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NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Module 5
Lecture 29

1.1.6 Standard One-Dimensional Consolidation Test and Interpretation
1.1.7 Preconsolidation pressure.
 Compression index
 Effect of sample disturbance on the e vs. log cirve

1.1.8 Calculation of one-dimensional consolidation settlement

1.1.6 Standard One-Dimensional Consolidation Test and Interpretation

The standard one-dimensional consolidation test is usually carried out on saturated specimens about 1 in
(25.4 mm) thick and 2.5 in (63.5 mm) in diameter (Figure 5.25). The soil sample is kept inside a metal ring,
with a porous stone at the top and another at the bottom. The load P on the sample is applied through a lever
arm, and the compression of the specimen is measured by a micrometer dial gauge. The load is usually
doubled every 24 hours. The specimen is kept under water throughout the test. (F0r detailed test procedures,
see ASTM test designation D-2435.)

Figure 5.25 Standard one dimensional consolidation apparatus

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 1

26 Typical sample deformation vs.27. the excess pore water pressure generated by the incremental loading is dissipated to a large extent. effective pressure relationship plotted on semilogarithmic graph paper is shown in Figure 5. Upper curved portion (stage I). This is called secondary consolidation. Once the specific gravity of the soil solids. Figure 5. During this stage. the initial specimen dimensions. A straight-line portion (stage II). 2. the specimen undergoes small deformation with time.26 shows a typical deformation vs. Figure 5.NPTEL. and the specimen deformation at the end of each load has been determined. log-of-time plot for a given load increment Note that at the end of the test for each incremental loading the stress on the specimen is the effective stress. . A typical void ratio vs. Figure 5. log t graph. there must be immeasurably small excess pore water pressure in the specimen during secondary consolidation. 3. At the end of the primary consolidation. This is mainly the result of precompression of the specimen. The graph consists of three distinct parts: 1. log plot Dept. the sample deformation and the corresponding time t is plotted on semilogarithmic graph paper. the corresponding void ratio can be calculated. A lower straight-line portion (stage III). in fact. of Civil Engg. Kanpur 2 . This is referred to as primary consolidation.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering For each load increment. Indian Institute of Technology.27 Typical e vs.

effective pressure showing unloading and reloading branches Based on the above explanation.7 Preconsolidation pressure. of Civil Engg. and is the reloading branch. Beyond point f. During the process of soil exploration. the pressure is released. At . A soil is called normally consolidated if the present effective overburden pressure is the maximum to which the soil has ever been subjected. as shown in Figure 5. at higher pressure. Figure 5. e and log bear a linear relationship.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 1. This is represented by the upper curved portion in Figure 5. when the soil sample is loaded. Dept.28.28. Kanpur 3 .NPTEL.28. and will have the same slope as . Typical e vs. the void ratio will decrease at a larger rate with effective stress. Indian Institute of Technology. it can be seen that the upper part is curved.28. is the void ratio-effective stress relation as the sample is unloaded. . In the laboratory. the sample is being subjected to a lower effective stress than the maximum stress to which the soil was ever subjected. Overconsolidated. A soil is called overcosolidated if the present effective overburden pressure is less than the maximum to which the soil was ever subjected in the past In Figure 5. however. it was subjected to a certain maximum effective pressure. log plot shown in Figure 5. log plot. the two conditions of a soil can be defined 1. So will show a flatter curved portion. it will show relatively small decrease of void ratio with load up to the maximum effective stress to which the soil was subjected in the past.28 the branches are the overconsolidated state of a soil. The effect can also be demonstrated in the laboratory by unloading and reloading a soil sample. 2. If the effective stress on the soil sample is increased further. Normally consolidated.1. and the branches are the normally consolidated state of a soil. This is represented by the straight-lime portion in the e vs. The upper part is curved because when the soil specimen was obtained from the field.28 Plot of void ratio vs. In this Figure 5. the decrease of void ratio with stress level will be larger.

