 3 Retaining Wall Selection Overview The selection of the most appropriate wall type for a location can have profound effects on the project cost and constructability. Once a difference in grade has been identified in the design process. the cost of the wall. temporary shoring depending on the space available for excavation. While fill walls can be built in cuts. and shoring can possibly exceed the cost of a more suitable cut wall. Consider the total cost of construction for a particular wall type. excavation. A retaining wall is required if adequate space is not available. the opposite is not true for all cut walls. Use fill type walls in fill situations. The construction of fill walls in cuts will require additional excavation behind the face of wall and possibly. The total cost of the wall and shoring should always be compared to the costs of other wall types. consider a slope. These wall installation conditions determine the wall type selected: ♦ Fill condition ♦ Cut/fill condition ♦ Cut condition Fill Condition. The maximum slope steepness is dictated by the quality of fill soils available and whether or not the slope will be protected with riprap to eliminate the need for mowing and other maintenance. Geotechnical Manual 6-16 TxDOT 9/00 . the decision must be made to construct a slope or a retaining wall. An MSE wall that is relatively inexpensive may require temporary shoring equaling the cost of the wall.

such as MSE or concrete block built on slopes. Other wall types may need to be considered if the fill will extend into water. Cut/Fill Condition. The back of the bench must either be sloped up at 1:1 maximum or supported with temporary shoring. such as sheet piling. Regular fill walls. See Figure 6-12 for a diagram of fill on slope. the engineering and transportation expenses for MSE or concrete block may outweigh the added cost of a spread footing wall. Fill on Slope. This is accomplished by placing fill for the approach to the new. Fill on slope diagram. Approach retaining walls are commonly needed in urban areas due to the lack of available right of way for side slopes. This condition is best represented by at-grade crossings that are upgraded to grade separations by raising one roadway above the other. For small quantities. Fills placed on slopes require special consideration. if cofferdams or temporary shoring are required for construction. This assumes that shoring will not be needed for the excavation back into the slope for the wall construction. will require that a bench be cut into the slope for wall construction. Geotechnical Manual 6-17 TxDOT 9/00 . Consider the costs of other wall types.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection The two fill conditions normally encountered are ♦ Fill on level ground ♦ Fill on slope Fill on Level Ground. elevated structure. The most common fill walls used in this situation are ♦ Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) ♦ Concrete block If the total quantity of wall on a project is quite small (<1000 SF or <100 M2). MSE and concrete block walls can be built if the water can temporarily be lowered or a cofferdam easily and economically constructed. Figure 6-12. it may be desirable to include cast in place spread footing walls as an option in the plans.

These wall types require that adequate space be available to excavate into the slope. See Figure 6-13 for a diagram of a cut/fill condition. Figure 6-13. The back of the bench must either be shored or sloped the same as for fill walls on slopes. Cut/fill condition. This condition is typically encountered when upgrading controlled access facilities when both the main lanes and frontage roads are widened. Other wall types may be more economical if temporary shoring is necessary. See Figure 6-14 for a diagram of MSE or concrete block. Geotechnical Manual 6-18 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection This condition consists of placing fill on the upper portion of a slope and removing the lower portion of the slope. Consider the following wall types for this situation: ♦ MSE or concrete block walls ♦ Drilled shaft walls ♦ Tiedback walls ♦ Sheet pile walls ♦ L-shaped spread footing MSE or Concrete Block Walls.

The same considerations apply. In this condition. L-shaped Spread Footing. the drilled shafts may be constructed in one or two stages. If the wall is closer to the top of the slope. An additional wall type to be considered here is soil nailed walls. In firm soils or rock. Any fill should be placed prior to soldier pile installation and well compacted. The lack of a heel minimizes the excavation required behind the wall. The ground must be soft enough to a depth of one to two times the wall height to allow the piling to be driven. Tiedback Walls. Sheet Pile Walls. MSE or concrete wall diagram. If temporary fill is not used. Depending on the location of the wall on the slope. Sheet pile walls have occasionally been used in a cut/fill situation. Only use these walls in a cut/fill situation when the wall is closer to the top of the slope than the bottom. the primary operation is removing ground with little or no fill placed. drilled shaft walls can be an economical alternative. the portion of the shaft below the existing ground line is constructed first. These walls are the usually the most expensive choice for this situation. This wall type is commonly used when a small cut is made at the base of a slope.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection Figure 6-14. then the portion above ground is formed and poured as a column. Cut Condition. Typically tiedback walls are economical only when significant quantities are used on a project. temporary fill may be placed to allow the shafts to be constructed in one stage. except that tiedback and drilled shaft walls are easier to construct in a mainly cut situation. Drilled Shaft Walls. Geotechnical Manual 6-19 TxDOT 9/00 . The wall choices for this condition are similar to those for the cut/fill condition. See Figure 6-15 for a diagram of a cut condition.

Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls

Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection

Figure 6-15. Cut condition diagram.
Soil Nailed Walls. These walls may be constructed in any cut situation, but are best suited
for low headroom situations under structures. This is the wall of choice for turn around wall
construction under bridges. The top of wall should be no more than 2' to 3' (600-900mm)
above the existing grade.
Constructability
The next selection criterion to consider is constructability. Drilled shaft and tiedback walls
require the drilling of a vertical hole in the ground. This dictates that adequate overhead
clearance be available for drilling equipment. If clearance is not available, low headroom
drilling equipment may be used and shaft reinforcement or soldier piling members spliced as
it is inserted in the hole. These operations will increase costs considerably. In a low
headroom situation, a nailed wall is the first choice.
Horizontal clearance is a consideration for tiedback and nailed walls. Tiebacks are often
installed with a continuous flight auger somewhat longer than the depth of the hole, which
means 50+ feet (15+m) of horizontal clearance, is desired. Sectional augers may be used in
limited clearance areas. Nails, being shorter, typically need around 20 feet (6m) of clearance
for installation. Because of the minimum size of common drilling equipment used, 20-foot
(6m) horizontal and 6 foot (2m) vertical should be considered minimum clearances.
Aesthetics
The final criterion to be considered is aesthetics. This is a difficult area to address since
opinions on what is desirable will vary quite widely. Suffice it to say that within reason,
most aesthetic treatments can be accomplished independently of wall type. Some walls such
as concrete block walls, however, have an appearance so unique that it cannot be duplicated
by another wall type. However, a possible compromise would be to use concrete block
facing elements with another type wall to accomplish the aesthetic goal. The Design
Division Geotechnical Section should be contacted for assistance in design aesthetic
treatments for walls. The aesthetic treatment of retaining walls may involve items such as

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Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls

Section 3 — Retaining Wall Selection

Form liners to produce various surface finishes

Paints, stains or colored concrete to color surfaces

Various wall geometries to accommodate landscaping

The next paragraphs discuss these aesthetic topics:

Cost

Public interaction

Landscaping Considerations

Cost. Depending on the treatment selected, cost may not be significantly affected. The use of
simple form liners can be very economical while colored concrete can be quite expensive.
Furthermore, normal field surface finishing of colored concrete can yield variable colors.
Public Interaction. Another item to be considered is the amount of interaction, which will
occur between the motoring public and the aesthetic treatment. A complicated graphic next
to a high-speed roadway will most likely be a blur to passing motorists, who might only be
able to view the graphic for tenths of a second. In this case, a simple form liner might be a
more appropriate treatment. If a wall faces a park or other public area, more elaborate
treatments may be warranted.
Landscaping Considerations.. Aesthetic treatments with landscaping in conjunction with
retaining walls should be done carefully. If extensive watering of landscaping is anticipated,
additional drainage measures may be needed to insure that excessive pressures do not build
up behind walls.
Alternate Walls
It is sometimes difficult to pick the most suitable wall for a cut or cut/fill condition. Very
often, the designer cannot evaluate factors that a contractor considers important, such as
equipment availability or haul cost for excavated soil for MSE wall construction in a cut. In
such instances, it is best to include several wall types in the plans so that the contractor can
determine the most economical choice. When dissimilar wall types are included in the plans
for a single wall, present the wall types as alternates so that the appropriate bid items may be
included in each alternate. A MSE wall alternate in a cut must include an item for temporary
shoring, whereas the tiedback alternate would not need a shoring item. See Figure 6-16 for a
wall selection flow chart.

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Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls

Section 3 — R e t a i n i n g W a l l S e l e c t i o n

Figure 6-16. Wall selection flowchart.

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Section 4 — Retaining Wall Layouts

Section 4
Retaining Wall Layouts
Overview
Retaining wall layouts must be carefully prepared to clearly present the geometric
information. Poorly prepared layouts can result in misinterpretation of alignments or grades
by the designer. Such mistakes in design will carry over into construction and result in
contractor claims. The need for clear, concise, and accurate wall layouts is very important
since wall construction has become a significant portion of the work in many contracts. For
information on wall layout design, see Section 6, Design Considerations.
This section contains information on

Preliminary retaining wall layouts

Layout content

Preliminary Retaining Wall Layouts
Preliminary wall layouts are prepared for review by various offices to evaluate potential
problems such as:

Wall stability on weak soils

Drainage structure conflicts with the wall

Utility impacts

Inadequate right of way

Need for temporary or permanent construction easements

Potential geometric problems such as sight distance

Preliminary layouts should contain adequate information to evaluate the potential problems
stated above. Figure 6-17 shows a sample preliminary wall layout.

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Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 4 — Retaining Wall Layouts Figure 6-17. Sample preliminary wall layout. Geotechnical Manual 6-24 TxDOT 9/00 .

