AND
FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
Dr. K.R. Arora
SOIL MECHANICS
AND
FOUNDATIONENGThlliEmNG
[ IN SI UNITS 1
o K.R, ARORA
Exclusive rights by St,1ndard Publishen; DistribulOn;, Delhi for publication, distribution and eJl:port. All righlS reserved. No
parI of lllis publication in general and diagrams in particulil[ may be reproduced or transrrutted in any fonn or by any
mean~, electronic. mechnnical. photo copying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system. without tbe prior
written permission of the publisher and author.
ISBN, 8180140288
Soil mcdtanics and Foundation engineering (gcolcchniClI engineering) is a [asl developing discipline of
civil engineering. Considerable work: has been done in [he field in the last 6 dcc.'ldes. A student finds it
difTiOJII to have access to the latest literature in the field. The author b.1S tried to collect the material from
various sources and [0 prescnt in the form of a lext.
The text bas been divided into twO parts. The first pan dc.'lls with the fundamentals of soil mcchanics.
The second pout dc.lIs with earth rCUlining structures and foundat ion engineering. 'nle subject matter has been
presented in a logical :lntl org:mi.scd manner such liwi it may be laken up serially without llny loss of
continuity. ' :hc book covers the syllabi of undergraduate courses inn Soil Mechanics <lod Foundation
Engineering prescribed by most Indian universities and institutes.
An aucmpt has bccn made to explnin the fundamentals in a simple. lucid language. Da<;ic co~epts have
been emphasised throughout. The author. who has about 25 years of 1C<1ching experience. has paid specia l
'attention to the difficulties experienced by students. A large number of illustrative examples have been given
to show the application of the theory to field problems. Numerical problems, with answers, have been givell
for practice. Some objcctive type questions have also been given at the cnd of each Chapter. l11c. text Is
profusely illUStWled with diagwms ~d charts. Latest IS codes have been followed. as far as possible.
References are given at the end of each chapter. As complete switch over to 51 units has not taken place in
India, bolh MKS nnd SI units hove been used.
The book will be uscrui for the undergraduate students. The student,,> appearing for various competitive
examinations and AMlE will :llsa find the text useful. A large number of ch•• rts and tables have been included
to make the text useful (or'pmctising engineers.
lbc author is grateful to Prof. Alam Singh of Jodhpur University who introduced the subjcct to him
about 3 decades ago as a student :1t M.B.M. Engineering College, Jodhpur. lbe author is indebted to Prof. A.
Varadarnjan of nT, Delhi, who helped him in understanding some of lhe intricate problems during his
doctoral programme. The author thanks the faculty of Geotechnical Division of liT, Delhi. for the help
extended. '[be author al<;o thanks his fellow research scholars, Dr. K.K, Gupta, Dr. D. Shankcriah, Dr. T.S.
Rekhi, Dr. 8.S. Salija, and Dr. R.N. Shahi for the fruitful discussions.
Ihe autbor is grateful to Prof. A.V. Ramanujam. Principal, Engineering College, Kola for constant
encouragement. 'Ibe author thanks his colleagues at Engineering COllege, Kota, especially Sh. Amin Uddin,
Drnughtsman. 'Il1e author also thanks his wife Mrs. Rani Arora who helped in proof reading and other works
related with this tex!. 'Ille help received from his daughter Sangeela Arora and son Sanjeev Arora is also
acknowledged.
In spite of every care Inken to cnsure acx:uracy. somc errors might have crept in. The author will be
grateful to readers for bringing such errors to his notice. Suggestions for improvement of the text wilt be
acknowledged wilh lhanks.
KOTA(Raj.) K.II.AROUA
January 4,1981
NOTATIONS
The notations have been explained wherever they appear. The following notations have been more
commonly used.
A .. Pore p~ure parameter P,,; Activeprcssureforce w...... Weigh t of water
'" Actlvjtyofsoils Pp z: Passive pressure force W,,,, WeighlofsoHds
A,,= Arcaofvoids p= Pressure Wq ", Wotertablcfactor
A"". Angstrom p"", Activeprcssure Wy '" Water Illble factor
A .. ::: Air conlcnt Pp'" PlL'iSiveprcssure IV '" Water content
/'
CONVERSION FACTORS
(a) MKS to SI Units
F~ To Multiply by Equivalence
kgf N 9.81 1 kgf .. 9.81 N
gmf N 9.81)( 103 lsmf .. O.00981N
kN 9.81 11 .. 9.81 kN
""'"'
k~flcm2 kN/m2 98.1 1 kgf/cm2 .. 98.1 kN / m2
2 N/mm2 9.81 x 10 2 1 kgf/cm2 .. 0.0981 N/mrn2
kg£Jcm
gmflcm 2 N/m2 98.1 1 gmflcm2 .. 98.1 N/m2
Ilm
2
kN/m 2 9.81 I I/m2 .. 9.81 kN/ml
kgfiln 3 tN/m) 9.81 x 10 3 1 legUm) .. 0.00981 kN/ mJ
Vm' kNlm' 9 ... , Illm J .. 9.8L kN/ml
gl""Jtcm) kN/m) 9.81 1 gm£lcml .. 9.1:U kN/mJ
kgflrn Nl m 9.81 I k,grlm .. 9.81 N/ m
kg£.m N·m 9.81 1 kgfm ... 9.81 Nm
kgf_seclm2 N_s/m2 9.81 1 kgC_sec/m 2 .. 9.81 Ns/m2
CONTENTS
Chapter' Page No.
PART I. FUNDAMENTALS OF SOIL MECHANICS
1. Introduction 3 12
1.1. Definition of soil, 1; 1.2. Definition of soil mechanics, 2; 1.3. Definition of Soil Engineering ond
Geotechnical Engioecring, 1; 104. Scope of soil Engineering, 2; 1.5. Origin of Soils, 4; 1.6. Fonnution of
Soils, 5; 1.7. Transportation of Soils, 6; 1.8. Major Soil Deposits of India, 7; 1.9. Comparison of Soils with
a:her materials, 8; 1.10. Umltation.s of Soil Engineering 8; 1.11. Thrminology ofdiffeR:n1 types of soils, 9;
1.12. Cohesive and CohesionJess Soils, IU; 1.1:\. Brief History of Soil Engineering, li; Problems, 11.
2. Basic DerrniUons and Simple Tests 13  44
21. Introduction, 13; 2.2 Volurnetrjc Relationships. 14; 2.3 WIlter content, 15; 204. Units, 1; 2.5 Volume
Mass Relationship, 16; 26. VoluriJe..Weight Relationships, 17, 2.7.lnterrelalion between Mass and Weight
Units, 18; 2.8. Specific Gravity of Solids, 19; 2.9. ThreePhase Diagram inn Terms of Void ratio, 10; 210.
ThreePhase Oiagrom in Terms of Porosify, 22; 211. Expressions for Mass Density in Terms of WJter
Cantant, 23; 2.12. Expression fa mass density in tenns of water rontent, 24; 2.13. Relationship between
Dry Mass Density and Percentage Air \bids, 25; 2.14. Water Content Determination, 26; 2.15. Specific
Gravity Determinatlon, JO; 2.16. Measurement of Mass Density, 32; 2.11. ~ennination of Void Ratio,
Porosity and Degree of Saturation, 36; illustrative Examples, 37; Problems, 42.
3. Particle Size Analysis 4S  68
3.1. Introduction, 45; 3.2 Mechanical Analysis. 46; 33. Sieve Analysis, 46; 3.4. Stokes' Ulw, 47; 3.5.
Preparation of suspeMion for sedimentation analysis, 49; 3.6. Theory of Sedimentation, 50; 3.7. Pipette
Method, 51; 3.8. Hydrometer Method, 52; 3.9. Relationship Between Percentage Fiocr and Hydrometer
Reading, SS; 3.10. Limitation of Sedimentation Analysis, 57; 3.11. Combined Sieve and ScdimentllIion
Analysis, 57; 3.12 Panicle Size Distribution Curve, 57; 3.13. Uses of Particle Size Distribution Curve, 59:
3.14. Shape of Partideo>, 59; 3.15. Relative Density, 60; 3.16. Determination of Relative Density, 61;
lIIustrative Examples. 62; Problems, 66.
4. Plasticity Cbaracterlstlcs of Solis 69  K8
4.1. Plaslicity of Soils, 69; 4.2. Consistency limits, 69; 43. Uquid Limit, 70; 4..4. Cone Pcoclromctcr
Method, 73; 4.5. Plastic Limit, 73; 4.6. Shrinkage limit, 74; 4.7. Alternative Method for determination of
shrintage limit, 75; 4.8. Shrinkage Parameters, 76; 4.9. Plasticity, Uquidity and Consistency Indexes, 78:
4.10. Flow Index, 78; 4.11. Toughness Index, 79: 4.12 Mea<>urement of Consistency, 80; 4.13. Sensitivit)
80; 4.14. Thixotropy, 81; 4.15. Activity of Soils, 81; 4.16. Uses or consistency Limits, 82; Illustrative
Examples,83; Problems, 87.
5. SoD Classification 89 106
S.1. Introduction, 89: 5.2. Pllrtide Size Oassification, 89; 5.3. Thxtural Oassification, 91; SA. AASlrfO
OassHication System, 92; 5.5. Unified soil Oassifiallion System, 72; 5.6. Compari:;on of AASlim and
USC systems, 95: 5_7. Indian Standar.d Oassifiemion System, 98; 5.8. Boundary O[l$ificrltion, 99; 5.9.
Field Identification of Soils, 101; 5.10. General ClJarnderiSlics of Soils or Different Groups. 103;
lII~trBtive Examples, 103; Problems, 105.
111; 6.7. lsomot:phous Substitution, 112; 6.8. Kaolinite Mineral , 112; 6.9. Mo ntmorillonite Mineral , 112;
6.10. Illite Mineral, 113; 6.11. Electrical charges on clay minerals, 113; 6.12.11ase E;(change Capm.i ty, 114;
6.13. Diffuse Double Layer, 114; 6 14. Adsorbed Wl11 er, 116; 6.15. Soil Structurcs.1l6, ProbJem~ , 118.
575; 22.6, Ditch conduits. 575; 22.7. Positive Projecting Conduil~. 577; 22.8. Negative Projecting
Conduits, 580: 22.9. Im perfect Ditch Condui!. 582; 22. 10. Tunndcd Conduits. 51:12: 22.11. Loads on
Conduits Due 10 Surface Loads, 583: 22.1 2. COnSlmCI10n of Conduits. 583; Illustrative ElIamp1cs. 584:
Problems. 585.
t.
spread fOOling.~. 644: 24.9. Combined Footings. 645: 24. 10. Rcctangular Combined Footings. 645 24.11.
Trapezoidal Foot ing 647: 24. 12. Strap Footings. 648: 24. 13. Principles (If Dc~ign of Mat Found:uions. 649:
24.14. Common Typt.o: of Mat Foundmion. 651: 24.15. Design M cthod~ for M~t Foundmion. 653: 24.16.
Convention:!1 Design of R:lft Found:ltions. 653: 24. 17. Destgn of combinl.'(l footing by Elru;tic Line
MC'lhod. 655: 24. 18. finlle Diflercncc Method for combined Footing.~. 656; 24. 19. Elastic Plate Method.
657: 24.20. Finlll.: Din·crcn.:c Method fur Mats. 65N: 24.21. Cocffkient {If Subgrn<k: Rc;Lction. 659:
Illustra tive Example~. 660; Problems. 669.
1
Static Method f()r Driven Piles in SllIUr.'lIt:d Clay. 681 : 25.10. Stalic Method tor Bored Piles. 683; 25. 11.
Factor of Safet y. 684: 25.12. Negative Skin Friction. 684 25. 13. Dynamic Fommillc, 685; 25. 14. Wave
Equation A naJ Y~t~. 61:17: 25. 15. Inloitu penetr.'llion tests for Pile capllcity, 688: 25. 16. Pile Load Tcst. 688:
25.17. Other tYJ>cs uf Pile Luad IcSt. 690: 25. 18. Gmup Aclion of Piles. 690 25.19. Pile Groups in Sand
aod gr.'lve1. 691 : 25.20. Pile G roups in day. 692: 25.21 . Seulcment of Pile Groups. 692: 25.22 Sharing of
Loads in It Pil e Group. 694 25.23. Tcn~ioll PiJc ~. 694; 25.24. Laterally Lunded Piles . 696; lIIustrativc
Examples. 697; Problems. 70....
00 the Well Fououmion. 724: 27.5. Tel7.aghi's Analysis, 725: 27.6. B;mcrjee and Gangopadhyay's
r\nalysis. 728: 27.7. Si lllplilicu Antlly~is lor Heavy Welts, 733: 27.8. IRe method, 734: 27.9. Individual
Components of the welt. 739: 27,10. Sinking of Wells, 742: 27.1 I. Mca~urc,~ for Rectification o f Tilts nnd
Shins, 744: IJl U.,tr,lIl\·C Examplc!>. 746: Pmbkms. 754.
28. Machine Foundations
755772
28. 1. Introduction. 755: 28.2. 'TYpes of Machine Foundations. 755: 28.3. Bllsic Definitions. 756; 2~.4.
Degrcc of Frc ...'<iOIll ofa Block Foun<mtlo n. 757: 28.5. Gcncrnl COlen a for design of M,lchi ne fou ndations.
758; 2X.6. Free Vibr,ltlon 759; 28.7. Forced Vibmtion. 76 1: 2K8. Vibmllon An:llysis of a Machine
Foundmion. 763: 28.9. IXlermination of Natuml Frequency, 765: 29. 10. DeSIgn Crifen a for Foundiltions
of Reclprocming M<lchine!>. 766: 2S. 11 . Reinforcement and Con~truction Dcrails. 767: 28. 12. Weight of
Found:lt iun. 767: 2tU3. Vibration IsolatlU n and Control. 767; l1lustrJtive EX:llllples. 76H ; Problems. 771.
29. Pavement Design
773 787
29.1 Typc~ of PavemcnT~. 773; 21).2. Bask Requirements of P:lvemCnls . 175: 29.3. Functions of Different
Components of a Pave ment. 774: 29.4. Fm:tors Affecting Pnvement Design, 775: 29.5. California Bcaring
Rutio T~'st. 775: 29.6. Design of Flexihle Pavcmcnts. 777; 2<;.7. GroUI' Index Mcthod. 777 29.8. CBR
MCIJlOd. 17M: 2Y.'J. Culifornla Resiswnce Value Method 778; 29. 10. MeLeod Mo.: thod. 779: 29. I I. Triaxial
T..::st Method. 7HO: 21). 12. Blirmister's Metbud. 780: 29. 13. Coefficient oj 'iubgrade Reaction, 781 : 29. 14.
Westergaard's Analysis . 782: 29. 15. Temperature ~trcsscs in Rigid Pn"emcnh. 784: 29.16. Combined
Stressc.~ In Rigid P:lVclllellts. 785: ltIuSlrative EX;lmplcs. 785: Problems. 786:
30. Laboratory Experiments
788  816
30.1. To determine Ihe watcr cOlltelil of a sample hy ovendrying met hod. 788: ~O.2. To determine tb e water
content of a soil hy pyonomcter method. 789: 30.3. To determ ine the !>pt.'Cilic gravity of M)lids by the
dcnslIY holl!c l11elhO<l. 7M9: 30.4. To determloc t,le !>pccilic gravity of solids by pycnomcter method. 79J :
30.5. To determine th e dry den.~ity of the soil by core cutter method. 792: 30.6. To dt.'tcrmioe the in.situ dry
density by the sand repilicement method. 793; 30.7. To determ ine Ihe dry densi ty of ;1 soil by
water(lisplacclllent method. 795: 3O.S. To determine the particle sil.e dlst ributi(1O of a soil by sieving, 796:
30.9. To dCh!nnmc the p:trt icle size distri but ion by the hydrometer m...1hOO. 797: 30.10. To determine the
hqmd Illllit of II ~()iJ !>pcclll1Cn. MOO; 30. 11 . To delennine the pla~tlc limit of a ~oil specimen. 801 ; 30.12.
To detemline the .\ Imnkngc limit of a spc!Clmen of the rernouldt:d soil, 802: 30. 13. To determine the
pcrm..ahiJity of a !toil spt.'Clmcn by the constant· head pcnneamctcr. 804; 30.14. To determinc the
permeahi lity o f II ~()!I specimcn by th..: vanable head pcrmc:l1netcr. X05: 30. 15. To detemline the
conslJlkl;ltroll chal',l!;teri~tic~ of or soil spedmen. 807; 30. 16. To detcnnioe the shear parametcrs of a sandy
soi l by direct ~hcar le~t. X09: 30.17. To dO:lenmne th e unconlined eomprc.~sivc stren gth of a cohesive soi t.
811 : JO. It\. Tu dctcnnmc the compaction Ch;lr:tClcristjc of a soil specime n by Proctor's test. S12: 30. 19. To
detemlinc the Culi forrlra Bcnring Ratio (CBR) of a soil specimen. 813.
31. Introduction to Rock Mechanics
817  837
3 1. 1. Introduetkm, 8 17: 3 1.2. Geologic,ll Classification o/' Rocks, 1:117: 3 I .3. 9,lsic Tenninolagy. 818: 3 1.4.
Index Properties of Rocks. H19: 31.5. Uni t weight (ar ma~s density), 819: 31.6. Porosity. H20; 31.7.
Permeability, H20: 3 1.8. Point loud strength. 821: 31.9. Slaking and Durahility. H22: 3 UO. Sanic Velocity,
823; 4 1.1 I. Cli..~silicmian of Rock.~ for Engineering pmperties. 824: 31.12. Strength c1assifiention of Intac t
Rocks, K27: 3 1.13 . LH borlltary tests lilr determination of strength of Rocb, 1:128: 31.14. Stre.~s.strain
curve~. K29: 3 1.15. Modes of Failure of Rocks. 1'131; 31.16. MohrCoulomb Criterion lor Rocks. 832:
31.17. Shear Strength of Rocks. K33: 31. 18. H<rrdness of Rocks, M34: 31. J9. In.situ Slres.~e..~ in Rocks. 834:
31.20. Measurement of insitu ~lrcsses.1:I36: Problems. 837.
\I iii)
I.
PARTI
FUNDAMENTALS OF
SOIL M'ECHANICS
1
Introduction
1
Rock
~RO'k
(a) Nomandalura in Grlology (b) Nomt.nclalure in Soil Engintaring
Fig. 1.1. Nomendature.
SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
and in l Soil Engineering. It may be noted that the material which is called mantle (regolith) in geology is
known:as soil in Soil Engineering.
1.2. DEFINITION OF SOIL MECHANICS
The tenn 'soil mechanics' was coined by Dr. Karl Terzaghi in 1925 when his book Erdballmecllanic on
the subjcct was published in Genn:m. According to Terz.:1ghi, 'Soil mechanics is the appliCltion of the laws
of mechanics and hydraulics to cnginccring problems dealing with sediments and other unconsolidated
accumulations of solid particles produced by the mechanical and chemical disintegration of rock, regmdlcss
of whether or not they contain an admixture of organic constituents'. Soil mechanics is, therefore, a branch
of mechanics which dC.1is with the action of forces on soil and with the flow of water in soil.
The soil consists of discrete solid pmtic1es which arc neither strongly bonded as in solids nor they nrc as free
as p::!rtic1cs of lluids. Consequently, the behaviour of soil is somewhat intermediate between tiM of a solid and
a nuid. It is not; therefore, surprising th:1I soil mechanics draws hctlvily from solid mechanics and fluid
mechanics. As the soil is inherently a IXlrIiculate system. soil mcch:mics is also caBcd paniell/me mechanics.
Rock mechanics is the science de:.lling with thc mechanics of rocks.
1.3. DEFINITION OF SOIL ENGINEERlNG ANI) GEOTECHNICAL ENGlNEERING
Soil engineering in :m appUed science dealing with the applic<ltions of principles of soil mechanics to
prtlctical problems. It has n much wider scope than soil mcchlmics, as it deals with all engineering
problems relmed with soils. It includes site in'Jcstigmions, design and construction or foundations,
earthretaining struClurcs and c.:1rth structures.
Gcotechnical engineering is a broader term which includes soil engineering, rock mechanics and geOlogy.
This term is used synonymously with soil cngincering in this text.
1.4. SCOI'E OF SOIL ENGINEERlNG
Soil engineering has vast application in the construction of various civil engineering works. Some of the
important applications arc as undcr :
Lo~d
Load
Column
_Column
5 0 i I.
~ooting Soit
So i I
(a) Shallow foundation
i\ra 51ratum
(b) Pile foundation
Fis. 1.2. DiITel'l:ntlypts ofrOLlI\lillions.
INTRODUcnON
Dredge level
Earth
Soil pressure'
~ay
~bilnkm.nt
slope
Soil
(a)
Soil
Excavation slopq;
(b)
Fig. 1.4. Slopes in (Q) filling and (b) cutting.
tends to move it downward and thus causes instability of slope. The slopes may be natural or manmade Fig.
1.4 shows slopes in filling and culting. Soil engineering provides the methods for checking the stability of slopes.
(4) Underground StructuresThe design and construction of underground structures, such as tunnels,
sbafts, and oonduits, require evaluation of forces exerted by the soil on these structures. These forces are
discussed in soil engineering. Fig. 1.5 shows a tunnel oonstructed below the ground surface and a oonduit laid
below the ground surfaCe. .
o
SOIL MECHANICS ANI) FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
~
:."
..' .~". ~
..•...
:
. 
hard crust placed on soil (subgrnde) Cor the . . ... _ . .'  '.' , .', "  , ,' Sa
: :.!:.,: ub base
~~~~:~~~~ ~~~ue~g:i~::~~I~ ~~~~;s ~ns~~~~: Subgrade (50i~)
in soil engineering. Fig. 1.6. Pavement del:tlls.
(6) Eurth DamEarth dams arc huge structures in which soil is used as a construction material (Fig.
1.7). The earth dams arc bu ill for cfc::lling water reservoirs. Since the failure of an earth dam may cause
widespread catastrophe, extreme care is taken in its design and construction. It requires a thorough knowledge
of soil enginccring.
Sh~ l\
(Pervious so il )
the equilibrium of forces on the earth and causes large scale earth movemcnts and upheavals. 1l1is process
results in further CX(Xl')'Ure of rocks and Ihe geologic·cydc gelS repeated.
If the soil stays at the place of its formation just above the parent rock, it is kllOwn as residual soil or
sedentary soil. When the soil has been deposited at a place away from the place of its origin, it is called a
transported soil. The engineering properties of residual soils vmy considernbly from the top layer to the
bollom layer. Residua! soils Iwve a grndual trnnsition from relalively fine material near the surface to large
frJgments of stones al greater depth. 'nle properties of the bottom layer resemble that of the parent rock in
many respects. The thickness of the rcsidu::li soil fonnation is generally limited to a few metres.
The enginccring properties of transported soils arc entirely different from the properties of the rock at the
place of deposition. Deposits of transported soils are quite thick and are usually uniform. Moot of the soil
deposits with which a geotechnical engineer has to deal arc transported soils.
1.6. FORMATION OF SOILS
As mentioned above, soils are formed by either (A) physical disintcrgration or (0) chemical
decomposition of rocks.
A. IJhysicul DisintcgrntionPhysical disintegmtiOO or mech:mic.ll weathering of rocks occurs due to the
following physical proc'CSScs :
(1) Temperature changesDifferent minerals of:J rock huve different coefficients of thennal cxprlOsion.
Unequal cXlxmsion and contraction of these minerllis occur due 10 temperature changes. When the slresses
induced due to such changes arc repe"lIcd many times, the particles gcl dctached from the rocks and the soils
arc formed.
(2) Wedging action of IceWater in the pores and minute crncks of rocks gets frozen in very cold
climates. As the volume of icc formed is more than that of water, expansion occurs. Rocks get broken into
pieces when large stresses develop in the cracks due to wedging action of the icc formed.
(3) Spreading of roots of phm1sAs the roots of trees and shrubs grow in the cracks and fISSUres of
the rocks, forces act on the rock. The segments of the rock arc forced apart and disintegration of rocks occurs.
(4) AbrasionAs water, wind :Jnd glaciers move over the surface of rock, abrasion :Jnd scouring takes
place. It results in the formation of soil.
In all the processes of physical diSintegration, there is no change in the chemical composition. 1llc soil
formed has the properties of the parent rock. Coarse grained soils, such as grnvel and sand, 3re fonned by the
process of physical disintegration.
B. Chemical DecompositionWhen chemical decomposition or chemical weathering of rocks takes
place, original rock minerals arc transformed into new minerals by chemica] reaction.<>. The soils (onned do
not have the properties of the parenl" rock. The following chemical proc:csses generally OCOJr in nature.
(1) HydrationIn hydmtion, water combines with the rock minerals and results in the formation of a
new chemicnl compound. loe chemical reaction causes a dmnge in volume and decomposition of rock into
small particles.
(2) CarbonationIt is a type of chcmical decomposition in which carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
combines with water to form carbonic xid. Ibe c.lrbonic acid reacts chemically with rocks and causes their
decomposition.
(3) OxidationOxidation occurs when oxygen ions combine with minerals in rocks. Oxidation results in
decomposition of rocks. Oxidmion of rocks is somewhat similar to rusting of steel.
(4) SolutlonSomc of the rock minernls fonn a solution with water when they get dissolved in water.
Chemical reaction t:Jkes place in the solution and the soils are formed.
(5) HydrolysisIt is a chemical process in which water gets dissociated into W and Olr ions. The
hydrogen cal ions replnc:c the metallic ions such as calcium, sodium :Jnd potassium in rock minerals and soils
are formed with a new chemical dccompa:>ition.
Chemical dccomposit.ion of rocks results in form:Jtion of clay minerals. These clay minerals impart plastic
properties to soils. Oayey soils are fonned by chemical decomposition.
SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
,
Eroded ') _ ....
grou nd./" ........ ,
Still · walen
"
.'
.. . ,.
Gr ound moraine
Fig. 1.10. Glader Deposited Soils.
INTRODUcnON
During their advancement, glociers tr.msport soils. At the lenninus, a melting glacier drops the material in
the fonn of ridges, known as terminal moraine (Fig. ] .10). '1l1e land which was once covered by glaciers and on
which till has been deposited after melting is called ground moraine. lbe soil carried by the melting water
from the front of a glacier is termed outwash.
Glaciofluvial deposits arc fanned by glaciers. The material is moved by glaciers and subsequently
deposited by streams of melling water. These deposits have stratification.
Deposits of glacial till arc generally wellgraded and can be compacted to a high dry density. lbcse have
generally high shearing strength.
(4) Gravitydeposited soil.<;Soils C<'ln be transported through short distances under the action of gravity.
Rock fragments and soil masses collected at the foot of the cliffs or steep slopes had fallen from higher elevation
under the action of the gravitational force . Colluvial soils, such as talus, have been dcposited by the gravity.
Talus consists of irreguJar, coarse particles. It is a good source of broken rock pieces and coarsegrained
soils for many engineering works.
(5) Soils tr"ansporled by combined IIctionSomelimes, two or morc agenrs of transportation aCI jointly
and tr.lnsport the soil. For example, a soil portiele may fall under gravity and may be carried by wind to a
for off place. It might by picked up again by flowing waler and deposited. A glacier may carry it still further.
1.8. MAJOR SOIL DEPOSITS OF INOlA
The soil deposits of India may be classified in the following five major groups :
(1) Alluvial DeposilsA large part of north india is oovered with alluvial deposits. lhe thickness of
alluvium in the IndoGangctic and Drnhmputra flood plains varies from a few mctn:s to more than one
hundred metres. Even in the pcninsul:lr India, ll11uvi'll deposits occur at some places.
The distinct characteristics of alluvial deposits is the existence of alternming layers of sand, silt and clay.
The thickness of each layer depends uiX>n the local terrain and the nature of floods in the rivers causing
deposition. The deposits are generally of low density and are liable to liquefaction in earthquakeprone areas.
(2) Black Cotton SoilsA large part of cenlral India and a portion of South India is oovered with black
cotton soils. These soils are residual deposits fonned from basalt or trap rocks. The soils are quite suitable for
growing collon.
Black cotton soils are clays of high plasticity. 'Ihey contain essentiaUy the clay mineral montmorillonite.
The soils have high shrinkage and sweUing eharncteristics. The shearing strength of the soils is extremely low.
The soils are highly compressible and have very low bearing capacity. It is extremely diffiadt to work with
such soils.
(3) Lateritic SoilsLateritic soils arc formed by decomposition of rock. removal of bases and silica, and
accumulation of iron oxide and aluminium oxide. The presence of iron oxide gives these soils the
characteristic red or pink colour. Thcsc are residual soils, formed from basalt. Lateritic soils exist in the
central. southern and c..1stem India.
The lateritic soils are soft and can be cut with a chisel when wet. However, these harden with lime. A
hard crust of gravel size particles, known as laterite, exists ncor the ground surface. The plasticity of the
lateritic soils decreases with depth as they approach the parent rock. These soils, especially thaie which
contain iron oxide, have relatively high specific gravity.
(4) Desert SoilsA large part of Rajasthan and adjoining states is covered with sand dunes. In this area,
arid conditions exist, with practically lillie mineaU.
Dune sand is uniform in gradation. lhe size of the particles is in the range of fine sand. The sand is
nonplastic and highly pervious. As the sand is gcncnltly in loose condition. it requires dcnsi[ic.1tion 10
increase its strength.
(5) Marine DepositsMarine depooilS arc mainly confined along a narrow belt ncar the coast. In the
southwest coost of India, there are thick layers of sand above deep deposits of soft marine clays.
The marine deposits have very low shearing strength and are highly oomprcssible. They contain a large
amount of organiC mailer. The marine days are soft and highly plastic.
SOIL MECllANICS AND FOUNDl\nON ENGINEERING
(19) LoessIt is a wind blown deposit of siJL II is generally of uniform gradation, with the particle size
between 0.01 to 0.05 mm. It consists of quartz and feldspar particles, cemented with calcium carbonate or
iron oxide. When wet, it becomcs soft and compressible because cementing action is loot. A loess deposit has
a loose structure with numerous roo! holes which produce vertical cleavage. The permeability in the vertical
direction is generally much greater than thaI in the horizontal direction.
(20) MarlIt is a stiff, marine calcareous clay of greenish colour.
(21) Moorumll1c word moorulII is derived from a Tamil word, meaning powdered rock. It consists of
small pieces of disintegrated rock Of shale, with or without boulders.
(22) MuckIt denotes a mixture of fmc soil particles and highly deoomposed organiC matter. It is black
in colour and of extremely soft consistency. It caonot be used for engineering works. The organic matter is in
an advanced stage of decomposition.
(23) PeatIt is an organic soil having fibrous aggregates of macroscopic and microscopic particles. It is
fonned from veget.'ll matter under conditions of excess moisture, such as in swamllS. It is highly compressible
and not suitable for foundations.
(24) SundIt is a coarsegrained soil, having particle size between 0.075 mm to 4.75 mm. The particles
are visible to naked eye. The soil is cobesionless and pervious.
(25) SiltIt is a finegrained soil, with particle size between 0.002 mm and 0.075' mm. The particles are
not visible to naked eyes.
Inorganic silt consists of bulky, equidimensional grains of quartz. It has little or no plasticity, and is
cohesionless.
Organic silt contains an admixture of org<lOic malter. IL is n plastic soil and is cohesive.
