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CORK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

INSTITIID TEICNEOLAOCHTA CHORCA


Autumn Examinations 2012

Module Title:

Geotechnical Engineering

Module Code:

CIVL7009

School:

Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

Programme Title:

BEng in Civil Engineering

Programme Code:

CCIVL_7_Y3

External Examiner(s):
Internal Examiner(s):

Ms M. Kyne, Mr J. Murphy
Ms N. Hurley

Instructions:

Answer FOUR questions

Duration:

2 Hours

Sitting:

Autumn 2012

Requirements for this examination:

Note to Candidates: Please check the Programme Title and the Module Title to ensure that you are
attempting the correct examination.
If in doubt please contact an Invigilator.

Page 1 of 4

Q. 1
(a)

Describe the following types of retaining wall, using diagrams, explaining how
stability is achieved and maintained: (i) gravity walls, (ii) embedded walls,
(iii) reinforced earth walls.
(9 marks)

(b)

Calculate the magnitude and position of the resultant active thrust on a vertical
wall 10 m high retaining soil (surface horizontal, no surcharge), with the
following characteristics c = 20 kN/m2, = 22o , = 19 kN/m3 , = 19 kN/m3.
The water table is at a depth of 6 m behind the wall.
(12 marks)
'ha = Ka v 2 cKa

(c)

Why can the formula for active horizontal pressure be reduced for cohesive soils?
(4 marks)

Q2
(a)

Explain what is meant by settlement, consolidation and compaction. (9 marks)

(b)

The following readings were obtained from an oedometer test on a specimen of


saturated clay. The load being held constant for 24 hrs before the addition of the
next increment;
Applied Stress(kPa)
Thickness (mm)

25

19.60

19.25

50

100

200

400

800

18.98

18.61

18.14

17.68

17.24

At the end of the last load period the load was removed and the sample allowed to
expand for 24 hr, at the end of which time its thickness was 17.92 mm and its
water content found to be 31.8%. The specific gravity of the soil was 2.66.
(i)
(ii)

Plot the e/ curve and determine the coefficient of volume


compressibility (mv) for an effective stress range of 220 360 kPa.
Using this data, what would be the consolidation settlement for a 5m thick
layer of the clay when the average effective stress changes from 220 360
kPa.
(16 marks)
mv = e
1
1 + eo

sc = mv H

Page 2 of 4

Q3
(a)

What are the main differences in application of Rankines theory and Coulombs
theory in relation to retaining walls?
(12 marks)
A vertical retaining wall 6 m high is supporting sandy soil which has drained =
20.5 kN/m3 and sat = 21 kN/m3. Assume the angle of shearing resistance of the
soil is, = 35 and c = 0. The surface of the soil is horizontal and level with the
top of the wall. The ground water level is 2 m from the top of the wall. Using
Rankine theory, determine the overall thrust on the back of the wall and its point
of application. Assume a surface surcharge of 20 kN/m2.
(13 marks)

(b)

Q. 4
(a)

Describe briefly, with the aid of diagrams, California Bearing Ratio test. What is
the CBR used to indicate?
(10 marks)

(b)
Penetration
of Plunger
(mm)

The following data were collected during a CBR test on a sample of sandy clay:
0

0.25

0.50

0.75

1.00

1.25

1.50

1.75

2.00

2.25

2.50

2.75

3.00

3.25

3.50

3.75

Load on
Plunger (kN)

0.05

0.11

0.25

0.38

0.56

0.78

0.99

1.14

1.34

1.44

1.51

1.65

1.74

1.85

1.93

1.96

Penetration
of Plunger
(mm)

4.00

4.25

4.50

4.75

5.00

5.25

5.50

5.75

6.00

6.25

6.50

6.75

7.00

7.25

7.50

Load on
Plunger (kN)

2.04

2.13

2.19

2.23

2.26

2.33

2.36

2.43

2.45

2.52

2.54

2.56

2.60

2.62

2.64

Plot the load/penetration curve and estimate the CBR of the soil if the standard
values are 13.24kN and 19.96kN.
(15 marks)

Page 3 of 4

Q5

The cross-section of a proposed concrete retaining wall is shown below in Fig Q5.
The unit weight of the concrete is 24 kN/m3. Determine the factor of safety
against overturning , the factor of safety against sliding (ignoring passive
resistance) and the vertical bearing stress imposed on the soil for the following
conditions:
(a)

supporting cohesion-less soil, fully drained


c = 0 kN/m2, = 35o, = 22 kN/m3

(10 marks)

(b)

supporting a cohesive soil, assuming that cracks will develop in the


tension zone.
cu = 21 kN/m2, = 18 kN/m3
(10 marks)

(c)

Comment on the differing results for the two soil types.

(5 marks)

0.90

4.75

1.75
Fig Q5
all dimensions in metres

4.40

FOSsliding =

V tan
PA

FOSoverturning =

V 6Ve

(trapezoidal distribution)
B B2
2V
qmax =
(triangular distribution)
3x
qmax =

Page 4 of 4

Ms
Mo

V x = M s - Mo

z=

2c u

FOSsliding =

cu B
PA