Plan View The plan view should contain the following items: ♦ Beginning and ending wall points by station. The final layouts should also contain a quantity table and applicable general notes. signing. or by giving elevations at fixed intervals. etc. Ground lines may be given as vertical curves. typically 20' or 25'. Geotechnical Manual 6-25 TxDOT 9/00 . etc. lighting. signing. vertical curves will produce a smoother top of wall profile. that is mounted on. offset. In general. if applicable for wall alignment ♦ Location of soil borings ♦ Drainage. as noted above ♦ Drainage structures and utilities as noted above ♦ Groundwater levels for walls in cut sections Top of wall profile lines may be described as vertical curves. or more typically at fixed intervals. lighting.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 4 — Retaining Wall Layouts Layout Content Retaining wall layouts consist of ♦ Plan view ♦ Elevation view ♦ Typical section ♦ General notes The subsections below discuss these topics. or passing through wall ♦ Subsurface drainage structures or utilities which could be impacted by wall construction Elevation View The elevation view should contain the following items: ♦ Existing ground line along wall alignment ♦ Finished grade line at face of wall ♦ Top of retaining wall grade line ♦ Soil boring information shown at the correct elevation and scale ♦ Drainage. and roadway alignment ♦ Additional points as necessary to describe relationship of wall alignment to roadway alignment(s) ♦ Indicate which side is the “Face of Wall” ♦ Horizontal curve information.

riprap mow strips. but is desirable. It can be helpful in showing the relationship of roadways. Geotechnical Manual 6-26 TxDOT 9/00 . The estimated quantity table should contain the following items: ♦ Area of retaining wall ♦ Linear footage of railing on wall ♦ Miscellaneous quantities associated with wall (riprap. For instance. however. if a two-foot (600mm) embedment is required. as ground lines tend to vary less than top of wall lines. Figure 6-18 shows a sample final retaining wall layout. and lighting systems are typically detailed in other areas of the plans. etc. Estimated Quantity Table. railing type. as well as a note stating that the wall area is measured between top of wall and two feet below finished grade. signing. The most common of these items are ♦ Storm water inlets ♦ Lighting assemblies ♦ Overhead signing It is not necessary to provide complete details for a conflicting item. many districts continue to include the notes shown on the sample layout as a reminder. it is highly desirable to show locations of items which will require special retaining wall details. etc. A note must be added if a MSE wall embedment other than one foot (300mm) is to be required. Also note any slopes above or below the wall.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 4 — Retaining Wall Layouts The interval for ground lines is often longer. Slopes can have a significant impact on stability and analysis during design. a note should be added stating this. Although drainage.) Typical Section A typical section is not required. General Notes The Standard Specifications adequately cover measurement and payment of MSE retaining walls. but the designation and location should be noted to allow the retaining wall designer to find the detailed information elsewhere in the plans.

Geotechnical Manual 6-27 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 4 — Retaining Wall Layouts Figure 6-18. Sample final retaining wall layout.

2 horizontal to 1 vertical. temporary shoring is not considered concurrently with wall layout and design. When the quantity of soil to be removed for the temporary slope becomes to great. A 1:1 slope will normally stand for a reasonable period of time in average soils. In some extreme cases. a temporary slope is the best way to accommodate an excavation for a retaining wall. constructed at all. Railroads Temporary slopes adjacent to railroads usually can start no closer than approximately 12' to 15' (3. Weaker soils will require flatter slopes. consider temporary shoring. the cost of temporary shoring required to construct a wall can exceed the cost of the permanent wall due to poor planning and improper wall selection. The maximum slope angle allowed is approximately 1. This section covers the following temporary shoring topics: ♦ Temporary slopes ♦ Temporary shoring design Temporary Slopes The next subsections discuss ♦ Roadways ♦ Railroads Roadways When possible. The maximum slope angle depends on the individual railroad policy.57m) from the centerline of the tracks.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 5 — Temporary Shoring Section 5 Temporary Shoring Overview All too often. The finest wall design is not very useful if the wall cannot be constructed in an economical way or in some cases.66m to 4. Temporary Shoring The following subsections deal with ♦ Traffic surcharge Geotechnical Manual 6-28 TxDOT 9/00 .

This loading produces a loading of approximately 2000 psf (96Kpa) across the base of the ballast (8'-6" (2.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls ♦ Section 5 — Temporary Shoring Railroad surcharge Temporary shoring must be designed much like a normal retaining wall.3m). When absolutely necessary. The only limitation to the distance between a roadway and temporary shoring is the space required to place a barrier to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway and falling into the excavation.77. Due to the impermeable nature of some shoring such as sheet piling. The effect of surcharges or slopes behind the shoring must also be considered.E. The effect of this pressure must be evaluated by elastic soil methods as described in the American Railway Engineering Association (A. It is strongly encouraged to eliminate shoring when other avenues are available for construction. locate the shoring as far away from the track as possible to minimize the pressures and height of wall required. Geotechnical Manual 6-29 TxDOT 9/00 . Active soil pressures that act on the wall must be determined. railroad shoring is very difficult to design.A. A safe assumption for this distance is 5’ when concrete barriers are used. Due to the extreme magnitude of this loading.) Specifications chapter on Flexible Bulkheads. Railroad Surcharge The paragraphs below cover these railroad surcharge areas: ♦ Loading pressure ♦ Design difficulties ♦ Shoring submittal Loading Pressure. Based on this requirement. See Figure 6-19 for an example of sheet pile shoring. Design Difficulties.6m)).R.5kPa)). The horizontal pressure exerted on the wall is then a function of the coefficient of active earth pressure.66m). The minimum distance required by railroads between a track centerline and face of shoring is usually 12 feet (3. Railroad surcharge is normally evaluated for Cooper E80 loading. water pressure may also need to be considered. the minimum distance between a permanent track centerline and a shoofly (temporary construction trackage) centerline is 22 to 24 feet (6. Traffic Surcharge Traffic surcharge is normally considered to be equivalent to two feet of soil (240 psf (11.

Shoring within the approximate zones shown in the following diagram must be submitted to the railroad for approval. other railroads have similar requirements.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 5 — Temporary Shoring Figure 6-19: Sheet pile shoring Shoring Submittal. Geotechnical Manual 6-30 TxDOT 9/00 . While Figure 6-20 shows a diagram for the Union Pacific railroad.

Geotechnical Manual 6-31 TxDOT 9/00 . Railroad shoring requirements.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 5 — Temporary Shoring Figure 6-20.

the wall can be placed at the edge of the upper roadway at the top of the embankment or at the bottom of the embankment thereby eliminating the toe. and drainage features. Placing the wall at the top of the embankment requires an expensive concrete rail on top of the wall. An adequate preliminary site investigation must be performed to determine the feasibility of a design. The location of a wall can affect the wall quantity significantly.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations Section 6 Design Considerations Overview Many issues must be considered in the design of retaining walls. Placing the wall at the bottom of the embankment allows the use of a guard fence next to the upper roadway and plain coping on top of the wall. In this situation. eliminates any possibility for a future widening of the upper roadway. which need to be considered to insure that a correct design is accomplished. The considerations discussed below are ♦ Embankment side slopes ♦ Widening fill sections ♦ Depressed sections ♦ Bridge abutments ♦ Structures behind wall Embankment Side Slopes The first situation to consider is a typical grade separation where inadequate right of way requires the use of retaining walls along the embankment side slopes. Geotechnical Manual 6-32 TxDOT 9/00 . These are only a few of the items. This section discusses the design considerations listed below: ♦ Wall layout considerations ♦ Stability Wall Layout Considerations Carefully consider the location of retaining walls. but simplifies embankment side slope mowing. Other features of a project should also be considered such as construction phasing. It also allows future widening of the upper roadway. temporary construction conditions. but complicates mowing of the side slope or requires that the side slope be riprapped if mowers do not have access.

For most retaining walls. Structures Behind Wall Also.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations Widening Fill Sections Fill sections that are being widened present special considerations. they cannot be moved to accommodate future width requirements. Placing the face of wall as close to the toe of existing slope as possible minimizes excavation and temporary shoring. Typically some soil must be excavated to allow construction of an MSE wall. To improve the appearance of walls. this is especially critical because the tiebacks and wall reinforcements may need to be skewed around the abutment foundations. control of the top of wall profile with vertical curves rather than discreet elevations at specific points results in a much smoother top of wall. the face of the wall should at least 1. Placing the wall close to the existing top of embankment presents serious and expensive temporary shoring problems and also impacts traffic control during construction. consider additional width for the lower roadway to allow for future lane additions. For tiedback and MSE walls. Once retaining walls are in place. Geotechnical Manual 6-33 TxDOT 9/00 .6m) in front of the face of the abutment cap. MSE walls are usually placed at least one to two feet in front of foundation to allow space for attachment of the reinforcements to the facing panels and skewing of the reinforcements. See Figure 6-21 for a sign support foundation behind a MSE wall. Bridge Abutments Place retaining walls a reasonable distance in front of bridge abutments to allow adequate clearance for wall construction. consider the proximity of a retaining wall to structures behind the wall. Depressed Sections In depressed sections.5 to 2 feet (0.45-0.