(26) TillIt is an unstrntified deposit formed by melting of a glacier. The deposit consists of particles of
different sizes, ranging from boulders to clay. The soil is generally wellgraded. It can be ea<>ily dcnsified by
compaction. Till is also known as boulderclay.
(27) Top soilsTop soils are surface soils that support plants. They contain a large quantity of organic
matter and nrc not suitable for foundations.
(28) TuftIt is a finegrained soil composed of very small particles ejected from volcanoes during its
explosion and deposited by wind or water.
(29) ThndruIt is a mat of peat and shrubby vegetation that oovers clayey subsoil in arctic regions. The
deeper layers are permanently frozen and are called permafrost. lbe surface deposit is the active layer which
alternately freezes and thaws.
(30) Varved claysThese are Sedimentary deposits consisting of alternate thin layers of silt and clay.
The thickness of each layer seldom exceeds 1 cm. These clays are the results of deposition in lakes during
perioos of alternately high and low waters.
[Note. For glossary of technical terms, sec APPENDIX A].
1.12. COHESIVE AND COHESIONLESS SOILS
Soils in which tbe adsorbed water and particle attraction act such that it defonns plastically at varying
water contents are known as cohesive soils or clays. This cohesive property is due to presence of clay
minerals in soils. Therefore, the term cohesive soil is used synonymously for clayey soils.
The soils composed of bulky grains are cohesionlcss regardless of the fineness of the particles. The rock
flour is cohesionless even when it hac; the particle size smaller than 21l size. Nonpla'ltic s ilts and coarse
grnined soils are oohcsionlcss.
[Nofe. 1 Il = 1 micron = 1O~ m = 103 mmJ.
Many soils are mixture of bulky grains and clay minerals and exhibit some degree of plasticity with
varying water content. Such soils are termed cohesive if the plasticity effect is significant; otherwise,
cobesionless,
Obviously, there is no sharp dividing line between cohcsionless and cohesive soils. However, it is
sometimes convenient to divide the soil into above two groups.
INTRODUCfION II
111e term cohesivesoil is used for clays and plastic silt, and the term cohcsionlcsssoil, for non·plastic
silts. sands and gravel
1.13. BRIEF mSTORY OF SOIL ENGINEERING
According to the author, the history of soil engineering can be divided into three periods, as described
below:
(1) Ancient to Mediey,,1 perlodMan's first contact with soil was when he placed his foot on the earth.
In ancient times, soil was used as a construction material for building huge earth mounds for religious
purposes, burial places and dwellings. Caves were built in soit 10 live in.
ExceUent pavements were construded in Egypt and India much before the OI.ristian era. Some earth
dams have been storing water in India for more than 2000 years. Remnants of various underground waler
structures. such as aqueducts. tunnels and large drains. found in the excavation at the sites of early civilisation
at Mohenjodaro and lIarrappa in the Indian subcontinent indicate the use of soil a.<; foundation and
construction material. Egyptian used caissons for /Jeep foundations j::vcn 2000 D.C. I hmging gClrden at
Babylon (Iraq) was also built during that period. The city of D.1bylon was built on fills above the adjoining
flood plains.
During Roman times, heavy structures, such as bridges, aqueducts, harbours and buildings, were built.
Some of these works are in existence even today. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, tbe construction
activities declined. However, some heavy city walls and forts were built from the strategic considerations.
Cathedrals. casLJes and campaniles (bell towers) were also constructed. lbe famous tower of !lisa. known as
the leaning tower of Pisa, was also built. The tower has leaned on one side because of the diITerentiai
sctllement of its base.
The famous Rialto Bridge was constructed in Venice (Italy) in the seventeenth century. Leonardo da Vinci
constructed a number of structures in France during the same perioo. The famous London Bridge in England
1 was also built. The mausoleum Thj Mahal at Agra (India) was constructed by the emperor Shah Jehan to
commemorate his favourite wifc Mumtaz Mahal. It is built on masonry cylindrical wclls sunk into the soil at
close intcrvals.
11 is certain that early builders. while constructing such huge structures, encountcred and successfully
tackled many challenging problems. However, no record in available about the methods adopted. No scientific
study seems to have been made. The builders were guided by the knowledge and experience passed down
from generation to generation.
(2) Period of Early DevelopmentsThe eighteenth century caD be considered as the real beginning of
soil engineering when early developments in soil engineering look place. In 1773, a French engineer Coulomb
gave a thcory of earth pressure on retaining walts. 1be theory is used by the gcotechniall engineers even
today (chapter 19). Coulomb also introduced the concept thill the shearing resistance of soil consists of two
components, namely, the cohesion compunent ~md the rric.1ion component (ch.1plcr 13). Culmann gave a
geneI"dl gT'dphical solution for the earth pressure in 1866. Ibmkine. in 1857, published a theory on earth
pressure considering the plastic equilibrium of the earth mass. In 1874, Rehbann gave a graphical method for
computaHon of earth pressure based on Coulomb's theory.
Darcy gave the law of the permeability of soils in 1856. Darcy's law is used for the computation of
seepage through soils (chapters 8 and 9). In the same year, Stokes gave tbe law for the velocity o[ fall of
solid particles through fluids. The law is used [or determining the particle size, as disoJssed in chapter 3.
QMohr gave the rupture theory for soils in 1871. He also gave a graphical method of representation of
slresses, popularly known as Mohr's circle. II is extremely useful for delerminalion of stresses 00 inclined
planes (Chapter 13).
Boussinesq, in 1885, gave the theory of stress distribution in a semi·infmile, homogeneous, isotropic,
elastic medium due to an externally applied load. The theory is used for detennination of stresses in soils due
to loads, as discussed in Chapter 11. .
In 1908, Marston gave the theory for the load carried by underground conduits (chapter 22).
Atlerberg. in 1911, suggested SOQl~ simple tests for characterizing consistency of cohesive soils. The
12 roiL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
limits, commonly known as Altcrbcrg's limits, are useful for identification and classification of soils, as
discussed in chaplers 4 and 5.
Swedish Geotechnical Commission of the Siale Railways of Sweden appointed a committee headed by
Prof. Fellcnius in 1913 \0 study the st.'lbility of slopes. The commillee gDvC the Swedish circle method for
checking the stability of slopes, dcsaibcd in ch.'lptcr 18. In 1916, Petterson gllvc the friction circle method for
the stability of slopes.
(3) Modem EraThe modem em of Soil Engineering I;Icgan in 1925. with the publicaliOl) of the book
E,dballmechanic by KJolri TCL,taghi. The contribution made by Tcrzaghi in lhe development of soil engineering
is immense. He is fittingly called the father of soil mechanics. For the first time, he adopted a scientific
approach in the study of soil mechnnics. His theory of consolidation of soils (chapler 12) and the effective
stress principle (chapler 10) gave a new direction.
ProcIor did pioneering work on compaction of soils in 1933. ~ discussed in chapter 14.
Taylor made major contributions on consolidation of soils, shear strength of clays and the stability of slopes.
Casagmnde made significant contributions on classification of soils, seepage through earth masses and
consolidation.
Skempton did pioneering work on the pore pressures, effective stress, bearing capacity and the stability
of slopes.
Meyerhof gave the theories for the bearing capacity of shallow and deep foundatioos.
Hvorslcv did commendable work on subsurface exploration and on shear strength of remouldcd clays.
The above list is far from complete. Many other distinguished geotechnical engineers have made a mark
on the development of soil engineering. Because of space limitation, their mention could not be made in the
above list.
A. Oescripllve
1.1. DefiDC the term 'soil', 'soil mcchaniu;' and soil engineering. What are limillltions of soil engineering?
1.2. Whot is geologic eycle ? Expl;)jn the phenomena of formation and ltaosporUition of soils.
13. What arc the major soil deposits of India? Explain their characteristics.
1.4. Write D bricf history of soil engineering.
n. Multiple·Choice Questions
1. Colluvial soils (talus) are transported by:
(a) Water (b) Wind
(e) Grovity (d) Ice
2. Watertronsponed soils are termed:
(a) Aeoline (b) Alluvial
(e) Colluvial (d)1i1l
3. Glacierdcpositcd soils are called:
(a) Talus (b) Loess
(e) Drin (d) None of above
4. Cohesionlcss soils ate fonned due to:
(a) Oxidation (b) Hydration
(e) Physical disintegration Cd) Chemical decomposition
5.. When the prcxluCiS of rock wC<lthcring are nottmnsponed but remain at the place of formation, the soil is called:
(a) Alluvial soil tb) Thlus
(e) Residual soil (d)Acoliansoil
6. The follOWing type or soil is nOl glaclerdepositcd.:
(a) Drift (b) Till
(e) Outwash (d) T1cnlonitc. (Am. I (el. 2 (bl. 3 (e), 4 (e), 5 eel. 6 (11)1
2
Basic Definitions and Simple Tests
2.1. INTRODUcnON
A soil mass consists of solid particles which form a jXlrous structure. The voids in the soil mass may be
filled with air. with water or partly
with air and partly wiLh water. In Air
general.., a soil mass consists of solid
particles, water and air. The three Wat/i!f
constituents are blended together to
form a complex material (Fig. 2.1.
a). However, for OJnvcnicncc, aU
the solid particles are segregated and Solid
placed in the lower layer of the
threephase diagram (Fig. 2.1b).
Ukewise, water and air particles are
placed separately. as shown. The
3phase diagram is alSo known as (a) (b)
Block diagram.
It may be noted that the three
constituents cannot be actually Fig. 2.1. Conlititueflts of Soil.
segregated, as shown. A 3phase diagram is :10 llrtince ll.<>ed for easy understanding Dnd convenience in
cairuIalion.
Although the soil is a threephase system, it becomes a twophase system in the following two cases: (1)
::f2r~~~~~~~Eli~i;"~:~ T~
saturated, there is no air phase
(Fig. 2.2b). It i, the <elative
It\10 .
tI rtr I:::;;~;:
T
Mo"O
v
Vw
tI
:::::::::  T
 ~ = = : = =: Mw
~T~~~:Cl~;~::; lV
The phase diagram is a simple,
diagrnmmetic representation of a
1
Vs
1Ms 1" 1L v,
I
      
11"
",
r
In a 3phase diagram, it is conventional to write volumes 00 the left side and the mass on the right side (Fig.
2.3 0). The t~otal
volume of , gwen soil m"j.in designatal as V. h e of solids (V,~
equal to the sum of ' nvolume
f
~,,~.,.:,:,~~c ~ T 11 '=''''''~o:' f
"e Air Mo=O '4:J Air 'No:0
"" .. ..... T "" T  . T
J "" fI 11 ~" 11
1'
(0) (b)
Fig. 2_1. 'I1m:cphasc lIiagram.
the volume of water (V...) ilnd the volume of air (V,,). '11m volume of voids (V,.) is equal (0 the sum of the
volumes of water and air.
lbe lotal mass of the soil mass is represented as M. lllC mass of air (MIJ) is very small and is neglected.
lbcrcfOfc. the lotlll mass of the soil is equal to the mass of solids (M,) and the mass of water (M..,).
Fig. 2.3b shows the 3phase diagram in which the weights are written on the right side.
2.2. VOLUME'I1UC RELATIONSHIPS
'Jbe following five volumetric relationships are widely used ip soil engineering.
(1) Void Rutio (e)ll is defmed as the ratio of the volume of voids to the volume of solids. Thus
<  i .. (2.1)
The void ratio is expressed as a decimal, such as 0.4, 0.5, etc. For coarsegrained roils, the void ratio is
gcncr.llly smaller than that for finegrained soils. For some soils, it may have a value even greater than unity.
(2) l'orosity (n)It is defined as the ratio of the volume of voids to the total volume. Thus
n· ~ ... (2.2)
Poror;ity is gcneraUy expressed as percentage. However, in equations. it is used as a ratio. For example,
a porosity ' of 50% will be used as 0.5 in equations. The porosity of a soil cannot exceed 100% as it woukl
mean V~ is greater than V, which is absurd. 10 fact, it will have a much smaller value. Porosity is aJso known
as percentage voids.
Doth porosity and void ralio are mea'iurcs of the denseness (or loosencs..'9 of soils. As the soil becomes
more and more dense, their values dc<'T~sc. The lenn porosity is more oommunly used in other disciplines
such as agricultural enginccring. In soil engineering. lhe term void mHo i"i more popular. It is more
convenient to use void ratio Ihan porosity. When the volume of a soil mass changes., only the numerator (i.e.
V~) in the void ratio changes and the denominator (i.e. V,) remains constant. However, if the lenn porosity is
used, both the numerator and the denominator change and it becomes inconvenient.
An interrelationship can be found between the void ratio and the porosity as under.
1 V V" + V,
From Eq. 2.2,
ii·~·V;
e .. 1 :n .. (2.4)
In Eqs. (2.3) and (2.4), the porosity should be expressed as a ratio (and not pcrentagc).
(3) Degree of Saturation (5)The degree of saturation (S) is the ratio of the volume of water to the
volume of voids.
percentage. To avoid confusion. it is a<.Ivis<lbJc to express all quantities as a r.atio (or a decimal) in
comput3lions. lbe final result should be expressed ..s a pcrccnt<lgc for the qu:mtitics which ore defined as a
percentage and as decimal for other quantities.
2.4. UNITS
In this lexl, SI wnilS arc used. In Ihis system, mass (M). length (L) and lime (1) arc the basic dimensions.
The mass b: expressed in kilogrnmmc (kg) units. the length in metre (M) units and the time in seronds (sec
or $) units.
The most important derived unit is the force unit. The force is expressed in newton (N). One newton is
2
the force which is required to give an accelcraLion of 1 m/sec to a ma5S of 1 kg. Thus
IN=lkgxlrn/scc2
In addition [0 kg mass and N force, the following multiples and submultiples are also frequently used.
1 milligrnmmc (mg) = 103 gram (gm or g)
1 kilogrnmme (kg) = tOl gm
1 mcgagrammc (Mg) = 106 gm = 103 kg
Likewise,
1 millinewton (mN) = 103 newton (N)
1 lcilonewton (kN) = 103 N
1 meg<lnewton (MN) '" 106 N = 103 kN
2.5. VOLUME· MASS RElA'110NSIIWS
'(be volumemass n;l;ltiornhip ure in tenns or mass density. 'Ibe rna..... of soil per unit volume is known
as mass density. In soil cngin\:cring. the fullowing 5 dilTerent muss densities arc usct.I.
(1) Bulk Muss Den.. Uyl11e bulk mao;s density (p) is defined m the total mass (M) per unit lotal
volume (Y). Thus, from Fig. 23 (a),
M
P  ... (2.11)
V
The bulk mass densily is also known as the wei mass density or simply bulk density or density. It is
expressed in kg/ml, gm/ml or Mg/ml.
Obviously. 1 Mg/m 3 1000 kg/m l
= =
1 gm/ml
(2) Dry Mass DensUyThe dry mass density (p.,) is defined as the mass of solids per unit lotal volume.
Thus
M,
Pd V ... (2.12)
As the soil may shrink during drying. the mass density may not be equal to the bulk mass density of the
soil in the dried condition. '(be lotal volume is measured before drying.
The dry mas... density is also known as the dry density.
The dry mass density is used to express the denseness of the soil. A high value of. dry mass density
indicates that the soil is in a compact condition.
(3) Saturated Mass DensJtyThe saturated mass density (PS<Ii) is the bulk mass density of the soil when
it is fully saturated. Thus
M_
P,.  I I ... (2.13)
(4) Submerged Muss liel\.~UyWhen Ihe soil cxisL" beluw water, it is in II submerged condition. Wheo
a volume V of soil is Submerged in water, it displaces an equal volume of water. Thus the net mass of soil
when submerged is reduced (Fig. 2.4 (o)}.
The submerged mass density (p') of the soil is defined as the submerged rna<>s ~ unit of total volume.
Thus
BASIC DEFINITIONS AND SIMPLE TESrS 17
~ equal 10 Ihe
which have a volume of V, arc buoyed up
by Ihe walec. The uplhrusl
1 I
1
v,
v, G
I
~
M,
11
1 Vs
~
v, G'W
Ws
1
mass of water diplaced by the solids. I I
Thus U _ V,P", u:VsJ'w U:Vs'6w
(o) (b)
Therefore,
Fig. 2.4. Submerged mass.
 V, Gp ...  VsP ...
, V;p.(Gl)
From Eq. 2.14, P   v  ... (2.15)
Alternatively, we can also consider the equilibrium of the entire volume M. In this case. the total
downward mass, including lhe mass of water in the voids, is given by
M'Ol  M,+V~ p ...
The total upward thrust, including that on the water in voids, is given by
U _ Vp.
Therefore, the submerged mass is given by
M.•"h = (M,,' + V" p".)  V p".
From Eq. 2.14, p' = (M., + V,. ~".)  V p", =_
M_,,,,_~_v_P_".
or
Using Eq. 2.13 p'  r'aI  p... ...(2.16)
The submerged density p' is roughly onehalf of the saturated density.
(5) Mass Density of Sollds1be mass density of solids (p,) is equal to the ratio of thc mass of solids
to the volume of solids. Thus
M,
p,  V, ... (2.17)
(2) Dry Unit WdghtThe dry unit weight (Yd) is defined as the weight of solids per unit total volume.
W,
Thus 'fd""Y ... (2.12(a)J
(3) Suturlled Unit WcightThe saturated unit weight (llol1') is the bulk unit weight when the soil is fully
saturated.
lYr ....
Thus y,«  II ... (2.13(a)J
(4) Submerged Unit WeightWhen Ihe soil exists below water. it is in a submerged condition. A
buoyant Corce acts on the soil solids. According to Archimedes' principle, the buoyant [orce is equal to the
wcighi of water displaced by Ihe solids. The net mass of the solids is reduced. The reduced mass is known
as the submerged mass or the buoyant mass.
lltc submerged unit weight (y') of the soil is defined as the submerged weight per unit of total volume.
, lVslIh
Tbus y.y ... (2.14(a)l
Fig. 2.4 (b) shows a soil mass submerged under water. lbc soil solids which have a volume of V, are
buoyed up by the water. The buoyant force (U) is equal to the weight of wuter displaced by the solids.
U  Viy ...
The weight of water in the voids has a zero weight in water, as the weight of water and the buoyant force
just balance c.'lch other. When submerged, all voids can be assumed 10 be filled with water.
lltercforc, w. ....... w,u
 V,Gy.  V, y.  V,y.(G  1)
• V,y.(G  1)
From Eq. 2.14. Y V . .. [2.15(a)J
We can also consider the equilibrium of the entire volume (Y). The lotal downward force, including the
wight of water in the voids, is given by
W..'" .. W, + V" Y...
The tOial upward force, including that on the water in voids, is given by U .. Vy",
Therefore, the Submerged unit weight is given by
W,uh = (W~ + V,.y",). Vy"
From Eq. 2.14, i = ( ~, + V,. ~,,)  Vy". = ~.." ~ VYw
When a force of one newton (N) is applied to a mass of one kilogrammc (kg), the acceleration is 1
mlsec2. The weight of 1 kg mass of material on the surface of earth is 9.81 N hecausc the acceleration due
to gravity (g) is 9.81 mlsec". Thus we can ('{)Overt the mass in kg into weight in N by multiplying it by g. In
otberwards, W = Mg.
Because the unit weight '( is expressed as 1VIV and the mass density (p) as MIV. the two quantities can
be related as
y* Y pg
Thus unit weight in Nlml = mass density in kglm l )C 9.81
For example, for water Pw is 1000 kglm 3.
Therefore, '(W  1000 )C 9.81 _ 9810 Nlm 3 =: 9.81 kNlml _ 10 kNlm 3
Sometimes, the mass density is expressed in Mgfm 3 or glml. The corresponding unit weight in kNlm 3 is
equal to 9.81 p. For example, for water Pw is 1 Mg/m3 or 1 glml. The corresponding unit weight is 9.8l
kN/ml.
Likewise. mass density of 1600 kglm l corresponds to a unit weight of 1600 x 9.81 N/ml = 15696 Nlml
'" 15.696 kNlm 3. In the reverse order, a unit weight of 18 kNlml corresponds to a mass density of 1800019.81
l
= 1834.62 kglm .
It will not be OUI of place to give a passing reference to the MKS unils still prelevant in some fields . In
MKS units, the weight is expressed in kilogram me force (kgf). It is equal to the force exerted on a mass of
1 kg due to gravity. As the same force is also equal to 9.81 N, we have
1 kgf= 9.81 N
G  Ii: ..
(2.18)
The mass d~nsity of water pw at 4°C is one gmlm l, 1000 kglm 3 or 1 Mg/ml.
[Note. In some texts, the specific gravity is represented as Gs .]
The specific gravity of solids (or most natural soils falls in the general range of 2.65 to 2.80; the smaller
values are for the coarsegrained soil... Table 2.1 gives the average values for different soils. It may be mentioned
that the specific gravity of different panicles in a soil mass may not be the same. Whenever the specific
gravity of a soil mass ~ indicated, it is the average value of all the solid particles present in the soil mass.
SpecifiC gravity of solids is an important parameter. It is used for determination of void ratio and particle size.
roll MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
In addition to thc standard tcrm of specific gravity as defined, thc following two tcnns related with the
specific gravity are also occasionally used.
(1) Muss Specific Gravity (G",~1t is defined as the ratio of lhe mass density of the soil to the ma<iS
density of water.
. .. (2.\9)
Obviously. the value of the mass specific gravity of a soil is much smaller than the value of the specific
gravity of solids.
The mass specific gravity is also known as the apparent specifte gravity or the bulk specific gravity.
(2) Absolute SpeciOc Gravity (G.,)1be soil solids are Dot perfect solids but contain voids. Some of
these voids are pcnneable through which water can enter, whereas others are impenneable. Since the
permeable voids get filled when the soil is wet, these are in reality a part of void space in the totol mass and
nOi a part of soil solids. If both the pcnncable and impenneabJe voids are excluded from the volume of
solids, the remaining volume is the true or absolute volume of the solids.
The mass density of the absolute solids (Ps).. is used for the detenninalion of the absolute specific gravity
of solids as under. Thus
... (2.20)
The absolute specific gravity is not of much practical use, as it is difficult to differentiate between the
permeable and impcnneable voids. In most cases, the impcnneable parts are taken as the part of solids. In this
text, the tenn specific gravity of soil solids (G) is ~ to denote the specific gravity of soil solids inclusive
.1J ill.
of the impermeable voids. In Eq. 2.18, the soil solids therefore mean the solids with their impenneable voids.
ill 
Z.9. THREE· PHASE DIAGRAM IN TERMS OF VOID RATIO
The relationships developed in the preceding sections are independent of the actual dimensions of the soil
"'l"G'W
voids to the volume of solids, the volume of voids in Fig. 2.5 (0) becomes equal to e. The total volume ('\I)
is obviously equal to \1 + e). 1be volume of air is shown bye" and the volume of water, bye....
The volumes are shown on the left side and the mrresponding mass on the right side in Fig. 2.5 (a). 1be
volumetric relationships developed in Sect. 2.2 can be written direaly in tenns of void ratio as under:
Poru;ity, n .. ~ .. ~
Degree of saturation, s .. ~_~
V. e
The volume of water (V...) is shown as Se in Fig. 2.5(0). Obviously, the volume of air (V,,) is equal
to (e  Se) = e(1  S).
Various mass densities discussed in Sect. 2.4 can be expressed in terms of the void rotio from Fig. 2.5
(a).
M M~+M... Gp ... + Sep ...
From Eq. 2.11, p .. V .. I:;e .. 1.e
(G + Se)p ...
p  l.e ".(2.21)
M, Gp...
From Eq. 2.12 PdV~ ".(2.22)
M_
From Eq. 2.13, P,... y
As the degree of saturation for a saturated soil is l.0 (i.e. 100%), Eq. 2.21 gives
(G. e)p.
P,... .,~ ".(2.23)
, (G. ')P.
From Eq. 2.16 P .. p  P..... 1..  P.
, (G  1)
or P"~P ... ".(2.24)
In case the soil is not fully saturated, the submerged mass density is given by p' .. P  P...
(G • Se) p.  (1 • e) p.
1 • e
, [(G  1) e(l  S)] P.
p .. 1 + e ".(2.25)
Eq. 2.25 reduces to Eq. 2.24 when the soil is fully saturated (S = 1.0).
Equations In Weight Units
Eqs. 2.21 to 2.25 can be expressed in terms of weights. Equations can be derived comidering the
vOlumeweight phase diagrams [Fig. 2.5 (b)] or simply by multiplying both sides of the equations by g and
remembering thaI 1 .. pg. Thus
22 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
(G + Se)l..,
Eq. 2.21 be<omos y  1+. [2.21(a)1
Gy..,
Eq. 2.22 becomes 'td" I:;:; ... [2.12 (a)1
(0) (b)
Fig. 2.6. Ph.1sedillgram in terms of porssity.
n~_~_vv
Thcremre, the volume of voids in shown as n.
Obviously, the volume of solids is (1  n).
Void ratio, n
•  ~ (same as Eq. 2.4)
or p  IG (I  n) + Sn] P. . .. (2.26)
From Eq. 2.12, Pd _ *" _ GP",~ln)
Pd  Gp",(ln) ... (2.27)
BASIC DEFINITIONS AND SI¥I'LE TESrs 23
kl';
An extremely useful relationship between the void ratio (e) and the water content (w) can be developed
as under.
Fig. 2.7 (a) shows the threephase diagram.
t
VW
!~I';

.~ t t  t
Mw~Vwfw l'w  Mw~S'Yw
1 1 T~WG IYw
(bl
Fig. 2.7. Threephase ddiagram .
M 
From Eq. 2.9 w  M;
w _ V... P...
V,PS
From Eq. 2.5, V... • SV~
(G  I)r.
Eq. 2.34 becomes 'tlub~ . .. [2.34(a)[
2.13. RE1ATIONSIIII' BETWEEN OUY MASS DENSITY AND PERCENTAGE AIU VOIDS
In the study o[ compaction of soils (Chapter 14), a relationship between the dry mass density and the
percentage air voids is required. The relationship can be developed from the 3·phase diagram shown in
Fig. 2.8 (a).
Now
ill t"·, 1111 (0)
v ..
Fig. 2.8. Threephase diagram
V, + V ... + V"
lb)
l~+Yv+~
V.
Bul vn" CEq. 2.6)
Therefore
(1  n,,) .. ~ + .f
(1 _ n,,) .. M, /~GP ...) + M",:pw
_ k. + (wM,)/pw
Gp,., V
26 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
... (2.38)
When the soil becomes fully saturated at a given water rootent, II"  0, and Eq. (2.38) can be written as
(Pd)".  0  1 ~P:o
A little refieaioo win show that (Pd)/I~ _ 0 and (P.d.... represent the same oondil ion.
In lenns of unit weights Eq. 2.38 becomes [Fig. 2.8 (b)]
(1  a.)Gy.
Yd    1.e . .. [2.38 (a)]
Table 2.2 gives a summary of the various relationships. The reader should make these equations as a pan
of his soil engineering vocabulary.
Thble 2.2. Dasic Relationships
(Note. p...... 1(0) kg/m 3 _ 1.0 glml. ,/",'" 9810 N/m2 ... 9.81 kN/mJ _ 10 kN/mll
2.14. WATER CONTENT DETERMINATION
The waler content of 8 soil is an important parameter that controls its behaviour. It is a quantitative
measure of the wetness of a soil mass. 'Ibe water content of a soil can be determine<! to a high degree of
precision, as it involves only mass which can be determined more accurately than volumes. The water oonlent
of soil is determined as a routine matter in most of the other tests.
The water content of a soil sample can be determined by anyone of the following methods:
(1) Oven Drying method (2) Torsioo Balance method (3) Pycnometer method
(4) Sand Bath method (5) Alcohol method (6) Ca lcium Carbide method
(7) Radiation method.
(1) Oven Drying method. Tbe oven drying method is a sUlndard, laboratory method. lbis is a very
accurate melhod.
BASIC DI!flNnlONS AND SIMPLE 'f'ESTS 27
The soil sample is taken in a smaU. noncorridible, ainighl container. The mass of the sample and that of
the container are obtained using an aex:urate weighing balance. According to IS : 2720 (pan 1I}1973, the
mass of the sample should be taken to an accuracy of 0.04 per cent. The quantity of the sample to be taken
for the test depends upon the gradation and the maximum size of the panicles and the degree of wetness of
the soil. The drier the soil. tbe more shall be the quantity of the specimen. Table 2.3 gives the minimum
quantity of soil specimen to be taken for the test.
The soil sample in the container is then dried in an oven at a temperature of 110° ::t SoC for 24 hams.
The temperature range selected is suitable for most of the soils. The temperature lower than 110° ::t 5°C may
not cause oomplete evaporation of water and a temperature higher than this temperature may c.'1use the
breaking down of the crystalline structure of the soil panicles and laiS of chemic.'111y bound. st ructural water.
However, ovendrying at 110° ::t 5°C does not give reliable resulLS for soils oontaining gypsum or other
minerals having loooely bound waler of hydration. This temperature is aL~ not suitable for soils containing
significant amount of organic matter. for all such soils, a temperature of 60° to 80°C is recommended. At
higher tempcraturt; gypsum loses its waler of crystaUine and the organic soils tend to decompose and get
oxidized.
'lhble 2.3. Minimum Quantity of Soil for Water Content Detenninatlon
S. No. Size of Particles more tilan 90% passing Millimum Qualltity (gm)
l. 425micron IS sieve 25
, 2.
3.
2mm IS sieve
4.75 mmlSsieve
50
200
~.
The drying pcriod of 24 hours has been rccommemled for normal soils, as it has been found that this
period is sufficient to cause complete evaporation of water. lbc sample is dried till it attains a constant mass.
The soil may be deemed to be dry when the difference in successive wcighings of the cooled sample docs
nol exceed about 0.1 percent of the original mass. The soils oontaining gypsum and organic matter may
require drying for a period longer Ihan 24 hours.
The water content of the soil sample is caiCUl.1tcd from the following equation.
w .. ~_M2MJ)(lOO ... (2.39)
M, M)MI
where M 1  mass of container, with lid
M2  mass of container, lid and wet soil
M)  mass of container, lid and dry soil
The water content of the soil is reponed to two Significant figures.
(Refer to Chapter 30, Sect. 30.1 for the laboratory experiment)
(2) Torsion Balance Method. lbe infrared lamp and torsion balance moisture meter is used for rapid
and accurate determination of the water content. The equipment has two main parts: (I) the infrared lamp,
and (il) the torsion balance. The infrared mdiation is provided by a 250 W t.1mp built in the torsion balance
for use with an alternating current 220230 V, 50 cycles, single phase main supply (IS : 2720 (part
0)1973].
As the moisture meter is generally calibrated for 25 gm of soil, the maximum size of particle in the
specimen shall be k!ss than 2 mm. The sample is kept in a suitable container so that its water content is not
affected by ambient cooclitions. lbe torque is applied to one end of the torsion wire by means of a calibrated
drum to balance the loss of weight of the sample as it dries out under infrared lamp. A thermometer is
SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
provided for recording the drying temperature which is kept at 110° :!: SoC. Provision is made to adjust Ihc
input vOltage to the infra·red lamp to conlrol the beat for drying of the specimen.
The weighing mechanism, known as a torsion balance, has a built· in magnetic damper which reduces
pan vibration<> for quick drying. TIle balance scale (drum) is divided in terms of moisture content (m') based
on wet mass. lbe water mnlent (w), based on the dry mass, can be determined from the value of m' as under.
