soil mechanics exam

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CIVE2004Y-3-2007

soil mechanics exam

© All Rights Reserved

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You are on page 1of 6

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING

Yearly 2006/07

28 May 2007

Level 2

[CIVE 2004Y(3)]

answer ANY FIVE (5) Questions.

Figure 1 is attached.

Question 1

A laboratory standard Proctor compaction test on a soil gave a maximum dry unit

weight of 19.5 kN/m3 at an air-voids content of 5%.

After field compaction on a construction site, a cylindrical core sample of the same

soil was found to weigh 2000g. The core was 125mm long and had a diameter of

100mm. After oven drying, the core sample was found to weigh 1800g.

(b) dry unit weight [4 marks]

(c) degree of compaction [4 marks]

(d) air-voids content [4 marks]

(e) whether compaction was carried out on the wet or dry side of the laboratory

optimum moisture content. [4 marks]

Question 2

consolidated-drained and a consolidated-undrained triaxial test. [6 marks]

sand gave a compressive strength of 200 kN/m2 when the cell pressure was

100 kN/m2. For a similar test on another specimen of the same soil, estimate

its compressive strength when a cell pressure of 300 kN/m2 is applied

undrained before shearing? Give reasons for your answer. [6 marks]

(c) A sand has effective strength parameters c' = 0 and φ' = 35o. The sand is

subjected to a vertical principal stress of 250kN/m2. What are the minimum

and maximum values of horizontal principal stress that can be imposed on

the sand before it fails? [8 marks]

Page 1 of 4

Question 3

results, when the pressure was increased from 100 to 200 kN/m2:

Cumulative

Time (min) Settlement

(mm x 10-2)

0 0

1 17

4 25

9 34

16 42

25 50

36 55

49 59

64 60

81 61

(a) If the average thickness of the specimen during consolidation was 18.5mm,

determine the coefficient of consolidation of the soil. [12 marks]

(b) The stratum of silty clay from which the specimen was taken is 4m thick; it

has highly permeable strata above it and impermeable bedrock below it. It is

estimated that the construction of a building will subject the stratum of silty

clay to the same increment of loading as that used in the test. Calculate the

time taken for the building to reach 60% of its ultimate consolidation

settlement. [8 marks]

Page 2 of 4

Question 4

(a) A stratum of sand 6m thick overlies a stratum of clay. On a graph paper, draw

a scaled diagram indicating the distribution of total stress, porewater pressure

and effective stress to a depth of 8m below ground level for the following

conditions:

(ii) if the water table is at 2m below ground level and the sand above the

water table remains saturated under capillary action.

horizontal impermeable bedrock. In order to determine the coefficient of

permeability of the aquifer, a pumping test was carried out in a well bored to

the bedrock. At steady state, the pumping rate from the well was 1 x 10-3 m3/s

and the heights of water in two observation boreholes at distances of 12m and

24m from the pumping well were respectively 4.0 and 7.0m above the

bedrock. Calculate the coefficient of permeability of the aquifer, deriving the

formula used. [10 marks]

Question 5

means of an example, explain their significance in geotechnical engineering

practice. [8 marks]

(b) Two vertical point loads, 10000 kN and 7500 kN, act on the surface of a soil

mass at a distance of 5m apart. Between 2m and 4m below the ground surface,

there is a stratum of clay. The clay has a coefficient of compressibility, mv, of

0.02 m2/MN for the range of effective stresses under consideration. Calculate

the ultimate consolidation settlement that will be produced in the clay

stratum beneath the 10000 kN load. [12 marks]

The increase in vertical stress , ∆σv, beneath a point load, Q, at a point within

a soil mass can be expressed as

∆σv = (3Qz3)/(2πR5)

where the point in the soil is at vertical depth, z, beneath the horizontal soil

surface and is at diagonal distance, R, from the point load, Q, acting vertically

at the soil surface.

Page 3 of 4

Question 6

(a) Explain why, in computing the safe bearing capacity, the factor of safety is

applied to the net ultimate bearing capacity. [4 marks]

overlying a thick layer of compact coral. The fill is a gravelly sand having a

bulk unit weight of 18.0 kN/m3 above the water table and a saturated unit

weight of 20.0 kN/m3 below the water table. The effective shear strength of

the gravelly sand are c' = 0 and φ' = 35o. A square pad foundation of side

dimension 4m is founded at 1.5m below the surface of the fill.

bearing capacity when

(ii) the water table is at the base of the foundation;

(iii) the water table is at ground surface.

[16 marks]

Bearing capacity factors are:

Nq = 33.3,

Nγ = 1.8(Nq – 1)tanφ'

sq = 1 + (B/L)tanφ',

sγ = 1 – 0.4(B/L)

Question 7

(a) Describe FOUR situations in which a pile system may be the preferred

foundation option. [12 marks]

(b) A 300mm circular concrete pile is driven to a depth of 10m in a saturated clay

deposit. The clay has a unit weight of 20 kN/m3 and an undrained shear

strength which varies linearly from 40 kN/m2 at the ground surface to 80

kN/m2 at a depth of 10m. Assuming an adhesion factor of 0.4, calculate the

design load capacity of the pile with factors of safety of 3 against end-bearing

failure and 1.5 against shaft resistance failure. [8 marks]

Use Figure 1.

sg/

Page 4 of 4

Figure 1. Skempton’s values of Nc for φu = 0

Page 5 of 4

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