Overturning does not involve the soil under the wall. Sign support foundation behind MSE wall Stability Unlike foundation failures. Areas of primary concern in evaluating stability are ♦ Sliding and overturning ♦ Eccentricity ♦ Bearing pressure ♦ Rotational stability ♦ Settlement Sliding and Overturning Sliding involves the lateral translation of a wall due to inadequate resistance to movement at the base of the wall. A safety factor of 1.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations Figure 6-21. As a result. which can occur slowly over a period of years. thoroughly investigate retaining wall stability. Past failures have involved marginal soils at the base of walls. but only the mass of the wall to resist the soil driving forces behind the wall. The failure of retaining walls can close a transportation facility just as quickly as a bridge failure.5 is considered adequate. Since the Geotechnical Manual 6-34 TxDOT 9/00 . retaining walls can fail in stability very rapidly and with catastrophic results.

pressure is exerted on the foundation soil along the base of a wall. See Figure 6-22 for an example of spread footing wall-sliding failure. Bearing Pressure As a result of the weight of the wall mass and the active driving forces behind a wall. A safety factor of 2. The distance between the middle of the footing and the location of the resultant is the eccentricity. Geotechnical Manual 6-35 TxDOT 9/00 . Figure 6-22.0 is considered adequate. The location of the resultant is limited to the middle third of the footing to insure that the rear part of the footing does not lift off the ground. The pressure is greatest at the toe of the wall. The result is a local distortion of the wall face. See Figure 6-23 for a photo of settlement from bearing failure and Figure 6-24 for a photo of wall distress from bearing failure. Should the ultimate bearing capacity of the soil under the toe of the wall be exceeded. A safety factor of 2.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations driving forces are applied to the wall at roughly two-thirds the wall height above the base. Sliding failure of spread footing wall Eccentricity The combination of vertical and horizontal loads on a wall combine to produce a resultant force at the base of a wall. which is not at the middle of the footing. there is a tendency for the wall to overturn if the wall mass or geometry is inadequate.0 in bearing capacity is recommended. the toe of the wall can plunge down into the foundation soil.

Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations Figure 6-23. Settlement from bearing failure Geotechnical Manual 6-36 TxDOT 9/00 .

25 or higher is usually considered adequate. but more on the strength of the foundation and retained soil. A safety factor of 1. Computer programs are used to evaluate rotational stability.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations Figure 6-24. This type of failure is not dependent on the wall design specifically. Settlement is mainly a problem in the coastal areas of the state where Geotechnical Manual 6-37 TxDOT 9/00 . Wall distress from bearing failure Rotational Stability Rotational failures of walls encompass the entire wall as well as a portion of the retained soil. Settlement Settlement can be significant when walls are constructed on soils softer than approximately 5/12" TCP (5/300mm).

Figure 6-25. Settlement can be accelerated by installing vertical drains through the compressible subsoil. Construction of embankments on very soft soils is also likely to result in rotational stability failures during construction if no precautions are taken. Approach embankment settlement Geotechnical Manual 6-38 TxDOT 9/00 . make attempts to either allow as much settlement to occur prior to completing the approach or to support the embankment with a foundation improvement such as stone columns. Note that data obtained from consolidation testing is only approximate. This is often the most economical and practical solution. the best solution may be to lengthen the bridge and thereby. See Figure 6-25 for a photo of an approach embankment settlement. When encountering significant layers of soft soils. obtain samples for consolidation testing to determine potential settlement. and the time predicted for such settlement to occur can be incorrect by an order of magnitude. reduce the height of the approach.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 6 — Design Considerations soils softer than 2/12" (2/300mm) occur to depths of 20 to 50 feet (6-15m). Any values calculated for settlement should be tempered by previous experience in the area. Predictions of total settlement based on such data are commonly higher than observed in the field. When significant settlement is anticipated. If a bridge approach embankment is constructed over soils subject to significant settlement.

The following design procedures are intended to convey general methods and not be all encompassing for every design situation. The major wall types to be analyzed are ♦ Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls ♦ Tiedback walls Geotechnical Manual 6-39 TxDOT 9/00 . Internal Analysis Internal analysis refers to the design of the wall structure to resist the stresses induced by the earth pressure applied to the wall. This is considered to be the case for spread footing. drilled shaft and sheet pile walls. The various elements of the wall must be designed to carry the stresses generated so that an adequate factor of safety is attained. Usually. which are free to deflect or move in response to the applied loads. Structures such as tiedback walls or braced excavation shoring are considered more or less fixed and therefore. MSE. This section covers the following design procedure topics: ♦ Earth pressure distribution ♦ Internal analysis ♦ External analysis Earth Pressure Distribution The pressure applied by the soil upon a retaining structure is determined by different methods depending upon the wall type. For this condition. unable to achieve the active state. The pressure distribution is triangular in shape with the maximum pressure occurring at the bottom of the wall. the earth pressure is calculated based on Rankine’s or Coulomb’s methods. This does not mean that one person has to design every aspect of a retaining wall.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 7 — Design Procedures Section 7 Design Procedures Overview The design of retaining walls requires a thorough knowledge of structural and geotechnical engineering. For this condition. Quite often design loads and allowable pressures recommended by a geotechnical engineer are later used by a structural engineer to design the wall structure. soil pressure is assumed to increase downward at a rate of 40 psf per foot of depth. is considered to achieve the active state. The soil behind walls. The pressure distribution is in the shape of a trapezoid. an earth pressure distribution as proposed by Terzaghi and Peck is used. This aspect of design comprises mostly structural engineering.

for diagrams of MSE wall design. for diagrams of tiedback wall design. MSE Wall Design Example. Lastly. Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls The internal design of MSE walls involves checking the earth reinforcements for allowable stresses and anchorage into the mass of select fill behind the face. Section 6. The method of analysis is the computer program COM624. External Analysis The external analysis of walls examines whether walls stay where built. A foundation length is determined by examining the embedment-deflection relationship for a suitable deflection either at the ground line or the top of wall. for H in meters). Tiedback Walls The internal design of tiedback walls involves the analysis of a continuous beam (soldier pile) to determine the support reactions (tieback loads) for an applied load diagram (earth pressure. The tieback loads determined by the continuous beam analysis are corrected to account for the anchor inclination. A number of failures of walls and embankments are proof that external stability is just as important as Geotechnical Manual 6-40 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls ♦ Section 7 — Design Procedures Drilled shaft and sheet pile walls The subsections below analyze each of these wall types. Drilled Shaft and Sheet Pile Walls The design of these walls involves the analysis of a continuous beam on nonlinear supports. The overall dimension of the reinforced mass is governed by external stability. The program is used to determine the foundation response to the applied load for a range of embedment depths. The nonlinear supports model the soil in which the beam is embedded. By altering the reinforcement density and size. See Chapter 9. which consider the foundation to be infinitely stiff. See Chapter 9. Section 4. Walls supporting rock are designed for a 25H psf (3927H Pa) trapezoidal pressure distribution. Tiedback Wall Design Example. Design pressures higher than 36H may be justified if walls are constructed in expansive soils. This approach accounts for the bending stiffness of the shaft or pile foundation unlike other methods. This is analyzed as a simple beam to support the maximum soil pressure. Allowances for metal section loss on the reinforcements are made when computing tensile stresses. A soldier pile is selected which will adequately resist the maximum bending moments from the continuous beam analysis. The last step is to design the wall facing which spans between the soldier piling. proper stresses and anchorage are attained. The typical soil loading is trapezoidal with a maximum intensity of 36H psf (where H is the wall height in feet—5655H Pa. the facing-soldier pile connection is designed.

However. Unless soil borings indicate this is not conservative. External stability is routinely evaluated for fill type walls. this assumption can be used. Eccentricity The eccentricity is the summation of the moments of the forces acting at the base of the wall divided by the summation of the vertical forces. The mass of the wall is considered the reinforced volume for an MSE wall or the weight of the concrete and soil above the heel for a spread footing wall. The safety factor is determined by summing moments about the toe of the wall. As always. Cut type walls are not routinely checked for external stability due to the different approaches to their design. Bearing capacity equations are used to determine the ultimate capacity of the foundation soil. sound engineering judgment should prevail. Texas Cone Penetrometer data can be used to obtain allowable Geotechnical Manual 6-41 TxDOT 9/00 . For most calculations. Bearing Pressure Bearing capacity failures under walls involve the displacement of soil from under the wall. the subsoil is assumed to be cohesionless with an angle of friction of 30 degrees. When a questionable soil is present. Overturning occurs when the active driving forces exceed the gravitation resisting forces of the wall mass.58). Whether or not to include passive forces in front of a wall is debatable due to uncertainty of whether that soil will be present during construction or at some future date. The primary areas of analysis for external stability are ♦ Sliding and overturning ♦ Eccentricity ♦ Bearing pressure ♦ Rotational stability Sliding and Overturning Sliding of a retaining wall occurs when the active driving forces from the soil behind the wall exceed the frictional or cohesive forces along the base of the wall and the passive resisting force in front of the wall. The moments are normally calculated at the rear of the base of the wall. which can then be used to determine sliding resistance. These equations require cohesion and friction values determined by triaxial testing.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 7 — Design Procedures internal design. The resistance to sliding is the weight of the wall and soil comprising the wall times the tangent of 30 degrees (0. this has traditionally been the assumption used. the various aspects of external stability should be checked for cut type walls. While this is probably not accurate for soils encountered in the field. If this data is not available. should exceptionally soft soils be present. triaxial testing may be utilized to determine the cohesion and angle of friction.