~ _ Ms ;wM
", _ ~ + 1
)~~~~~screw
remains constant. The pycnometer method for the
determination of water content can be used only if the  type c.over
specific gravity of solid (G) particles is known.
A sample of we' soil, about 200 to 400 g, is taken in the
pyalOmeter and weighed. Water is then added to the soil in
the pycnometer to make it about hllif full. The mntents are
GlilSS jar
thoroughly mixed using a glass rod to remove the entrapped
air. More and more water is added and stirring process
continued till (he pycnometer is fiUed flush with the hole in
the conical cap. The pycnometer is wiped dry and weighed.
The pycnometer is then completely emptied. It is washed
thoroughly and filled with water, flush with the lOp hole. 1bc
pycnometer is wiped dry and weighed. Fig. 2.9 PyCllomelcr.
Let MI  mass of pycnom<aer
M2  mass of pycnometer + wet soil
M)  mass of pycnometer + wet soil + water
M4  mass of pycnometer filled with water only.
Obviously, the mass M4 is equal to mass M) minus the mass of solids Ms plus the mass of an equal
volume of water (see Fig. 2.10).
Thus M,
M4  M)  Ms + (G P...) . P...
M4  M) Ms + ~
BASIC DEF1NmONS AND SIMI'LE TESrS
 M,  M, ( I  b)
or Mz  eM)  M4 ) • ( G ~ 1)
Now, mass of wet soil = M2  Mi
_ [(M,  M (Q.::..!.)
(M,M,) G
I)_ I] x 100 ... (2.41)
This method for the detcnnination of the water OJOtCDt is quite suitable for roarsegrained soils from
which (he entrapped air can be easily removed. If a vacuum pump is available, the PYOlometcr can be
connected 10 II for about 10 to 20 minutes to remove the entrapped air. 11lc rubber tUbing of the pump shoukl
be held tightly with the pYOlometcr 10 preveDt leakage.
(Refer to Dlapter 30. Sect. 30.2 for the laboratory experimcot)
(4) Sand Bath Method. Sand balh method is a field method for the determination of water content. The
method is ropid, but not very accurate. A sand bath is a large, open vessel oontaining sand filled to a depth
of 3 em or more.
The soil sample is taken in a troy. The sample is crumbled and placed loosely in the tray. A few pieces
of white paper are also placed on the sample. The tray is weighed and the mass of wet sample i£ obtained.
The tray is then placed on the sandbath. The sand bath is heated over a stove. Drying takes about .20 to
60 minutes, depending upon the type of soil. During heating, the specimen is tumed with a palette knife.
Overheating of soil should be avoided. The white paper turns brown when overheating occurs. The drying
should be continued till the sample attains a constant mass. When drying is oomplete, the tray is removed
from the sand bath. cooled and weighed. ]be water content is determined using Eq. 239.
(5) Alcohol Method. The soil sample is taken in an evaporating dish. urge lumps of soil, if any. should be
broken and crumbled. The mass of the wet sample is taken. The sample is then mixed with methylated spirit
(alcohol). The quantity of methylated spirit required is about one millilitre for every gram of soil. The
methylated spirit and the soil should be turned several times, with a palette knife, to make the mixture uniform.
The methylated spirit is then ignited. The mixture is stirred with a spatula or a knife when ignition ~
talciog place. After the methylated spirit bas bumt away completely, the dish 'is allowed 10 be cooled, and the
mass of the dry soil obtained. 1bc metbod takes about 10 minutes.
Methylated spirit is extremely volatile. Care shall be taken to prevent fire. 1be method cannot be used if
the soil contains a large proportion of clay, organic maller, gypsum or any other caJcareous materiaL The
method is quite rapid, but not very accurate.
30 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENINEERING
(6) Calcium Cllrbide Method. This method of the dctcnninalion of water contenl makes use of the fact
that when water reacts wiLh calcium carbide (c., C:z). acetylene gas (Cz Hi) L<.; produced.
Cay + 2H 20  CzH 2 + Ca (Ollh
The water rooteol of the soil is determined indirectly from the pr<ssure of the acetylene gas formed. 1be
instrument used is known as moisture tester.
TIle wei soil sample is plared in a sealed container containing calcium carbide. lbc samples of sand
require no special prepamtion. 'me soil sample is ground and pulverised. However, cohesive and plastic soils
are tested after addition of steel balls in the pressure vessels. The test requires about 6 g of soil.
The pressure of the acctylene gas produced acts on the diaphragm of the moisture tesler. The quantity of
gas is indicated on a pff$Ure gauge. From the calibrntcd scale of the pressure gauge, the water oontent (m') based
on the total mass is determined. The water content (w) b..'tSed on the dry mass is dctennined using Eq. 2.40 (a).
~ calcium carbide is highly susceptible to absorption of moisture. il should not be exposed 10
atmosphere. lbc lid of the container should be finnly fixed.
(7) Radiation Method. Radioactive isotopes are used for the determination of water content of soits. A
device containing a radioactive isotopes material. such as cobalt 60, is pL.'l.cOO in a capsule. It is then lowered
 SO,tt
51 pet casing Stezezl cdsing
A 8
Fig.2. 1l .
in a steel casing A, placed in a bore hole as shown in Fig. 2.11. The steel casing has a small opening on its
one side through which rays can come out. A detector is placed inside another steel casing B, which also has
an opening facing that in casing A.
Neutrons are emitted by the radioactive material. The hydrogen atoms in water of the soil cause
scattering of neutrons. As these neutrons strike with the hydrogen atoms,they lose energy. The loss of energy
is proportional to 'he quantity of water present in the soil. The detector is calibrated to givc directly the water
content
The mcthod is extremely useful for tbe determination of water cootcnl of a soil in the insitu conditions.
The methcx:l should be very carefully used, as it m3Y lead to radiation problems if proper shielding
precautions are not taken.
2.15. SPECIHC GRAVny DETERMINATION
The specific gravity of solid particles is determined in the laboratory using the following mcthods:
(1) Density boule method (2) Pycnometer method (3) Measuring flask mcthod
(4) Ga<> jar mcthod (5) Shrinkage limit mcthod.
The last method of determining thc specific gravity of solid particles from thc shrinkage limit is
discussed in Sect. 4.6.
BASIC DEFINmONS AND SIMPLE TESrs 31
(I) Density Bottle Method. TIle specific gravity of solid particles can be
determined in a laboratory using a density botlle filled with a stopper having a hole
(Fig. 2.12). The density bottle of 50 ml capacity is generally used [IS : 2720 (Pan
II) 1980].
The density bottle is cleaned and dried at a temperature of 105° to 110°C and
cooled. 'The mass of the bottle. including that of stopper. is taken. About 5·10 g of
oven dry sample of soil is taken in the bottle and weighed. If the sample contains
particles of large size, it shall be ground to pass a 2·mm sieve before the test.
Distilled water is then added to cover the sample. The soil is allowed to soak
water for about 2 hOurs. More water is added until the bottle is half full. Air
entrapped in the soil is expelled by applying a V3aJum pressure of about 55 em of
mercury for about one hour in a vacuum dcssicalor. Alternatively. the entrapped air
can be removed by genqe heating. More water is added to the bottle to make it full.
111e slopper is inserted in the bottle and its mass is taken. The temperature is also
recorded.
The bottle is emptied. washed and then refilled with di'itilled water. The bottle Fig. 212 Density bottle.
must be filled to the; same mark as in the previous case. The mass of the botLle filled with water is taken. The
temperature should be the same as before.
Let MI .. massofemptybottle
l"C sp. gf. I·e sp. gr. I·C sp. gr. I"C sp. gr.
1 0.9999 11 0.99% 21 0.9980 31 0.9954
2 0.9999 12 0.9995 22 0.9978 32 0.9951
3 1.0000 13 0.9994 23 0.9976 33 0.9947
4 1.0000 14 0.9993 24 0.9973 3. 0.9944
5 1.0000 15 0.9991 25 0.9971 35 0.9941
6 1.0000 16 0.9990 26 0.9968 36 0.9937
7 0.9999 17 0.9988 27 0.9965 37 0.9934
•• 0.9999
0.9998
I•
19
0.9986
0.9984
2J3
29
0.9963
0.9%0
38
3.
0.9930
0.9926
10 0.9997 20 0.9982 30 0.9957 40 0.9922
Sometimes, other liquids, such as paramo, alcohol and benzene. arc also used.
Density bottle method is suitable for finegrained soils, with more than 90% passing 2 mmIS sieve.
However the method can also be used for medium and coarsegrained soils if they are pulverised such that
the particles pass 2 mmIS sieve.
(See Chapter 30, Sect. 30.3 for the laboratory experiment).
(2) Pycnometer Method. The method is similar to the density boute method. As the capacity of the
pYOlometer is larger, about 200300 g of ovendry soil is required for the test. The method can be used for
all types of soils, bul is more suitable for mediumgrained soils, with morc than 90% passing a 20 mm IS
sieve and for ~rsegrained soils with more Ihan 90% passing a 40 mm IS sieve.
(See Chapter 30, Sect. 30.4 for the laboratory experiment).
(3) Measuring Flask Method. A mea'iuring nask is of 250 ml (or 500 ml) capacity. with a graduation
mark at Ihat leveL It is fitted with an adaptor for connecting it to a vacuum line for removing entrapped air.
The method is similar 10 the density bottle method. About 80100 g of oven dry soil is required in Ihis case.
The method is suitable for finegrained and medium grained1soits.
Rubber bung
(4) Gus Jar Method. In this method. a ga.. jar of about I litre
capacity is used. The jar is fitled with a rubber bung (Fig. 2.13). The
gas jar serves as a pycnometer. The method is similar to the pycnometer
method.
, LItre
2.16. MEASUREMENT OF MASS DENSITY glass jar
The bulk mass density of a soil sample, as per Eq. 2.11, is the·mass
per unit volume. Allhough lhe mass of a soil sample can be determined Soil
to a high degree of precision, it is rather difficult to determine the
volume of the sample accurately. The methods discussed below
basically differ in the prOCedure for the measurement of the volume.
Once the bulk mass density has been detennincd. the dry mass density
is found using Eq. 2.36. Thus Fig. 2.13. Gas Jar.
BASIC DEFlNn10NS AND SIMPLE 1T:SrS 33
p • M and
V
The volume of the specimen used in various tcsts can be computed from the measured dimensions. as
Ihey have regular shapes, such as a cylinder or a cube. Ilowever, precise measurements arc not possible. If
the sample is made in a container of known dimensions. much more accurate measurements arc possible.
The following methods are genemlly used for the detennination of mass density.
(1) Water Displacement Method (2) Submerged mass density Method
(3) Core Cutler Method (4) Smld Replacement Method.
(5) Water Balloon Method (6) Radi:ltion Method.
The methods are discussed below. 1lIc first two methods arc laboratory methods and the !'CSt, field
methods.
(I) Water Dl~placement Method. The volume of the
specimen js dClcnmned in Ihis method by waler
displacement, As the soil mass disintegrates when it comes
in contact with water, the sample is cooted with paraffin
wax to make it impervious. A Icst specimen is trimmed to
more or less a regular shape and weighed. It is then coated Valva
with a trun lay.er of .paraffin wax by dipping it. in molten ~
wax. The specimen IS allowed to cool and weighed. 1llc Mtasurrng . =
difference between the two observations is equal 10 the
mass of the paraffin.
'llie waxed specimen is then immersed in a water
displacement container shown in Fig. 2.14. Thc volume of
the specimen is equal 10 the volume of WOlter which comes
out of the outflow lube. The actual volume of the soil
specimen is less th3I1 the volume of the waxed specimen. Fig. 2.14. WIlICr di~placemcnl cont.,incr.
The volume of the wax is determined from the mass of the wax peeled orr from the specimen afler the test
and the mass density of wax.
T
the mass of water. I
Bulk mass density,
where M 2 :: mass of culter, with soil,
... (2.41)
Cutter __
I
13 0 rr.m
M I = mass of empty cutter, I
1
V:: intCITh'l1 volume of cutter.
lhe method is quite suitable for son, fine grnined soils.
It cannot be used for stoney, graven), soils. The method is
i
practicable only at the places where the surface of the soil
is exposed and the cutter con be easily driven.
(See Chapter 30, Sect. 30.5 for the experiment). Fig. 2.15. Core.Culler with dolly.
(4) Sand Replacement Method. Fig. 2.16 shows a sandpouring cylinder, which has a pouring cone at
its base. TIle cylinder shown is placed with its base at the ground level. There is a shutter between the
cylinder and the rone. The cylinder is firsl calibrated to delennine the mass density of sand. For good results,
the $and used should be uniform, dry and clean, passing a 600 micron sieve and rctuined on a 300 micron
sieve.
(0) Callbrntlon of appurotusThe cylinder is filled with sand and weighed. A calibrating oontainer is
then placed below the pouring cylinder and the shutler is opened. The sand fills the calibrating container and
the cone. The shutter is closed, and the mass of the cylinder is again laken. lbe ma5S of Ihe sand in the
container and the cone is equal to the dirl'crencc or the two observations.
The pouring cylinder is again filled 10 the initial mass. The sand is allowed 10 run 001 of the cylinder,
equal to the volume of the calibrating cootaincr and the shutler is closed. The cylinder is then placed over a
pt.!in surface and the shutler is opened. 'Ihe sand runs Oul of the cylinder and fills the cone. The shutler is
closed when no further :novement of sand takcs place. 1nc t.)'linder is removed and the sand filling the rone
is collected and weighed (Mi).
"he mass density of the sand is dctennincd as under:
All  M2 M)
P. .. V ... (2.49)
t
where M 1 = initial mass of cylinder with sand,
BASIC DEFINITIONS AND SIMPLE TFSrs
from the hole through the opening in the base plate. All loose material is removed. llle soil removed is
collected and weighed. The cylinder is <lg:lin pl:K:oo over thc opening in thc plate and pressure is applied to
the balloon till it fills the holc. lhe volumc of Wolter in the cylinder is observed. '[be volume of thc hole is
fou:1.d from the initial and finnl observntion of wmer volume.
The method is general and is suit:Jble for t:1I types of soils. However, it is not so accurate, as it is difficult
to fit thc balloon eXrlctly in an irregular hole.
rs : 2720 (Part XXXIV)1972 describes the method in detail.
(6) Radiation Method. The bulk mass density of insitu soil can be determined ~ing the radiation
method. The meter consists of twO probes, one containing a radio isotope source and the othcr a gamma my
detcctor. 1lle meter is placed on thc surface which had been carefully cleaned and levelled. The probe extends
to a maximum depth of 200 mm to 300 mm into the ground. and, therefore, gives an average mass density
for that depth. The detector record<; the amount of radiation which passes through the soil from lhc probe
attached to the meter when inserted into thc ground. The denser the soil, the greater is the absorption of
gamma rays, and the lc.sscr will be the gamma mys energy at the detector. The method is known as the direct
transmission me/hod
'l1lere is another method, known as the back scalier method. Both the sourcc and the detector are
contained in one probe. The detector records radiations which had been reflected by the soil. The bulk mass
density of the soil is determined from the rndiation roum over a fixed lime period. The mass density obtained
is for the top 40 to 50 mm. '[be method is simpler thrln the direct transmission method, but it requires a
greater source strength.
Radiation methods for determination of the m:lss density of soils are quick and oonvenient and are
gaining popularity. However, precautions must be taken again~ thc mdiatioo ila7.ard.
2.17. DETERMINATION O}O' vom RATIO, l'OnOSITY AND DEGREE 0.' SATURATION
The void ratio of a soil s.1mp!e is a measure of its den'lcncss. It is one of the important parameters of
soils. Engineering properties of soils depend upon void mtio 10 a large extent. The void mHo is determined in
the labordtory indirectly from the dry mass density. From I3q. 2.22.
e _ Gp•. _ 1 .. . (2.51)
p,
The methods for determin:ltion of the spccilic gravity of solids G and the dry density Pd have been
discussed in the preceding sections.
For a saturated soil. the void ratio is determined using Eq. 2.31, e .. ~. This method is a very
convenient and accurate method. as the water content of a soil can be determined quite easily and acaJrnlcly.
The specific gravity of soil (G) can also be determined in the laboratory.
Once the void mlio hns been detennined. other volumetric relationships such as porosity and degree of
saturation can be determined using Eqs. 2.3 and 2.30, respectively.
Percentage air voids are determined indirectly, using Eq. 2.38,
(ln.)Gp.
Pd"~
Thble 2.5. lypical Values or Void Ratio lind Dry Denl;ily lind Dry Unll'i: Weights
S.No. Soil type Slale oj soil Void PorosilY Dry defLSity Dry unit weight
J J
Ratio ('!o) (kglm ) (kNlm )
Gravel """",,
2. Coarse sand.
"''''''',
"""",,
0.60
0.30
0.75
'"
23
42
''''"
2000
1S00
10
'"
IS
Medium sand Densest 035 2. 1900 I.
3. Unifonn, fine """",, 0.85 40 1400 14
4.
",'
Coorse silt
"',"'"
"""",,
0.4
1.0
29
50
1900
1300
I.
13
S. Fine silt
"'''''',
Softest
0.45
1.00
31
SO
1800 I.
1300 13
IIDrcicsl 0.4 29 1900 I.
O. Lean Clay Softest 1.20 55 1300 13
IIDrdCSI OAO 29 1900 I.
7. fm clay Sortesl 2.20 69 1000 10
Ilnrd(.'$l OAO 29 2000
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
'"
1II1J.~lruti't'e EXlIIIlpie 2 .1. 71u: mass of a clwnk of moist soil is 20 kg, and its volume is 0.011 ml. After
drying in an oven, the mass reduces 10 16.5 kg. Determine the water content, the density of moist soil, tile
dry density. void rario, porosity and the degree of saluration. Take G = 2.70.
Solulion. Mass or water. AI... = 20.0  16.50 = 3.50 kg
IIIustratl't'e Example 2.2. A ~Qil specimen has a water content of }O% and a wet unit weighl of 20
kN/nl If the specific gravity oj solids is 2.70, determine the dry unit weight, void ratio, and the degree of
samra/;OIL Take 't ... = 10 /eN/m .
Illustrative Example 2.3. A sample of dry soil 'Weighs 68 gm. Find the volum~ of voids if t.he tOla
volume of the sample is 40 ml and the specific gravity of Solids is 2.65. Also determine the void ratio.
Volume of solids, M, 68
V~ .. Gp", .. ~ .. 2S.66ml
Volume of voids, V~ .. V  V, .. 40.00  25.66 .. 14.34 ml
illustrative Example 2.5. A soil has a porosity of 40%, the SpecIfIC gravity of solids of 2.65 and a WQter
content of 12%. Determine the mass of water reqllired to be added to 100 m) o/tltis .foil for /ull saturation.
Solution. Let us take unit volume of solids, i.e. V, .. 1.0 ml.
Mass of solids., M, .. G P ..... 2.65 x 1000 .. 2650 kg
From Eq. 2.9, mass of water, M", .. 0.12 x 2650 .. 318 kg
Volume of water .. 13~ .. 0.318m l
Volume of water required for 100 013 of soil .. ~:!:~ x 100 .. 20.94 013
Mass of water required = 20940 kg.
Illustrative Example
1 2.6. A sample 0/ saturated soil has a water content of 25 percent and a bulle unit
weight of 20 kN/m . Determine dry density, void ratio and specific gravity of solid particles.
BASIC DEFINITIONS AND SIMPLE TESfS 39
What would be the bulk uni, weight of the same soil at the same void ratio hut at a degree of saturation
of 80% ? Ta/ce y", = 10 leN/mJ.
From Eq. 2.30, laking S = 1.0, e ... MG _ 0.25 )( 2.67 .. 0.67
From Eq. 2.22 (a~ Yd'" IG ;"'e . . 2i6: ~.;~ .. 15.99 kN/m
J
In the scoond case, as e :; 0.67 and S = 0.80, Eq. 2.21 (a) gives
lIIustrallve EXllmple 2.7. A sample of clay was coated wl'tll paraffin wax and its mass, including the
mass of wax, was found to be 697.5 gm. The sample was immersed in water and the volume of the water
displaced was found to be 355 1111. The mass of the sample wit/JO/d wax was 690.0 gill, and the water content
of the representative specimen was 18%.
Determine the bllik densil){ dry density, void ratio and the degree of saturation. The specific gravity of .
the solids WQS 2.70 and that of tite wax was 0.89. .
Solution. Mass of wax ... 697,5  690,0 ... 7.5 gm
From Eq. 2.36, dry density ... 1 !'~18 ... 1.69 gm/ml
illustrative Example 2.8. (a) During a lesl for water content determination on a soil sample by
pycnometer, the following observations were recorded
(1) Mass of wet soil sample = 1000 gm
(2) Mass of pycnometer with soil and filled with water ·2000 gm
(3) Mass of pycnometer filled with water only = 1480 gm
(4) Specific gravity of solids ·2.67
Determine the water content.
(b) If the b/Jlk density of the soil is 2.05 gm/ml, determine the degree of saturation.
(ln.)G·p.
From Eq. 2.38. p, 
1 + wG
or 1  nQ _ 1692.21 ;~l x+ l~ )( 2.(8) .. .0.9022
n.  0.0978 (9.78%)
Illustrative Exumple 2 .U . A compacted cylindrical specimen, 50 111m dia and 100 111111 length, is to be
prepared from ovendry soil. If the specimen is required to have a waler contenl of 15% and the percentage
air voids of 20%, calClilate the //lass of the soil and water required for the preparation of tlte sample. Take
G = 2.69.
Solution. Let M, be the mass of solids in kg.
Mass of water, .. wM# _ 0.15 M#
M, _ 0.301 kg
Mass of water .. 0 .15 x 0.301 _ 0.045 kg
llJustrnUve Example 2.12. A borrow area soil has a lIatural water comem of 10% and a bulk density of
1.80 Mg/l,r. The soil is used for an embankment to be compacted at 18% moisture content to a dry density
of 1.85 Mg/m J• Determine the amount of water to be added to 1.0 m J of borrow soil. flow nJllI1Y cubic metres
of excavation is required for I nl of compacted embankment ?
Solution. Borrow area A. p" == 2~6: ~. ~OO =: 1.47 g/ml (14.44 kN/mJ)
Let us consider I m.l of borrow soil. W, .. Dry weightlm 1 .. 14.44 kN
PROBLEMS
A. NumeriCllI
:U. (D) Deline the [elTI1S void ralio, specific gravit), of particles, degree of saturation and dry densit)'.
(b) Develop a relationship between the void rolio, water cootem, specific gravity of particles and the degree of
saturation.
Z.Z. (0) Describe ovcn.(lrying method for the delenninmion of waler oooten! of a soil sample in a laboratory.
l
(b) A sample of wei soil has a volume of 0.0192 m and a mass of 32 kg. When the sample is dried oul in an
oven, its mass reduces to 28.S kg. Determine (I) Bulle. density. (il) Wllter rontcnl, (;il) Dry density, (iv)
:I~~~~ dcngty, ([~~:,dl:~6jV~):~;i~;); ~:: ~~:)~~~~·.5~a~~:~;sr,:~ ;4~i~~:~~~~
l
2.3. (a) A $lmple of saturated soil hOlS a water content of 2."S percent and a bulk unil weight 0£20 kN/m , Determine
the dry unit weight, void ratio and the specific gravity of solids.
(b) What would be the bulk unit weighL of the soil in en) if it is compacted LO the same void ratio but hos I)
degree of saLUration of 90% ? (Ans. 16 kNIm\ 0.667, 2.667 19.60 kNlmll
2.4. A sample of soil has a volume of 65 ml and weighs 0.96 N. After oomplete drying, its weight reduces 10 0.78.'i
N. If the specific gravity of solid particles is 2.65, determine the degree of saturation. [Ans.51%J
2.5. A saturated soil sample has 0. water content of 40%. If the specific gravity of solids is 2.67, dctennine lhe void
ratio, saturated denSity, and submerged density. [An!i. 1.07 i 1807 kg/m l i 807 kg/mll
2.6. (a) Define the terms void ratio, dry density, submerged density and mass specific gravity.
(b) Derive on expression for bulk density in tenTIS of its water content, void ralio, specific gravity of solids and
density ofwatet.
l
2.7. A partially saturated sample of a soil has a density of 1950 kg/m and a water content of 21%. If the specific
gravity of solids is 2.65, ClIlculate the degree of saturation and void ratio.
If the sample subsequently gets saturoted, determine its saturated density. (Ans. 86%; 0.645 ; 2003 kglmlJ
2.S. A sample of soil has a volume of 1 litre and lL wcight of 17.5 N. The specific gruvity of the solids is 2.68. If
the dry unit weight of the soil is 14.8 leN/ml, determine (a) water content, (b) void ratio, (e) porosity, (d)
saturated unit weight, (e) submerged density and (j) degree of saturation.
[Ans. 18.2% : 0.811 : 44.8% ; 19.28 kN/ml, 9.28 kN/ml and 60.2%1
2.9. A fully saturated day sample has a mass of 130 gm and hos a volume of 64 anl . The sample mass is 105 gm
nfler oven drying. Assuming thaI the volume docs not change during drying, dC1ennine the following; (,)
specific gravity of soil solids. (il) void ratio, (iii) porosity, (iv) dry density.
[Ans. 269 ; 0.64 i 39% and 1.641 gm/cn?]
2.10. Prove thnt the water content (w) of a p3nially saturated soil can be expressed as
1  (011010)
\I'  (0",/5) _ 1
where Gm "" mass specific gravity, G "" specific gravity of solids and S '" degree of salUralion.
2,11 (a) Prove that the degree of saturation of 8 panially saturtlled soil ClIn be expressed os
S _ ::'';
~(l+W)t
where p .. bulk densilY, G .. specific gravity of solids nnd w water content.
(b) A eyliodrical specimen oC soil is 7.50 em long and 3.75 em in diameter and has a mMS of 175 gm. If the
water content is 18 percent and the specific gravity of solids is 2.68, detennine the degree of saluration.
What 'NOuld be the error in the degree of saturation if there has been an error of 1 mm in measuring the length ?
(An&. 96.7%, 4.62%)
1.12. A pycnometer having a mass of 600 gm was used in the following measuremenls of three samples of soil.
Sample No.1 was ovendricdi sample no. 2 wos partially saturated and sample no. 3 was Cully saturated. The
bulk density of the sample no. 2 was 2.05 gmfml.
Sample No. 1 No.2 No.3
Muss of samples (gm) 960 970 1000
Mass of sample + water. pycnometer (gm) 2080 2050 2010
BASIC DEFTNI1l0NS AND SIMPLE TESTS 43
If the mass of pycnometer when filled with water only was 1475 gm, dClermine the specifie gravity of solids.
(b) Also determine the water content and void ratio of samples no. 2 and 3, and the degree of saturation of
sample no. 2. IAns. 2.70; 6.3%, 0.40; 11.70: 0.32 and 41.85%1
2.13. An undisturbed specimen of clay was tested in a laboratory and the following results were obtaine<!.
Wet mass '" 210 gm
Oven dry mass '" 175 gm
Specific gravity of solids '" 2.70
What was the totuJ volume of the original undiswrtx:d spccimcn ns..c;uming that the specimen was 50% !Illturatcd ?
(Ans. 134.8 ml]
2.14. A soil deposit to be used for construction of an eanh embankment has an average dry density of 1.62 gmJmI . If
the compacted embankment is to havc an average dry densi ty of 1.72 gmlmI, determine the volume of soil to
be ex:cavated for 1000 m) of embankment. The water content of the soil in the bonow pit is 10%.
lAos. 1.06] x 10) mll
2.15. Determine the specific gravity of solids from the following observations:
(i) Mass of dry sample '" 0.395 kg
(ij) Mass of pycnometer full of water '"' 1.755 kg
(iii) Mass of pycnometer containing soil and full of watet ::::I 2.005 kg. IAns.2.72J
2.16. A sample of clay having a mass of 675 gm was coaled with paramn wax:. 1be combined mass of the clay and
the wax was found to be 682 gm. The volume was found by immersion in water as 345 mt. The sample was
then broken open and the water content and the specific gravity of solids were found 10 be 15% and 2.70,
respeaively. calculate the bulk density of soil, its void ratio, and degree of saturation. Thke specific gravity of
wax: as 0.89. {Ans. 2.002 gmlml, 0.551 and 735%J
2.17. In order to determine the bulk density of a soil insi tu, 4.7 kg of soil was e."~tractcd from a hole al the surface of
the soil. The hole required 3.65 kg of loose dry s:lnd for its filling. If il takcs 6.75 kg of the SlIme sand to fin
a calibrating can of 4.5 lilre capacity, dl!termine the bulk density of the soil. [An.... 1932 kglm)l
2.18. A litre capadty cullcr of mass I kg WIlS pu.<;hed into an emban~cnt under construction and the mass of the
culler with soil was found to be 2.865 kg. If the sample had wnter content of 11 %, determine the void ratio of
the soil in embankment. G:: 2.67. rAm•. 0.59J
8. Descriptive and Objective lYpes
2.19 What is a block diagrom ? WhDl is its use ?
2.20. Differentiate between :
(a) Percentage air voids and air content,
(b) Void ratio and porosity.
(c) Specific gravity of solids and mass specific gravity.
(d) Watcr content based on solid material and that based on total mass.
(e) Saturated density and bulk density.
2.21. How do you determine the void ratio of a soil?
2.22. Discuss various methods for detcrmination of water content in a laboratory.
2.23. Describe a method for dctermination of the specificgravity of solids of fine.grained soils.
2.24. How would you determi ne the bulk: density of a soil specimen in a laboratory ?
2.2S. Discuss various methods for the determination of bulk density of a soil in field.
2.26. Slllte whether the following statements are true or false
(a) The water content of a soil can be more than 100%.
(b) The porosity of a soil can be more than 100%
(e) The specific gravity of particles of coarsegrained is seldom greater than 2.70.
(d) Thc submerged density is about onc·half of the SlltUrnted density.
(e) For dcterminmion of water coment of all types of soils, the oven temperature Is 1000 :t 5°C.
fAns. True (a),(c), (d)J
2.27. (a) Which of the following relation is nOi correct ?
44 SOIL. MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENINEERJNG
I
(h) Which of the (o llowing S1;lICl11cnls is wrong '!
(n The void rml0 of u snlunucd soil can ~ determined from its wmer COntent.
(il) The dry density is 1thc bu lk density of soil in dried condition.
(iii ) 100% .5>iltumtioo linc lind zero percent air void lines are identicaL IAns.(ii»)
C. MultipleChoice Questions
1. TIle waler Lon lenl of ;\ highly organic soil i~ dctcrmmed in tin o~'e n III II temperature of:
(ti) lOSoC (b) 800C
Ce) 60 0 e (dJ 27°C
2. Pycnometer method I'M water conte nt dclCmlin:llion i~ more suitan le for:
((I) Clny (b) Loess
Ie) Sand (If) Silt
3. The gas formed by lhe rem,lion 01' calcium carbide with water is:
(a) Carboy dhlXldc (b) Sulphur dioxide
(e) Ethane (dJ Acetylene
4. The rmin of the volume til' voids to the total volume of soil is:
(a) Voids r.ltlO (b) Degree of saturlllion
(e) Ai r content «(I) Porosity
5. Dry density of soil is equal to the:
(lI) Mass of solids to Ihe volume of solids.
