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UNIVERSAL COMPRESSION INDEX EQUATION"

Closure by Oswald Rendon-Herrero/ A. M. ASCE


The writer wishes to thank Al-Khafaji, et al., Barron, and Sridharan
and Jayadeva, for their comments and suggestions. A few additional
comments concerning their discussions are necessary.
Barron correctly points out that the slope of the ZAVC is Gsyw/yj.
Early in the study the Gs-term had inadvertently been omitted; Eq. 6(ad), Table 2, and Fig. 8, reflect this omission. All of the latter have been
revised to include the Gs-term and are indicated in the following (Gs
averages 2.67 for the data shown on Table 2. This value for Gs will be
used in all of the computations that follow.)
Eq. 6(a-d), Table 2, and Fig. 8 are revised, respectively, as follows:

c;-f

(14)

The compression index value shown in Table 2 pertains to the slope of


the "virgin" portion of the laboratory consolidation curve. The term C'c
will be used to describe this slope:

q = Gs^fj

(15)

(b = 1.191, is rounded-off to b = 1.2; a = 0.141)

(16)

Q = 0.141 G,(4)
/

\ 12/5

C'c = 0.141 Gs( )

(17)

[The coefficient of determination (R2) for Eq. 17 is 0.85.] Table 4 includes


the revised value of the normalized ZAVC slope. (The slope is computed
using ea instead of e. It is felt to be more appropriate to use e0 rather
than ev since the former can be determined directly from experiment; ev
has to be estimated.) Column 13 in Table 2 is to be deleted; Fig. 15,
meanwhile, replaces Fig. 8.
Al Khafaji, et al., state that according to Eq. 7, as the void ratio goes
to zero the compression index approaches 1/2 (Gs)~24, which they claim
is "unreasonable." (For "e0 = 0," Eq. 17 - Eq. 6d revised - yields C'c =
0.0357.) Did the discussers expect that C'c would equal zero? The writer
had pointed out that according to Hough C'c approaches a value of zero
"November, 1980, by Oswald Rendon-Herrero (Paper 15829).
7
Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, Miss.
755

J. Geotech. Engrg. 1983.109:755-761.

TABLI 4.Compiled U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Geotechnical Data and Extrapolated and Computed Soil Parameters

ber

Geographic
location
(state)

ZAVC slope,
G s (l + e0/Gsf
(corrected
column 13)

(D

(2)

(3)

ber
(4)

1.176
1.682
1.398
0.987
1.274
1.239
1.845
0.848
1.480
1.162
1.754
1.907
1.374
1.282
1.886
1.366
1.315
1.319
1.249
1.155
1.122
1.049
0.927
0.931
1.109
1.547
1.513
0.953
0.942
1.622
6.963

6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
1

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Test
num-

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5

Georgia

Louisiana

Mississippi

Michigan

Test
num-

Geographic
location
(state)

ZAVC slope,
G s (l + eJGsf Test
num(corrected
column 13)
ber

(5)

New Mexico

Delaware

(6)

(7)

1.397
0.675
1.080
1.156
1.074
0.949
1.070
0.965
1.245
0.863
1.725
1.439
0.720
1.093
0.664
1.268
0.706
0.742
0.515
0.536
0.694
0.954
1.897
2.007
1.185
1.709
1.554
1.224
1.275
1.037
4.524

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Geographic
location
(state)

(8)
Delaware

West Virginia

New Jersey

Colorado

ZAVC slope,
G s (l + eB/G,f
(corrected
column 13)

