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CE 363 Soil Mechanics Middle East Technical University

Homework 2 Department of Civil Engineering


Homework 2 is due on December 26, 2017, Tuesday at 16:59.

CE363 Homeworks are to be submitted to the “CE363 Homework box” in Soil
Mechanics Lab.
Soil Mechanics lab door is locked every day at 17:00 and homeworks cannot be
submitted under the door.
Homework solutions will be posted to the course website on December 26, 2017,
Tuesday at 17:00.
Unless otherwise stated, use γwater = 10 kN/m3

Question 1 (a:15%, b:10%)

A very wide granular embankment that is 2-m-thick, having unit weight of 20 kN/m3, is placed
over the ground surface of a soft (normally consolidated) clay deposit that is 3-m thick. Below
the clay layer, there is impervious rock, and water table is at the ground surface of soft clay.
Saturated unit weight of clay is 18 kN/m3, it is fully saturated and its initial average moisture
content is 23%, Gs=2.67, compression index is 0.35 and coefficient of consolidation is 6 m2/year.

a) Plot time versus consolidation settlement of clay layer until average degree of
consolidation is 95%. Note that horizontal axis should be time (in months), and vertical
axis should be settlement (vertical axis should increase in downward direction).
b) After the fill is placed, at the time when the ground surface settlement is measured as 15
- what is the average degree of consolidation of the clay layer?
- what is the degree of consolidation at 2 m depth below the top of the clay?
- what is the total pore water pressure and excess pore water pressure at 2 m depth
below the top of clay?

CE 363 Soil Mechanics Middle East Technical University
Homework 2 Department of Civil Engineering

Question 2 (a: 14%; b: 5 %)

Following results are obtained in a series of CU triaxial tests performed on saturated samples of
Ankara clay.
a) Calculate the effective stress-based modified shear strength parameters, intercept a' and
slope angle  ' , by filling up the following table and plotting the modified Mohr-Coulomb
failure envelopes on the chart provided below.


Test Number 1 2
Confining Pressure
40 80
( '1- '3)/2

Deviatoric Stress
120 170
Pore water pressure at
15 25
failure (kPa)
'3,f (kPa)
0 '1,f (kPa)
0 50 100 150 200 250 '1,f+'3,f)/2 (kPa)
('1 +'3 )/2 '1,f-'3,f)/2 (kPa)

b) Vane shear test is used to determine the undrained shear strength of the same clay in Part
(a). If the clay is known to have a sensitivity ratio of 3 and undrained shear strength of
cu=35 kPa, estimate the peak and the residual torques. The shear vane used in the test has
a diameter of 75 mm and length of 150 mm.

Question 3 (4%)

A silty clay specimen was placed in a triaxial cell and sheared as part of an unconfined
compression test. If it is sheared at deviator stress of 50 kN/m2,
Draw the Mohr circle corresponding to failure state. Estimate the followings:
i. Confining stress, σ3………………. ...kPa........
ii. Major principal stress, σ1………………. .kPa..........
iii. Unconfined compressive strength, qu………………. .kPa.
iv. Undrained shear strength, cu………………. ..kPa.........

CE 363 Soil Mechanics Middle East Technical University
Homework 2 Department of Civil Engineering

Question 4 (a: 7%, b: 3%)

The one dimensional consolidation test data for a soil sample is given below:

Effective stress (kPa) 25 50 100 150 200 250 300

void ratio 0.96 0.93 0.89 0.84 0.78 0.71 0.65

The pre-consolidation pressure of the soil sample is 𝟏𝟏𝟓 𝒌𝑷𝒂 and initial void ratio is given as
a) Determine the coefficient of volume of compressibility, compression index, and reload
(recompression) index assuming that the initial effective stress on the sample is 155 kPa
and the final effective stress will be 245 kPa.
b) Calculate the consolidation settlement of a 5 m-thick clay layer in part (a) if initial and
final effective stresses at mid-depth are 𝟓𝟎 𝒌𝑷𝒂 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝟐𝟎𝟎 𝒌𝑷𝒂 respectively.

Question 5 (a:4%, b:4%, c:4%)

A direct shear apparatus has 𝟔𝟑 𝒎𝒎 sample diameter. Following data were recorded at failure
during the tests caried out over the samples of a clayey sand using this device.

Do not perform area correction.

𝑵 (𝒌𝑵) 𝑻 (𝒌𝑵) 𝝈 (𝒌𝑷𝒂) 𝝉 (𝒌𝑷𝒂)

Test 1 0.15 0.15
Test 2 0.45 0.36

a) Complete the table and plot the failure envelope of the tested soil. When plotting, use an
appropriate scaling for the axes and clearly indicate the stresses defining the envelope.
b) Calculate the shear strength parameters of the clayey sand.
c) At what shear stress would this soil fail if the normal stress is 𝟖𝟓 𝒌𝑷𝒂.

CE 363 Soil Mechanics Middle East Technical University
Homework 2 Department of Civil Engineering

Question 6 (a:6%, b:4%)

During a consolidated undrained triaxial test on a saturated clay sample, failure is reached at a
principle stress difference of 385 kPa. The consolidation (all-round) pressure was 250 kPa and
the pore pressure was measured at failure as 145 kPa.

a) Plot the total and effective stress Mohr circles corresponding to the stress state at failure.
Use an appropriate scale when drawing and clearly indicate the necessary data to define
the circles.
b) If the effective angle of internal shear of this clay is known to be 30 °, calculate the
effective cohesion parameter.

Question 7 (a:12%, b:4%, c:4%)

Consider the retaining wall shown in the figure below:

c´=10 kPa
4m ϕ´=27°
γ=18 kN/m3

c´=0 kPa
γsat=21 kN/m

a) Using Rankine’s theory of lateral earth pressure calculate and plot the active and passive
earth pressure distributions at the back and in front of the wall respectively.
b) Calculate the depth of tension crack at the back of the wall.
c) Calculate the total passive resistance in front of the wall.