(h) Mass of solids to th e tot al vo lume of soil.
Ie) Density of soi l in the dried condition.
(tI) No ne of the above.
6. The most accurate method for th e determination of water content in the laboratory is:
«(/) Sand hm h method. (b) Ovendryi ng melh·od.
Ie) Pycnometer method. (d) Calcium carbide method.
7. A soil ha~ a bulk. density of 1.80 g}cm"J a~ a ~llter content of 5%. If the void r:llio remai ns constant then the
~:)lk2.:n;:':fr a water L'On!cnt o f 10% ~~; ~S8 glcm3
(e) 1.82 glcmJ (tl) 1.95 glcm)
8. In a wet soil mas!>, air occupies one·sixth of ils vol ume and WilIer occupies onethird of its volume. The void
ratio of the soil is
(n) 0.25 (b) 0.50
~) 1 .5 0 (0)1.00
9. A soil sample has a specific gravity of 2.60 and a void rat,io of 0 .78. The water contenl required to fu lly saturale
the soil at that vuid nltio will be
ta) 20% ....{b")30%
(el40% (tl) 60%
[_I .~~~1~ ~~~~~~~~L~a~
3
Particle Size Analysis
3.1. INTRODUC!lON
(u) Engineering Propertleslhc main engineering properties of soils are penncabilily, comprcs.<;ibility.
and shear strength. Pcnncability indicates the facility with which water can flow through soils. It is requiroo
for estimation of seepage discharge through earth m~. Compressibility is related with the deformations
produced in soils when they are subjected to compressive loads. Compression chanlClCrislics arc required for
computation of the settlements of Structures founded on soils. ShC..lf strength of a soil is ils ability to resist
Shc.1r stresses. l11c shear strength determines the stability of slopes. bearing capacity of soils and the earth
pressure on retaining structures. Engineering properties of soils are discussed in latter Ch..1pICrs.
(b) Index PropertiesThe tests required [or determination of engineering properties arc generally
elaborate and timeconsuming. Sometimes, the gcotechnical engineer is interested to h'lve some rough
assessment of the enginccring properties without conducting elaborate testS. This is possible if index
properties are determined. The properties of soils which are not of primary interest to the geotechnical
engineer but which are indicative of the engineering properties are caned index properties. Simple tests which
are required to determine the index properties are known as classification tests. The soils arc cJ:tSSified and
identified based on the index properties. as discussed in Chapter 5. The main index properties of coarse
grained soils ace panicle size and the relative density. which are described in this chapter. for fincgrained
soils, the main index propcnics are Ancrberg's limits and the consistency (chapter 4).
The index properties arc sometimes divided into two categories. (I) Properties of individual particles. and
(2) Properties of the soil mass. also known as aggregate properties. The properties of individual particles can
be dctennined from a remouldcd. disturbed sample. These depend upon the individu.,l grains and are
independent of the manner of soil formation. 1llc soil aggregate properties depend upon the mode of soil
fonnmion, soil history and soil structure. lbese properties should be determined from undisturbed samples or
preferably from insitu tests. lbe most important properties of the individual particles of coarse grained soils
arc the particle size distribution and grain shape. The aggregate property of the coarsegrained soils of great
prnctical importance is its relative density.
lbe index properties give some infonnation about the engineering properties. It is IaciUy assumed that
soils with like index properties have identical engineering properties. However, the correlation between index
properties and engineering properties is not perfe,,;. A liberal factor of safety should be provided if the design
is b.ascd only on index properties. Ocsign of large. imponant struau[CS should be done only aRer
ddenninalion of engineering properties.
The mechanical analysis is done in two stagcs : (1) Sieve Analysis. (2) Sedimentation Analysis. 1nc first
analysis is meant for coarsegrained soils (particle Si7.c greater Ulan 75 micron) which can easily pass through
a set of sievcs. 'Ine second analysis is used for finegrained soils (size smaller than 75 microns).
Sedimentation analysis is also known £IS wet lJJJQlysis. As a soil mass may contain the pm1iC\cs of both types
of soils, a combined analysis comprising both sieve analysis and sedimentation analysis may be required for
such soils.
Particle size smaller than 0.2 micron cannot be determined by the sedimentation method. These can be
determined by an electron microscope or by Xray diffraction techniques. However, such analysis is of lillie
practical importance in soil engineering.
3.3. SIEVE ANALYSIS
lbe soil is sieved through a sct of sieves. Sieves are generally made of spun brass and phosphor bronz
(or stainless steel) sieve clolh. According to IS : 14981970. the sieves are designated by the size of square
= = 3
opening, in mm or microns (1 micron 106 m 10 mm). Sieves of various sizes ranging from 80 mm to
75 microns arc available. '(he diameter of the sieve is generally between 1510 20 em.
As mentioned before, the sieve analysis is done for coarsegrained soils. 1nc coarsegrained soils can be
further subdivided into gravel fmction (sizc > 4.75 mm) and sand fraction (751' < size < 4.75 mm), where
Greek leiter I' is used to represent microo. A set of coarse sieves, consisting of the sieves of size 80 mm, 40
mm, 20 mm, 10 mm and 4.75 mm, is required for the gravel fmction. 'Ille second set of sieves, ronsisting of
the sieves of size 2 mm, I mm, 600 ",. 415 1',212 ",. ISO I' and 75 "', is used for sieving minus 4.75 mm
fraction. However. all the sieves may not be required for a particular soil. The selection of the required
number of sieves is done to obtain a good particle size distribution curve. The sieves are stacked one over the
other, with decreasing size from the top to the bottom. Thus the sieve of the largest opening is kept at the
top. A lid or co..er is placed at the top of the largest sieve. A receiver, known as pan, which has no opening,
is placed at the bottom of the smallest sieve.
(a) Dry Sieve AnalysisThe soil sample is taken in suitable quantity. as given in Table 3.1, The larger
the particle size, the greater is the quantity of soil required.
The soil should be ovendry. It should not contain any lump. If necessary, it should be pulverized. If the
soil contains organic matter, it can be taken airdry inste..'1d of oven dry.
The sample is sieved through a 4.75 mm [S sieve. loe portion retained on the sieve is the gravel fraction
or plus 4.75 mm material. The gravel fraction is sieved through the set of
coarse sieves manually or using a mechanical shaker. Hand sieving is
nonnally done. The weight of soil retained on each sieve is obtained. 2·0mm
The minus 4.75 mm fraction is sieved through the set of fine sieves.
The sample is placed in the top sieve and the set of sieves is kept on a '·Omm
mechanical shaker (Fig. 3.1) and the machine is started. Nonnally, 10 GOOr
minutes of shaking is sufficient for most soils. The mass of soil retained
on each sieve and on pan is obtained to the nearest 0.1 gm. The mass of (. 25,..
the retained soil is checked against the original mass.
212 r
Dry sieve analysis is suitable for c:ohesionlcss soils, with little or no
fines. If the sand is sieved in wet conditions. the surface tension may 150r
cause a slight increase in the size of the particles and the particles smaller
than the aperture size may be retained on the sieve and. the results would 7S ~
be crroneol.1';.
Pan
Thble 3.1. Quantity of Soil for Sieve Anulysls
Maximum Size Quall/ily (kg) lSi ... ,ha'"
SOmm
ZOmrn
60
6.5
I
4.75 mm 0.5 Fig. 3.1. StackingoC Sieves.
PARnCLE S17.£ ANAlYSIS 47
(b) Wet Sieve AnulysisIr the soil contains a substuntial quantity (say. more than 5%) of fine particles,
a wet sieve analysis is required. All lumps arc broken into individual purticlcs. A representative soil sample
in the required quantity is taken, using a rimer. and dried in an oven. Tbe dried sample is taken in a tray and
soaked with water. If denocculalion is required. sodium hex.:,metaphosphate, at the mte of 2 g per litre of
water, is added. lbc sample is stirred and left for a soaking period of at leas( one hour. '!be slurry is then
sieved through a 4.75 mm IS sieve, and washed with a jet of water. 1lle material retained on the sieve is the
gravel fraction. It is dried in an oven, and sieved through SCI of ~ sieves.
'llie material passing through 4.75 mm !iieve is sieved through a 75 1.1. sieve. The material is washed until
tile wash water becomes clear. 'Ibe material retained on the 75 1.1. sieve is collected and dried in an oven. It
is then sieved through the sel of fine sieves of the size 2 mm, 1 mm, 600 1.1., 425 1.1., 212 ~ 150 lA, and 75 IA.
The material retained on each sieve is oollCCled and weighed. The material that would have been retained on
pan is equal to the tOlal mass of soil minus the sum of the masses of material retained on all sieves.
Computation of I'ercentage Finer
For determination of the p.orticle si ...c distribution (:urve, percentage of particles finer than a p..or1icular size
is required. This om be found as under:
Let us consider the case when the sieving has been done through seven sieves, no I (coarsest) to no. 7
(fincst). Let the mass of soil retained on the....e sievCI; be respectively. M I , M2 ... ,M7 , and the mass of soil
retained on the JXln (receiver) be Mil' The sum of all these masses is, obviously. equal to the tottll mass of
samplcM.
Eltprcsscd as percentage. the materials retained on the sieves and pan are
attained is known as terminal velocity. The expression for leonina! velocity can be obtained from the
equilibrium of the particle.
The drag force, F D • experienced by a sphere of radius r when it falls through a fluid of viscosity" is
given by
... (a)
where v is the velocity.
The other two forces acting on the sphere arc the weight (W) of the sphere and the buoyant force (U).
W .4/3 .? y, • 4/3 .? (p,g) ... (b)
where 1, is the unit weight of the material of sphere
and U. 4/3 .? y.' 4/3 '?(P.g) ... (e)
From equilibrium of [orces in vertical direction.
W .. U + PD
4/3lt?y... 4/31try ... + 6 llTlrv
4/31t,3 gp, .. 4/31t,}gp ... + 61tTJTV
2 ,>
V ":;:J(p,p",)g
9
, • .l... gd'(GI)p.
. .. (3.1)
18 ~
where D is the diameter of the sphere, G is the specific gravity of the material of sphere, and g is the
;)cceieration due to gravity.
If a spherical particle falls Ihrough a height Ht! centimeters in t minutes,
v .. He an/sec .. .(3.2)
60,
From Eqs. (3.1) and (3.2),
11, I gd'(GI)P.
60t  18 ~ . .. (3.3)
..
3.
5.
0.006
0.002
0.001
51.36 mm
7.70 hr
JO.81 hr
wanned to a temperature nor. exceeding 60°C. Hydrogen peroxide causes oxidation of organic maHer and gas
is Ubernled. When no more gas comes out. the mixture is boiled to decompose the remaining hydrogen
peroxide. The mixture is then cooled.
(2) Calcium compounds in the soil arc removed by adding 0.2 N hydrochloric acid at the rate of 100 ml
for every 100 g of soil. When the reaction is oomplete, the mixture is filtered. The filtrate is washed with
distilled water until it is free from the acid. The damp soil on the filler is placed in a evaporating dish and
dried in an oven to constant mass.
3.6. THEORY OF SEDIMENTATION
AI the commenIXmenl of the sedimentation, the soil particles arc unifoonly dispersed throughout the
suspenSion, and the concentration of particles of different sizes is th~ same at all depths. After a lime period,
at a particular depth, only those particles remain which have nol settled. Because all particles of the same size
have the same velocity, the particles of a given size, if they exist at any level, are in the same concentration
as at the beginning of sedimentation. In other words., all particles smaller than a particular size D will be
present at a depth 1I~ in the same degree of concentration as at the beginning. All panicles larger than the
size D would have settled below that depth.
For illustration, let us assume that the soil is composed of particles of only three sizes, which have
terminal velocities in the ratio of 1:2:3. The three types of panicles. two at each level. are shown in the kfi
Level A A
Th
Level B B
t .1.
~. 2
S 2.
t
level C C 7
00 0 0
h
Levctl 00
Levilli E E
+
1.
h
10
13
Jb
14
~~
15
V3 = 3 V1
V2 = 2 V,
7
10.J3.
5
00
S'g~g 6:9~~:5
(.) (b)
Fig. 3.2. Settlement of particles.
column, middle column and the right column in Fig., 3.2 (a). At the beginning of the sedimentation, the
concentration of particles is the same at all levels.
After some time, the particles take the position as shown in Fig. 3.2 (b). The particles of the smallest size
have settled to a depth h, those of the intermediate size and the largcst size to 2h and 3h, respectively. At
lever BB, only the particles of the smallest size exist, and the concenlratjon of these particles is the same
as at the beginning, viz. 2 particles. At level CC, the concentration of the particles of the smallest and
intermediate sizes is the same as at beginning. Likewise, at level DD, the particles of all the three sizes
exist with the same concentration.
If mD is the mass of parCdes per ml of.suspcnsion at depth fie after time t, and m, is the mass of partida.
per ml of suspension at the beginning of sedimentation. the percentage finer than the size D is given by
N. !!'!.Q x 100 ... (3.6)
m.
The particle size D is detennined using Eq. 3.4(a).
PARTICLE SIZE ANALYSIS 51
0·995 _ ,
\·000 =0 Stem
1.005 = '5
B .l."t1
1
 B
I
H+~
B
TA
H,
B
L A
~
L
TlH
1
Bulb h TA
I
(0)
(0)
Fig. 3.4. Hydrometer Method
sedimentation, the specific gravity of suspension is uniform at all depths. When the sedimentation takes place,
thee larger particles settle more deept:r than the smaller oncs. This results in nonuniform specific gravity of
Ihe suspension at different depths. The.lower layers of the suspension have specific gravity greater than thai
of the upper layers.
Casagrande has shown that the hydrometer measures the specific gravity of suspension at a point
indicat~d by the centre of the immersed volume. If the volume of the stcm is neglected. the centre of the
immersed volume of the hydrometer is the same as the centre of the bulb. Thus, the hydrometer gives the
specific gravity of the suspension at the centre of the bulb.
PARTICLE SIZE ANALYSIS
"
(a) Calibration of hydrometer
To determine the depth al which the specific gravity is measured, calibration of the hydrometer is done.
The volume of the hydrometer, V", is fimt determined by immeming it in a graduated cylinder partly filled
with water and noting down the volume due to the rise in water level The volume of the hydrometer can also
be determined indirectly from its mass. The volume of hydrometer in ml is approximately equal 10 the mass
of hydrometer in grdms, assuming that the specifK: gravity of hydrometer is unity.
The depth of any layer A·A from the free surface 80 is lhe effective depth at which the specific gravity
is mca')ured by the hydrometer ((Fig. 3.4 (b)]. As soon as the hydrometer is inserted in the jar, the layer of
suspension whieh was at level A· A rises to the level A' A', and that at level B· B rise to the level B'  B'.
TIle effective depth He is given by
where H = depth from the free surface B'  B' to the lowest mark on the stem,
h = height of bulb,
V" = volume of hydrometer,
A "" cross·sectional area of jar.
In Eq. (a), it has been assumed that the rise in suspension level from A A to A' A' at the centre of the
bulb is cqu.11 to half the total rise due to the volume of the hydrometer.
lbe markings on the hydrometer stem give the specific gravity of the suspension at the centre of the
bulb. The hydrometer readings are recorded after subtracting unity from the value of tlle specific gravity and
multiplying the remaining 1 BO
digit by 1000. Thus, a
~
specific gravity of 1.015 is
represented by a hydrometer
'SO
reading R,.of (1.015  1.000) x
1000 15. The
graduations on the right side k1I. 0
... (3.10)
ComJ:lQ!lite CorrectionInslcad of finding the corrections individually, it is convenienl to find one
composile correction. The composite correction (C) is the algebraic sum of all the corrections. Thus,
n.R,.C .. .(3.11)
The composite correction is found directly from the readings taken in a comparison cylinder, which has.
distilled waler and the dispersing agenl in the same concentrntion. and has the same temperature. As the
hydrometer has been calibrated at 27°C to indicate a specific gravity of 1.(X)J, the difference between the
reading taken at the top of meniscus and 1.(X)J is in magnitude equal 10 the composite oorrcct,ion. The
negative of the hydrometer reading in the comparison cylinder is equal LO the composite oorrection. The
composile correction can be positive or negative. For example. if the hydrometer reading is +2 (i.e. 1.002),
the correction is 2, and if the reading is 3 (Le. 0.997), the rorrection is +3.
The composite correction is found before the start of the test and at every 30 minute interval.
3.9. RELATION BETWEEN PERCENTAGE FINER AND IIYDROMETER READING
The corrected hydrometer reading R can be related to the percentage finer N than any size D as under:
Let M$ be the mass of dry soil in a sLl'>pension of volume V. At the commencement of the sedimentation,
the soilwater suspension is uniform, and. therefore, the mass of solids per unit voluQe of suspension at any
depth is M,!V.
The initial density of suspension is given by
M$ + mass of water in suspension
p;' V
The mass of water per unit volume of suspension can be detennined from the volume of water per unit
volume of suspension. as explained below.
M,
Mass of solids/volume of suspension ·v
M,
Volume of solidslvolume of suspension
• V(G P.)
P ... M,
+y (1 I)
0
or M,
p;.p..,+yc; (GI) ... (3.12)
If MD is tbe mass of solids in volume V at that depth after time t, Eq. 3.12 gives the density of
suspcru;ioo at that depth as
MD
po. P... + V (GI)
a ... (3,13)
,. SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
From Eq. 3.6, the percentage liner N than any size is given by
N !!!Q)( 100
Ills
N ' m,
"'0  """"iOO
where /liD" MolV and III, . AI/ V
lbereforc, Eq. 3.13 becomes
PPw" ~; (G~l)
N . (~) (p  Pw) x 100 ... (3.15)
G I Ills
As the hydrometer reading R is cqUll1 to (P  P..,) It 1000. Eq. 3.15 can be written as
~100~
~ 80
~ 60
g 40
C
~ 20
&01.0 0.1 0.01 0.001 0.0001
  Par ticle size (mm)
(a)
~1DO~
E 80
1l>60
~ 40
~ 20
& 0 .001
0
0.01 0.10 1.0 16.0
Particle size (mm)
(b)
Fig. 3.7. Pnrlide Size Curve.
.18 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
leO 10 right, whereas in Fig. 3.7 (b), the particle size increases from left \0 right. Both the methods are
prclevant. The reader should carefully observe the horizontal scale of the particle size distribution curve. In
this lexl, tbe particle size distribution is shown as in Fig. 3.7 (b), i.e., the particle sizc i~ from left to
righI, which is also the usual convention. ,
The semilog plol for the particle size distribution, as shown in Fig. 3.7, has lhe following advantages
over nalural plots.
(1) The soils of equal uniformity exhibit the same shape, irrespective of the adual particle si1.c.
(2) A<; the range of the particle sizes is very large, for better representation. a log scale is required.
Grading of SoilsThe distribution of particles of differcOi sizes in a soil mass is called grading. The
grading of soils can be determined from the particle size distribution curves. Fig. 3.8 shows the patlicle size
distribution curves of different soils.
100
9<J I / ill I
~ "'c:.!~1l9~ VI
70
~Fio, rained V II
60 I "so,0..,. .I
50
Am f I I
uop grad
/
'" I ./
/0, jcCXJrsegrOined
30
7lJ
~O
~O.oo'mm
__
I~
f""" A,
y. L
_______
;f1fo
.o.61'mm
UO
where D6fJ = particle size such that 60% of the soil is finer than this size, and
DIO = particle size such that 10% of the soil is finer than this size.
D IO size is also known as the effective size. In Fig. 3.8, Dw and DIO (or the soil B are, respectively. 0.08
=
m.m and 0.004 mm. Therefore, Cu 0.0810.004 20 =
The larger the numerical value of Cu. Ihe'more is Ihe range of particles. Soils wilh a value of C u less
PARTICLE SIZE ANALYSIS ,.
tban 2 are uniform soils. Sands with a value of C" of 6 or . more, are wcll·graded. Gravels with a value of
CIl of 4 or more are weU·graded.
The general shape of the particle size distribution curve is described by another coefficient lrnown as the
coefficient of curvature (Cc) or the coefficient of gradation (Cg ).
(D",l'
Cc • D(IJ x DIO ... (3.19)
where D)(J is the particle size corresponding 10 30% finer.
For a wellgraded soil, the value of the coefficient of curvature lies between 1 and 3.
It may be noted that the gap grading of the soil cannot be detected by C" only. The value of C c is also
required to detect. it.
For the soil shown by curve B in Fig. 3.9. the particle size D:Jo is 0.025 mm. Therefore,
Cc  o.:·~~~~ . 1.95
particles arc highly compressible. These soils deform easily under SIHtic lo.'K1s, like dry leaves or loose papers in
a b~kcl subjected to a pressure. However, such soils arc relatively morc stable when subjected to vibrations.
The shape of tbe coarsegrained soils can be described in terms of sphericity, flatness or angularity.
Sphericity (S) of the particle is defined as
S. D,IL
wbere D.. is equivalent diameter of tbe particle assuming It to be a sphere, given by D..  (6V/a)Vl, where V
is the volume of the particle and L is the length of the particle.
The particles with a high value of sphericity (more roundness) are easy [0 manipulate in construction and
their tendency to fracture is low.
Flatness (/') and elongation (E) are defined as
as FBIT and ELI8
where L. Band T are. respectively. length. widlh and thickness.
The higher the value of the flatness or the elongation. the morc is the tendency of the soil to fracture.
loe angularity (R) of a particle is defined as
R.. average radius of comers and edges
radius of maximum inscribed circle
Depending upon angUlarity. the panicles are qualitative ly divided into 5 shapes (Fig. 3.9).
00000
AnguLar Subangular Subrounded Rounded Will[ rounded
The angularity of particles has great influence on the behavior of marsegrained soils. The particles with
a high value of angularity lend to resist the displacement, but have more tendency for fracturing. On the o ther
hand, the particles with low angularity (more roundness) do not crush easily under loads. but have low
resistance to displacements as they have a tendency to roll. In general. the angular particles have good
engineering properties, such as shear strength.
3.15. RELATIVE DENSllY
The most important index aggregate propeny of a cohesionlcss soil is iLS relative density. 1lle engineering
properties of a mass of cohesionless soil depend to a large extenl on its relative density (D,). also known as
density index (Iv). The relative density is defined liS
... (3.20)
where emu = maximum void ratio of the soil in the loosest condition.
emin = minimum void ratio of the soil in the densest condition.
e = void ratio in the naturaL state.
The relative density of 3 soil gives a more clear idea of the denseness than does the void ratio. 1Wo types
of sands having the same void ratio may have entirely different state of denseness and engineering properties.
However, if the two sands have the same relative density. they usually behave in identical manner.
. 11lC relative density of a soil indicates how it woukl behave under loads. If the deposit is dense, it can
take heavy loads with very little settlements. Depending upon the relative density, the soils are generally
divided into 5 categories (Thble 3.3).
PARl'ICLE SIZE ANALYSIS 61
( b) (e)
(a)
Fig. 3.10
e.Gpw_1
Pd
Representing the dry density in the loosest, densest and natural oon<litions as Pm;"" PDl/lX and Pd , Eq. 3.20
becomes
GP __ ) _ (GP __ )
I I
( Pm,n Pd
D, (GP__ ) _ (GP _ _ )
I I
Pm;n Pmruc
The maximum dry density is detennined either by the dry method or the weI method. In the dry method,
the mould is filled with thoroughly mixed ovendry soil. A surcharge load is placed on the soil surface, and
the mould is fixed to a vibrntor deck. The specimen is vibrated for 8 minutes. 'Ibe mass and volume of the
soil in the compacted state are found. The m3:ltlmum dry density is given by
M.~
Pmu v;:
where Mm11% = mass of dry soil and
V... = volume of mould.
The maximum dry density of a soil can be determined also in the saturated state. In this method. the
mould is filled with wet soil and water is added till a small quantity of free water accumulates on the free
surface of the soil. During and just after filling the mould. vibrntion is done for a total of six minutes. Water
appearing on the surface of soil is removed. A surcharge mass is placed on the soil and the mould is vibrated
again for 8 minutes. The volume (\1,;.) of the soil is determined. Ibe mass Mmnx of the soil is determined after
oven drying the sample.
Note. If the sand is vibrated under more severe conditions, it may have a relative density of more than
100%.
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
lliustrallve Example 3.1. The results 0/ a sieve analysis 0/ a soil are given below:
lOtal mass 0/ sanlple = 900 gm.
IS Sieve Pan
Mnssofsoil
retained (gm) 75
Draw the partick size distribution cun.oe and hence determine the uniformity coefficient and lhe
coeffICient 0/ curvature.
Solution. The calQJlatioos for percentage finer N than different sizes are shown (fable 3.1).
Tuble E3.1
IS M~, Percenlage Cumu/QJive Pereenlage
S;"" retained retailled perr:nuage Finer(N)
~xlOO
mained = 100  (4)
D60 1.55
From &j. 3.18 e.... D
10
.. 0.115 .. 13.48
C _ (D,,)2 _ ~ _ 1.58
From Eq. 3.19,
~ Doo X D 10 1.55 X 0.115
Illustrative Example 3.2. The following observations we~ IiJJren during a pipette analysis for the
determination of particle size distribution of a soil sample.
(a) Depth below the water surface at which the sample was taJcen = 100 mm
(b) Capacity of pipette = 10 ml
(c) Mass of sample when dried = 03 gm
Cd) Tune of talcing sample = 7 minutes after tM start.
(e) \illume of soil suspension in the sedimentation tube = 500 mi.
if) Dry mass of soil used in making suspension = 25 gm.
Determine the e'"IOrdinate of the point on the particle size distribution curve corresponding to above
ooservlUWns.
Take G =
2.70 and =
TJ 10.09 miIlipoise. p ... = 1 gmlml
The coordinates of the point on the particiesize distribution curve are (0.0161 mm. 60%).
U1ustratlve Example 3.3. A dry sample of mass 50 gm is mixed with distilled water 10 p~pare a
64 SOlL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION BNGlNEERING
suspension of 1000 ml for hydrometer analysis. The reading of the hydrometer taken after 5 minutes was 25
and the depth of die centre of the bulb below the water surface when the hydrometer was in the jar was 150
"VII. The vollmll! of me hydrometer was 62 1111 and lhe area of crosssection of the jar was 55 cm 2. Assuming
G :: 2.68 and'l1 = 9.81 miflipoise, determine lhe coordinates of the point corresponding IfJ above observation.
Solullon. 1be depth between levels B' B' and A' A' in Fig. 3.4, is given to be 150 mm. The effective
deplh between B  B and A  A is given by.
.. YO.3981x 9.81(2.681.0)
x 10'3 x 14.436 .. 00023
x 5 . x an
.. 0023
• rnm
2.68)
.. ( 1.68 x .so
1000
x
25
1000 )( 100 or N 79.76
The coordinates of the point on the particlesize distribution curve are (0.023 mm, 79.76%).
lIIustrative Example 3.4. A soil has a dry del1sity 0/1.816 gm/ml in the MturaJ corulition. When 410
gm 0/ the soil was poUTed il1 a vessel in a very loose stale, its volume was 290 mi. The same soil when
vibrated and compacted was found to have a volwlle of 215 mI. Determine the relative density.
M 410
Solution. From Eq. 3.22, Pmin" V. ..
m ;"
290  1.414 gm/ml
Illustrative Example 3.5. A test lor the relative density 0/ soil il1 place was performed by digging a
small hole in ule soil. The volume of ule hole was 400 ml and ule moist weight O/Ihe excovated soil was 9
N. A/ter oven drying, the weight was 7.8 N. 0/ the dried soil, 4 N was poured into a vessel in a very loose
state, and its volume was found to be 270 mi. The same weight 0/ soil when vibrated and tamped had a
volume of 200 mI. Determine the relative density.
MI840 (MIIOCJOMI1370)
.. MIlOOO MI840 MI1370 x 100
.. 0.6981 x 100 .. 69.81%.
filuslratlYe: Example 3.7. In order to find the relaJive density of a sand, a mould of volume 1000 ml was
used When the sand was dynamically compacted in the mould, its mass was 2.10 kg, whereas when the sand
was poured in loosely, its mass was 1.635 kg. If the in·situ density of the soil was 1.50 Mglm J• calculate the
relative density. G = 2.70. Assume thot the sand is saturated.
Now
or ernln .. 0545
likewise
2.70 + .~)
or 1.635 .. ~ x 1.0 or emu: .. 1.677
(
PROBLEMS
A. Numerical
3.1. One kg of soil was sieved through a sel of 8 sieves. with the size 4.75 rom, 2.0 mm, 600 Il, 425 It. 300..... 212f.t,
ISOlA and 75j.l. The mass of soil retained on these sieves was found to be 50, 78, 90, 150, 160, 132, 148 and
179 gm, respectively. Determine the percentage finer than the corresponding sizes.
(AIlS. 995, 87.S , 78.2, 63.2, 47.2, 34.0, 19.2 and 1.]]
3.2. Prove Ihal the particle diameter and the terminal velocity of panicle are related as
v_9020d
where I' = velocity in an/sec,
D :, diameter in em
Oearly stale the various assumptions made.
33. Determine the maximum void rmio for II sand compa;ed of grains of spherical shapes.
(1I1nt Consider a cubical box of size al, where d is the diameter of sphere. The nunDer of pm in the box is 81
IAns. 0.911
3.4. The minimum and the maximum dry density of a sand were found to be 1.50 and 1.70 gmlml. CalculDte the dry
density corresponding \0 relative densities of 50% and 75%. fAns. 1.594 gmt1; 1.645 gmIm1]
3
3.5. An undisturbed sample of fine sand has II dry unit weight of 18 kN/m . At the maximum density. the void ratio
is 035, and that at the minimum defL~ity, 0.90. ()ctermine the relative density of the undisturbed soil. G = 2.65.
[Ans. 77.82%]
3.6. A coarsegrained soil is oompocted to a wet density of 2Mglm3 lit II WilIer coolenl of 15%. Determine the
relative density of the wmpoctcd sand. given emu _ 0.85 and em;n _ 0.40 and G _ 2.67.
fAns. 70%]
3 .7. How long would it take for 11 particle of soil 0.002 an in diameter 10 settle from the surface to the bottom of
2
the pond 15 m deep? Tllke G '" 2.60 and TJ '" 1.0 x 10S gmf_seclcm _ [Ans. 11.72 hours]
3.8 A sample of soil of moss 40 gm is dispersed in 1000 mI of water. How long after the commencement of
scdimentntion should the hydrometer reading be IIIken in order to estimate the percentage of particles less than
0.002 mm effective dillJ1)Cter ? 1be centre of the bulb is at an effective depth of 20 em below the surface of
water. Thke G ;; 2.70, TJ '" 0.01 poise. tAns. 14.99 hoursJ
3_9_ In a sedimentation test, 25 gm of soil was dispersed in 1000 mI of water (TJ '" 0.01 poise). Doe hour after the
commencement of sedimentation, 25 ml of the suspension Wll') IIIken by means of a pipette from a depth of 10
em. The mass of solid pDrticles oblllined on drying was 0.09 g. Determine
(a) 1be largest size of the particle remai ning in suspension al a depth of 10 an after one hour of the beginni ng
of sedimentation.
(b) The percenlllge or particles finer than Ihis size in the original suspension.
(e) Tbe lime interval from tile commencement, after which the largest particle remaining in suspension al 10 an
depth is onehalf of this size.