Nγ are theoretical factors based on the geometry of the failing mass of soil beneath a footing. c is the soil cohesion. Since normally about half of the failure surface passes Geotechnical Manual 6-42 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 7 — Design Procedures bearing pressures from the drilled shaft and spread footing design chart. The classical bearing capacity equation for the ultimate soil pressure is qu = cNc + γDfNq + 1/2γBNγ where Nc. The limits of the wall affect where a potential failure surface can develop. Figure 6-27 gives these factors. The department uses both the STABL and UTEXAS computer programs to analyze for stability. The failure surface for a rotational failure can be either circular or noncircular depending on the stratification of the foundation soil. Nq. Rotational Stability Rotational stability of walls is a special case of slope stability. For walls on uniform soft clay. the future embankment material properties are unknown. A safety factor of two is typically required for bearing capacity. If the soft zone is fairly thin. the failure surface tends to be noncircular following the soft zone. and γ is the density of the soil. Figure 6-26. the failure surfaces tend to be circular. Chart showing relation between Ν=& bearing capacity factors. While the subsoil can be tested in advance to obtain strength data for analysis.

an accurate answer is difficult to obtain. If no local data is available. an approximate hand check of the results may be performed by the method of slices. Geotechnical Manual 6-43 TxDOT 9/00 . Local experience may provide some insight into the strength of the proposed fill.Chapter 6 — Retaining Walls Section 7 — Design Procedures through the embankment behind a fill wall. cohesion of 1000 psf (48kPa) may be assumed for clay embankments or an angle of friction of 30 degrees may be assumed for a predominately sand embankment. Slope Stability. While computer programs are used to evaluate wall stability. A more detailed description of rotational stability is presented in Chapter 7.

......................................................... 7-11 Section 3 — Slope Repair ................................ 7-2 Section 2 — Analysis and Design.................................................................................................. 7-15 Geotechnical Manual 7-1 TxDOT 9/2000 ....................................................................................Chapter 7 Slope Stability Contents: This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview ......................

Extremely strong soils can stand vertically for years while very weak soils cannot support short fills with gentle slopes for even a few days.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction Slope stability addresses the tendency of soil masses to attain an equilibrium state between the strength of the soil and the force of gravity. Attempts to build embankments with the native soft soils often fail as the soil attempts to resume its natural relatively level state. whether they be cut or fill ♦ Retaining walls which are the special case of a locally stable vertical slope Figure 7-1 is an example of large embankment failure. This is best observed in the coastal region of the state where the topography is relatively flat and the soils fairly weak. Figure 7-1: Large embankment failure This section offers a brief discussion on: ♦ Soil properties ♦ Slope external and internal stability Geotechnical Manual 7-2 TxDOT 9/2000 . Areas considered here under the purview of slope stability are ♦ Slopes.

and strength parameters. Sand would be a very good construction material if not for a lack of cohesion. and solid states. If more than 50 percent is passing the 200 sieve. which passes the 200 sieve. The portion of a sample. All the limits are stated in the percent moisture content in the soil to attain the specific state. plastic. and the plastic limit (PL) the transition from plastic to semi-solid states. These properties include index properties that describe the character of the soil (Atterberg limits). Sand exhibits a zero or a very low plasticity index and is very stable with time. the soil exhibits clay-like properties and may be unstable. can be subjected to hydrometer testing to determine the size distribution for the silt and clay sized particles. This leads to a very high potential for erodibility. The highest values typically found in Texas are in the upper eighties. Soils with high plasticity indexes exhibit poor slope stability and high shrink-swell potential. grain size distribution. Grain Size Distribution The grain size distribution for a soil is found by sieving a soil sample to determine the distribution of particle sizes present.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability ♦ Slope considerations ♦ Failure modes ♦ Slope protection Section 1 — Overview Soil Properties Soils possess a number of properties that can be measured in the laboratory. Geotechnical Manual 7-3 TxDOT 9/2000 . this fine fraction is very important. For slope stability. Sand or silt clay mixtures typically exhibit plasticity indexes in the 10 to 40 range. The plasticity index (PI) is the difference between the liquid and plastic limits. Soils with plasticity indexes of less than 25 tend to be relatively stable. These limits are: ♦ Liquid limit ♦ Plastic limit ♦ Plasticity index The liquid limit (LL) is the transition from liquid to plastic states. Atterberg Limits The Atterberg limits define the transitions between the liquid. The plasticity index is a commonly used indicator for the long-term stability of a soil. Clays may exhibit plasticity indices well in excess of 100.

the low permeability of the soil matrix does not allow water in the pore spaces to escape. The Geotechnical Manual 7-4 TxDOT 9/2000 . Slope External and Internal Stability External and internal stability for slopes is similar to those for retaining walls. The rapid loading enhances the cohesive strength (c) of the soil due to the buildup of negative pore pressures.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 1 — Overview Strength Parameters The strength of a soil is the combination of the cohesion between the soil particles and the frictional interaction of the particles. The condition of rapid loading produces an undrained strength response in the soil. the long-term conditions after construction allow for a different response in the soil. The next subsections discuss ♦ External stability ♦ Internal stability External Stability The rapid placement of a fill on a fine-grained foundation soil can produce temporarily elevated pore water pressures in the foundation soil. The rate of dissipation is determined by consolidation testing. While this is a greatly oversimplified explanation that does not address the chemical or electrostatic forces at work. when a fully saturated clay is rapidly loaded. it is functionally correct. this long-term or drained angle of friction (φ′) is typically between 15 and 25 degrees. the cohesion is the primary component of strength since the elevated pore water pressures do not allow increased intergranular contact pressures. The angle of friction (φ) measured under these conditions is usually quite low for saturated samples and higher for unsaturated samples. While the undrained strength is fine for modeling such conditions as the construction of an embankment over several weeks or months. the fill can be safely placed without danger of failure. As a result. The result is that increased intergranular contact occurs and the increased frictional strength is measured. If the soil is confined between two sand layers. The drained strength of a soil is the strength measured when load is applied to a sample slowly enough to allow water to drain from the pore space between soil particles. The rate at which such drainage or dissipation of pore pressures occurs is based on the permeability of the soil and the length of the drainage path (usually the thickness of the layer). This is generally referred to as an external failure. If the fill is placed slowly enough to allow the pore water pressures to dissipate. The long-term cohesive component (c′) typically ranges from 0 to 150 psf (0-7kPa) since no negative pore pressures are generated. The result can be that the unbalanced force of the fill cannot be resisted by the shear strength of the foundation soil with the result being a slope failure which encompasses all or a significant portion of the slope. These two components are time dependent for finegrained soils such as clays. the length of the drainage path is onehalf the layer thickness. When fine-grained soils are rapidly loaded. For clays.

Chapter 7 — Slope Stability

Section 1 — Overview

testing determines the length of time for the pore water to drain from a sample for an applied
load as well as the volume of water (settlement).
Internal Stability
During the construction of a fine-grained soil embankment, the fill material is placed at the
optimum moisture content. Due to the compactive effort used in placing the fill, the final fill
is not in an equilibrium state. The upper region of the fill exhibits high negative pore
pressures as a result of the compaction pressure being greater than the overburden pressure.
Depending on the height of the fill, the lower regions of the fill may have neutral or positive
pore pressures. Upon the completion of a fill, the action of climatic cycles begins to bring
the outer regions of a fill into equilibrium. Repeated wetting and drying cycles soften and
create fissures in the outer portions of a fill. This softening results in a layer with a relatively
higher permeability over one of low permeability. The low permeability under lying soil
allows water to accumulate in the pore spaces resulting in a substantially saturated surface
layer in the fill. This process usually takes at least 15 years to occur. The result is that the
effective stress soil parameters are achieved with the resultant stability implications. For
instance, a 3:1 slope (18.4 degrees) built with a clay with φ1 = 15 degrees and c1 = 50 psf
(2.4kPa) will not be stable since the slope angle exceeds the angle of friction of the fill. This
type of slope failure is usually fairly shallow occurring within the side slope and is
considered internal. This type of failure is also commonly referred to as a mudflow-type
failure due to the consistency and jumbled appearance of the failed material. These failures
mostly occur after periods of heavy rainfall that results in increased soil pore pressures that
reduce the effective shear strength. Figure 7-2 is a photo of mudflow failure.

Figure 7-2. Mudflow failure
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Section 1 — Overview

Slope Considerations
The next subsections deal with these slope considerations:

Fill slopes

Cut slopes

Slope angle

Submergence

Fill Slopes
Fills are constructed from material supplied by the contractor. Unless properties such as
plasticity index or liquid limit are specified in the plans, the contractor supplies the most
economical material, which may be the worst possible soil from the standpoint of long term
stability. Base the best maximum values for plasticity index or liquid limit to specify should
be based on the materials available locally. Should suitable materials not be available,
consider either flatter slopes or soil stabilization of some kind.
Cut Slopes
Soils in cuts are similar to fills in that, immediately after excavation, the soil is not in an
equilibrium state. After removal of the overburden, the soil begins to absorb water and
swell. The magnitude of swell depends on the plasticity index. This can be a particular
problem for the long-term ride smoothness of a roadway in a cut. Another problem with cuts
can be groundwater seepage on the cut slopes and up through the subgrade. Seepage
pressures and associated high water levels in the slopes can further reduce long-term
stability by reducing intergranular stresses (effective stresses) between soil particles.
Slope Angle
The angle of a slope determines how stable it will be. Maintenance is also a consideration,
since slopes steeper than 2:1 are very difficult to mow. Slopes constructed from high
plasticity index clays should not be steeper than 3:1 and, more preferably, 4:1. Even slopes
constructed at 4:1 have failed after 20 to 25 years of service.
The use of riprap on steep slopes is of questionable stabilizing value. The use of riprap
causes moisture to accumulate in the fill, since the evaporation rate is reduced. The only
possible benefit of the riprap is the elimination of severe moisture fluctuations in the
embankment material, possibly resulting in a longer service life before failure.