(9)
5.555
5.311
8.850
5.330
4.929
7.588
6.140
2.765
5.180
2.938
0.845
0.965
0.950
0.810
0.863
0.889
0.865
0.865
0.798
0.794
2.113
1.938
7.125
5.802
1.127
1.032
0.969
1.032
1.093
1.093
0.821
0.916

when the consolidation curve asymptotically approaches a value of e0


equal to a minimum value and not zero. Following Al Khafaji, et al.'s
reasoning, Fig. 10 indicates that for "e0 = 0," the linear regressions shown
thereon yield values of Q equal to -0.403 (Nishida), -0.375, -0.081
(Hough), 0.0083, and 0.011. The writer realizes, however, that such use
of these equations is not what their authors had intended. Eq. 17 is valid
only for the range of data for which it was developed (i.e., 0.365 < e0
< 3.685). Ostle points out that "predicting values of Y for a given X
value is even more hazardous . . . if we attempt such a procedure for
an X value outside the range of the chosen values of X used in obtaining
the sample regression line. That is extrapolation beyond the observed range
of the independent variable is very risky unless we are reasonably certain that the same regression function does exist over a wider range of
X-values than we have in our sample (29)." As stated in the paper, Eq.
17 was developed for sedimented saturated fine-grain soils. At a void
ratio of "zero," a soil is not saturated. The writer asserts, however, that
at low void ratios (near a "limit"), the compression index may approach
a value crudely approximated by Eq. 17.
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Al-Khafaji, et al., points out that for e = 1.0, Fig. 3 indicated that Cc
ranged from 0.28 to 0.70, whereas Eq. 7 yielded a compression index
value equal to 0.24. (This, however, is the kind of result that one would
get using any of the available correlations; i.e., a single estimate of Cc.)
The writer had only asserted (not proven) that field consolidation curves
are parallel. The writer had also pointed out that "further experimentation may show, however, that for a value of void ratio and specific
gravity, the compression index may increase by a small amount as particle size
decreases. Consideration of the effect of variation in specific gravity or in
average particle size on the concept of parallelness, is disregarded in this
study." (Emphasis is added.) Some of the "scatter" in the data about a
regression curve like Fig. 15 may be found to be attributed to average
particle size effects. That is, the finer a soil is, the greater the value of
Cc is likely to be for a given value of the normalized ZAVC slope. Thus,
Eq. 15 could be modified as follows:
Cr A/I

aGs '

, +

'

Y l

(15)

A crude evaluation of the Ad-term indicates that it may vary between


0.75 and 1.25, as average particle size decreases approximately from 0.074
P1;

HI

LW/P

_
-

ki

III 1

^/8 >

LEGEND
L
LG
P
E
o
o
a
o
o
*

e
o

Linear regression
Logarithmic curve fit
Power curve fit
Exponential curve fit
Georgia
Louisiana
Mississippi
Michigan
New Mexico
Delaware
West Virginia
New Jersey
Colorado

LG

NORMALIZED ZERO-AIR-VOIDS CURVE SLOPE, 0,(1 + 0 / G , ) '

FIG. 15.Correlation between "Virgin" Compression Index and Normalized ZeroAir-Voids Curve Slope

757

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mm to colloid-size. The subscript (d) designates average particle diameter.


It is interesting to note that when several compression index equations
are plotted together as in Fig. 10 [as also done by Azzouz, et al. (24)],
they tend to "fan" out from the origin; whereas, it has found that relationships like Eq. 17 (i.e. ZAVC slope relationships) plot in a relatively
close "band." (The writer will demonstrate the "banding" of the curves
in a forthcoming paper.)
Barron states, referring to Fig. 2(b), that he "fails to see any association
of the zero air voids curve with time." In the paper, the writer had stated,
"In Fig. 2(b), this difference in particle size is the particular reason why
there are variations between soils in the time that is required (at a given
stress level) to go from any particular moisture-density state to another,
e.g., from point d to point e." (Emphasis is added.) The word "instantaneous" although inappropriate, was used in this context. (This is apparently the intention of Sridharan and Jayadeva when they stated
"compression index Cc is the instantaneous slope of the conventional
e-log p curve . . .")
Barron states that yl,/yj "is a modification of the ZAVC slope . . . "
The writer had mentioned this modification in the paper: " . . . the
expression of ZAVC slope is rendered dimensionless by multiplying it
by the unit weight of water . . . "
The data from Mississippi State University (which Barron refers to as
Michigan State University) and WES will be made available in a forthcoming publication.
Sridharan and Jayadeva point out that the ". . . coefficient 1.15 obtained by Nishida is closer to their theoretically derived value of 1.21
[Eq. 12(b)]." An examination of Fig. 10 clearly shows that Nishida's relationship deviates appreciably from the general trend shown by the other
relationships plotted thereon. In addition, Koppula found that in comparison with other well known relationships, Nishida's equation performed "very poorly" in predicting the compression index of cohesive
soils from the Province of Alberta (27). The suitability of the discussers
comparison of coefficients, therefore, is questioned.
Assuming that Sridharan and Jayadeva's assumptions, derivations, and
selection of parameters and material property values are valid, and in
fact pertain to saturated sedimented fine-grain soils, Eq. 11(b) may be
rewritten:
Cc =