(Hint. Volume of suspension;; 1009.3 ml) [Ans. 0.0055 rnntj 14.53%; 4 bours]
3.10 The results of a sedimcnllltion test of a SIlmple P.!lSSing 75~ sieve are given below. Determine the grain size
distribution. Use approxima te formula v = 9100 0 2. .
{Ans. Percentage finer than 0.075 mm, 0.0428 mm, 0 .0191 mm 0.0095 mm and 0.0017 nun,
respectively, 100%,60%, 40%, 20% and 2%J.
3.11 In a lesl 10 grn of finegrained soil of specific gravity 2.70 was dispersed 10 make 500 mI of suspension. A
PAlmCLE SIZE ANALYSIS 67
sample of volume JO mI was taken by means 0( a pipette 9t a depth of 100 mm, 50 minutes after the
comrnenrement of sedimentation. The sample was dried in an oven. If the dry "taSS of the soil was 0.03 gm.
calculate the larga;t size of the particle remaining in the suspension at a depth of 100 mm and the percentage
of particles liner than this size in the original soil. 11 " 0.01 poise. IAns. 0.006 mm; 15%)
3.12. Ouring a scdirnentalion test for grain size analysis. the corncted hydrometer reading in a 1000 ml uniform soil
suspension al the cornmenoemem of sedimentation is 1.028. After 30 minutes, the corrected hydrometer reading
is 1.012, and the COCTesponding effective depth is 105 em. Determine (I) the IOtal mass of solids dispersed in
1000 mI of suspension, (;1) lbe portide size mrresponding 10 the 30 minute reading. and (iii) the percentage
fiDef than this size. TIIke G " 2.67 and 11 ,,0.01 poise. . (Aos. 44.77 gm; 0.00796 mm; 42.86%)
3.13. A dry soil sample is 49 8m in mass. It is composed of the following:
Particle size (mm) 0.05 0.02 0.01 O.OOt
Mass (8m) 20 18
The sample is mixed with enough water 10 make a uniform suspension of 1000 ml. Detennine
(I) The largest particle size at a depth of JO em after 5 minutes of the commenocment of sedimentation and the
specifie gravity of the suspension al that time III thut depth.
(i/) The time required for 1111 the pDrliclcs to scllie belcr.v 10 an depth. Thke G .. 2.70 lind 11 '" 9.81 millipoise.
[Ans.om mm; 1.014; 1.06 )( 105 seconds}
3.14, An airdry soil sample weighing 2S kg was sieved in a laboratory. The results are given below.
15 Sieve (mm)
Mass rela;IIed
(.g) 0.08
Draw the grain size distribution curve and delenniile the coefficient of curvalure and the uniformity coefficient.
IAns. 1.15; 259J
3.15. A 1000 rnI suspension containing 30 gm of dry soil ~ prepared for a hydrometer analysis. If the temperalUfe
is the same as that at which it was allibrated, what whouJd be the hydrometer reading al the instant of
commencement of sedimenl.8tion ? Take G " 2.70. IAns. 1.019)
some particular water contenl. the soil becomes plastic (Fig. 4.1). l11e water content at which the soil chang~
from the liquid state to the plastic Slale is known as liquid limit (ll, w,), In other words, the liquid limit ~
the water content at which the soil ceases 10 be liquid.
The soil in the plastic stale can be moulded into various shapes. As the water content is reduced, tht
plasticity of the soil decreascs. Ultimately, the soil passes from the pla<>lic state to tbe semi~so1id state whet
it stops behaving as a plastic. It crocks when moulded. The water content at which the soil become!
semisolid is known as the plastic limit (PL, wp ). In other words tbe plastic limit is the water content at wbicll
the soil just fails to behave plastically.
The numerical difference between the liquid limit and the plastic limit is known as plasticity inde"
(PI,I, ).
lbus PI  U  PL
'The soil remains plastic when lhe water content is between the liquid limit and the plastic limit. Th(
plasticity index is an imponant index property of finegrained soils.
When the water content is reduced below the plastic limit, the soil attains a semisolid state. The SOL
cracks when moulded. In the semisolid stale, the volume of the soil decreases with a deaea<ie in wata
content till a stage is reached when further reduction of the water content does not cause any reduction in the!
volume of the soil. The soil is
said to have reached a solid
state: (In solids, 00 appreciable
change in volume is observed
with a change in water
cootent). The water content at
which the soil changes from
the semisolid state to the solid
Cd) DIVIDeD SOIL CAKE BEFORE (el SOIL CAKE AFTER TEST
TEST
'{be soil in the cup is again mixed, and the tcst is repealed until two COflSeOJtivc tests give the same
number of blows. About 15 gm of soil near the closed groove is taken for water content determination.
The soil in the cup is tr.msfemxllo the dish containing the soil p8Sleatld mixed thoroughly after adding more
water. The soil sample is again taken in the cup of the Uquid limit device and the lest is repeated. The liquid limit
:~U:i~~~u~~~~ya~:~: 35,.__._,.".rn
now when the device is given
25 blows. As it isdifficull to gel 30 ~
exactly 25 blows for the sample
10flow, the test is conducted at
different water contents so as to
gel blows in the range of 10 to 25
40. A plot is made between the ~
I
/i}.r
Wilier content as ordinate and ~
... [4.1(0)]
where = water content of the soil when the groove closes in N blows.
wN
n = an index, as given below.
According 10 IS : 272DV, for soils with liqUid limit less than 50%, the value of n is equal to 0.092 and
for soils with liquid limit greater than 50%, the value of n c 0.12. The acocpted range for N is 15 to 35 for
soils with liquid limit less than 50% and 20 to 30 for soils with liquid limit more than 50%.
Alternalively,
W, 
1.3215 _ 0.23 iogloN ... [4.I(b)]
Eq. 4.1 (a) can be written a<;
...(4.2)
where C is the correction fador.
PlASTICITY CHARACfERlsrlCS OF SOILS
"
The value of the factor is approximately 0.98 for N = 20 and 1.02 for N = 30.
(See Chapter 30, Sect. 30.10 for the laboratory experiment)
4.4. CONE PENETROMETER METIIOD
The liquid limit of a soil can also be detennin(X! by Cone Penetrometer (IS : 2nOV). It oonsists of a
stainless steel cone having an apex angle of 30 0 ;t; 10 and a length of 35 mm. The cone is fixed al the lower
end of a sliding rod which is fiued with a disc at its
lop (Fig. 4.5). The total mass of the cone, Sliding
rod and the disc is 80 g ;t; 0.05 g.
The soil sample is prepared as in the case of
the Casagrande method. The soil pat is placed in a
cup of 50 mm internal diameter and 50 mm height.
The cup is filled with the sample, taking care so as . Clomp
not to entrap air. Excess soil is removed and the
surface of the soil is levelled up.
The cup is placed below the cone, and the cone
is gradually lowered so as to just touch the surface
of the soil in the cup. The graduated scale is
adjusted to zero. The cone is released, and allowed
to penetrate the soil for 30 seconds. 100 water
content at which the penetrotion is 25 mm is the
liquid limit. Since it is difficult to obtain the
penetration of 25 mm exactly, liquid limit is
detennined from the equation given below.
W,. Wy + 0.01 (25  y) (Wy + 15) ...(4.3) Fig. 4.5. Cone Penetrometer
where y (in mm) is the penetration when the water content is wy • and w, = liquid limit.
Eq. 4.3 is applicable provided the depth of penetration y is betweeo 20 to 30 mm. IT the penetration is oot in
this range, the soil in the cup is taken out, and the water content adjusled 10 get the required penetration.
A chart can also be drawn for direct determination for the liquid limit from the observed value of y and w,..
The shear strength of soil at liquid limit, as determined by tbis method, is about 1.76 kN/m2 which occurs
when the penetration is 25 mm.
The cone penetrometer method has several advaotages over the casagrande method.
(1) It is easier to perform.
(2) The method is applicable to a wide range of soils.
(3) The results are reliable. and do nol depend upon the judgment of the operator.
4.5. PLASTIC LIMIT
Plastic limil is the water content below which the soil stops behaving as a plastic material. II begins to
crumble when rolled into a thread of soil of 3 mm diameter. AI this water content, the soil loses its plasticity
and passes to a semisolid state.
For determination of the plastic limit of a soil, it is airdried and sieved through a 425 .... IS sieve. About
30 gm of soil is taken in an evaporating dish. It is mixed thoroughly with distilled water till it becomes
plastic and can be easily moulded with fingers.
About 10 gm of the plastic soil mass is. takeo in one band and a ball is formed. 'The ball is rolled with
fmgers 00 a glass plate 10 form a soil thread of uniform diameter (Fig. 4.6). The rate of rolling is kept about
80 to 90 strokes per minute. If the diameter of thread becomes smaller than 3 mm, without aack formation,
it shows that the water content is more than the plastic limit. The soil is kneaded further. 1ltis results io the
redudion of the waler content, as some water is evaporated due to the heat of the hand. 'The soil is rerol1ed
74 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINHERINO
p'T~ii:rr;~~~~~'~""""
1%}tiII11'~ll'
Stage 1
(e)
Stage II
(b)
Stoge II r
(c)
Fig. 4.7. Stages ror Derivation of Shrinkage Umil.
the oondition when the soil sample bas been ovendried. The total volume V] in Fig. 4.7 (c) is the same as the
lotal volume V1 in Fig. 4.7 (b). The throe figures indicate, respectively, stage I, II and m.
Let M~ be the mass of solids.
Mass of water in stage I  Ml M,
loss of mass of water from stage I to stage II  (VI  Vv
p ...
Mass of water in stage n  (MJ  M,)  (VI  Vi) p...
From definition, shrinkage limit '" water content in stage II
(MI  M,)  (VI  V,)P.
w, • M, ... (4.5)
P[ASI'lCITY CHARACfERI5nCS OF SOILS 75
(V,  V:z)
or w.  wI  ~ P... •..(4.6)
where wI represents the water content in stage [.
For determination of the shrinkage limit in the laboratory. about 50 gm of soil passing a 425 Il sieve is
laken and mixed with distilled water to make a aeamy paste. The waler content (wI) of the soil is kept
greater then the liquid limit.
A cirallar shrinkage dish, made of porcelain or stainless steel and having a diameter 30 to 40 mm and a
height of 15 mm, is taken. The shrinkage dish has a flat bottom and has its intemal comers well rounded. The
capacity of the shrinkage dish is first determined by fllling it with mercury. The shrinkage dish Is placed in
a large porcelain evaporating dish and filled with mcccury. Excess merrury is removed by pressing a plain
glass plate fumly over the top of the shrinkage dish. The mass of mercury is the shrinkage dish is obtained
by transferring the mcccwy into a mercury weighing dish. The capacity of the shrinkage dish in ml is equal
to the mass of mercury in gm divided by the specific gravity of mercury (usually, taken as 13.6).
The imide surface of the empty shrinkage dish is mated with a Ihin layer of vaseline or silicon grease.
The mass of empty shrinkage dish is obtained aa:urately. 111e soil sample is placed in the shrinkage dish,
about onethird its capacity. The dish is tapped on a firm surface to ensure that no air is entrapped. More soil
is added and the tapping continued till the dish is completely filled with soil. The excess soil is removed by
striking off the top surface with a straight edge. The mass of the shrinkage dish with soil is taken to obtain
lbc mass (Mt,) of the soil. 1be volume of the soil VI is equal 10 the capacity of the dish.
The soil in the shrinkage dish is allowed to dry in air unlil the oolour of the soil pal turns light. It is then
dried in a oven. The mass of the shrinkage dish with dry soil is taken to obtain the mass of dry soil M •.
For determination of the volume of the dry pat, a glass OJP, about 50 mm diameter and 25 mm height, r.
taken and placed in a large dish. The OJp is filled with mercury. 'The excess mercury is removed by pn=ssing a
glass plate with three prongs firmly over
the top of the cup. Any mercury
adhering on the side of the alp is wiped
off, and the OJp full of mercury is
transferred to another large dish.
The dry pat of the soil is removed
from the shrinkage dish, and placed on
tbe surface of the mercury in the OJp
and submerged inlO il by pressing il
with the gl<M plate having prongs (Fig.
4.8). The mercury displaced by the soil .
pat is transferred to a mercury weighing Fig. 4.8. DeICtlllll\8tlon of VoIwnc of dry pal.
dish and weighed. 1be volume of the mercury is determined from its mass and specific gravity. The volume
of the dry pat Vd is equal to the volume of the mercury displaced. Of course, the volume V1 in sUlge II is
also equal to V".
The shrinkage limit of the soil is detenniOC(l, using Eq. 45, from the measured values of
VI' V2 ,M1 andM•.
(See Olapter 30, Sea. 30.12 for the laboratory experiment).
4.7. ALTERNATIVE ME11IOD FOR DETERMINATION OF SIIRINKAGE LIMIT
The shrinkage limit of a soil can be determined by an alternative method if the specific gravity of solid
particles (G) is known or is determined separately. An expression for shrinkage limit in terms of the specific
gravity of solids can be developed from Fig. 4.7 (b). At that stage, the water 'oonteOI is al the shrinkage limit,
given by,
(V,  V,)P.
w· .
M
. •.(4.7)
where V. is the volume of solids.
76 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
V, V,] p...
Eq. 4.7 can be written as W,  [Ii;  Gp ... (V,)
.. _ [V'P. _
, M,
l]
G
... (4.8)
.. . M,
Now, from the defimtlon of the dry mass densIty, Pd" v;
Therefore, w, .. (~  ~ ) ... (4.9)
Eq. 4.8 can be used for the delennination of the shrinkage limit, as explained below.
A smooth, roundedge(! pal of wet soil is made in a shrinkage dish. It is then dried in an oven and cooled
in a dcssicalor. Any dust on the sample is brushed off. The dry mass Ms of the sample is delennined.
The volume Vz of the dry soil pal is obtained by placing it in a glass cup and delcnnining the
displacement of mercury, as discussed in Sea. 4.6.
Determination of Specific Gravity of 80Uds rr.om Shrlnkage Urnit
L MethodThe specific gravity of solids (G) can be delennined using Eq. 4.8 if the Shrinkage limit has
already been determined.
From Eq. 4.8,
G  (V'P,.l~,) ..,
... [4.10(.)J
Sometimes, Eq. 4.9 is written in tenns of mass specific gravity (G".) in dried slale. Thking Girl" p/p""
V, _ .!!:....
Gp.
...(0)
Also, the volume of solid can be detennined from the volume VI in Fig. 4.7(a) (stage I) as
V~  VI  volume of water
V _ VI _ (M}  M,)
, p• ... (b)
(V, V,)P.
WIW2"~
Therefore, SR_~
VdP",
SR .. ~ .. G. . .. (4.15)
Thus the shrikage rntio is equal to the mass gravity of the soil in dry state (Gift).
From &po 4.9 and 4.15, tbe shrinkage limit.
w_("_.!.)
• S.R. G
••.[4.15(0)J
(3) Volumetric ShrinkageThe volumetric shrinkage (VS). or volumetric change, is defined as tbe
change in volume expressed as a percentage of the dry volume when the water mnlen! is reduced from a
given value of the shrinkage limit. Thll'>
\IS..
V,V,) )(
(v; 100 ... (4.16)
In Eq. 4.19, it has been assumed that the length of the spedmen in ovendried state is the same as that
at the shrinkage limit.
78 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
1be linear shrinkage may also be obtained from the volwnetric shrinkage (VS) as under.
Toughness index of a soil is a measure of the shearing Stralgth of the soil at the plastic limit. This can
be proved as under:
Let us assume that the flow curve is a straight Une between the Uquid limit and the plastic limit. As the
shearing resistance of the soil is direcUy proportional to .the number of blows in Casagrande's devi~
k SI _ NI ... (a)
aDd k S, _ H, ... (b)
where HI ::: number of blows at the liquid limit when the shear strenglb is SI
Np ::: number of blows at th~ plastic limit when the shear strellgth is Sp
k::: constan.l.
80 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
3. 5075
"'I
Medium (Firm) 50100 Thumb can be pressed with
1"=""
4 .. Stiff 75100 100200 Thumb can be pressed wilh
great difficulty
5. Vel)' stiff > 100 200400 The "'I ao. be readily
indented with thumb nail
6. "Old > 100 >400 The soil ao. be indented
with difficulty by thumb nail
pL\SfICnV CHARACTERlsrlCS OF SOILS '81
4.13. SENSmVITY
A cohesive soil in its natural state of occurrence has a certain structure (see chapter 6). When the
structure is disturbed, the soil becomes remoulded. and its engirieering properties dlange considerably.
Sensitivity (S,) of a soil indicates its weakening due to remoulding. It is defined as the ratio of the undisturbed
strength to the remoulded strength at the same water content.
S • (q,,).
. .. (4.28)
, (q.),
where (q,,).. = unconfined compressive strength of undisturbed clay
=
(q..). unconfined compressive strength of remoulded clay.
Depending upon sensitivity, the soils can be classified into six types, as given in Table 4.2.
Table 4.2. Classification or Soils based on SensitIvity
S.No. Sellsitivity Soil Type
1. < 1.00 Insensitive
2. 1.02.0 Little sensitive
3. 2.04.00 Moderately sensitive
4. 4.08.00 Sen.'!itive
5. 8.016.0 EXIra sensitive
6. > 16.0 Quick
For most days, sensitivity lies between 2 and 4. Clays considered sensitive have S, values between 4 and
8. In C$e of sensitive clays, remoulding causes a large reduction in strength. Quick clays are unstable. These
tum into slurry when remoulded.
High sensitivity in clays is due to a weUdeveloped flocculent structure which is disturbed when the soil
is remoulded. High sensitivity may also be due to leaching of soft glacial clays deposited in salt water and
subsequenUy uplifted.
Extrasensitive day, such as clays of Mexico city, are generally derived from the decomposition of
volcanic ash.
4.13. mIXOTROPY
The word Thixotropy is derived from two words : tl!ixis meaning touch, and tropo. meaning to change.
Therefore, thixotropy means any dlange that occurs by touch.
The loss of strength· of a soil due to remoulding is partly due to change in the soil structure and partly
due to disturbance caused to water thplecules in the adsorbed layer. Some of lhese changes are reversible. If
a remoulded soil is allowed to staM, 'filhout loss of water, it may regain some of its lost strength. In soil
engineering, this gain in strength of ute soil with passage of time after it has been remoulded is called
thixotropy. It is mainly due 10 a gradual itprientation of molecules of water in the adsorbed water layer and
due to reestablisbment of chemical equilibfi!.im.
driV~~~!ro~~~.~ 1!s°~l=tQ;::~~rt:':is~~~~enc!=~n~i:~t~~~mi~:ica~::noc:wp~:!
sbear strength will be regained after the pile hm been driven and left in place for some time.
4.14. ACIlVITY OF SOllS
Activity (A) of a soil is the ratio of the plaslicity index and the percentage of clay fraction (minus 2,",
sjze). Thus
... (4.29)
wbere lp = plasticity index, F = clay fraction.
The clay fraction F is percentage finer than 211 size.
The amount of water is a soil mass depends upon .the type of clay mineral present. Activity is a measure
82 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
of the water·holding capacity of cl.•'1yey soils. The changes in the volume of a clayey soil during swelling or
shrinkage depend upon the activity.
A number of samples of a particular soil arc taken and their plasticity index and clay fraction determined.
If a plot is obtained between the clay fradion (as abscissa) and the plastit.ity index (as ordinate). it is
observed that all the points for a particular soil lie on a straight line (Fig. 4.10).
eo
I
~ 60
1.0
~
"
n:
20
(Z) II\lte
(3) Mon\omorillonitl;?;
40
Clay fra c t'lon (m i nus 2 r)
Fig. 4.10. ActiYity of Soils.
The slope of the line gives the activity of soil. The steeper the slope, the greater is the activity. TIle lines
with different slopes are obtained for different soils.
The soils containing the clay mineral montmorillonite have very high activity (A > 4). The soil containing
the mineral kaolinite are least active (A < 1). whereas the soils oontaining the mineral illite arc moderately
active (A = 1 to 2). Depending upon activity, the soils are classified into three types (Table 4.3).
Tobie 4.3 Clas.<;ification of Soils Based on Activity
S. No. Activity Soil type
1. A < 0.75 Inactive
2. A::: 0 .75 to 1.25 Normal
3. A> 1.25 Active
Activity gives information about the type and effect of clay mineral in a soil. The following two points
are worth noting:
(1) For a soil of specific origin, the activity is constant. 1be plasticity index increases as .the amount of
clay fraction increases.
(2) Highly active minerals, such as montmorillonite,. can produce a large increase in the plasticity index
even when present in small quantity.
4.15. USES OF CONSISTENCY LIMITS
The consistency limits are detemlined fo r remoulded soils. However the Shrinkage limit can also be
obtained for the undisturbed sample. Since the actual behavior of a soil depends upon its natural structure, the
consistency limits do not give complete information about the insitu soils. lbey give at best a rough estimate
about the behaviour of insitu soils. .
Although it is not possible 10 interprete the consistency limits and other plasticity characteristics in
fundamental terms, yet these parameters are of great practical use as index properties of [inegrained soils.
The engineering propenies of such soils can be empirically related to these index properties as under.
(1) It has been found that both the liquid and plastic limits depend upon the type and amount of clay in
84 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
30
I"
'E26
2s mm •
..:: 21.           
!:?22
~ 20
~ 18
~ 16
u" ,
:W(. S8'O Of..
"~~<51'5~1'~~'5"'~55~'5~6''~~5;S~o59'6""O
Water cont1!llt_
Fig. E4.3.
PLAsnCITY CHARACTF.¥ISfICS OF SOIL') 85
U1ustrative Example 4.4. A sample of clay has the liquid limit and the shrinlwge limit of, respectively,
60% and 25%. If the sample has a volume of 10 ml at the liquid limit, and a volume of 6.40 ml at the
shrinXcge limit, determine the specific gravity of solids.
Solution. Let Ms be the mass of solids, in gm.
lbcrefore, mass of waler 81 the liquid limit = 0.6 Ms
and mass of water at Ihe shrinkage limil = 0.25 M,
Mass of waler losl belween the liquid lirnil
and the shrinkage limit = (0.6  0.25) Ms = 0.35 M,
RC<luaion in volume = 0.35 M, ml
BUI aClual reduction in volume = =
10.0  6.40 3.60 ml
Therefore, 0.35 Ms = 3.60 or M. = 10.29 gm
Thus, the mass of water at the shrinkage limit
 0.25 x 10.29 = 2.57 gm
Volume of water al the shrinkage limit = 2.57 ml
Volume of solid particles, V, = 6.40  2.57 :::: 3.83 m
29
Therefore, specific gravity of solids, G.. M,V • '3°83
.  2.69
. p"" .
Alternatively, directly from Eq. 4.10 (a),
• 5.6,O.~.35 .0.1147(11.47%)
V1 Vd
At liquid limit, \IS .. v; )( 100 .. 44
VI
~_ 0.44 + 1.0. 1.44
86 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
Vp .. 1.29 Vd .. .(b)
Let the volume at liquid limit, VI. be 1.0 ml.
From Eq. (0), Vd:::: volume at shrinkage limit:: 0.694 rol
From Eq. (b), Vp = volume at plastic limit = 0.895 mt
Volume
Fig. E4.6
From Fig. E 4.6 by proportion,
W,W, ~
0.47  w, 033  W,
0:306  o:wt
w, _ 0.06 (6.0%)
Illustrative Example 4.7. The following index properties were determined for two soils A and B.
Index property A B
Liquid limit 65 35
Plastic limit 25 20
Wateroonlcnt 35 25
Sp. gr. of solids 2.70 2.65
Degree of saturation 100% 100%
Which of he two soils (i) contains more clay particles, (ii) has a greater bulk density. (iii» has a grtXlter
dry density. (iv) has a greater void ratio ?
PLASTICITY CIIARJ\CI'ERlSfICS OF SOILS 87
Solution.
S. No. saIL A SOIL E
Plasticity index
652.'1 = 40% 3520 = 15%
PI .. w/wp
2. Void ratio
0.35 x 2.7 .. 0.945 0.25 x 2.65 .. 0.663
e  wG
3. Dry density
Q.l!!! 2·~.;4~·0 .. l.388g/ml 2.6i.e::31.0 _ 1.594 g/m l
P4" 1 +e
4. Bulk density
p .. pd(l +w) 1.388 x 1.35 .. 1.874 glml 1.594 x 1.25 .. 1.992 glml
As lhe plasticiLY index: of soil A is more Ih.m thm of soi l B, [I has more clay particles.
I'ROBLEMS
A, Numericul
4.1. The consistency limits of a soil sample are:
Liquid limit '" 52%
Plastic limit '" 32%
Shrinkage limit '" 17%
If the specimen of this soil shrinks from a volume of 10 cm} at liquid limit to 6.01 an} at the shrinkage limit,
calculate the specific gravity of solids. [Ans. 2.8OJ
4.2. A cone penetcmion test was carried out o n a sample of soil with the fol lowing results:
4.13. What arc uses of (.:nnsislcncy lirnits'! Wh.ll nrc their limitations '!
4.14. Differcntime belwt,.'Cn:
(a) Liquidity index and cunsistency index.
(b) Flow index and toughness index.
(el Plasticity and consistency.
(d) Activily and sensitivil),.
4.15. State whether the following S(alernCnl~ nre true of false.
(a) All the consistency limils Me determined fur the soil in distu rbed condition.
(b) The liq uidity index cannot be more th:rn 100%.
(e) The consistency index C:lll be neg'lIive.
(d) Plastic limit is the water content of soil which represents the boundary between the plastic state and the
semi·S(llid slate
(e) Al shrinkage limit, the soil is fully saturated.
(fJ The activity of a day minenll is a con~tanl.
(g) The soils with son consist!!ncy hav<! high strength.
(II) The soils with a dispersed structure hav!! a high sensitivity. tAns. True, (el. (il), (e), (f)]
C. MultipleChoice Questions
1. At shrinknge limit, the soil is
(u) Dry (b) Partially ~aturiltcd
(c) Satur;\ted (d) None of ahove
2. The shrinkage index is equal to
(al Liquid limit minus plastic li mit.
(b) Liquid limit minus shrinkage limit.
(e) Plastit limit minus shrinkage limit.
(d) None of ilbovc.
3. Toughness index of a soil is the nltio of
tIl) Plasticity index to the !low index.
(b) Liquidity index to the now index.
(e) Co nsistency index 10 the now inUex.
(d) Shrinkage index to the !low index.
4. A stiffelay has a consistency inde x of
(a) 5075 (b) 75 100
(el Greater than 100 (d) Less than 50
5. The plasticity index of a highly plastic soil is about
(al 1020 (b) 2040
(el Grater th~ln 40 (d) Less than 10
6. The activity of the mineral mon tmorillonite is
(n) Less than 0.75 (h) Between 0.75 and 1.25
(e) Bctwcl:n 1.25 and 4 (d) Greater than 4
7. A soil sample has LL = 45%, PL'" 25% and SL "" 15%.
For a natural water conten1 of 30%, th e consistency index will be
(/1)75% (bl50%
(c) 40% (ll) 25%
H. For the soil wilh LL = 45%. PL :0 25% and ~h '" 15%, Ihe plasticity inu<:lx is
(/I) 50% (b) 20%
(c) 60% (if) 40%
IG
5
Ih, Soil Classification
5.1. INTRODUCTION
(1)1 Soil classification is the arrangement of soils into different groups such thai the soils in a panicular group
have similar behaviour. It i.. a sort of labelling of soils with different labels. M there is a wide variety of soils
covering earth, it is desirable 10 systematize or classify the soils into broad groups of similar behaviour. It is
more convenient to study the behaviour of groups than Ibm of individual soils. Cla<;sification of various
commodities and species is also oommon in many other disciplines. For example, a chemist classifies the
chemicals into various groups, and a zoologiSt classifies the specic~ into a number of groups. likeWise. a
geotechnical engineer classifies the soils into various groups.
For a soil classification system to be useful to the geotechnical engineers, it should have lbe following
basic requirements:
(I) It should have a limited number of groups.
(2) It shouk! be based on the engineering properties which are most relevanl for the purpose for which
the classification has been made.
(3) It should be simple and should use the tenns which are easily un<icrstood.
Most of the classification systems developed satisfy the above requirements.
A geotechnical engineer is interested to know the suitability or otherwise of a soil as a foundauon or a
construction material. For complete knowledge. all the engineering properties are determined afier oonducling
a large number of tests. However. an approximate assessment of the engineering properties can be obtained
from the index properties afier conducting only classification tests, as diSOJssed in chaplers 3 and 4. A soil is
classified according to index properties, such as panicle size and plasticity characteristics.
If the classification of a soil has been done acrording to some standard classification system, its
properties and behaviour can be estimated based on the experience gained from similar soils elsewhere. A
classification system thus provides a common language between engineers dealing with soils. II is useful in
exchange of infonnatioo and experience between the geotOChnical engincen;. For example, if a soil has been
c1assifJed as SW according 10 Unified Soil QassifJC3tion system, tbe geotechnical engineer anywhere in the
world would know Ibal the soil is well graded sand, is quite pervious. has low compressibility and high shear
strength. All Ibis information is exchanged only in two letlers SW.
It may be mentioned that soil classification is no substitute for exact analysis based on engineering
properties. For fmal design of large slruclures, the rogineering properties should be determined by conducting
clabomlc tests on undisturbed samples.
[Note. The soil classification system can be likened to classification of human beings into 12 zodiac signs
(b)1 done by an astrologer. Although general behaviour of a human being under a particular zodiac sign can be
estimated from his zodiac sign, for oomplete prediction, his delailed horoscope. is required].
5.2. PARTICLE SIZE ClASSIFICATION
The size of individual particles has an important influena: on the behaviour of soils. It is not surprising
90 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
that the first classification of soils was based on Ihe panicle size. It is a general practice to classify Ihe soils
into four brood groups. namely, grnve~ sand, silt sizc and clay size. While classifying the fine grained soils
on the ba<>is of particle size, it is a good prllctice to write Sill size and clay size and not just silt and Clay. In
general usage, the terms silt and clay arc used to denote Ihe soils that exhibit plasticity and cohesion over a
wide range of water content. The soi l with claysi7.c particles may not exhibit the properties associated with
clays. For example, rocId1our has the particles of the size of the clay particles bul docs not possess plasticity.
H is classified as claysize and not just clay in the particle size classification systems.
Any system of classification based only OD particle size may be misleading for finegrained soils. The
behaviour of such soils depends on the plasticity characteristics and not on the particle size. However,
classification based on panicle siz.e is of immense value in the case of coarsegraincd soils, since the
behaviour of such soils depends mainly on the particle size.
Some of the classifi~tion system based on particle size alone are discussed below.
(1) MlT SystemMIT system of cL1SSification of soils was developed by Prof. G. Gilboy at
Mass.'lChuseltcs Institute of Technology in USA. In this system, the soil is divided into four groups (Fig. 5.1 a).
(I) Gravel. particle size greater than 2 mm.
(it) Sand, particle size between 0.06 mm 10 2.0 mm.
(iii) Silt size, particle size between 0.002 mm to 0.06 mm.
(iv) Clay size, panicle size smaller than 0.002 mm (2~).
Boundaries between different types of soils corres!X>nd to limits when im!X>rtant changes occur in the soil
properties. 'The particles less than 2~ size arc generally colloidal fraction and behave as Clay. The soils with
panicle size smaller than 2~ are classified as cL'ly size.