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Section 1 — Overview

Submergence
Evaluate slopes subjected to inundation for stability. As previously mentioned, the effect of
submergence is to reduce the effective stress between soil particles, thereby reducing shear
strength. Another consideration is the duration of submergence. Analyze slopes that are
temporarily submerged for the drawdown condition where the slope is totally saturated
without the benefit of submergence to reduce the driving forces for instability.
Failure Modes
Slope failures are often difficult to assign to a single failure mode. Several failure modes
often occur simultaneously, such as a rotational failure accompanied by a sliding failure of
the lower portion of the slope. The following subsections discuss these most common failure
modes encountered:

Bearing capacity

Rotation

Settlement

Undercutting

Bearing Capacity
Fill placed on very soft foundations may undergo a rapid vertical settlement with an
associated horizontal displacement of the foundation soil from under the fill. This condition
is typically encountered in coastal areas where fills are constructed over recent marine or
marsh sediments. Bearing capacity is sometimes desired when the construction method
intends to displace a thin soft layer, thereby allowing the fill to found directly on a deeper
firm layer of soil. This is often impractical in coastal areas where very soft soils may extend
to depths as great as 60 to 80 feet. Another drawback to this construction method is the
possible failure to displace all of the soft material with subsequent uneven settlement of the
roadway.
Rotation
Rotation failures result in a noticeable rotation of a portion of a fill with the resultant
formation of a scarp at the back edge of the failed area. Most classical depictions of this
failure mode portray a single mass of soil bounded by a circular failure plane. In reality, the
rotating soil mass is often sheared into numerous discreet blocks because of the large
deformation. The soil mass is typically bounded by an irregular failure plane. Purely circular
failure surfaces are not usually observed in the state due to the lack of relatively deep
deposits of uniform moderate strength materials necessary for this type of failure. Thinner
layered foundation soil profiles favor the formation of noncircular failures.

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Section 1 — Overview

Settlement
Quite often, foundation soils are firm enough to allow successful embankment construction
without an immediate failure. In these cases, the long-term load on the foundation soil
results in the consolidation of the foundation soil with the resulting settlement of the
embankment. In coastal areas, two to three feet (.6-1 m) of settlement have been observed
for embankments only eight feet tall (2.5 m) over a period of years.
Post-construction settlement can be minimized by consolidating soft foundation soil rapidly
during construction by the use of vertical drainage paths such as sand or wick drains.
Vertical drains are sometimes supplemented with a soil surcharge to accelerate settlement.
For fairly permeable soils, surcharge alone may produce an acceptable rate of consolidation
to suit the construction schedule. The most desirable situation is to build embankments over
highly compressible foundation soils well in advance of final roadway construction. Provide
ample time for settlement to occur, since the rate of settlement is difficult to accurately
predict.

Figure 7-3: Undercut slope failure
Undercutting
A phenomenon associated mainly with cuts in rock is called undercutting or undermining.
This is when a hard layer overlies a weaker material. Weathering of the softer lower soil
layer results in erosion of the layer, resulting in instability of the harder upper layer. A
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Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 1 — Overview common example would be a limestone layer over a shale. Scour can also cause undercutting of a slope. Figure 7-4 shows the results of a slope failure under a bridge. Closely monitor any signs of instability. This is especially important for slope composed of granular materials that are easily eroded. Rock riprap is flexible and may deform without showing distress. Figure 7-4: Bridge collapse due to slope failure Slope Protection Slope protection can reduce or eliminate soil erosion. Figure 7-3 shows an example of undercut slope failure. Geotechnical Manual 7-9 TxDOT 9/2000 . The following subsections cover these aspects of slope protection: ♦ Riprap ♦ Natural cover Riprap Either rock or concrete riprap may be applied to slopes. The best solution to this type of failure is to protect the lower layer with riprap or gunnite. A typical example of distress might be cracks in a bridge column.

The idea that concrete riprap improves slope stability by reducing moisture infiltration into a slope may not be completely true. Rock riprap Natural Cover The establishment of vegetation on a slope will reduce or eliminate erosion.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 1 — Overview Concrete riprap. The impermeable nature of concrete riprap does not allow water to evaporate and may actually cause soil under the riprap to have higher moisture content. Certain plants establish deep roots. on the other hand. thus increasing the soil strength. Figure 7-5 is an example of rock riprap. Figure 7-5. which also remove water from the soil. Geotechnical Manual 7-10 TxDOT 9/2000 . is rigid and impermeable.

These parameters may either be the undrained or drained parameters as discussed previously in the Soil Properties subsection of Chapter 1. This section discusses the following analysis and design topics: ♦ Strength parameters ♦ Groundwater ♦ Geometry ♦ Computer analysis ♦ Safety factor Strength Parameters The strength parameters used for analysis and design are cohesion (c) and angle of internal friction (φ). Under these conditions. slope stability can depend on relatively thin soil layers near the surface which are far more variable than the deeper. with the subsequent result being less than superior performance. economics dictates safety factors in the 1. The next subsections cover ♦ Time frame compatibility ♦ Embankment strength Time Frame Compatibility The soil parameters used in a slope stability analysis must be compatible with the time frame anticipated. more uniform. the development of the drained condition in the soil requires years to occur. While the actual soil movement may occur over several days. Furthermore. Shallow side slope (mudflow) failures occur over long periods of time.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 2 — Analysis and Design Section 2 Analysis and Design Overview The analysis and design of earth slopes for stability is an inexact science at best. Deep-seated failures which occur rapidly (usually during construction) depend on the undrained soil parameters. Unlike deep foundation design. because of the lack of time for pore pressures to reach equilibrium. Triaxial testing determines these parameters.5 range. are analyzed using undrained soil parameters. Deep-seated failures are normally rapid in nature and. It is inappropriate to use drained embankment parameters Geotechnical Manual 7-11 TxDOT 9/2000 . which tends to average soil strengths over a considerable depth with the result being very predictable performance. The realities of widely spaced soil core borings coupled with the scarcity of detailed triaxial test data make analysis difficult. there is always the possibility of failing to detect an exceptionally soft area in the field.3 to 1. soils.

c = 0 psf and φ = 30 degrees is a reasonable assumption. Sometimes the search parameters the user inputs to aid the program in the search for the most critical failure surface may cause the program to not find that surface. changing slope angles can significantly affect stability. Embankment Strength Since the embankment material is supplied by the contractor. Computer Analysis The only practical method for quickly evaluating slope stability is with a computer program. Also. It is always important to consider the temporary as well as final geometry of a project. Design depressed section drainage systems considering the anticipated base flow from ground water. an existing 3:1 slope had been stable for years. For this type of installation. As a result. Slope stability programs judge slope stability by evaluating thousands of potential failure surfaces.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 2 — Analysis and Design in such an analysis for the embankment material. advance testing of the material is not practical. the ground water levels can be observed during and after obtaining soil core borings. monitor ground water levels over a long period of time to observe any seasonal changes. This may not be the case. The drained condition will not exist in the embankment fill for at least 10 years after construction. For fill situations. In one case. For slopes in cut sections. Geometry The overall geometry is crucial to the accuracy of slope stability analysis. Normally the water level in a borehole is checked several days after the boring is completed. Lower assumed strengths for cohesive embankments may be justified if triaxial testing is performed. The next subsections deal with Geotechnical Manual 7-12 TxDOT 9/2000 . the most conservative assumption is that the ground water level is at the surface of the natural ground. For sand embankments. c = 1000 psf (48kPa) and φ = 0 degrees is usually a safe assumption. For mostly clay embankments. Ground Water Ground water affects the shear strength of soil by the reduction of intergranular stresses due to the buoyancy effect of submergence. Changing the height of a retaining wall several feet can have a dramatic effect on stability. For a more exact analysis. ground water is much more important. The failure surface with the lowest factor of safety is considered the most critical. As a result. a strength must be assumed for the material. This strength would also apply to sandy clay or silty clay soils. but the temporary 1:1 slope for construction failed in a matter of months. do not use drained and undrained soil parameters together in an analysis. Piezometers are installed for long term observation of water levels.

This search routine may or may not find the most critical surface based on the initial start point for the search and other search parameters. UTEXAS Analysis Program Dr. Failure surfaces are analyzed as either circular or noncircular. This program analyzes specific failure surfaces generated between designated limits input by the user. slope stability is a very specialized field with no easy answers. depth of cracks in cohesive soils. analytical methods to use. Also. As previously mentioned. adjustment of the limits can significantly impact the critical surfaces generated. The program uses a search routine to find the most critical failure surface. Siegel of Purdue University developed the STABL program. various limits should be tried in an effort to determine the most critical failure surface. Stephen G. Geotechnical Manual 7-13 TxDOT 9/2000 . These limits should be carefully monitored to make sure that the critical failure surface does not begin or end near one of the limits. consult the program manual. For detailed instructions on the use of the STABL program.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability ♦ Failure surface shape ♦ Other search parameter input ♦ UTEXAS analysis program ♦ STABL analysis program ♦ Method of slices Section 2 — Analysis and Design Failure Surface Shape One of the most important inputs by the user after the soil strengths is the shape of the failure surface. Succinctly put. surcharge pressures from live loads. the noncircular failure is commonly the most critical. Wright. of the University of Texas at Austin. developed the UTEXAS program. As a result. whether to allow negative pore pressures. consult the program manual. Sound engineering judgment should always come into play when determining if an answer looks reasonable. STABL Analysis Program Ronald A. Other Search Parameter Input Other inputs in the slope stability programs include ground water (piezometric surface). It is important to remember that several critical failure surfaces may exist which are significantly different. and numerous other inputs. It is normal practice to analyze both circular and noncircular failure modes. For detailed instructions on the use of the UTEXAS program. limits for searches.