1.21 iw G.
= 0.0323 w
100

(18)

Often, authors do not indicate whether a compression index correlation pertains to the virgin or "field" slope, i.e., C'c or C c , respectively.
Eq. 18, and some of the equations that follow, are simply reported as
they appear in the literature.
Koppula had evaluated the relationship between Cc and eight independent variables (e.g.: multicolinearity) and found that a simple linear
regression
Q = 0.01 xv

(19)

yielded the lowest values of the sum of the absolute errors, the sum of
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the prediction squared errors, and possesses the highest correlation


coefficient when regressed with respect to 109 observations (27). The
reader may note that the second equation in Table 1 for Chicago clays,
is identical to Eq. 19. Equation 18 yields an estimate of Cc that is more
than three-times greater than that obtained using Koppula's relationship.
Knowing that w = 100 e0/Gs for saturated soils, Eq. 19 can be rewritten
as follows:
Q = 0.3745 e0

(20)

Figure 16 (Fig. 10 with additions) shows the relationship between Koppula's equation (Eq. 20) and the writers Eq. 21 (Table 5).
As suggested by Al-Khafaji, et al., a re-examination of the relationship
between compression index and normalized ZAVC slope, indicates that
a "linear" regression yields a higher coefficient of determination than
does a logarithmic, power, or exponential function. These findings are
summarized in Table 5 and Fig. 15. Based on the findings in the relatively recent work of Koppula (27) and Azzouz, et al. (25), linear regressions were also made between C'c and the initial water content and void
ratio. (These regressions are also shown on Table 5.)
Based solely on a comparison of coefficient of determinaton (R2) for

FIG. 16.Correlations between Compression Index and Void Ratio (Fig. 10 Modified)
759

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TABLE 5.Regression Equations for Data from Table 2 and 4

Equation
number
(1)
21
22
23
24
25
26

Regression
type
(2)
Linear
Logarithmic
Power
Exponential
Linear
Linear

Compression index equations


(3)
0.185 (Gs(l + e0/Gsf - 0.144)
0.489 (In G,(l + e/Gf + 0.296)
0.141 Gs(l + e/Gs)2'382
0.102 e0402 Gs(l + e/Gs)2
0.434 (e0 - 0.336)
0.010 (io0 - 7.549)

Sample
size {N)
(4)
94
94
94
94
76
94

Coefficient of
determination
(R2)
(5)
0.95
0.90
0.85
0.72
0.96
0.94

Eqs. 21-26, it appears that Eqs. 21 and 25 possess the highest values;
i.e., 0.95 and 0.96, respectively.
According to Ostle, the choice of functional relation between two or
more variables is based on "(1) an analystical consideration of the phenomenon concerned, and (2) an examination of scatter diagrams plotted
from the observed data . . . When it is evident that some degree of
curvature is present in the data but no clear-cut choice of mathematical
model is possible, a reasonable approach is to systematically examine
polynomials of increasing order." (29) Although it has been claimed (24,27)
that nonlinear compression index correlations are not warranted, a visual examination of scatter diagrams plotted from the observed data in
this study indicates otherwise. Figure 15 subtly shows that a straight
line can be "fitted by eye" through the data above C'c = 0.25; the remaining data below C'c = 0.25 appears to "drift" to the left of this line.
By analogous reasoning, one would note a subtle "curvature" above C'c
= 1.0. This curvature is not unexpected when one considers that the
resistance to the expulsion of interparticle water during consolidation
will vary nonlinearly according to the ever-increasing effects of interparticle interaction as void ratio decreases. The writer asserts, therefore,
that based on an examination of Fig. 15, the plotted data indicate that
it is best fitted by relationships like Eqs. 21 or 23. Eq. 25 yields negative
TABLE 6.Nonlinear Compression Index Correlations
Equation
number