The naked eye can see the the plIrticle size of about 0.06 mm and larger. The soils with particle size
smaller than 0.06 mm but larger than 21! are classified as siltsize. Important changes in the behaviour of soil
occur if particle size is larger than 0.06 mm when it behaves as cohesionlcss soiL
The boundary between gravcl and sand is abritrnrily kept as 2 mm. This is about the me of lead in the pencil.
The soils in sand and Sillsizcrangc are further subdivided into three categories: coarse (C). medium (M)
and fine (F), as shown in the figure. It may be nOled that MIT system uses only two integcffi 2 and 6. and is
ea<>y to remember.
(2) international Classlficalion SystemThe International Classification System was proposed for
general use at Ihe Intemational Soils Congress held as Washington in 1927. This cla<iSifiCalion system was
0.002
I 0.006
M
0.02
C I
0.06
I
02
M
0 .•
C I
2.0 mm
Gravel
(2_) legend
F:: Fine M:: Medium
(0) MIT System C:: Coarse
Ultra a,y Sill Mo g,,,,d
any Gravel
c c C M C VC
0.2 j.4 0.6 j.4 2_ 0.006 0.02 0.05 0.1 0.2 0.5 1.0 2.0mm
VC:: ·Verycoarse
(b) International Oassjfieation
Sm,'
Fine Medium
0.25
(e) U.S. Bureau of Soils Oassification
Fig. 5.1. OllSSifiCiltion Systems.
SOIL CLASSIFICATION 91
known as the Swedish classification system before it was adopted as InlermltionaJ system. However, the
system was not adopted by the United States.
In tbis system [Fig. 5.1 (b)1, in addition to sand, sill, and clay, a tenn mo has been used for soil particles
in the size range between sand and sill.
(3) U.s. Bureau of Soils ClassificationThis is one of the earliest classification systems developed in
1895 by U.S. Bureau of Soils (Fig. 5.1 (e)J. In this system, the soils below the size 0.005 mm are classified
as clay size in contrast to 0.002 mm size in other systems. 1be soils between 0.005 mm and 0.05 mm size
'a rt; classified as silt size. Sandy soils between the size 0.05 mm and 1.0 mm are subdivided into four
categories as very fmc, fine, medium and coarse sands. Fine gravels are in tbe size range of 1.0 to 2.0 mm.
5.3. TEXTURAL ClASSIFICATION
Texture means visual appearance of the surface of a material such as fabric or cloth. The visual
appearance of a soil is called its texture. The texture depends upon the panicle size, shape of particles and
gradation of particles. The textural classificaCton incorporates only the particle size, as il is dimwIt to
incorporate the other two parameters.
In fad, all the classification systems b~d on the particle size, as discussed in Sect. 5.2, are textural
classification systems. However, in soil engineering, the term textural classification is used rather in a
restricted sense. The triangular classification system suggested by U.S. Bureau of Public Roads in oommonly
known as the textural classification system (Fig. 5.2). lbe term texture is used to express tbe percentage of
the three constituents of soils, namely, 5.1nd, sill and clay.
0100
,
\
o ~>CIQY
60~
\ \ p
\~
Silt
)0
/ Cloy
"
//
I
Silty toom
1000t".*""""""";"";;____,~"60;;,)"'0,:,"0 "'90,,;;)">00
Silt ('/. )
(Size O.OOS to 0.05 mm)
fiB . .5.2. Textural cill85iftcalion System.
9' SOli.. MECHANICS AND FOUNDA110N ENGINEERING
According to the textural classification system, the percentages of sand (size 0.05 to 2.0 mm), silt (size
0.005 to 0.05 mm) and clay (size less than 0.005 mm) are plotted along the three sides of an equilateral
triangle. The equilateral triangle is divided into to zones, e.1ch zone indicates a type of soil. 1lle soil can be
classified by determining the zone in which it lics. A key is given that indicates the directions in which the
lines are to be drawn to locate the point. For example if a soil contains 30% sand and 20% silt and 50% clay,
it is shown by point (P) in the figure. The point falls in the zone labelled Clay. Therefore, the soil is classified
as clay.
'Ille textural classification system is useful for classifying soils consisting of different constituents. 'Ille
system assumes that the soil does not contain panicles larger than 2.0 mm size. However, if the soil contains
a certain percentage of soil particles larger than 2.0 mm, a correction is required in which the sum of the
percentages of sand, silt and clay is increased to 100%. For example, if a soil contains 20% particles of size
lager than 2 mm size, the actual sum of the percentages of sand, sill and clay particles is 80%. Let these be
respcaively 12, 24 and 44%. The corrected percentages would be obtained by multiplying with a factor of
l00/SO. Therefore, the corrected percentages are 15,30 and 55%. 1he textural c1assificatioo of the soil would
be done based on these corrected percentages.
In this system, the term loam is used to describe a mixture of sand, silt and clay panicles in various
proportions. The term loam originmed in agricultural engineering where the suitability of a soil is judged for
crops. The term is not used in soil
engineering. In order to eliminate the
term loam, the Mississipi River
Commission (USA) propC6td a
modified triangular diagram (Fig. 5.3).
'The term loam is replaced by soil
engineering tenns such as silty Clay.
The principal oomponent of a soil is
taken as a noun and the less prominent KEY
component as an adjective. For
example, silty clay contains mainly
particles of a clay, but some silt
particles are also present. It must be
noted that the primary soil type with
respect to behaviour is not necessarily
the soil type that constitutes the largest
part of the sample. For example, the
general character of a mixed soil is
determined by clay fraction ii it
exceeds 30%0
Right Triangle Chart. Since the 1000;;;:~~''''':'';;'=c;;;;:';;;""
sum of the percenta'ges of sand, sill and
clay size particles is 100%, there is no SILT
need to plot all the three percentage.
The percentage of sand particles can be Fig. S.J. Modified Triangular Di~ram.
found by deduction from 100% the sum of percentages of sill and clay particles. It is possible t9 determine
the textural classification by locating the point of intersed.OO of lines representing silt and clay. as shown in
right.triangle chart (Fig. 5.4).
The righttriangle chart is more convenient than the conventional lriangular chart as it involves only
orthogonal arrangement of grid lines.
5.4. AASHTO CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official (AASlITO) Oassification system is
SOtL CLASSIFICATION 93
SiltclayMaJeria/s
Getleral Granular materials More than 35% passing No. 2()() Sieve
Classificalion (35% or less passing No. 200 Sieve (0.075 mm) (0.075 mm)
AZ A7
Group ~;:i...
A3 A4 A5 A<S ~
CltUSi{icarion Al~ All> Al4] A2S[ A.26j A.?7 A76
(0) Sieve Analysis;
Percent Passing
(I) 2.00 mm (No. 10)
50 '""
I I I
(ii) 0.425 mm (No. 40) 3{) rna> '0.,., Simin
(ii,) 0.075 rnm (No. 200) 15"", 25 rna> 10 max I 3S max I 35 max I 35 max I 35 max I 36 min I 36 min I 36 min I 36 min
~="";:";'
(b) ~~~
(,) Liquid limit 40 max
I 41 min
I 40 max
I 41 min 40 mal[
I 41 min 40 max
I 41 min
l'lF
~
<ii) Plasticity index 6 max N.P. 10 max 10 max 11 min 11 min 10 max 10 max 11 min 11 min· g:
(e) Usual types of Stooe Fragmenrs 3
signific8n1 Gravel and sand Fine Sand Silty or aayey Gravel Sand Silty Soils aayey Soils !A
ConsIituenl materials ~
(d) General rating as
subgrade. Excellent., Good Fair 10 Poor g~
~
• If plasticity index is equal 10 or less thaD (liquid Limit30), the sal is A75 (i.e. PL> 30%) ~
If plasticity index is greater than (I.iquid limil30), the sojl is A76 (i.e. PL < 30%) 0
z
~
~
~
SOIL ClASSIFICATION .,
5.5. UNIFIED SOIL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
The Unified Soil Classification System (USC) was rlrst developed by Casagrande in 1948. and later, in
1952, was modified by the Bureau of Reclamation nnd the Corps of Engineers of the United States of
America. The system has also been adopted by Americ.1n Society of Testing Materials (ASTM). 1ne system
is the most popular system for usc in all types of enginccring problems involving soils. The various symbols
used are given in Table 5.2.
Tuble S.2. Symbols used in USC System
Symbols Description
Primary G Gravel
S Sao"
M Silt (Symbolh M obtained from the
Swcdis word 'mo')
c ao,
o OrganiC
p, poo,
Secondary w Well.graded
P Poorly graded
M NonplastiC fines
C Plastic fines
L Low Plasticity
High plasticity
The system uses both the panicle size analysis and plasticity charaderistics of soils, like AASHfO
system. In this system, the soils are classified into 15 groups (Thble 5.3). The soils are first cmssiried into two
categories.
(I) Coarsegrained soilsIf more than 50% of the soil is retainOO 01] No. 200 (0.075 mm) sieve, it is
designated as coarsegraincd soil. There are 8 groups of coarsegrained soils.
(2) Finegrained soilsU more than 50% of the soil passes No. 200 sieve, it is called finegrained soil.
There are 6 groups of fmc*grained soils.
1. Coarsc_grnined SoilsThe coarsegrained soil., are designated a'i gravel (G) if 50% or more of coarse
fraction (Plus 0.075 mm) is retained on No.4 (4.75 mm) s ieve; otherwise it is termed sand (S).
If the coarsegraincd soils contains less than 5% fines and are wellgrnded (W), they are given the
symbols GW and SW, and if poorly graded (P). symbols GP and SP_ The criteria for well·grading are given
in Table 5.3. If the coarsc*grnined soils contain more than 12% fines. these are designated as GM, Ge, SM
Of SC, as per aiteria given. If the percentage of fines is between 5 to 12% dual symbols such as GWGM,
SPSM, are used.
Z. Finegrained SoilsFinegrained soils are further divided into two types . (1) Soils of low
compressibility (L) if the liquid limit is 50% or less. These are given the symbols ML, CL and OL. (2) Soils
of high compressibility (ff) if the liquid limit is more than 50%. These are given the symbols MIl, CII and
OIl. The exact type of the soil is determined from the plasticity chart (Fig. 55). The A·line has the equation
" = 0.73 (w, 20). II scparntes the days from silts. When the plasticity index and the liquid limit plot in tbe
hatched paction of the plasticity chan, the soil is given double symbol CL ML.
The inorganiC soil ML and Mil and the organic soils OL, OH plot in the same zones of the plasticity chart.
The distinction between the inorganic and organic soiis is made by ovendrying. If oven drying dccrcnscs the
liquid limit by 30% or more, the soil is classified organic (OL or Off); otherwise, inorganic (ML or MIl)
Highly Organic SoilsHighly organic soils are identified by visual inSpection. These soils are termoo
p"',(P,).
~:i
CoarscGraincd Gravel (50% or a"" grovels C~1Io3
Soils. more of coarse Gravels Poorly graded Not meeting both criteria foc
IMorethan fraction retained GP gravels GW
50% retained on No.4 sieve
AlIcrbergumits Ancrberg
~
on No. 200 (4.75 mm)]
below Aline or Limits in
sieve (0.075 GM Silty grovels
plasticity index hatched area
mm))
e;~~
Gravels less than 4 GMGC
with Auclberg Limits
fines ;.il11 above A.Jine
GC Gayey gravels
::;g ~ and plasticity
index greater
Wellgraded
~~~l thon?
ell :> 6
SW O_~'5 C~ _ I
$and [more thon Clean "','" to 3
50% ofooarse
faction passing
No.4 sieve
s.",,,,
SP
Poorly graded
"''''''
~~~
z~
NOI meeting both criteria for
SW
~ [".g>
below Aline or Limits in
SM Si[IY sands
plasticity index hatched area
So"", ,g~!1 [ less tban 4 SM5C
~Hi!l
with Atlcrberg limilS
fines above Aline
SC Oayey sands
na~ and plasticily
index greater
~§:€£ than 7
Inorganic sillS
Fine grained Silts and clays Liquid ML of low
soils [50% 0< limit 50% or less plasticity
more passing Inorganic
No. 200 sieve dayso£low
(G.I175 mm)) CL 10 medium
Imaslicilv
Orgonicsills
OL or low
plasticity See Plasticity Chart (Fig. 55)
InorganlcsillS
SillS and days Liquid Mil of high
Limit greater than 50% plasticity
Inorganic
CH days of high
plasticity
Orgnnic clays
011 of medium of
high plasticity
Peat. muck
Highty organic Soils "'" oil""
" highly
organic soils
Visualmanual identification
SOIL CLASSIFICA110N 91
.. )0
Table 54 gives approximate equivalence in both the SystCffiS. If the soil has been classified according \0
onc system, its classification according \0 the other can be determined. However, the equivalence is only
approximate. For exact classification, the corresponding procedure should be used.
5.7. INDIAN STANDAIID CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
Indian Standard Classification (Isq syslcm adopted by Bureau of Indian Standards is in many respects
simiLar \0 tbe Unified Soil Qassification (Usq system. However, there is one basic difference in llle
classification of finegrnincd soils. The finc grained soils in ISC system are subdivided into three categorics
of low, medium and high compressibility instead of two categories of low and high compressibility in USC
system. A brief oUlline of Qassif}cation and Identificalion of Soils for general enginccring purposes (1S:
1498 1970) is given below. For romplete details, the reader should ronsult the code.
ISC system classifies the soils into 18 groups as per Tables 5.6 and 5.7.
Soils are divided into three brood divisions:
(1) Coarscgrained soils, when 50% or more of the total materiaL by weight is retained on 75 microlllS
sieve.
(2) Finegrained soils, when more than 50% of the total material passes 75 micron IS sicve.
(3) If the soil is highly organic and contains a Large percentage of organic matter and particles ct
decomposed vegctrltion, it is kept in a separate category marked as peat (P,),
In aU, there arc 18 groups of soils: 8 groups of coarse grained, 9 groups of finegrained and one of pea.
Basic soil components are given in Table 5.5. Symbols used arc the same as in USC system (fable 5.2).
•
,.,,~e
SC
S, 20
~
MH
'"
:~ 10
7 
MI
0'
OH
IS £ 4  __
lML ML
0'
01
.2(' Ol
00 10 20 30 J5 40 50 60 70 00
of liquid limit I"I) ',.
Fig. 5.6. PI~slicily Chart (ISC)
\. Coarsegrained &ilsCoarsegrained soils are subdivided inlo grovel and sand. lhc soil is termed
gfllvel (G) when more than 50% of coarse fraction (plus 75~) is retained on 4.75 mm IS sieve, and termed
sand (S) if morc than 50% of the coarse fraction is smaller Ihan 4.75 mm IS sieve. Coarsegrained soils are
further subdivided as given in Table 5.6 into 8 groups.
2. Finegrained Soilslbe finegrained soils are fun her divided into three subdivisions, depending upon
the values of the liquid limit:
(0) Sills and clays of low compressibilityThese soils have a liquid limit less than 35 (represented by
ge
symbol L).
(b) Sills and clays of medium comprcssibilityThese soils have a liquid limit greater than 35 but less
g' than 50 (represented by symbol I).
IS
(c) SUts and Clays of high compressibilityThese soils have a liquid limit greater th<m 50 (represented
by symbol 11).
30 Finegrained soils are further subdivided. in 9 groups as given in T:lble 5.7.
5.8. nOUNDARY CLASSIFICATIONS
Sometimes, it is not possible to Classify a soil into anyone of 18 groups discussed above. A soil may
75 possess characteristics of two groups, either in particle size distribution or in plasticity. For such C.1SCS,
boundary classifications occur and dual symbolS arc used.
(a) Boundary classification for coarsegrained soils
The following boundary classification can occur:
(I) Boundary classifications within gravel group or sand group can occur. The following classification
'Y are common.
'"
~. GW{;P, GMGC, GWGM, GW{;C, GPGM
SW5P, SM5C, SIV5M, SW5C; SP5M
'Y
:ic While giving dual symbols. first writc a coarser soil then a finer soil.
u, 1(2) Boundary classification can occur between the gravel and sand groups such as
GWSw. GPSp, GMSM, and GCSC
of The rule for ~ classification is to favour the nonplastic classification. For c1C.3mple, a gravel with
10% fines, C" = 20 and Ce = 2.0 and lp = 6 will be classified as GWGM, and not GWGc.
100 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
(1) Come Gravel (0) dean (l)GW Well Co. grnterthan 4 When lines
2) Fine Low· {l)ML Inorganic silts Atterbcrg Anerberg (1) Organic "d
gruined soils compressibility with nOne 10 limits plol limits pioting inorganic soils
(more than (L) (Liquid low plasticity below Aline above Aline plotted in the same
Limit less or /p less with Jp zone in plasticity
SO% """
75~ IS sieve) tnan 35%) than 7 ='10
7
chan are distinguis
hed by odour and
(2) CL Inorganic Altcrberg (hatched colour 0' liquid
clays of low limits plot zone) MLCL limit ,,~ aftcr
plasticity above Aline ovcnclrying.
andJp greater A roduaion
than 7 liquid limit after "
ovcn drying to a
(3) OL OrganicsiUs
of low
Atlcrbcrg limits plot below
A·line
value ,,,' than
three founh of the
plasticity liquid limit before
ove,· drying
Inteonediate (4) MI Inorganic sillS Atterberg limits plot below positive "
compre,<;sibility ofmcdium A·line identification
(I) plasticity of organic soils.
(Uquid limit
greater than
35% but less
than 50%
(5)CI Inorganic Auerbcrg limits plot above (2) ",,,,, amon
clays of Aline soils 01 India lie
medium along a band partly
plasticity 'bo,,, .h,
Aline
and panly below tho
(6)01 Orgaic silts Alterbcrg limits plot below Aline
of medium AlillC
plasticity
smaller than 751l size and are not visible to unaided eye. lbc fraction of soil smaUer than 7511 size., that is,
the clay and sill fradion. is referred to as fines.
(1) Coarsegrained SoilrIf the soil is coarsegrained. it is further identified by estimating the
percentage of (a) gravel size particles (4.75 mm to 80 mm), (b) sand size particles. (75J.L to 4.75 mm) and (e)
silts and clay size panicles (smaller than 7511 size). Gravel panicles are larger than 4.75 mm size and can be
identified visually.
If the percentage of gravel is greater Ihan that of sand, the soil is a grovel; otherwise, it is sand.
Gravels and s.1nds are further classified as cle.m if they contain fines less than 5% and as dirty if they
contain fioes more than 12%. Gravels and sands containing 5 to 12% fines are given ooundary classification.
The fine fraction of the coarsegrained soils is identified using the procedure given below for fine· grained
soils to determine whether it is silty or clayey.
To difJercntiate fine sand from silt, dispersion Icst is adopted. When a spoonful of soil is poured in a jar
full of wa:er, fine sand settles in a minute or so. whereas silt t.'1kcs 15 minutes or more.
(2) Fine·grained soilsU the soil is finegrained, the following tests arc conducted for identification 00 i
the fmetion of the sOil finer than the 425micron IS sieve to differentiate silt from clay.
(a) Dilatancy (reaction to shaking) testA smaU pat of moist soil of aboul 5 ml in volume is prepared.
Waler is added to make the soil soft but not sticky. "be pal is placed in the open palm of onehand and
shaken horizontally, striking against the other hand several times during shaking. If the soil gives a positive
reaction, the water appears on its surface which changes t("l a lively roosistcncy and appears glossy. When the
pat is squeezcd between the fingers, Ihe watcr and gloss disappear from the surface, It becomes stiff and
ultimately crumbles.
'fl1e rapidity with which water appc.'1rs on the surface during shaking and disappears during squeezing 1<;
used in the identification of finegrained soils (pJbles 5.8). The larger the S:7..e of tbe particles, the quicker is
the reaction. The reaction is called quick if water appears and disappears quickly. The reaction is tcnned slow
if water appears and disappc.'1rs slowly. For no retlction, Ihe water docs nol appear at the surface.
(b) Toughness testThe pHI used in Ihe dil:lt:lncy test is dried by working and remoulding until it has
tbe consistency of pUlly. 'Ibe lime required to dry the pal depends upon the plasticity of the soil.
'Ibe pat is rolled on a smooth surface or between the palms inlo a threads of aboul 3 mm in diameter,
The thrc.'ld is folded and re rolled to reduce tbe water is soil, due to cvaporation by heat of hand, until the
3 mm diameter thread just crumbles. The water content at that stage is equal to the plastic limit and the
resistance to moulding at that stage is called the toughness.
After the thread crumbles, Ihe picces of the sample are lumped together and subjected to kneading until
the lump also crumbles. lbe tougher the thread at the plastic limit and the stiffer the kneaded lump just
before it crumbles, the higher is the toughness of the soil. The toughness is low if the thread is weak and the
soil mass cannot be lumped together when drier than plastic limit. TIle toughness is high when the lump can
be moulded drier than plastic limit and high pressure is required to roll the thread.
The toughness depends upon the polency of the colloidal clay.
Table 5.8. Field Identification Tests
T", ML CL OL MI CI 01 Mil CH OH
Quick None 10 Sl~ Quick Noo, Slow Stow 10 None NonclO
(a) DiJDlancy
very slow 10 slow very slow
(b) lbughness
None Medium Low None Medium Low Low 10 lIigh
Low "
medium medium
(oj Dry st"mgl" I..ITh, 1"" of the w;J i, completely dried by ak drying, ,un drying 0' ovcn'd'l'' : J
SOIL CLASSIFICATION 103
The dry strength is determined by breaking the dried pat and crumbling it betwcc.n finger.;. The dry strength
is a mea<>ure of plasticity of the soil. The dry strength depends upon the colloidal frndion of the soil.
The strength is termed high if the dried pat cannot be powdered at all; medium, if considerable pressure
is required; and low, if the dry pat can be easily powdered.
Table 5..8 can be used for the field identification of different soils.
S.IO. GENERAL CIIARACfERISTICS OF SOILS OF DIFFERENT GROUPS
General characteristics of the soils of various groups as classified by ISC system and USC system are
given in Table 5.9. The information given in the table should be considered as a rough guidance about the
engineering properties of soils. For complete information. the tests should be oonductcd and the engineering
properties determined.
Thble 5.9. General PropeUes or Soils
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
Dlll'ltrative Example 5.1. A sample of soil was tested in a laboratOf)', and the following observations
were recorded:
Liquid Limil ::: 45%, Plastic Limit = 16%
SOIL MECHANICS AND· FOUNDA110N ENGINEERING
l<"
I
U.S. Sieve No.
I
No.4
I
No. 10
(2.0mm) I No. 40
(0.425 mm)
I No. 200
(0.075 mm)
Percentage Pa&<>ing 100 I 91.5 I SO.O I 60.0
I 45 29 100 59
I I " 100 B5
Solution. (a) Soil A. As more than 5()% passes No. 200 sieve, the soil
is fine·grdincd.
As WI is Less than 50%. the soH is of low plasticity. 'mc Atlerberg limits plot above the Aline in Fig. 5.5.
'Ille soil is classified as CL.
(b) Soil 8. The soil is finegrained. As the liquid limit is greatcr than 50%. the soil is of high
compressibility. The Allcrberg limits plot below Aline. It can be either MH or OH. If the soil is OH, ilS
liquid limit will decrease considerably on oven·drying.
lIIustrntive Example 5.3. Classify th~ soil with the following properties according to ISC system.
Liquid Limit PlassidlY index % passing % passing
I I 4.75 mm sie\'e I 75JAsieve
40% I 10% I 60% I 45%
Solution. As more than 50% is rctClincd on 75", IS sieve, the soil is marsegrained.
Coarse frJction = 55%; Gravel fraction = 40%; Sand frdcUon = 15%
As more lhan half the coarsefraction is larger than 4.75 mm IS sieve, the soil is gravel.
The soil has more than 12% fines. it can be either GM or GC.
As the Anerberg limits plot below A·lioe (Fig. 5.6), the soil is GM.
Illustrative Example 5.4. Fig E 5.4 ,fIIOWS the grain size distribwion curves for two soils A and B. Tht
plasticity characteristics of the sails are given below.
son A Liquid Limit = 40%; Plasticity Index = 10%;
Soil B Liquid Lilll/'t = 28%; Plasticity Index = 12%
Classify lhe soils according to IS classification and COII/menl on their sheor strenglh.
SOIL Cu\SSJFlCATION t05
~.o~~~~~v?rH~
z
'"ffi 2ofl1fr:;l""ttiti
Q.
(mm)
Fig. ES.4.
Solution. (a) Soil A. As more than 50% pffiSCS 75~ sieve. the soil is linegrained. The Allcrberg limits
plot below Aline (Fig. 5.6) in the zone of intermediate compressibility. It can be either MI or 0/. If the liquid
limit reduces \0 thrccfounh of the original value or more on oven drying, it is IS; oIherwise MI.
(b) Soil 8. As more than 50% of Ihe Iolal material is larger than 75 I' sieve. the soil is coarse grained.
Coarse fmction = 87%,
Gravel fmetion = 37%;
Sand fmelion = 50%.
As more than half of coarse fraction is smaller than 4.75 mm sieve, the soil is sand. As fines are more
than 12%, the soil can be SA{ or Sc. As the Atteroerg limits plot above A· line (Fig. 5.6), the soil is Sc.
PROBLEMS
A. Numerical
5.1 Allerbcrg ]imil ICstS were carried out on 11 soil sample, with the following rC5ults:
Liquid limit'" 40%; Plastic limil '" 2S%.
Oassify Ihe soil according to Unified Oassifjeltion system and the Indian Standard classification system.
[Ans. CL; CI]
5.2. The follOWing results were obtained [rom Ihe classification tests of a soil.
Percentage passing 7Sjl sieve = 40%
Liquid limil = 35%; Plastic Limit = 15%
calculate the group index of lhe soil and dassify il aocording 10 AASlITO system. [Ans.4; A6(4)]
5.3. The sieve analysis of a soil gave the following results :
% passing 75~ sieve:: 4; % ret:lined on 4.75 mm sieve'" 50
Coefficient of curvature = 2; UniformilY ooefficienl = 5
Classify Ihe soil according to ISC sySlem. [Ans.GWJ
5.4. The sieve analysis of a soil gave the following results:
%passing 75~ sieve ", 8; % retained on 4.75 mm sieve", 35
Coefficient of curvature '" 2.5; Uniformily ooefficient ~ 7
The fine frnClion gave the folJowing results :
Plasticity index = 3; Liquid Limit = 15.
Classify Ihe soil according 10 ISC system. [Am;. SWSM}
5.5. Ascii has Ibe following charnCieristics:
% ~ng 75~ sieve = 58%; liquirl Limit = 40%
Plasticity Index = 10%; liquid lim!1 of ovendried sample", 25%
Classify the soil according 10 ISC syslcm. [Ans.OI]
106 SOIL MECHAN ICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
C. Multiple·Choice Questions
t. IS classification ()fsoil is in many respects simi lar to
«(I) AAS HTO classificmion (b) Tcxlurn! classitkation
(t') Unified soil elilssilication (d) MIT clnssificmion
2. The maximum Sill! of pMticks of silt is
(a) 75 11 (b) 60 11
(e) 2 11 (d) 0.2 11
3. The maximum Si7.1! of parl iclc.~ or clay is
(0) 0.2 mm (b) 0.02 mm
fe) 0.002 mm (d) 0.0CI02 mm
4. Acconling to IS classifiC<11ion system. the soils can be cl.1ssilit"(,,1 into
«(I) 15 groups (b) 18 groups
(e) 3 groups (d) 7 groups
5. The soils which pl01 above the A line in the pl.1sticity chart flrc
«(I) cl!Jys (b) silts
(e) sands (tl) organic soil s
6. A silty soi l gives a positive reaction in
(a) Toughness tes t (b) Dilmancy test
(c) Dry strength test «(I) None of above
7. A soil has the liquid li mit of 30. TIle cQrresponding plasticity index given b)' the A·li ne is
(tl ) 7.3 (b) 7.5
(e) 9.0 (d) 9.5
8. The max imum value of the term (F. I 5) in the group index is taken as
(a) 20 (b) 30
(c) 40 (d) 60
6
Clay Mineralogy and Soil Structure
6.1. INTRODUCTION
The coarsegrained soils generally contain the minerals quartz and feldspar. These minerals are strong and
electrically inert. The behaviour of such soils docs not depend upon thc nature of the mineral present. The
behavior of finegrained soils, on Ihc other hand. depends to a large extent on the nature and characteristics
of the minerals presenl. The most significant properties of clay depend upon the type of mineral. The
crystalline minerals whose surface activity is high are clay minerals. These clay minerals imparl cohesion and
plasticity. The study of clay miner.lls is essential for understanding the behaviour of clayey soi ls. Clay
mineralogy is the the science dealing with the structure of c lay minerals on microscopic, molecular and
atomic scale. II also includes the study of the mineralogical composition and electrical properties of the clay
particles. The study of clay minerals is important for particles smaller than about 2 micron size.
Soil struclIlre means the geometrical arrangement of soil particles in a soil mass. It is concerned with
the shape. si7..e and orientation of particles. If the individual particles are packed very close to one another,
the void ratio is low and the soil is dense and strong. If the particles are so arranged that there are more
voids, the soil is loose and weak. Engineering properties and behaviour of both coarsegrained and
finegrained depend upon the structure.
This chapter is mainly devoted 10 clay mineralogy. The soil struclure is considered in the last section. In
fact. clay mineralogy also discusses the structure of clayey soils nOi as a whole mass but at a particle level.
6.2. GRAVITATIONAL AND SURFACE FORCES
The gravitational force in a soil particles is proportional to its mass. As the specific gravity of particles
is approximately constant, the gravi tational force is proportional to the volume of the particle. TIle volume
depends upon the particle size. Thus. the gravitational force on a particle is related to the particle size. In
other words. the larger the particle size, the greater would be the gravitational force. '
Bonding or surface forces betwecn particlcs depend upon lhe surface area of the particles and not upon
the volume. The surface area also depends upon the particle size .. However. the surface forces become more
important only when the paticle size is small. As the particle size decreases. the effect of surface forces on
a particle becomes more predominant than the gravitational force.
The re lative magnitude of volume and the surface area can be judged if we consider, say, a cube whose
each side is 10 mm (volume = 103mm\ When the cube is subdivided into smaller cubes. the ratio of the
surface area to the volume increases, as shown in Table 6.1. The ratio increases ten thousand times when the
side of the smaller cube becomes I micron. The magnitude of the surface area per unit volume (or mass) is
known as specific l·urface.
The particles of coarsegrained soils are larger than 0.075 mm size. For such soils, the ralio of surface area
to the volume is relatively small. These soils do not possess pla~ticity and cohesion which are predominant only
when the surface forces .are large. In finegrained soils, the gravity forces are relatively insignificant compared
108 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
Surface area
S.N.
Side
Length
Number of
"be>
~rfQCe area Vofumll!! ""=e
2 J
(mm /mm )
1. 10mm 1 600 mm2 Ht'mml Q.60
2 1 rom 10' 6xlolxl 6.0
with the surface [orces. The fine~grained soils possess the plasticity characteristics depending upon the surface
area, the type of minerals and the nature of environment present around thc soil particle.