Advanced Geotechnical Engineering In the natural condition in the field. The effective pressure corresponding to point T is the preconsolidation pressure . Draw the line PS bisecting the angle QPR. 2. a soil may be either normally consolidated or overconsolidated. temperature. log plot is generally determined by a graphical procedure suggested by Casagrande (1936).” Bjerrum (1967) precipitation of cementing agents . 3. Visually determine the point P (on the upper curved portion of the e vs. The preconsolidation pressure from a e vs. Draw a horizontal line PQ. 5. ion exchange Change of strain rate on loading Lowe (1974) Dept. A soil in the field may become overconsolidated through several mechanisms. Draw a tangent PR at P. Kanpur 4 . log plot) that has the maximum curvature. The steps are as follows: 1. 6.NPTEL. 1972) Environmental changes such as pH. Another method for the determination of is given in Burmister (1951) Table 2 Mechanisms causing overconsolidation (Brumund et al 1976) Mechanisms Remarks and references Changes in total stress due to: Removal of overburden pressure Past structures Glaciation Changes in pore water pressure due to change in Kanny (1964) gives sea level changes water table elevation: Common in glaciated areas Artesian pressures Common in many cities Deep pumping Many have occurred during deposition Desiccation due to drying Many have occurred during deposition Desiccation due to plant life Changes in soil structure due to secondary Raju (1965).29. Produce the straight-line portion of the e vs. Bijerrum (1967. Leonards and Ramiah (1960). Indian Institute of Technology. as shown in Figure 5. Lambe (1958) and salt concentration Chemical alteration due to “weathering. 4. log plot backward to intersect PS at T. some of which are listed in table 2. compression (aging)* Leonards and Altschacffl (1964). of Civil Engg.

Figure 5. Indian Institute of Technology. of Civil Engg. Kanpur 5 .NPTEL.30 Compression index Dept. From Figure 5. log plot for normally consolidated soil is referred to as the compression index .Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 5.30.29 Graphical procedure for determination of preconsolidation pressure  Compression index The slope of the e vs.

. the following equation has also been proposed: (73) Where PI is the plasticity index. log cirve Soil samples obtained from the field are somewhat disturbed. The calcite content varied from 10 to 80%. log plots that are slightly different from those in the field. This is demonstrated in Figure 5. The preceding relation has reliability in the range of and should not to be used for clays with sensitivity ratios greater than 4.31. (1975) tested some natural deep-ocean soil samples from the North Atlantic. Based on their results.  Effect of sample disturbance on the e vs. Kanpur 6 . Nacci et al. Dept. Indian Institute of Technology.NPTEL. 1976): (68) (69) (70) (71) (72) Where is the natural moisture content (%) and is the in situ void ratio. Terzaghi and Peck (1967) gave a correlation for the compression index as (67) Where LL is the liquid limit. When consolidation tests are conducted on these samples. Terzaghi and Peck also gave a similar correlation for remolded clays: Several other correlations for the compression index with the basic index properties of soils have been made.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (66) For normally consolidated clays. and some of these are given below (see Azzouz et al. of Civil Engg. we obtain e vs.

void ratio ) in the field would exhibit. The virgin compression curve (curve I) and the laboratory e vs.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 5. the resulting void ratio-pressure plot will be like curve III. If the same soil is completely remolded and then tested in a consolidometer.31 Effect of sample disturbance on e vs.31b shows the nature of the field consolidation curve of an over consolidated clay. Curve II is the corresponding laboratory consolidation curve. log curve obtained from a carefully recovered sample (curve II) intersect at a void ratio of about (Terzaghi and Peck.32. Note that the present effective overburden pressure is and the corresponding void ratio is is the preconsolidation pressure. This is called the virgin compression curve. log curve Curve I in Figure 5. Hence the strain can be given by Dept. Schmertmann (1953) concluded that the field recompression branch ( in Figure 5.NPTEL. log plot such as curve II. 1967).8 Calculation of one-dimensional consolidation settlement The basic principle of one-dimensional consolidation settlement calculation is demonstrated in Figure 5.31a shows the nature of the e vs. Indian Institute of Technology.1. The slope of the laboratory unloading branch is referred to as . and is a part of the virgin compression curve. The range of is approximately from one-fifth to one-tenth of . If a clay layer of total thickness is subjected to an increase of average effective overburden pressure from .34b) has approximately the same slope as the laboratory unloading branch. After careful testing. Kanpur 7 . it will undergo a consolidation settlement of . of Civil Engg. . log variation that an undisturbed normally consolidated clay (present effective overburden pressure . 1. A laboratory consolidation test on a carefully recovered sample would result in e vs. Curve I in Figure 5.

e. from equations (74) and (75). the strain is equal to (75) Where is the void ratio at an effective stress of . overconsolidated pressure )(Figure 5. Kanpur 8 . Thus.32 Calculation of one-dimensional consolidation settlement (74) Where e is strain. (1) if (i.33a). if an undisturbed laboratory specimen is subjected to the same effective stress increase.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 5.33c) Dept. the void ratio will decrease by . Again. (76) For a normally consolidated clay in the field (Figure 5. of Civil Engg.33b) (78) And (2) if (Figure 5. Indian Institute of Technology..NPTEL. Thus. (77) For an overconsoidated clay.

33 Calculation of [equations (77) to (79)] Dept. Indian Institute of Technology. Kanpur 9 .NPTEL.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (79) Figure 5. of Civil Engg.