(D
27
28
29

Equation
(2)

Comment
Reference
(3)
(4)
Finnish muds and clays Helenelund (26)
Cc = 0.85V(w/100)3
Cc = 0.0001766 w\
Chicago subsoils (w is Peck and Reed (28)
+ 0.00593 xv - 0.135 natural moisture
content)
Cc = -0.0051 w\
Blake-Bahama Outer
Beverly (25)
+ 0.1328 wL - 6.412
Ridge Area deep-sediments (wL is liquid
limit and is saltcorrected)
760

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values of C'c for e 0 -values less than 0.336. For e0 = 0.336, Eq. 21 yields a
value of C'c = 0.097 which appears to be more realistic; this w o u l d account for t h e " c u r v a t u r e " of t h e d a t a . O t h e r available n o n l i n e a r
compression index correlations are s h o w n in Table 6.
The material for portions of this closure was obtained from a study
conducted (1981-82) at the Marine Geomechanics Laboratory, University
of Rhode Island (URI). The study was funded by a fellowship administered by the National Research Council (NRC) and sponsored by the
Ford Foundation. The writer gratefully acknowledges the assistance given
by URI, NRC, and the Ford Foundation.
APPENDIX.REFERENCES

24. Azzouz, A. S., Krizek, R. J., and Corotis, R. B., "Regression Analysis of Soil
Compressibility," Soils and Foundations, Japanese Society of Soil Mechanics
and Foundations Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 2, June, 1976, pp. 19-29.
25. Beverly, B. E., "Consolidation Characteristics of Deep-Sea Sediments Recovered with a Giant Piston Corer: Blake-Bahama Outer Ridge Area," thesis
presented to the Department of Civil Engineering, at Worchester Polytechnic
Institute, in Worchester, Mass., in 1975, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
26. Helenelund, K. V., "On Consolidation and Settlement of Loaded Soil-Layers," thesis presented to the Finland Technical Institute, at Helsinki, Finland,
in 1951, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy.
27. Koppula, S. D., "Statistical Estimation of Compression Index," Ceotechnical
Testing Journal, GTJODJ, Vol. 4, No. 2, June, 1981, pp. 68-73.
28. Peck, R. B., and Reed, W. C , "Engineering Properties of Chicago Subsoils,"
Bulletin 423, Engineering Experiment Station, University of Illinois, Urbana,
111., 1954.
29. Ostle, B., Statistics in Research, 2nd ed.. The Iowa State Univ. Press, Ames,
Iowa, 1974.

FRICTION CAPACITY OF PILES DRIVEN INTO CLAY'


Discussion by Kul Bhushan, 4 M. ASCE

The authors have presented statistical correlations of available load test


data for friction piles in clays using a n u m b e r of existing pile capacity
prediction methods. The writer agrees with the authors view that empirical methods based on an examination of a large n u m b e r of available
load test data are likely to be the most successful in predicting pile capacity for design. N e w theoretical effective stress approaches can be used
"November, 1981, by Leland M. Kraft, Jr., John A. Focht, Jr., and Srinath F.
Amerasinghe (Paper 16663).
4
Project Mgr., Woodward-Clyde Consultants, 203 North Golden Circle Dr., Santa
Ana, Calif. 92705.
761

J. Geotech. Engrg. 1983.109:755-761.