A material in which the surface forces arc predominant is known as a colloid. ll1c lenn colloid has been
derived from Greek words kolla and Didos, meaning a glucy material and alike. For colloids. the ratio of the
surface area to the volume is very large. It varies between 6(X) to las mm2/mml:r1le dayey soils with
particles smaller than 2 micron size arc generally colloidal in nature. The colloids have very large speciflc
surface.
6.3. PRIMARY VALENCE BONDS
Primary valence bonds hold togethcr the atoms of a molcrule. These are of two types:
(1) Ionic bond, (2) Covalcnt bon(1.
1. Ionic bondIn an atom, the electrons carrying a negative charge revolve about Ihe nucleus. Sane
elements have an excess or a deficiency of the electrons in the outer shell. One alom joins another alom by
adding some of the electrons to its outer shell or by losing some of electr0n5 from ilS outer shell Fer
example, an atom of sodium has an exress electron in its outer shell and an atom of dllorinc has one
deficient elearon in its outer shell. A molecule of sodium chloride is fonned by ionic bond when an atom of
sodium combines with an atom of chlorine. TIle atom which loses an ion becomes a JXl!>itive io!] (cation) and
that which gains an ion becomes a negative ion (anion). In ionic bonds, the forces bind the positive ions and
negative ions.
The number of electrons required to oomplete the first six shells individually are respectively. 2, 8, 8, i.8,
18 and 32. The total number of electrons required to oomplete are, IhereCorc , 2. 10, 18. 36, 54 and 86. The
deficiency or excess of electrons in a particular shell of an element is determined from the number of
electrons available and that required to complete the outersheU. For example,
aluminium has 13 electrons. It has an excess of 3 electrons over the second 1
shell (total 10 ekx:trons). IJkewise, oxygen whiCh has 8 electrons, lack 2 elec: ~ 0
Irons in the second shell (total 10 electrons). An atom of hydrogen has equal Ai) ~
excess and deficiency. It has only one electron which can be oonsidered either ~
as one deficient in the first shell or one excess elearon. Likewise, the alom of
silicon has 14 electrons which has equal excess and deficiency of 4 each. It has
+, ~~ 61
an excess of 4 over the second shell or a deficiency of 4 in the third shell (total
18 electrons). See lbble 6.2 for ionic structure of various elements. A.I ~
The atoms of two different elements combine to satisfy their individual ~
deficiency or excess. For example.. when aluminium and oxygen combine two ~ fl
atoms of aluminium (excess 6) combine with 3 atoms of oxygen (deficiency 6)
to form aluminium oxide (Fig. 6.1). Fig. 6.1. Aluminium oxide
CLAY MINERALOGY AND SOIL STRUCllJRE 109
2.
3.
..
Oxygen
Silicon
Aluminium
f<""",
0
Si
AJ
F,
14
!3
2
4 ..
+3
or goin one ion
5. 26 .8
6. Calcium Ca 20 .2
7. Sodium No II • I
8.
9.
Potassium
Magnesium M,
K I.
12
.1
.2
10. Chlorine CI 17 I
2. Covalent BondCovalcnl bond develops between two atoms by sharing of electrons in their outer
sheU. lWo atoms, each lacking one electron, may combine by sharing of a pair of electrons. Likewise, two
atoms, each lacking two electrons, may combine by sharing four electrons. For example. the bond between
two atoms of oxygen in a oxygen molecule is a covalent bond. Each atom Lacks 2 electrons in the outer sheU.
The two atoms bond by sharing 4 electrons in their outer sheUs. In other words, a covalent bond occurs when
there is sharing of electrons by atoms of like valence. 'The covalent bond occurs generally in clements of
negative valences or in nonelectrolytes. such as carbon. (A nonelectrolyte does not form ions).
Primary valence bonds are very strong. These do not break in normal soil engineering applications.
lbcrefore, primary valence bonds are not of much relevance in soil engineering. However, the study of ionic
structure is useful in understanding the behaviours of various atoms.
.
6.5. SECONDARY VALENCE BONDS
~
CQti"H'
Secondary valence bonds are intermolecular bonds which develop
between atoms in one molecule to atoms in another molecule. A molecule is o2 2
0

eleariC311y neutral, i.e., it has no charge. However. the construction of the
molecule may be such that the centres of Ihe negative and pooilive charges do
AnionJ
not exactly coincide. 1be molecule may behave like a small bar magnet, with
two electrical poles. Consequenlly, an electrical moment is developed inside Fig. 6.3. A Cllatioo joining
the molecule. A molecule with such a structure is called a dipole. In nature, two anions.
two dipolar molecules orient themselves in such a way that net attraction oc:cun;. The attractive forces so
developed are known as Vander Waul Forces, after Vander Wool who POOlulalcd the existence of a rommoo
attractive forces between molecules of all matters in 1873.
Vander Wanl forces develop due to anyone of the following three effects.
(1) Orientation effectThis effect
~
occurs between the oppositely charged
ends of permanent dipoles, as shown in
Fig. 6.4.
(2) Induction effect Even in a
non~polar molecule, a pole can be I+ _I
induced. When a nonpolar molecule is ;=====~
placed in an electric field, it gets
polarised and slans behaving as a
1_
'  _ _'CJ
+ I .+"
dipole. Induction effect occurs between (a) (b)
an induced pole and another dipole.
(3) Dispersion effectAs all
electrons oscillate, the centre of ~I_ __+,' ~I_ __+,I
negative charges goc:s on changing (e)
periodically. This results in the
fonnation of a temporary, fluctuating Fig. 6.4. Orienlalion Effect.
pole. Dispersion e[fect occurs between a fluctuating pole and another dipole.
As all moleaJles behave as permanent or induced or fluctuating dipoles, Vander Waal forces are always
present in molecules. These exist in all matters. TIle relative magnitude of orientation. induction and
dispersion effects in a water molecule are 77%, 4% and 19%
respectively. Thus the orientation effect is the most
predominant effect.
A common example of secondary valence bond is the
G
attractive force between molecules of water: 'Ibe water
molecules . act as a bar magnet because the positive and
negative charges are not centrally located. It may be noted
that all liquids arc not dipoles. Some of the liquids. such as
kerosene and carbon tetrachloride, are nonpolar, as shown by
@..C!)
construction in Fig. 6.5.
Vander Waa! forces also develop between the surfaces of
two parallel particles of clay mineral. separated by water. The
magnitude of the forces depend upon the distance between
the clay particles, structure of the minerals and the
characteristics of water.
The secondary val"ence bonds are relalively weak and are G
easily broken. The Vander Wanl forces play an important part
in the behaviour of clayey soils. Fig. 6.5. Nonpolar System
CU\Y MINERALOOY AND SOIL SfRUcruRE III
0
0,,,'0  : 
Oxygen
Silicon
~
4x(_21 '_ 8
6X(2).12
Net g _4
Ie) Sili ca ~heet
~
6X{'I'6
octahedron and having one aluminium atom at the centre (Fig. 6.7). As the aluminium (Ar·~ has three
positive charges, an octahedral unit has 3 negative eh.'lrges. Because of net negative charge. an octahedral unit
eannOi exist in isolation.
Several octahedral units combine to form a gibbsite sheet. Fig. 6.7 (c) shows a gibbsite sheet formed by
four octahedral units. The sheet is electrically neulral. Fig. 6.7 (d) shows a simple representation.
electrical <;ircuil containing a battery and an ammeter, there is a deflection of the needle of the ammeter. This
proves Lhat there is a flow of current through the medium. 1beoretically, a soil particle can carry either a
negative charge or positive charge. However, in aClu~ll tests. only negative charges have been measured.
The net negative charge may be due to onc or more of the following reasons.
(1) Isomorphous substitution of one alom by another of lower valency.
(2) Dissociation of hydroxyle ion (OlI) into hydrogen ions.
(3) Adsorption of anions (negative ions) on clay surface.
(4) Absence of cations (positive ions) in the lattice of the crystal.
(5) Prcsencc of organic matter.
The magnitude of Ihe electrical Charge depends on Ihe surface area of Ihe particle. It is very high in small
particles. such as colloids, which have very large surface area. A soil particle attracts the cations in the
environment to neu!!TIlise the negative charge. 'lbe phenomenon is known as adsorption. :
6.12. BASE EXCHANGE CAPACITY
The cations attracted to the negatively charged surface of the soil particles are not strongly attached.
These em ions can be replaced by Olher ions and are, therefore, known as exchangeable ions. TI1e soil particle
and the exchangeable ions make the system neutral.
11m phenomenon of replacement of cmions is called cation eXChange or base exchange. The net negative
charge on the mineral which c::m be 5.:1tisfied by eXChangeable cations is termed cationexchange capacity or
baseexchange capacity. In other words, basecxchange capacity is the capacity of the clay particles to change
the cation adsorbed on the surface,
Basccxchcmgc capaCity is expressed in teons of the total number of !JOS:ilive charges adsorbed per 100
gm of soil. 11 is measured in milliequivalent (meq). which is equal to 6 x lOw electronic charges. Thus, one
rneq per 100 gm means that 100 gm of material can exchange 6 x lOw electronic Charges if the exchangeable
ions are univalent, such as Na+. However, if the exchflngc.1ble ions are divalent, such as ea 2+, 100 gm of
m<lteriai will replace 3 x 102<1 calcium ions.
According to flnother definition, one milliequivalent (mcq) is alSo equal to one milligram of hydrogen Il'
its equivalent other material which will replace one milligram of hydrogen. For example, calcium has a
molecular weight of 40, whereas that of hydrogen is unity. However. calcium is divalent in contrast to
hydrogen which is univalent. Therefore. one mg of hydrogen is equivalent to 20 mg of calcium in base
exchange capacity. If 100 gm of a dry material adsorbs 60 mg of calcium, the base eXChange capacity of the
material is 60/20 i.e. 3 meqllOO gm.
The baseeXChange capflcity of clay depends upon the PII value of the water in the environment. If the
water is acidic (PH < 7), the baseexchange capacity is reduced.
Some cations are more strongly adsorbed than others. The adsorbed cations commonly found in soils,
arranged in a series in terms of their affinity for allraction arc as follows:
AI3+ > ea 2+ > Mg+2 :> NH; :> Ir > Na+ :> U+
For example, AI3+ calions are more strongly attracted than ea'2+ cations. '01OS Al3+ ions can replace Q,2.
ions. Likewise. ea 2+ ions can replace Na+ ions.
The base formula of the clay mineral is altered by base exchange. For example, if calcium chloride is
added to a soil containing sodium chloride. there would be an exchange of o?+ ions for Na+ ions, and the:
sodium clay would tum into the calcium clay. Thus
Sodium clay + Cl 2 = Calcium clay + NaC!.
The properties of the clay therefore (.tlange due to base eXChange.
The base eXChange capacity of the montmorillonite mineral is about 70100 meq per 100 gm. However,
that of kaolinite and illite fire respectively 4.0 and 40.0 mcq per 100 g.
6.13. DIFFUSE DOUBLE LAYER
The faces of clay minerals carry n net neg<ltivc charge. 'l11e edges of the mineral may have either positive
CLAY MINERALOGY AND SOIL srnUcruRE 115
charges or negative chargcs. The chnrgcs in clay minerals are due to molecular grouping and arrangement of
ions. The electrical charges in the minerals are responsible for their behaviour when they come in contact
with other panicles and with water prescnt in the soil. Clay deposits, because of their sedimentary nature,
always exist in the presence of water.
~ecause of the net negative charge on the surface, the clay particles attract cations, such as potassium,
calcium and sodium, from moisture present in the soil to reach an electrically balanced C<juilibrium. These
cations, in tum, attract panicles with negative charges and water dipoles.
(The engineering behaviour of coarse particles is not affected by surface electrical charges, because of
their low ratio of surface area to volume. In such soils, the gravitational forces are more important).
The plasticity characteristics of Clays are because of the unusual molecular structure of water in soil
deposits. Experiments conducted with clays using nonpolar liquid, such as kerosene, in place of water, has
shown that plasticity does not occur, and the soil behaves as a coarse.grained sands soil.
The water molecule is a dipole, since the hydrogen atoms arc not symmetrically oriented around the
oxygen atoms. The molecule acts as a bar magnet (Fig. 6.11). As the faces of clay panicles carry a negative
HYDFlJGEN _
H
0
YGEN
HYDROGE~
H/~ ~
rO'YGEN
0
+
Ce) MODEL (b) RELATIVE LDCATm eel DIPOLE
'AIo\TER MOLECULE
Fig. 6.11. Structure of a water molecule. (ul Model, (b) Relatillc location, (e) Dipole water molecule
charge, there is aHraction between the negatively Charged faces and the positive ends of dipoles [Fig. 6,12
(a)] . 1be secood mode of attraction between the water dipoles and the clay surface is through cations [Fig.
6.12 (b)]. Cations are attracted to the soil surface and waler dipoles are attached to these cations through their
o00
=000 (a)
&±!J
(b) (c)
Gl CAnON
o OIPOLE
Fig. 6.12. AltrllClion of water molecules 10 soil SwfflCe.
negative charged ends. The third possible mode by which the attraction between the water and the clay
surface occurs is by sharing of the hydrogen atom in the water molecule by hydrogen bonding between the
oxygen atoms in the clay particles aod the oxygen atoms in the waler molecules [Fig, 6.12 (e)].
The cations attracted to a clay mineral surface also try to move away from the surface because of their
thenna! energy, The nel effect of the forces due 10 attraction and thnt due 10 repulsion is that the forces of
attraction decrease exponentially with an increase in distance from the clay particles surface. The layer
extending from the clay particle surface to the limit of atlroction is known as the diffuse dQuble layer (Fig. 6.13).
It is believed that immediately surrounding Ihe panicle, there is a thin, very tightly held layer of water
about 10 A 0 thick. Beyond Ihis thickness there is a seoond layer, in which water is more mobile. This second
layer extends to the limit of attraction, and is known as diffusedouble layer (Fig. 6.13). The water held in
lhe diffusedouble layer. is known as adsorbed water or oriented water. Outside the diffuse double layer the
water is nonnal. non·oriented. The total thickness of the diffusedouble layer is about 400 A 0,
116 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
Fig. 6.14. Soil slruclUre ill sallds and silts. (a) Single Graillcd Structure, (b) HOlleyromb Slructure
Flocculent structure is fonned when there is a net attractive force between particles.
When clay panicles settle in water, deposits fanned have a flocculated structure. 'The degree of
flocculation of a clay deposit depends upon the type and concentration of clay particles, and the presence of
salts in water. Clays settling out in a sail waler solution have 3 more []occulent structure than those settling
out in a fresh water solution. Salt water acts as an electrolyte and reduces the repulsive forces between the
particles.
Soils with a flocculent structure arc light in weight and have a high void ratio and water content
However, these soils arc quite strong and can resist external forces because of a strong bond due \0 attraction
between p<,rtic1es. The soils are insensitive 10 vibrations. In general. the soils in a Oocculated structure have
a low' compressibility, a high ,penncability and a high shear strength.
(4) Dispersed StructureDispersed structure develops in clays tlmt have been reworked or remoulded.
The particles develop more or less 8 parallel orientation {Fig. 6.16 (b)l. Clay deposits with a flocculent
structure when transported 10 olher places by nature Of man get remoulded. Remoulding converts the
edge·toface orientation to facetoface orientation. The dispersed structure is fonned in nature when there is
a net repulSive force between particles.
'The soils in dispersed structure generally have a low she~r strength, high compressibility and low
permeabilily. Remoulding causes a loss of strength in a cohesive soil. With the passage of time, however, the
soil may regain some of its lost strength. Due to remoulding, the chemical equilibrium of the particles and
associated adsorbed ions and water molecules within the double layer is disturbed. The soil regains strength
as a result of re estoolishing a degree of chemical equilibrium. This phenomenon of regain of strength with the
passage of time, with no change in water content., is known as thixotropy, as already disaJssed in chapter 4.
(5) Coarsegrained SkeletonA coarsegrained skeleta'i'! 'is a composite structure which is formed when
the soil contains particles of different types. When the amount of bulky, cohesionlcss particles is large
compared with that of finegrained clayey
particles. the bulky grains in
particletoparticle contact. These pmticles
fonn a framework or skeleton {Fig. 6.17 (a)].
The space between the bulky grains is
occupied by clayey particles, known as
binders. In nature, the bulky grains are
deposited first during sedimentation and the
binder is subsequently deposited.
As long as the soil structure is not Fig. 6.17. Composite SlrUcture (a).coRJSe Grnind Skeltion,
disturbed, a coorscgr<lined skeleton can take (b) Clay MafIix
heavy loads without much deformations. However. when the structure is disturbed, tbe load is transferred
from the coarse.grained particles to clayey particles, and Ihe supporting power and the stability of the soil is
considerably reduced.
(6) ClayMatrix Structu~laymatrix structure is also a composite structure fonned by soils of
different types. However. in this case, the amount of clay particles is very large as compared with bulky,
coarse grained particles [Fig. 6.17 (b)]. The clay forms a matrix in which bulky grains appear floating
without touching one another.
The soils with a Claymatrix structure have almost the same properties as Clay. Their behaviour is similar
to that of an ordinary clay deposit. However. they are more stable, as disturbance has very little effect on the
soil formation with a claymatrix structure.
PROBLEMS
A. Numerical
6.1. A dry mineral has a mass of 100 gm and adsorbs 50 mg of catcium. Determine its base exchange capacity.
(Ans. 2.5 meg per 100 mgJ
CLAY MI NERALOGY AND SO IL STRUCTURE 119
63. What arc primary valent"\: bonds'! What is their imponancc m soil engmccring '!
6.4. What do you undcrl>t,md by hydrogen bond? Give examples.
6.5. Wh:lI arc secondary valence bonds'! Wrile a shorl nOle on Vander W331 forces.
6.6. Describe the constitution of the two basic structuml units rcqulft'(l in Ihe formation of clay minerals. Are these
ele<:trically nCUlr:Il?
6.7. Discuss the charactcri~l1cs and the construction of Kaolinite. Montmorillonite and Illite mineral groups.
6.8. Write ~hon n(lte~ nn:
(I) Base exchlmge capacity. (ii) lsomorphollssubstitution.
(iii) Electricnl double I.lyer (il') Adsorbed water
6.9. What arc ditfcrent types ot soil Slnlctures which can occur in mllure ·1 Describe is brief.
6.10. STate whet hcr the followlllg statements arc InIC Of fillse.
(a) The l11 il1(:nl l qU:lrtz b electrically act ive.
(b) T he clay minerab li re rcspt.ll1sib le for plaslicty chnrnclC rislics of ~oi l s.
(e) T he hydrogcn hond is stronger than secondary v~tl c n ce bo nds.
(d) I SI' l11orJlhou~ ~ubstillition docs not change the electrical ct13rg<::
(1') The soib containing. thc minerallmlloyshe have .1 high unit weight.
if) The miner'll !l\ulllmurillu11I tC. cause.> excessive swclhng and shrinkage.
l1:) The nd~urbeJ water imparts phlsticity to SOils.
(II) Honeycomb ~tructure occur~ in clayey soils.
(0 Remouldcd tinegrainoo soils have a tlocculat<!d structUI"C. fA ns. T rue. (b). (e). (j). (g)]
C. MultipleChoice Questions.
1. The behaviour of clay h govemed by
((I) Mass energy (b) Surf:lCe energy
(e) Both (a) and (b) ((/) Nei lher (a) and (b)
2. Honeycombed strut:turc 1~ found in
(a) Gravels (b) Co.lfSC sands
(e) Fi ne ~ands :U1d SIltS (fl) day
3. TIle weakest bond ill ~otl~ I~
(11) Ionic bond (b) Covalent bond
Ie) Hydrogen bond (tf) SecondJry valance bond
4. All O~'lahedrJl unit ha~
(a) Pour neg: llIvc charges (b) Thrcc negative c!mrgc.~
(e) One Il<::galive (If) No negative charge
5. In illi t<:: mineral. Ihebond be twecnstructural u11itsis
\a) Hyd ro;:cn bo nd (b) PQt ~l ssi um i011 bo nd
(e) Water l11ok.cu lcs bond (tI) COV:l1e11l bond
6. The plas ticity charJcteri~lics of clays arc due 10
(f/) Adsorbed water (b) Free watcr
(r) CapI llary wmer (tI) None of above
7. In tine l>:tnds and ~ihs, the most common type structure is
(II) Smg!c grained (b) Honey comb
(c) Flucculated (II) Disperred
H. The base cxc!mnj,lc l·apacity of lhe mineral montmorrillonite is .. buul
(/1) 70 mtqI1QO g (b) 700 mav l OO g .
(c) 7 meql100 g {(/) 40 meqf l OO g
~_ J~1~1~~m~W~~7m8~
7
Capillary Water
The forces tend to reduce the surface area of the airliquid surface to a minimum. The surface assumes a
curved shape to maintain equilibrium. 'l11e intcrfHcc behaves like a stretched membrane or a skin. The surface
tension exists at the interface. Surface tension is defined as the force per urut length of a line drawn on the
surface. It acts in the direction normal to that line. The surface tension of water at normal temperature is
about 0.073 N/m at 20°C. It decreases with an increase in temperature.
It is because of surface tension that a smaU needle can float on water, and insects can walk on it.
7 Capillary water exists in soils so long as there is an airwater interface. As soon as the soil is submerged
under water, the interface is destroyed, and the capiUary water becomes norma~ free water. The capillary
water is always under tension (negative pressure). However, the properties of the capillary water are the same
r as that of normal, free water.
7.3. CAPILLARY IUSE IN SMALL DIAMETER TUBES
Water rises in small diameter, capillary tubes, beatuse of adhesion and cohesion. Adhesion occurs
because water adheres or sticks to the solid walls of the tube. Cohesion is due to mutual attraction of water
molecules. If the effect of cohesion is less significant than the effect of adhesion, tbe liquid wets the surface
and the liquid rises 1lI the point of contne. However, if the effect of cohesion is more predominant than
adhesion, the liquid level is depressed at the point of contact, as in the case of mercury.
If a glass tube of small diameter. open at both ends, is lowered into water, the water level rises in
the lube, as the water wets the tube. Let 8 be the angle of contact between the water and the wall of the
tube [Fig. 7.2 (a)].
T, r,
'b) ,01
Fig. 7.2. Capillary Rise
F" = Upward pull due to surface tension = (1~ cos 8) 1td
where T, = surface tension and d diameter of the tube.
F" = Downward force due to mass of water in the tube
_ y.(,/4 d') x h.
where h~ = height of capillary rise.
For equilibrium, F"  Fd
(T.cos9) xd _ y.(xl4d')h.
41~cos8 4 T,cos 9
h.  :;::;t"  KP.:d ... (7.1)
For a clean glass tube and pure water, the meniscus is approximately hemispherical, ie. 8 = O. 1berefore,
122 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
!l F
Ca)
The capillary tension, therefore, varies linearly with the height of point above the water surface, as shown
in Fig. 7.4 (b). The pressure al point F below the waler surface is, of course, positive (hydrostatic).
As the capillary tube is open to atmosphere, the pressure at point A above the meniscus is atmospheric,
i.e. zero. Therefore, the pressure difference across the two sides of the meniscus is equal 10 "twhe. The
pressure difference is also known as pressure deficiency (P").
Thus p" .. "tw h~
Substituting the value of he from Eq. 7.2,
P
"  y. (4T,) 4T,
y.d  d ...(7.5)
If the meniscus is not herni·spherical and it has diameters d 1 and ~ in two orthogonal di.red.ions, it can
be shown that
p.'d;+d;
" T ( 2 2) ... (7.6)
Capillary water can be likened to hanging of a weight 10 the inside walls of a chimney. The walls of the
chimney support the load and transfer it as reaction to the base. The weight causes compressive stresses in
the walls of the chimney. In a similar manner, the capillary water causes compression in the walls of the gJa<;s
tube. The compressive force (F) is equal to the weight of suspended column of water.
F  (~h,) y. .. :(7.7)
The compressive stress in the wall of the tube can be determined from the contact area and the
compressive force. The compressive stress is constant in the entire height he of the tube.
results of capillary rise in circular tubes arc useful for understanding the phenomenon of capiUary rise in soils.
The channels formed in the soil arc a sort of capillary lubes of varying diameter but not necessarily vertical.
These capillary tubes may be inclined in any direction.
Capillary rise in soils depends upon the size and grading of the particles. The diameter (d) of the
channels in pore passage depends upon the diameter of the particle. It is generally taken as one·fifth of tbe
effect:~diameler (D10)d::;: ooan;e.grained soils. ffkSQI<.'.W/k.w;;:x:...'VX~~~V
~
opposite Corce induced at the points of contacts which
presses the particles together. The contact pressure
depends upon the water content, particle size. angle of
conlaCt and density of packing. The contact pressure .
dccrcascs as the water cootenl increases because of an Fig. 7.6.
increase of radius of meniscus. EventuaUy, a stage is reached when the contact pressure becomes zero as sooo
as the soil becomes fully saturated.
Terzaghi and Peck (1948) gave a relationship between the maximum height of capillary fringe and the
effective size, as
0~~ .. ~
where C = constant, depending upon the shape of the grain and impurities.
~ = void mtio.
DlO = effective diameter, the size corresponding to 10% percentage finer.
If D IO is in mm, the value of C varies between 10 to 50 mm 2, and the height (h)max is also given in mm.
If D IO and «ht)mu are in centimeters, C = 0.1 to 0.5 an 2•
Table 7.1 gives representative heights of capillary rise in different soils.
Thble 7.1. Representative Heights or Capillary RIse
S.No . SoU Type Capillary rise(m)
1. fine gravel 0.02 to 0.10
2 Coo",,,,,,, 0.10 to 0.1S
3. Fine sand 0.30 to 1.00
4. Silt 1.0 to to.O
s. C.y 10.0 to 30.0
6. Colloid more than 30.0
CAPIUARY WATER 125
height of water column  ~~ _ 10.2 m and lJI  10.2 )( 9.81  100 kJ/kg]
It is worth noting that the capillary potential is always negative. The maximum possible value of '" is
equal to zero when the soil tension is zero, which occurs when the water is at atmospheric pressure. As the
water content in the soil decreases, the tension increases. This causes a decrease in capillary potential. The
capillary potential is minimum when the water rontent is minimum .
Water in the capillary fringe is seldom under equilibrium. It moves from a region of high potential (more
water content) to a region of low potential (less water COIllent). The water starts moving as soon as the
suction equilibrium is disturbed either due to evaporatioo of water or due to an increase in water content. The
velocity of the capillary water is given by
v _ k" . is ... (7.10)
where k" = coefficient of unsaturated permeability,
i, = suction gradient, which is equal to the potential difference per unit length.
7.8. CAPILLARY TENSION DURING DRYING AND WETIlNG OF SOILS
Capillary tension develops not only in the soils abOve the water table but also in a soil when its water
CODlent is reduced. When the water content of a saturated soil is reduced by drying, the water recedes into
the interstices of the soil and (onos menisci. As the water content is reduced further, the menisci recede. The
radii of curvature decrease, and there is a rorresponding increase in soil suction.
Fig. 7.7 shows the relationship between the soil suction and the water conlent of a soil. The suctioo at a
particular water content is more when the soil is drying than when the soil is wetling, and a hysterisis loop
is formed. The reason for the differenrx in soil suction is that during drying the release of water [rom the
larger pores is controlled by the surrounding smaller pores, whereas during welting it is not controlled by the
smaller pores. The phenomenon is somewhat sUn ilar to the flow of capillary water in tubes of non uniform
diameter discussed in Sect 73. The process of drying is analogous to the flow of water in the downward
direction, in which the capillary rise does not depend upon the larger diameter of the bulb.
126 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
h  ~
2. (TTT~ ... (1.12)
128 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDA110N ENGINEERING
where h = soil suction. expressed in terms of the height of water column (log h _ PI')'
0> = rotational speed (rndinns per serond)
'1 = radial distance from the centre of rotation to the water table
'2 = radial distance from the centre of rotation to the middle of the soil sample.
The test is conducted at various speeds to obtain a relationship between the water content and the soil
suction.
The centrifuge method can be used for determination of very high suctions, of the order of several
thousands of kN/m 2• For accurate results, thin samples shaD be used. If the sample is relalive!y thick, it is
subjected to an additional overburden pressure due to its own weight and erroneous results are obtained.
' .lI. FROST IlEAVE
The water which migrates upward from the water table to the capillary fringe may freeze if the
atmospheric temperature falls to the freezing point, and the i~ is formed. This results in an increase in the
volume of soil, because when water is ronverted into ice. 1here is about 9% increase in its volume. If the
porosity of the soil is 45% and the soil is sUlumted. the expansion of the soil would be (0.09 x 45) = 4.05%.
In other words, there would be a hc.'lve of about 4 cm in every one metre thickness of the soil deposit. Due
to frost heave, the soil at the ground surface is JiCted. This may cause the lining of light structure... built on
the ground.
The frost heave observed in most of the soils is much more thun a hc..'lve of about 4 cm (ler metre. This
is due to the foct that when the ice lenses are formed in the soil due to freezing of water, the water film from
the adjacent soil panicles is also removed. This disturbs soil suction equilibrium and more water is drawn up
from the water table by capillary action to replenish the water deprived by the ice lenses from the soil
particles (Fig. 7.11). This process may cause a frost heave of 20 \030% of the soil depth.
G.$.
Shrinkage is due to tension in soil water. When tension (negative pressure) develops in water,
compressive forces act on the solid particle. The compressive forces induced in the solid particles are similar
to those induced in the walls of the capillary lube discussed in Sect. 7.4. When the water content of a soil
mass reduces due to eV8lX'ration, the meniscus
retreats. This causes oompression of the solid
particles and hence a reduction in the volume
of the soil mass.
The Strc5SCS in pore water during
shrinkage can be studied from the capillary
tube analogy (Sect. 7.4). Let us consider a soil
mass consisting of spherical. solid particles,
shown in Fig. 7.13. When the capillary spaces . .
bclween the particles are completely filled Fig. 7.13. RClreahng or Mcmscus.
with water, the menisrus forms a plane surface, as indicated by 11. The tension in water is zero. As
evaporatjoo takes place, water is removed from the free surface and the meniscus retreats to the position 2~2.
This process causc.s tension in the water and corresponding oomprcssive fo~ces on the solid grains. The
tension developed depends upon the radius of the menisc..'Us.
With further evaporation. the meniscus retrc.'lts to position 33 and the rndius decreases. This increases
t.he compressive forces acting on the solid particles. Eventually, when the meniscus attains the minimum
radius. shown by position 44. it is fully developed and the compressive forces induced are maximum. Funher
recession of the meniscus docs nOI incremre the compressive forces, as there are n6 pores of smaller radius.
The lower limit of the volume occurs HI the shrinkage limit. At the shrinkage limit. the soil is still
saturated, but there is no free water at the soil surface. Further drying docs not cause a reduction in its
volume as the soil resistance exceeds the compressive forces. As soon as tbe shrinkage limit is reached, the
surface becomes dry. It is indicated by a change in the oolour of the soil surface to a lighter shade.
There may be a small addition.'li shrinkage after the shrinkage limit, but this is usually ignored.
,I
Swelling When water is added to clayey soil which had shrunk by evaporatioo of the pore water, the
menisci arc destroyed. The tension in soil water becomes zero. lbe compressive forces between the solid
particles reduce considerably. Hnd clastic expansion of the soil mass occurs and this causes some swelling.
However swelling mainly occurs due to attraction of dipolar molecules of water to the negatively charged soil
particles. The swelling also depend.. upon a number of other factors, such as mutual repulsion of clay
particles and their adsorbed layers and the expansion of entrnpped air. The mechanism of swelling is much
more complex than that of shrinkage.