This method is not nearly as rigorous in satisfying all equilibrium conditions as in the computer programs.5 is not recommended.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 2 — Analysis and Design Method of Slices A simple method to perform approximate evaluations of slope stability is the method of slices. Higher minimum safety factors are sometimes required. however. a good way to approximately verify computer output. This method is easily adapted to spreadsheet programs for parametric studies to determine parameter sensitivity. A minimum safety factor higher than 1. Safety Factor The safety factor is the ratio of the resisting forces to the driving forces for a given failure configuration. Geotechnical Manual 7-14 TxDOT 9/2000 . A typical minimum factor of safety of 1. It is.3 is considered adequate.

Removal and Replacement Failed areas of a slope or entire sideslopes can be removed and replaced with a different more stable soil. the repair may last several weeks to several months. dry the soil to the optimum moisture content for maximum density. While this method repairs the failed area. Removal and recompaction is not recommended for use on adjacent unfailed parts of a slope because better. Strengthening Failed portions of slopes or entire slopes may be strengthened by the addition of various materials to the soil. The materials added to the soil change the properties of the soil by chemical strengthening or mechanical strengthening. it must be considered whether to modify the slope beyond the failed area to avoid the inevitability of future failures in adjacent parts of the slope. a more permanent repair must be undertaken. After a slope fails. In the cases where the failed material is simply pushed back into place. Also. a method must be selected to repair the failure. it does nothing for the adjacent portions of the slope. Geotechnical Manual 7-15 TxDOT 9/2000 .Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 3 — Slope Repair Section 3 Slope Repair Overview Numerous slopes have been constructed in the state with unstable materials. These slopes are prone to failure. especially after heavy rains. The following are some of the choices available for stabilizing failing slopes: ♦ Recompaction ♦ Removal and replacement ♦ Strengthening ♦ Slope angle reduction Recompaction The simplest and fastest repair for a failed area is to remove the failed part of the slope. more permanent stabilization techniques should be applied to large-scale side-slope stabilization. A deeper excavation may be warranted if previous failures have extended to greater depths. then recompact the soil to the original slope configuration. Normally a layer of soil is removed from the sideslope at least five feet deep. Obviously.

This method of reinforcement is more easily analyzed and has more predictable long-term performance. The slope should also have a smooth surface with no ruts from construction or mowing equipment to collect water. Quick lime may be added to fairly wet soils to speed up the drying process. Methods to keep water from bridges off slopes are inlets and curbs to keep water from flowing down the slope. The most common reinforcement materials are synthetic polymers. or the toe may be extended outward by adding fill to the lower part of the slope. The lime reacts chemically with the clay particles over a period of days to weeks. These are placed horizontally between lifts of soil. In high PI clays. Geotechnical Manual 7-16 TxDOT 9/2000 . and the most common forms are ♦ Fibers ♦ Geogrid Fibers. The mode of action of this reinforcement is to increase the tensile strength of the soil on a very small scale. The slopes near bridge ends commonly receive all of the water flowing from the structure. Slope Angle Reduction When adequate space is available. slopes may either be laid back by removing soil from the top of the slope. The long-term performance of reinforcement fibers is uncertain at this time. The chemical reaction reduces the plasticity of the soil. Note that 4:1 slopes have failed in the past in relatively high PI soils.Chapter 7 — Slope Stability Section 3 — Slope Repair Chemical Strengthening Lime is the most common modifier added to poor quality clay soils. The other common form of polymer reinforcement is geogrids. These grids add stability to the slope by providing a tensile force component along the potential failure plane. a slope should be 4:1 (4 horizontal to 1 vertical) or flatter for longterm stability. One form of polymer reinforcement is short fibers that are thoroughly mixed into the soil as the soil is placed in the slope. Mechanical Strengthening Slopes may be mechanically strengthened. Geogrid. The issue of slope drainage should also be addressed when repairing slopes.

......8-14 Steel Members ......................................................................................8-8 Soil Structure Interaction .........................................................................8-8 Discrete Element Analysis .....................................8-11 Section 4 — Structural Design...........................8-14 Reinforcement ..8-10 Prediction Difficulties ............................................................................................................8-11 Stiffness Values ........................................................................................8-15 Slenderness Effects ............8-12 Concrete Members ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................8-5 Lighting........................................................ 8-4 Overview..................................8-2 Section 2 — Lateral Loads..................................................................................................................................................................................................8-14 Load Factor Design ................8-7 Section 3 — Analysis ........................................................................................8-10 FRAME51........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................8-10 Deflections ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8-8 Overview.............. Signing...................... 8-2 Introduction..............................................8-9 P-Y Curves........................................................................8-4 Wind Loads ..................................................................................................................................8-9 Fixity Conditions ................................................................................................................................................8-4 Bridges .............8-12 Allowable Stress Design ................................................................... 8-12 Overview..........................................................................................................................8-9 COM624 ............................................................................8-10 Ground Line Deflections..............................................................8-9 Computer Analysis ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................8-8 Member Stiffness .........................................8-6 Design Impact Angle .....................................................................................................................................................................................8-6 Design Impact Force ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................8-5 Sound Walls ..................................................................................................................................................................................8-15 Geotechnical Manual 8-1 TxDOT 9/00 ................................................8-6 Vessel Impact Forces .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................Chapter 8 Laterally Loaded Foundations Contents This chapter contains the following sections: Section 1 — Overview ..................................8-4 Water Pressure .......................................................8-4 Earth Pressure ........................................................................................................................................................................................... and Towers.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Marine fender systems are usually installed in soft soils. The use of shafts allows for accurate placement of anchor bolts for attaching aboveground structural elements such as poles or trusses. The vertical loads are low and normally do not control design. The foundations discussed in this chapter are ♦ Retaining walls ♦ Sound walls ♦ Illumination ♦ Signing ♦ Marine fender systems Foundations for these structures are typically drilled shafts or piling. Piling require the construction of footings when used for illumination or signing. See Figure 8-1 for a photo of improperly designed temporary shoring. Piling are the best choice for this application.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 1 — Overview Section 1 Overview Introduction This chapter deals with foundations that mainly resist lateral loads but also carry some vertical loads. Geotechnical Manual 8-2 TxDOT 9/00 .

Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 1 — Overview Figure 8-1. Improperly designed temporary shoring Geotechnical Manual 8-3 TxDOT 9/00 .

Allowable deflections at service loads are also much higher than for bridge foundations. Surcharges generated by railroad loading either for temporary shoring or permanent walls can greatly exceed the pressures from the soil alone. The earth pressure is generated by ♦ Weight of soil ♦ Live loads (surcharge) ♦ Soil angle of friction & cohesion Surcharges generated by normal vehicle traffic produce relatively minor increases in design forces on walls. refer to the Earth Pressure Distribution subsection in Chapter 6. lower safety factors are typically used. include the water pressure in the design loads. The loads applied to a structure depend on Geotechnical Manual 8-4 TxDOT 9/00 . temporary shoring situations for railroads should be avoided. Section 7.4 psf per foot of depth.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 2 — Lateral Loads Section 2 Lateral Loads Overview This section deals with the following lateral loads: ♦ Earth pressure ♦ Water pressure ♦ Wind loads ♦ Vessel impact loads Earth Pressure Earth pressures produce some of the highest lateral loads to be resisted. Since wind loads are short-term loads. In such cases. locate retaining walls as far as possible from any railroads. When possible. For this reason. Water pressure increases downward at a rate of 62. For detailed information on calculating earth pressures. Wind Loads Wind can produce significant loads when applied to structures with large surface areas such as signs or sound walls. An example is a steel sheet pile retaining wall. Water Pressure Water pressure may need to be considered when high water tables are present and the earth retaining structure does not allow for drainage.

Sound Walls Sound walls are usually fairly short and subjected to relatively low wind loads.25' (6-7.5m)) bridges with multiple column bents. consult the Bridge Design Guide and the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges.4kPa) perpendicular to the axis of the structure acting on the surface traversing the structure. Wind loads for a wind speed of 100 mph (161 kph) are roughly assumed to be 50 psf (2.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations ♦ Wind velocity ♦ Drag coefficient ♦ Height coefficient Section 2 — Lateral Loads The next subsections cover wind loads on ♦ Bridges ♦ Lighting.44kN/m) wind force is assumed to act on traffic on the structure.7 kPa). A 100 plf (0. The wind-induced. For detailed design guidelines. consult the Bridge Design Guide and the AASHTO Guide Specification for Structural Design of Sound Barriers. For detailed design guidelines. and the relatively low magnitude of the shear force at the top of the footing. Geotechnical Manual 8-5 TxDOT 9/00 . Wind produces relatively minor loads on normal height (20' . Wind Pressure. Bridge structures primarily resist dead loads from the structure and live loads from vehicular traffic. the lateral response of the foundation is normally neglected due to the size of the footing and foundations. signing and towers Bridges The next paragraphs discuss ♦ Wind effect on low bridges ♦ Wind effect on high bridges ♦ Wind pressure Wind Effect on Low Bridges. Wind loads are more significant for tall bridges such as ramps and especially single column bents. For footings. The typical design load for a wind speed of 100 mph (161 kph) is approximately 35 psf (1. Wind Effect on High Bridges. overturning forces are resisted by either lateral resistance for multiple column bents or primarily vertical force couples for multiple pile or drilled shaft footings.

a large mass strategically placed in the vicinity of the bridge substructure is constructed. The formula for calculating the wind pressure on exposed areas is: P = 0.2 and 1. These large masses are either soil filled sheet pile cofferdams or artificial islands. The load applied to a fender depends on the following factors: ♦ Vessel weight ♦ Vessel velocity ♦ Hydrodynamic mass coefficient The next subsections deal with ♦ Design impact angle ♦ Design impact force Design Impact Angle The determined load. Luminaires. Vessel Impact Forces Marine fender systems are designed to stop or deflect a vessel from striking a bridge structure.3V)2CdCh) where: P is the pressure in psf (Pa) V is the wind velocity in mph. typically 80 to 100 mph (kmph) Cd is the drag coefficient.0473(1. is resolved into components from the design impact angle for the vessel. usually between 1. which serve to keep vessels from becoming lodged between the piling and to distribute forces between the piling. Due to the size and weight of most vessels. usually between 1.0 and 1. direct (90-degree) impacts cannot normally be withstood by structural fender systems. consult the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs. Geotechnical Manual 8-6 TxDOT 9/00 . based upon these factors.3V)2CdCh (P = 0.4 For details on the design loads on these structures.00256(1.5 Ch is the height coefficient. Signing. For this design condition.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 2 — Lateral Loads Lighting. and Towers Wind loads are the main loads for these structures. Typical fender systems are composed of vertical piling and horizontal wale beams. And Traffic Signals.

