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• Evaluation of response of soil media to external loads is very important to analysis of soil-foundation
interaction problems.
• Such an evaluation is made only from a knowledge of the complete stress-strain characteristics of the
• Stress-strain relations are mathematical description of the mechanical properties of the soil - its
constitutive equations.
• Complete stress-strain relationship for a soil gives the stresses and strains in a soil medium at any
particular time under any given loading condition.
• It is unlikely that generalized stress-strain relations will be developed to fulfill the requirements of every
type of soil behaviour.
• This is due to the large variety of soils & soil conditions encountered in engineering practice.
• It is understood from the fact that we have separate theories of material behaviour for elastic, consoli
dation, creep and failure processes in soils.
• Inherent complexity in the behaviour of real soils has led to the development of many idealized
models of soil behaviour.
• Classical theories of elasticity and plasticity are two such idealizations considered in soil
• Generalized stress-strain relations for soils, are not exact descriptions of even the gross physical
properties of real soil media.
• Soil response model provides a useful description of certain features of soil-like materials under
limited conditions of operation.
• Idealized soil models prove to be particularly useful in the analysis of soil-foundation interaction
• This is because they can reduce the analytical rigour expended in the solution of many complex
boundary value problems.
• Relevant choice of an idealized behaviour of the soil for a soil-foundation interaction problem is
not necessarily unique.
• It depend on a variety of factors including the type of soil and soil conditions, type of foundation
and the nature of external loading.
• Consideration should also be given to more practical aspects of the problem such as method of
construction, purpose and life span of the structure and economical considerations.
• Response of each idealized model is typified by the surface deflection it experiences under the
application of an external system of forces.
• Surface deflections represent the displacement characteristics of the upper boundary of the soil
which is in contact with the foundation.
• It forms a vital part of the information necessary in soil-foundation interaction analysis.
• It must be emphasized that, in general, these idealized models are primarily intended to model the
response of soil media and not the response of elements within the soil medium.
• They may provide an accurate description of the state of stress and strain in elements within the
soil medium. (in certain instances only)

• Elastic material or an elastic medium will deform under the application of an external force system.
• Upon release of these external forces, the material or the medium regains its original configuration.
• If curve of unloading does not coincide with loading curve, the material or the medium exhibits
anelastic properties.
• In such media, energy is dissipated during a loading cycle.
• Attention restricted to the case in which linear relationship exists between applied forces and the
resulting displacements.

•Idealized model of soil media proposed by Winkler (1867) .

•It assumes
Deflection, w, of the soil medium at any point on the surface is directly proportional to the stress, q, applied at that point &
it is independent of stresses at other locations.
•Mathematically, q(x,y) = kw(x,y)
•Here k is termed the modulus of subgrade reaction
with units of stress per unit length.
•Surface displacements of the winkler model due to
a)Non-uniform load
b)Concentrated load
c)Rigid load
d)Uniform flexible load
• Physically, Winkler’s idealization of the soil medium consists of a system of mutually independent spring
elements with spring constant k.
• One important feature of this soil model is that the displacement occurs immediately under the loaded
area only.
• Outside this region the displacements are zero as is shown in figure clearly.
• Also, the displacements of a loaded region will be constant whether the soil is subjected to an infinitely
rigid load or a uniform flexible load.
• Since surface deflections in Winkler model are limited to the loaded region, this restricts its applicability
to soil media which possess slightest amount of cohesion.
• Actually surface deflections will occur not only immediately under the loaded region but also within
certain limited zones outside the loaded region.
• To account for this continuous behaviour, soil media have often been idealized as three-dimensional
continuous elastic solids or elastic continua.
• The distribution of displacements and stresses in such media remain continuous under the action of
external force systems.
• The initial impetus for the continuum representation of soil media stems from the work of Boussinesq (1885).
• He analysed the problem of a semi-infinite homogeneous isotropic linear elastic solid subjected to a
concentrated force which acts normal to the plane boundary.
• This basic solution can then be used to obtain the response function for the three-dimensional elastic soil
(i.e for example in obtaining the deflection of plate in integro-differential equation form)

• The isotropic elastic continuum model can be effectively employed in the analytical treatment of soil-
foundation interaction problems.
• Response function for the linear elastic half-space is characterized by the deflected shape of the surface
of the elastic medium subjected to a concentrated force or a uniform stress of finite extent.
i. Plane strain problem
• Consider first the class of two-dimensional problems, referred to a rectangular cartesian co-ordiante
system, x, y, z in which a state of plane strain exists in the x- z plane.
• For such a state of strain, the displacement component v in the y-direction is zero and the
displacements u and w in the x and z directions, respectively, are purely functions of these coordinates.
• The non-zero stress components are σxx , σyy , σzz and τxz: Also, in plane strain, the stress-strain relations
for an isotropic elastic material can be written as