Such large deflections require adequate clearance between the bridge pier and fender system.05 for large underkeel clearance. The formula for the kinetic energy of a vessel is KE = W(V)2Ch/29. consult the AASHTO Guide Specification and Commentary for Vessel Collision Design of Highway Bridges. Geotechnical Manual 8-7 TxDOT 9/00 .3-.25 for clearance < .2 (KE = W(V)2Ch/64.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 2 — Lateral Loads Design Impact Force Vessel impact forces are expressed in terms of kinetic energy. > .5xDraft and 1. Typical deflections for fender systems during collisions are one to two feet (.1xDraft The kinetic energy absorbed by a fender system in a collision event is evaluated by determining the area under the force-deflection curve for the system.4) where: KE is the kinetic energy in kip-ft (kg-m) W is the vessel displacement tonnage (metric tons—2205lbs—both English and metric) V is the vessel speed in feet per second (meters per second) Ch is the hydrodynamic mass coefficient.6 m). For details on the design loads for vessels. between 1.

Discrete Element Analysis This analytical technique analyzes the structural member as a series of rigid elements connected by springs that represent the member’s stiffness. The next subsections deal with ♦ Member stiffness ♦ Fixity conditions Geotechnical Manual 8-8 TxDOT 9/00 . Differing member stiffness is represented by changing spring values between elements. Crude methods of analysis that assume the member to be infinitely stiff yield incorrect results. the structural member deforms within the elastic portion of the member’s stress strain characteristics. The soil is represented as elastic/plastic springs that react to element displacements. It should be realized that a 30 inch (750mm) diameter drilled shaft 60 feet (18m) long is a very flexible member.” Typically. The interaction is the reaction of the soil to the load imposed by the structural member and is referred to as “Soil Structure Interaction. Although this process may sound very complicated.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 3 — Analysis Section 3 Analysis Overview This section discusses the following in regards to analysis and structural design: ♦ Soil structure interaction ♦ Discrete element analysis ♦ Computer analysis ♦ Deflections Soil Structure Interaction A structural member embedded in the ground interacts with the soil when subjected to loads. not an infinitely stiff one. because of its lower strength. deforms in both the elastic and non-elastic areas of its stress strain characteristics. The key to the analysis of soil structure interaction is to properly evaluate the stiffness characteristics of the structural member and the soil. Different soil properties along the length are represented by different soil spring values. computer programs make the solution to such a complicated problem very easy. The soil however. The advantage of this type of analysis is that the elastic properties of the structural member are fully considered. and then arrive at a solution to the loading that brings the deflections/loads along a member’s length into equilibrium.

As a result. Experience has shown that using the uncracked (gross) moment of inertia produces valid results. which gradually becomes nonlinear. and finally plastic. Sands never attain a truly plastic state within the normal range of deflections for structures other than fender systems. increased flexural stresses from secondary bending (eccentricity effects). Computer Analysis Computer analysis greatly speeds up the process of laterally loaded foundation design. The next paragraphs discuss ♦ Clay soils ♦ Sands Clay Soils. Depending on the specifics of the computer program. thus. Sands. Using the cracked section properties results in greater lateral deflections that have not been observed under field conditions. this is quite simple to determine. bending stress. For concrete members. and the x-axis is the deflection Y. A member supporting a single column or illumination pole is analyzed as free to rotate. Fixity Conditions The restraints at the top of a member will affect the deflection and. the required input may be quite simple or quite complex. This leads to greater deflections. Two computer programs have been used extensively to model laterally loaded foundations: Geotechnical Manual 8-9 TxDOT 9/00 . P-Y Curves The stress-strain response of soil in lateral loading is commonly referred to as the P-Y response of the soil and is described by a load deflection curve where the y-axis is the load P. The shape of this curve varies depending on soil type.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations ♦ Section 3 — Analysis P-Y curves Member Stiffness The member stiffness used for the analysis is the product of the modulus of elasticity times the moment of inertia of the member (EI). and in the case of heavily loaded bridge foundations. A member embedded into a footing is analyzed as fixed at the top and unable to rotate. Sands also develop lateral resistance at a much slower rate than clays. when the soil totally fails. laterally loaded foundations in sands require either longer or larger diameter foundations than similar foundations in clays. For steel members. The plastic state is reached at approximately one inch of deflection for medium stiffness clay. Clay soils are modeled by a stress-strain curve that is initially linear. the cracking of the cross section complicates the determination of the stiffness.

P-Y curves are generated within the program based on strength data and soil type input. The program can analyze frames as well as individual members. Member material properties can also be input as linear elastic or nonlinear. which leads to more uncertainty about working deflections. In general. lower bound soil strengths are normally used in analysis so as to be conservative. which is crucial for fender system evaluation. Input loads are analyzed with the resultant deflections and moments output. various foundation depths are evaluated to determine the influence of embedment on deflections. The structural member is assumed to be linear elastic. especially on nonlinear supports. for additional embedment at working load. The program requires the user to input all P-Y curves as well as any member stress-strain curves. In addition. a foundation embedment is selected such that. which produce no improvement in lateral load performance for the foundation. The program is not as user friendly as COM624. As a result. but has greater capabilities. The approach minimizes additional foundation embedments. Deflections The next subsections cover ♦ Prediction difficulties ♦ Typical deflections ♦ Stiffness values Prediction Difficulties Deflections of concrete structures are difficult to predict. The program is designed specifically to analyze vertical structural members embedded in the ground. structures can be analyzed into the plastic range. FRAME51 The FRAME51 program was developed at The University of Texas. to determine that an adequate factor of safety is present for a given embedment. Additionally.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations ♦ COM624 ♦ FRAME51 Section 3 — Analysis COM624 The COM624 program was developed at The University of Texas for the Department. no additional significant deflection is noted. Normally. a foundation is evaluated under the working or applied loads and then evaluated for successively higher loads. Geotechnical Manual 8-10 TxDOT 9/00 . also.

The modulus of elasticity is normally calculated based on the design concrete strength. For concrete members. Field observations of structures reveal lower deflections. This could partially explain the higher calculated deflections. As previously stated.5m) tall structures. This is a predicted deflection only. Stiffness Values The calculated deflections depend on the stiffness values input for a member.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 3 — Analysis Ground Line Deflections Based on these considerations. the use of the uncracked-section properties appear to yield valid results.5 inches (13mm) at service load is normally considered acceptable.2” (25-50mm) top deflections for 20’ . a ground line deflection of 0. the values for these properties are less certain. the modulus is normally underestimated. For steel members. Since actual concrete strengths are higher than the design strengths. This deflection at the ground line would produce 1” . Geotechnical Manual 8-11 TxDOT 9/00 .25’ (6-7. It is safe to say that field deflections are normally less than those actually calculated. the moment of inertia and modulus of elasticity are known.

Conventionally reinforced drilled shafts are evaluated by load factor design methods. Geotechnical Manual 8-12 TxDOT 9/00 . Piling are associated with bridge structures which are supported by trestle piling. Drilled shafts.Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 4 — Structural Design Section 4 Structural Design Overview The design of structural members should conform to the requirements of the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges. illumination. See Figure 8-2 for an example of an illumination pole on a drilled shaft foundation. Prestressed piling are usually evaluated by allowable stress methods. and sound walls. This section covers the following structural design topics: ♦ Concrete members ♦ Steel members ♦ Slenderness effects Concrete Members Both concrete piling and drilled shafts are subject to lateral loads. In all but extremely soft soils. For this reason. in addition to supporting bridges. most evaluation of frames can assume fixity for the columns at some arbitrary depth below the surface (usually 10 feet). The effects of axial and bending stresses must be considered. the soil provides adequate support to prevent buckling. are used to support signing.

Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations Section 4 — Structural Design Figure 8-2: Illumination on drilled shaft foundation The next subsections deal with ♦ Allowable stress design ♦ Load factor design ♦ Reinforcement Geotechnical Manual 8-13 TxDOT 9/00 .

Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations

Section 4 — Structural Design

Allowable Stress Design
Allowable stress design of prestressed piling considers the effective prestress, axial loads,
and bending moments to evaluate the cross section. The basic formula is
fc = Fp/A + P/A +/- Mc/I
where:

fc = concrete stress
Fp = prestress force after losses
A = cross sectional area of member
P = axial load
M = bending moment
c = distance from centroid to extreme fiber
I = moment of inertia

Based on the above formula, the stresses in the member are evaluated against the allowable
stresses stated in the applicable section of the specifications.
Load Factor Design
Load factor design of drilled shafts considers the interaction of the reinforcement and
concrete. The cross section is evaluated as cracked with no concrete in tension. The capacity
of the cross section is evaluated for the condition of the most extreme reinforcement at yield.
The capacity thus evaluated is compared to the capacity required by the factored loads.
Consult the applicable specification for the specific load factors.
Reinforcement
Laterally loaded foundations for certain structures do not receive load equally from all
directions. Retaining walls are loaded from one direction only. Sound walls are loaded from
two directions predominately, with load being reduced as the wind incidence angle to the
line of the wall is reduced.
Under these specific load conditions, the placement of the reinforcement in a concrete
member may be optimized if the savings are justified. The downside of unsymmetrical
placement of reinforcement in members is the possibility that the reinforcement will not be
placed in the excavation in the orientation that the designer intended. Symmetrical
reinforcement eliminates this problem.

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Chapter 8 — Laterally Loaded Foundations

Section 4 — Structural Design

Steel Members
Steel members are used extensively in fender systems. Occasionally, retaining walls are
constructed with steel sheet piling. Steel members are evaluated using the allowable stress
method. Allowable stress design considers the axial stress and bending stress in a member.
The formula for evaluating the member stress is
fs = P/A +/- Mc/I
where:

fs = steel stress
P = axial load
A = cross sectional area of member
M = bending moment
c = distance from centroid to extreme fiber
I = moment of inertia

Since steel members are usually symmetrical, the tension and compression stresses are of
the same magnitude, but opposite sign. Based on the above formula, the stresses in the
member are evaluated against the allowable stresses stated in the applicable section of the
specifications.
Slenderness Effects
Slenderness effects can be critical when laterally loaded foundations undergo significant
lateral deflections. This is especially important when evaluating bridge structures for scour.
It is normally safe to assume that for the 500-year scour event, if the height of the exposed
column is less than 15 times its diameter in feet or 20 times its width in feet for a square
member, the structure is assumed stable. A detailed structural analysis will normally prove
these values to be adequate for the 500-year event when checked for a safety factor of 1.0 or
better. A higher safety factor for a 500-year event is not currently deemed necessary.

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Chapter 9
Design Examples
Contents
This chapter contains the following sections:
Section 1 — Overview .......................................................................................................... 9-2
Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example ......................................................................... 9-3
Section 3 — Pile Design Example ........................................................................................ 9-9
Section 4 — MSE Wall Design Example ........................................................................... 9-16
Section 5 — Spread Footing Wall Design Example ........................................................... 9-18
Section 6 — Tiedback Wall Design Example .................................................................... 9-20

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Chapter 9 — Design Examples

Section 1 — Overview

Section 1
Overview
This chapter contains various design examples illustrating the methods used by the
department.

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are for a drilled shaft.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example Section 2 Drilled Shaft Design Example The following drilled shaft design examples illustrate two common scenarios encountered. Figures 9-1 through 9-4. The first four examples. Geotechnical Manual 9-3 TxDOT 9/00 . which is founded in relatively soft soil.

Drilled shaft design.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example Figure 9-1. Geotechnical Manual 9-4 TxDOT 9/00 . example 1.

Drilled shaft design. Geotechnical Manual 9-5 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example Figure 9-2. example 2.

example 3. Point bearing calculations. Geotechnical Manual 9-6 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example Figure 9-3. Drilled Shaft Design.

Geotechnical Manual 9-7 TxDOT 9/00 . Drilled shaft design.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example Figure 9-4. example 4.

Drilled shaft design.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 2 — Drilled Shaft Design Example Figure 9-5. Geotechnical Manual 9-8 TxDOT 9/00 . example 5.

Geotechnical Manual 9-9 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Section 3 Pile Design Example The following design example illustrates a typical pile design in medium strength soils. This design example is presented in both English units (Figures 9-6 through 9-8) and metric units (Figures 9-9 through 9-11).

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Figure 9-6. Geotechnical Manual 9-10 TxDOT 9/00 . Pile design. example 1.

example 2. Pile design.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Figure 9-7. Geotechnical Manual 9-11 TxDOT 9/00 .

Pile design. example 3. Geotechnical Manual 9-12 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Figure 9-8.

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Figure 9-9. example 1 (metric). Pile design. Geotechnical Manual 9-13 TxDOT 9/00 . Unit skin friction calculations.

Pile design. Unit accumulative skin friction calculations. Geotechnical Manual 9-14 TxDOT 9/00 . example 2 (metric).Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Figure 9-10.

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 3 — Pile Design Example Figure 9-11. Pile design. Geotechnical Manual 9-15 TxDOT 9/00 . example 3 (metric). Total capacity calculations.

For current information in this area.The detailed calculations for internal stability of the MSE mass with regard to reinforcement stresses and required length for pullout are not addressed here.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 4 — MSE Wall Design Example Section 4 MSE Wall Design Example This design (Figure 9-12) presents the basic calculations for the analysis of stability of an MSE wall. see the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges. Geotechnical Manual 9-16 TxDOT 9/00 .

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 4 — MSE Wall Design Example Figure 9-12. MSE wall design example. Geotechnical Manual 9-17 TxDOT 9/00 .

Geotechnical Manual 9-18 TxDOT 9/00 . The structural design of the wall is not addressed here. see the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges.Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 5 — Spread Footing Wall Design Example Section 5 Spread Footing Wall Design Example This design example (Figure 9-13) illustrates the analysis of a spread footing wall for stability. For information on structural design.

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 5 — Spread Footing Wall Design Example Figure 9-13. Geotechnical Manual 9-19 TxDOT 9/00 . Spread footing wall design example.

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 6 — Tiedback Wall Design Example Section 6 Tiedback Wall Design Example This design example (Figures 9-14 and 9-15) illustrates the structural analysis for the design of a tiedback wall. For the structural design of members. The structural sizing of the members is not covered here. Geotechnical Manual 9-20 TxDOT 9/00 . see the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges.

Tiedback wall design example 1. Geotechnical Manual 9-21 TxDOT 9/00 .Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 6 — Tiedback Wall Design Example Figure 9-14.

Chapter 9 — Design Examples Section 6 — Tiedback Wall Design Example Figure 9-15. Tiedback wall design example 2. Geotechnical Manual 9-22 TxDOT 9/00 . BMCOL51 computer output.

125-8F.. . Richard E. U. Department of Transportation. O'Neill. William J. 1988. Report No. Bridge Division. H. 33-8. Hanson. WEAP87 Program. Research Report No. Coyle. Research Report No. Robert D. 1967.. W. 1961. S. D.. 1974. December. IV: Users Manual for PC Application. Bartoskewitz. Vol. H. Thornbum.. Harry M. J.. Kopperman. Texas Transportation Institute. 1987. Rausche.. Goble. Correlation of the Texas Cone Penetrometer Test N-Value with Soil Shear Strength. F. Texas Highway Department. Foundation Engineering. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 1996. Chellis. E. Harry M. Peck.. Michael W. PCSTABL4 Users Manual. 10-3F. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. and Coyle. Richard E. 2nd Edition. 2nd Edition. August. Carpenter. Wave Equation Analysis of Pile Foundations.. T. 89-8. and Reese. J.Appendix A Bibliography Appendix A Bibliography Introduction Following is a bibliography of the sources used in this manual. Department of Transportation. September. 1985.. Lymon C. U. Federal Highway Administration.. Behavior of Axially Loaded Drilled Shafts in Beaumont Clay. Pile Foundations.. S.. B.. Pile-Soil System Response in Clay as a Function of Excess Pore Water Pressure and Other Soil Properties. 16th Edition Bartoskewitz. R.. Bearing Capacity Prediction by Wave Equation analysis – State of the Art. and Coyle.. Butler. Report No. G. Center for Highway Research. Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges. Texas Transportation Institute. Berger. 1973. J.. Federal Highway Administration. G. Report No. Texas Transportation Institute. FHWA-IP-86-21. A Study of Drilled Shafts Constructed by The Slurry Displacement Method. S. 1973. 1970. Duderstadt. Manual on Subsurface Investigations.. Tom P. Parts I-V. Research Report No. FHWA-TS-85-229. Bibliography Airhart.. F. R. Hirsch T. Harry M. 1977.

1971. Report Center for Transportation Research. University of Texas at Austin. L. C. Report No. 1984. Documentation of Computer Program COM624. S. Criteria For The Design of Axially Loaded Drilled Shafts. S. Design Procedures for Axially Loaded Drilled Shafts. Texas Department of Transportation. 100-E Series. Center for Highway Research..Appendix A Bibliography Reese. University of Texas at Austin. University of Texas at Austin.. Reese. D. 89-11F. August. M. Center for Transportation Research.. Stauffer. . G. Research Report 176-5F. Reese.. P. A. 2nd Edition.. Wright. 1995. W. Report 353-1.. University of Texas at Austin. L. C. R. Report 353-3F. An Examination of Earth Slope Failures in Texas. 1967. J. Quiros. Wright. Center for Transportation Research.. UTEXAS: A Computer Program for Slope Stability Calculations. University of Texas at Austin. 1977. Terzaghi. Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice. C.. Lymon C. Geotechnical Engineering Center.. Sullivan. 1980. W. L. Manual of Testing Procedures. O’Neill. 1984. Roecker. Center for Highway Research.. G. Ralph B. Karl and Peck..