ElTects or Shrinkage ond Swelling or Soils
Shrinkage and swelling crc.'lte many problems. as discussed below.
(1) Shrinkage and swelling cause the deformations and stresses in the structures resting on or in the soil.
(2) High swelling pressures develop if the soil has an aa.:ess to water, but is prevented from swelling.
The light strud1!res may be lifted if the swelling pressure ·is excessive.
(3) In semi·arid regions. the clay near the ground surface is subjected to shrinkage during dry periods
and the cracks are formed. During wet periods, the clay swells and the cracks are closed. This
process of the formation and closing of the crocks may cause the development of fissures in soils.
(4) If silt particles drop into the shrinkage cracks formed behind the retaining wall, particles later swell
and force the rctaining wall out of thc plumb. It may cause the failure of the wall if it had not been
properly designed to resist the pre:ssure so developed.
(5) If the soil below the pavements has high Shrinkage and swelling properties, it creates the problems
in the maintenance of highways and runways.
7.15. SlAKING OF ClAY
When a clay that had been dried well below the shrinkage limit is suddenly immersed in water, it
CAPILLARY WATER
~
When the soil dries to a water content lower than
the shrinkage limit. some of the voids gel filled with air
VOIDS FILLED
WITH AIR
(Fig. 7.14). Water enters these airfilled voids when the
'sOil is immersed in water. Jhis causes an explosion of SATURATED VOIDS
the voids, and therefore disintegration of soil occurs.
According to another interpretation. when water Fig. 7.14. Slaking of Clay.
cnler.; the pores. it forms menisci which react against the air in the void. 1be entrapped air is subjecled to
very high pressure and the soil mass disintegrates.
7.[6. nULKJNG OF SAND
if ~I damp sand is loosely dejXISited. its volume is much more than that when the same sand is deposited
in a loose. dry slate. TIle phenomenon of increase in volume of sand due to dampness is known as bulking
of sand.
In damped Slate, cohesion develops between the particles due to capillary water. The cohesion prevents
lhe particles from taking a stable position. A SOrt of honeycomb structure is formed. The effect is
predominant when the waler content is between 4 to 5%. The increase in volume due to bulking is between
20 10 30% for most s.1Ods.
If the damp sand is smurated by adding more water, the effect of capillary action is eliminated and the
volume of the sand mass is decreased.
7.l3. CAPILlARY SIPHONING
In an eanh dam with an impervious core. capillary siphoning may occur (Fig. 7.15). 1be water rises in
tile outer shell due to capillary action. If the crest <top level) of the impervious core is in the rellch of
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
llIustrative Example 7.1. What is the negative pressure in the water just below the meniscus in a
capillary tube of diwlleter 0.1111111 filled with watet, The surface tension is 0.075 Nlm and wetting angle is 10
degrees. .
Solution. From Eq. 7.1.
4 T. cos e 4 )( 0.075 )( 0.9848 .. 0.301 m
hr .. gp:;J .. 9.81 )( 1000 x 0.1 )( 103
lJIustmllve Example 7.2. Estimate the cnpillQry rise in a soil with a void ratio 0/0.60 and an effective
size of 0.01 mn!. Take C = 15 mm2,
Solution. From Eq. 7.8,
he" e;lo"
0.6 !50 .01 .. 2500 mm .. 205m
illustrative Example 7:3. The PF of a soil is 2.50. Determine the capillary potential of the soiL
Solution. Soli suction .. (10)2.5 .. 316.23 an .. 3.1623 m
Capillary potential ..  3.1623 x 9.81 )C tal N/m'
..  31.02 kN/m2
Dlustratlve Example 7.4. The capillary rise in a soil A with an effective size of 0.02 mm was 6() em.
Estimate the capillary rise in a similar soil B wilh an effective size of 0.04 mm.
(h,h (D",),
Solution. From Eq. 7.8,
(h,), • (D",h
PROBLEMS
A, Numeriall
..
7.1 ~~~~ ~!,~~~a2 r~l ~~, sandy soil which has a void ralio of 0.65 and the effective Si~:::' ~~~~l~i
7.2. The effective size of a soil Is 0,015 mm. Estimate the height of capillary rise. Take surface tension as
0.074 N/m. [Aos. 10 m]
7.3. ;,~~f~~~~e maximum capillary tension for a capillary tube 'of 0.1 mm diameter, Take s[1~~ ;~o:;m~
7.4. The glass vessel shown in fig. P 7.4 is filled with water. It hns two holes of diameter 0.01 em and 0.03 ern as
shown. If a fully developed meniscus is formed in the upper hole, determine the height h of the wall of the
vesseL [Aos. 20.27 em]
7.5. In Prob, 7.4, if both the holes ore of the some diametcr, equal to 0.Q1 em, determine the cont9Ct angle in the
lower hole if that in the upper hole is zero and h ;; 20,27 an, [ARS. 70.54"1
n. Descriptive and O~edlve Type
7.6. Whnl are different CDtegories of soil Wtltcr ? Dc:saibc in brief,
7.7, Discuss the phenomenon of capillnry rise in soils. What are the factors that effect the height of capillary zone?
7.8. What is soil suaion ? How is it measured? What are the factors thaI affectloH sualon?
CAPILLARY WATER 133
Th
Fig. P.7.4
7.9. Differentiat!! bl!tween frost heave and frost boil. Whm is their tHect on soils? How frost actiun can be
prevented ?
7.1D. Write a note on shrinkage and swelling of soils.
7.11. Discuss the phenomena of slaking and bulking.
8.1. INTRODUCTION
A material is porous if it contains inlenitices. The porous material is permeable if the interstices are
interconnected or continuous. A liquid can flow through a permeable material. Electron photomicrographs of
even very fine clays indicate that the interstices are interconnected. However. the size, cross· seaian, and
orientation of the interstires in diITerent soils arc highly variable. In general. all the soils arc permeable.
The property of a soil which permitS flow of water (or any other liquid) through it, is calkd the
penneability._In other words, the permeability is the ease with which water can flow through it. A soil is
highly pervious when water can now through il easily. In an impervious soil. the permeability is very low and
water cannot easily now through it. A completely impervious soil does nOI pennit the water to flow through
it. However. such completely impervious soils do not exist in nature. as all the soils arc pervious to some
degree. A soil is termed impervious when the permeability is extremely low.
Permeability is a very important engineering property of soils. A knowledge of permeability is essential
in a number of soil engineering problems. suCh as settlement of buildings, yield of wells. seepage through and
below the earth structures. It controls the hydraulic stability of soil masses. The permeability of soils is also
rrquircd in the design of filters used 10 prevent piping in hydraulic structures.
As mentioned in chapter 7, free water or gravitational water flows through soils under the influence of
gravity. Flow of free water depends upon the permeability of the soil and the head causing flow. This chapter
deals with Darcy's law for flow of water, the methods for the determination of permeability and the [adors
affecting the permeability of soils. further details of flow o[ water and seepage problems are discussed in the
next chap{er.
8.2. HYDRAULIC HEAD
'The total head at any point in a flowing fluid is equal to the sum of the elevation (or datum) head, the
pressure head and the velocity head. The elevation head (l) is equal to the vertical distance of the point above
the datum. The pressure head (ply..,) is equal to the head indicated by a piezometer with its tip at that point.
The velocity head is equal to ';ng. However, [or now o[water through soils. as the velocity (v) is extremely
small, the velocity head is neglected. Therefore, the total head o[ water in soil engineering problems is equal
10 the sum o[ the elevation head and the pressure head. for flow problems in soils, the downstream water
level is generally taken a'i datum. The piezometric level is the water level shown by a piezometer inserted at
that point. l'he line joining the piezometric levels at various points is called a piezometric surface. The
piezometric surface also represents the hydraulic gradient Hnc (HGL). The sum o[ the pressure head and the
elevation head is known as the piezometric head.
Fig. 8.1 shows two vessels A and B containing water at different levels and connected by a small lube
containing soil sample. Let the length of the tube be L. lbe flow takes place [rom the vessel A with a high
head to the vessel B with a low head through the tube. With datum at the water level in the vessel B. the
PERMEABlLTfY OF SOILS
e IZ hZ h'
,f
d
Fig. 8.1. Variolti I·[eads.
,e elevation head, the pressure head and the total hcad at three points I, 2 and 3 are also shown in the figure.
is
The total head at point 1 is h and that at point 3 is zero. llle head h is known as the hydraulic head. It is
d equal to the difference in the elevations of water levels at the entry and exit points in a soil mass. Obviously,
;h it is equal to the loss of head through thc soil. Thc hydraulic head is also known as the effective head.
The loss of head per unit length of flow throujllhc soil is equal to the hydraulic gradient (I),
al
i _ hl L .. (8.1)
,d whcre h hydraulic head. and L = lcngth of the soil specimen.
The variation of head at various points is represented by the line CD, known as the hydraulic gradient
linc (H.G.L.) or pressure gradient line. If a piezometcr is inserted at any intcnnediate point 2, the water will
of rise upto the level of the hydraulic gradient line at that point. The line CD. therefore, represents a piezometric
,.
surface. It is generally assumed thai the loss of head over the length of the soil sample is uniform and,
therefore, the variation of head is linear.
83. DARCY'S lAW
The flow of free water through soil is governed by Darcy's law. In 1856, Darcy demonstrated
experimentally that for laminar flow in a homogcneous soil, the velocity of now (v) is given by
he v _ ki ... (8.2)
ye where k = coofficient of penneability, i = hydraulic gradient.
ilt.
The velocity of flow is also known as the discharge velocity or the. superficial velocity.
:ly
Eq. 8.2 is known as Darcy's law, which is one of the comcr stones of soil engineering. The discharge q
",I
is ootaioed by multiplying the velocity of flow (v) by the total cross· sectional area of soil (A) nonnal to the
tor d.iredion of flow. Thus
al
q _ vA  kiA ... (8.3)
'he
he The area A includes both tbe solidS and the voids.
The coetrJcient of permeability can be defined using Eq. 8.2. If the hydraulic gradient is unity, the
,be coefficient of permeability is equal to the velocity of flow. In other words. the coefficient of penneability is
defined as the velocity of flow which would occur under unit hydraulic gradient. The coefficient of
.gIl
Ihe permeability has the dimensions of velocity [Ln]. It is measured in mmtscc. cmlsee. m/sec, m/day or other
velocity units. The coefficient of penneability depends upon the particle size and upon many other faaors as
136 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
explained later. Table 8.1 gives the typical values of the cocflkicnt of permeability of different soils.
Thble 8.1. 1yplcal Values of the Coefficient of Permeability
Coefficient of
Soil Type penneabilily Drainage
S. No.
(mmlsec) properties
Cleangruvel to+ 1 to 10+2 Very good
to 10+1
..
2 Coarse and medium sands 10 2 Good
Fine sonds, loose sill 10 10 10 2 Fair
4. Dense silt, clayey sillS 1O~ 10 104 p"",
5. Silty day, day 103 to 105 Very poor
According to USBR, the soils having the coefficient of permeability greater than 103 mmJsec are
classified as pervious and those with a value less than 105 mm/sec as impervious. The soils with the
coefficient of permeability between 105 10 103 mm/sec arc designated as semipervious.
8.4. VALIDITY OF DAI~CY'S lAW
Darcy's taw is valid if the flow through soils is laminar. 'Inc now of water through soils depends upon
the dimension of interstic.::cs. which, in tum, depend upon the particle size. In finegrained soils, the dimensions of
the interstices are very small and the flow is necessarily laminar. In coarsegrained soils, the flow is also
generally laminar. However, in very coarsegrained soils, such as coarse grdvels, the flow may be turbulent.
For flow of water through pipes, the flow is laminar when the ReynOlds number is less than 2000.
For flow through soils, it bas been found that the now is laminar if the Reynolds number is less than
unity. For now through soits, the characteristic length in the Reynolds number is taken as the average
particle diameter (D).
Thus
(0) Laboratory Methods. 'Ibc coefficient of permeability of a soil sample can be determined by the
following methods :
(I) Constanthead penneability test
(il) Variablebead permeability test.
1lle instruments used are known as permeameters. The fonner lest is suitable for relalh1cly more pervious
soils, and the latter for less pervious soils.
(b) Field Methods. l11e coefficient of permeability of a soil deposit insitu conditions can be delCrmined
by the following fields methods :
(I) PumpingOUl tests.
(il) Pumpingin tesls.
The pumpingoul tests influence a large area around the pumping well and give an overall value of the
coefficient of permeability of the soil deposit. The pumpingin Icst innucnces a small area around the hole
and therefore gives n value of the coefficient of permeability of the soil surrounding the hole.
(e) indirect Methods. The coefficient of permeability of the soil can also be determined indirectly from
the soil parameters by
(I) Computation from the particle size or its specific surface,
(it) Computation from the consolidation test data.
The first method is used if the partiCle size is known. The second method is used when the coefficient
of volume change has been determined from the consolidation test on the soil.
(d) CaplllurltyPenneubility test. The coefficient of permeability of an unsaturated soil can be
determined by the capillaritypermeability test (Sect.. 8.16).
8.6. CONSTANT IIEAD PERMEABILITY TEST
The coefficient of permeability of a relatively
more permeable soil can be dClcnnined in a
laboratory by the conslanthead permeability test.
The test is conducted in an instrument known as
constanthe3d permeameter. It consists of a metallic
mould, 100 mm internal diameter, 1273 mm
effeaive height and 1000 ml capacity aocording 10
IS : 2720 (part XVII). The mould is provided with
a detachable extension collar, 100 mm diameter and
60 mm high, required during compaction of soil.
The mould is provided with a drainage base plate
I h
It is essential thai the sample is fully saturated. This is done by one of the following three methods.
(l) By pouring the soil in the pcrmeameter filled with water and thus depositing the soil under water.
(il) By allowing water to flow upward from the base to the top after the soil has been plaoed in the
mould. 1ltis is done by attaching the COrlStanthead reservoir to the drainage base. The upward flow
is maintained for sufficicnt lime till aU the air has been expelled out.
(iit) Dy applying a vacuum pressure of about 700 mm of mercury through the drainage cap for about 15
minutes after closing the drainage valve. Then the soil is saturated by allowing dCllired water to enler
from the drainage base. 1be airrelease valve is kept open during saturation process.
After the soil sample has becn saturated. the oonstanthead reservoir is connected to the drainage cap.
Water is allowed to flow out from the drainage base for some time till a steadystalc is established. The water
level in the constanthead chamber in which the mould is placed is kept constant. The chamber is filled to the
brim at the stan of thc experiment. The water which enters the chamber aner flowing through the sample
spills over the chamber and is collected in a graduated jar for a convenient period. The head causing now (h)
is equal 10 the difference in water levels between the constanthead reservoir and the constantbead chamber.
If the crosssectional area of the specimen is A, the discharge is given by (Eq. 8.3)
q .. kiA
q k~A
k_ ~ ... (8~)
where L ::; length of specimen, h "" head causing flow.
The discharge q is equal to the volume of waler collected divided by time.
The finer particles of the soil specimen have a tendency to migrate towards the end faces when water
flows through it. This results in the formation of a filler skin at the ends. The coefficient of permeability of
these end portions is quite different from that of the middle portion. For more accurate resUlts, it would be
preferable to measure the loss of head hi over a length L' in the middle to determine the hydraulic gradient
(I). Thus i_hilL'.
The temperature of the permeating water should be preferably somewhat higher than that of the soil
sample. This will prevent relea<;e of the air during the test. It also helps in removing the entrapped air in the
pores of the soil. As the water cools, it has a tendency to absorb air.
To reduce the chana:s of formation of large voids al points where the particles of the soil touch tbe
permeameter walls, the diameter of the perrneamcter is kept at team 15 to 20 times the particles size.
To increase the ratc of flow for the soils of low permeability. a gas under pressure is appUed to tbe
surface of water in the constanthead reservoir. The total head causing flow in that case increases to
(h + ply",,), where p is pressure applied.
The bulk density of the soil In the mould may be determined from the mass of the soil in the mould and
its volume. The bulk density should be equal 10 that in the field. The undisturbed sample can also be used
instead of the compacled sample. For accurate results, the specimen should have the same structure as in
natural oonditions.
(See Oiapter 30, Sect. 30.13 for the laboratory experiment).
The const.ant had permeability test is suitable for clean sand and gravel with k > 10 2 mmJsec.
8.7. VARIABLElIEAD PERMEABILfIY TEST
For relatively .less permeable soils, the quantity of water collected in the groduated jar of the
constanthead permeability test is very small and cannot be measured accurately. For such soils, the
variablehead permeability test is used. The permeameter mould is the same as that used in the oonstanthead
permeabiUty test A vertical, graduated stand pipe of known diameter is fitted to the lOp of penneameter:The
sample is placed between two porous discs. The whole assemblX is placed in a conslant head chamber filled
with water to the brim at the start of Ihe test. F)g. 8.3 shows a schematic sketch. 1be porous discs and waia
PERMEABILITY OF SOILS 139
1I STANO PJPE
from the drainage base when under vacuum. When the soil is
saturated, both the top and bonom outlets are c100ed. The
standpipe is filled with water to the required heighL
The test is staned by allowing the water in the stand pipe to
flow through the sample to the ronstanthead chamber from which
h,
112
h
h
SAMPLI
it overflows and spills out. As the water flows through the soil,
the water level in the standpipe falls. 1be lime required for the
water level to fall from a known initial head (h t) 10 a koown final
head (hi) is determined. The head is measured with reference to
the level of water in the constant head chamber.
Let us ronsidcr the instant when the head is h. For the
infinitesimal smalltime dt, the head falls by tIh. Let the discharge
through the samplc be q. From continuity of flow,
adh _ qdt
whcre a is cr06Sscctional area of the standpipe. Fig. 8.3. Variabte Head PermeamelC r.
or adh(Axkx,)xdt
adh....4.kx~xdl
A Icdt dh
;Lh
,uj' !: ~
*
Jntegrating, dl_
aL IJ  10, h
where t _ (12 11), the time intcrval during which the bead reduces from hi to h'2'
Eq. 8.6 is sometimes writtcn as
... (8.7)
The rate of fall of water level in the stand pipe and the rate of flow can be adjusted by changing the area
of the crossseajon of the standpipe. The smaller diameter pipes are required for less pervious soils.
The coefficient of penneability is reported at 27°C as per IS : 2720 (Part XVII). The void ratio of the
soil is also general1y detennined.
The variable head penneameter is suitable for very fine sand and silt with k ::: 10 '2 to 105 mm/scC.
(See Cllapter 30, Sect. 30. 14 for the laboratory experiment).
Somelimes, the permeability test is conducted using the ronsolidomeler instead of the permeametet
140 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
mould (see chapter 12). The fixedring consolidometer is used a<; a variablehead permeametcr by attaching a
stand pipe to its base.
8.8. SEEPAGE VELOCITY
The discharge velocity v in Eq. 8.2 is not the actua1 velocity through the interstices of the soil. It is a
fictitious velocity obtained by dividing the total discharge (q) by the total crosssectional area (A.). The total
CfOSS sectional area consists of not only the voids but also the solids. As the flow can take place only
through voids, the actual velocity through the voids is much greater than the discharge velocity. TIle actual
velocity on a macroscopic scale is known as the seepage velocity (vs).
r 1
~T~r
~l~l
iA1
(.) (b)
Fig. 8.4. Seepage Velocity
Fig. 8.4 (a) shows the longitudinal seaion through a soil sample in which the voids and the solid
particles are segregated. However, it must be clearly understood that the voids and solids in actual soils fonn
a complex system and it is not possible to segregate them . From the oontinuity of flow.
q  vA _ v,A .. ... (.)
where A., is the area of flow through voids and v, is the actual seepage velocity.
From Eq. (a). v,  v x (A/A.~)
Multiplying the numerator and denominator by the length (L) of the specimen,
v,  v x (:. : i) ...(b)
The product (A x L) is equal 10 the lota1 volume V and the prodLKi (A .. x L), equal to Ihe volume of
voids (V.) [Fig. 8.4 (0)].
V
There[ore, v,  v x 'Y:' ... (0)
As the ratio V,IV is equal to the porosity,
v
v _
, n ... (8.8)
In other words, tlie seepage velocity is equal to the discharge velocity divided by porosity.
Strictly speaking, the seepage velocity is not be absolute velocity through the interstices. The interstices
are tortuous and irregular in cross·section and cannot be represented as shown in Fig. 8.4 (a). The absolute
velocity varies from point to point. Its direttion may also change and, at times, i! may be directly opposite to
the general direction of flow. In fact, the problem is so complex that an analysis based on the absolute
velocity is not possible. Although on the microscopic scale, the flow path is tortuous, on a macroscopic scale,
it can be considered as a straight line. The seepage velocity can be taken a'> the maC'OSa>pic velocity at which
the line of wetting progresses in the direction of flow. ObviOUSly, it is not equal to the absolute velocity as
the water flows not in a straight line but it detours around solid particles. Fortunately, the absolute velocity is
not of much practical use in soil engineering. lbe geotechnical engineer is interested in the macroscopic
behaviour of the soil aDd not in its microscopic behaviour.
The total discharge can be computed using either the discharge velocity (v) or the seepage velocity (VI).
The discharge velocity is more convenient and is commonly used in soil engineering. In this text, when the
tcnn velocity is used without any qualification, it means discharge velocity.
8.9. GENERAL EXPRESSION FOR LAMIHAR FWW
For understanding the flow of water through soils, let us first consider the laminar flow through pipes.
Fig. 8.5 shows a horizontal pipe of circular cross·section of radius R. Let us take a small cylindrical fluid
element of radius r and length I, as shown in figure. The shear srress "'C on the surface of the fluid element is
given by Newton's law of viscositya'>
Integrating, v _ ;f~ i ( ~ ) + C
The constant of integration C can be obtained from the condition of no slip (Le.. v =0) at the boundary
142 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
R .. areaofflow A~
H wetted perimeter ..p:,
Multiplying the numerator and the denominator by the length of the passage (L).
R .. A~ xL.. volume of flow channel
1/ p~ x L surface area of Dow channel
100 volume of Dow channel may be taken as the volume of voids (V~), which is equal to e V, , where e
is the void ratio aod V, is the volume of solids. The surface area of the Dow channel may be worked out 00
the basis of a hypothetical spherical grain of diameter D and having lhe same volume/area ratio as the entire
mass. Thus
V~ eV. 'JtrY/ 6 eD
RII .. A, .. T, .. e ;;[j2 .. 6
Substituting the above value of RII in Eq. (a) and taking n .. el l + e,
q . c,(~)(eN(~)A
q · ~(~)(I: . )D'iA
Replacing C,I36 by another cocfHc ient C,
Eq. 8 .15 gives a general expression for the coefficient of penneabWty of soil.
8.11. FACffiRS AFFEcnNG PERMEABILITY OF SOILS
The following factors affect the permeability of soils.
(1) Particle size. As it is evident from Eq. 8.15, the coefficient of permeability of a soil is proportional
to the square of the particle size (D). l11e permeability of coarsegrained soils is very large as compared to
[hal of fine grained soils. The permeability of coarse sand may be more than one million times as much that
ofcJay.
(2) Structure or soli mass. The coefficient C in Eq. 8.15 takes into 3CCOlUlt the shape of the flow
passage. The size of the flow passage depends upon the structural arrangement. Hx the same void ralio, the
permeability is more in the case of floca.J1ated structure as compared to that in the diSpersed structure.
Stratified soil deposits have greatcr permeability parallel to the plane of stratification than that
perpendicular to Ihis plane. Pcnncability of a soil deposit also depends upon shrinkage cracks. joints, fissures
and shear wncs. Loess deposits have grealer permeability in the vertical direction than in the horizontal
direction.
The permeability of a natural soil deposit should be detcnnined in undisturbed condition. 1be distwbance
caused duriog sampling may destroy the original structure and affect the penneability. The effect of
disturbance is more pronounced in the case of fmc· grained soils than in the case of coarsegrained soils.
144 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
0·6
t
equation given by Casagrande: 4;'
k  1.4 ko,,, e' ... (8.16) 0·5
where ~.85 ::: permeability at a void S
ratio of 0.85, k ::: permeability at a ~ 0·1.,
void ratio of e.
(5) Properties of water. As
§
::> 0·3
indicated in Eq. 8.15, the roefficient
of permeability is directly proportional
to the unit weight of water <"t ...) and is 02
inversely proportional to its visoosity
(~). The unit weight of water does not ().1
vary much over tbe range of
temperature ordioarily encountered in
soU eogtneering problems. However, O'~04 1 t'rJ
there is a large variation in tbe value COEFFICIENT OF PERMEAB1UtV (k) mm/~c: _____
of the ooefficient of visalsity (~). The Fig. 8.7. Varilltlon cllOi k with e.
PBRMEABILITY OF SOILS 145
coeffkient of penneability inaeases with an increase in temperature due to reductiO'I in the visrosity.
It is usual practice (IS : 27111 Part XVU) to report the coefficient of permeabililJ at 27 D C. The following
equation can be used for conversion of the penneability to 27D C.
The coefficient of absolute permeability for a soil with a given void rntio and structure is constant. It has
tbe same value whatever may be the fluid.
IS
q. k (~) (2xn)
,e
or !!!.. .. 2nkzdz
,11 • q
~
or k • • (zl _ zl) log" ('';'') ... (8.22)
Near the test well, there is a rapid drop in head and the slope of the hydraulic gradient is steep, and
asswnption (8) is not satisfied. The observation wells 1 and 2 should be drilled at considerable distance from
'1
the well for acx:urate measurements: The radial distance of the well should be at least equal to the thickness
of aquifer (D). The observation wells are usually arranged in two orthogonal lines, one along the general
direction of flow of the ground water and the other at right angle to this direction.
An approximate value of the coefficient of pennenbility can be detennined if the radius of influence (R)
is known or is estimated. The circle of influence, over whicb the effect of pumping is observed, extend) to a
very large area. In fact, it gradually merges asymptotically 10 Ihe water table. The radiw; of influence varies
between 150 to 300 m. According to Sichardt, it can be found using the relation
R • JrnJdVli
where R = radius of influence (m), d = drawdown (m)
..I and J.: = Coefficient of penneability (m/SeC)
ed According 10 Kozeny (1933), the radius of innuence;
R • [(12 rln)(qk/nJ""]'"
where I is the time required to establish steady oooditions, and II is the porosity.
Eq. 8.21 can be written as
148 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
r
value of the mcmcienl of penneability. P.S. = PIEZOMETRIC
because the slope of the water surface SURFACE
near the well is steep and Dupuit's G.S.
assumption is not justified. Further. the
value 'of the radius of influence (R) is
also approximate.
(b) Confined Aquifer. Fig. 8.9 CONE
0;.:;.. .
shows a oonfined aquifer of thickness b DEPRESSION
and lying between the two aquicludcs.
The piezometric surface is above the
top of the aquifer. In mnfined aquifer,
the water pressure is indicated by the
piezometric surface (PS).
11D
T ~.LL<====~
b
CONFINED
AQUIFER
k • q log. ('';'1)
or .(8.24)
2nb(z2 Zt)
2.30q loglO (r2"rt)
or k· ... (8.25)
2nb(z,zl)
where %1= height of water level in observation well (1) at a radial distance of '1 and
Z2 = height of water level in observation well (2) at a radial distance of '2'
As in the case of an unconfmed aquifer, an approximate value of k can be detennined if the radius of
influence R is known or estimated. In this C&'ie,
k • q log. (RI,.)
... (8.26)
2nb(Dh)
8.14. PUMPINGIN TESTS
Pumping~in tests are conducted to determine the ooefficient of permeability of an individual stratum
through which a hole is drilled. These tests are more economical than the pumpingout test. However, the
PERMEABILITY OF SOIlS 149
pumpingoul tests give more reliable values than that given by pumpingin tests. The pumpingin lests give
the value of the coefficient of permeability of stratum just close to the hole, whereas the pumpingout lests
give the value for a largearea around the hole.
There are b~lcally two types of pumpingin tests: (1) Openend tests, (2) Packer tests. In an openend
tests. the water flows oul of the test hole Ihrough its bottom end, whereas in packer tests, the water flows out
through the sides of the section of a hole enclosed between packers. 1be value of the coefficient of
pcnneability is obtained from the quantity of water accepted by the hole. The water pumpedin should be
clean, as tbe impurities, such as sill, clay or any other foreign matter, may cause plugging of the flow
passages. If the water available is tUrbid, it should be clarified in a settling tank or by using a filter. The
temperature of the water pumped in should be slightly higher than the temperature of the ground waler 10
preclude the formation of air bubbles in stratum.
(1) Open~nd 'Jests. A pipe casing is insencd into tbe bore bole to the desired depth and it is cleaned
out. The hole is kept filled with water during cleaning if it extends below the water table. This is necessary
to avoid squeezing of the soil into the bottom of the pipe casing when the driving 1001 is withdrawn.
TH
",
t''I
lOT
~
~
1
S;ZW.T.
~,
",
(o) (b) (<I
is difficult 10 maintain a constant water level in the casing and some surging of this level has to be tolemted.
Eq. 8.27 can also be used in this case. However, in this case H is equal to the difference of inlet level and
the bottom end of the pipe. If required, the rale of now (q) can be increased by pumpingin water under a
pressure A with a total head of (H + ply..,).
(2) Packer Tests. The packer tests are perfooned in an uncased portion of the pipe casing. The packer
tests are more commonly used for testing of rocks. The tests are occasionally used for testing of soils if the
bore hole can stay open without any casing.
(a) Single packer tests. If the hole cannot stand without a casing, singlepacker lest is used. The packer
Is p~ as shown in F4,g. B.l1 (a). Water is pumped into the hole. It comes out of the sides of uncased
portion of the hole below the packer. If the casing is used for the full depth, it should have perforations in
the portion of the stratum being tested. The lower end of the casing is plugged.
(a)
(b )
Fig. 8.U. Packcrtesl5.
When the steady ooooitions are attained. the constant rate of flow (q) is dctmnined. lbe value of the
coefficient of penneability is found by the following equation (USBR, 19(1).
s_ (.10') _ ~
... (8.32)
(.0'16) D
The specific swface of spheres unifonnly distributed in size between the mesh size Q and b, is given by
S _ 61.fiifi ... (8.33)
For accurate results, the ratio alb should not be greater than 2.
Ir the particles arc of irregular shape. the specific surCa<.:e can be determined indirectly from 8
comparison with the specific surface oC unifonn sphere of the same size, and using a factor known as
angularity factor (J).
I .. ;:~~s~::=::s~e:u;!:;~~~~~
The value of f depends upon the angularity of the particles. Its value is usually taken as 1.1 for rounded
sands, 1.25 for sands of medium angularity and 1.4 for angular sands.
If Mh M2 ... Mil are the percentage of the total soil sample retained on different sieves. the overall
specific surface oC the lotal sampk: is given by
S .. j{M1S 1 + M2~ + ...... M"S,,) .•. (8.34)
where S .. S2 ...... 5" are the specific surface of spheres uniformly distribute:! wilhin the corresponding
sieves.
(3) Loudon's Fonnula. Loudon gave the following empirical formula.
IOg10 (k s')  a + bn ... (8.35)
where k = coefficient of permeability (an/sec). S = specific surface (an2/cm\
n = porosity, expressed as a ratio. a = constant, with an average value of 1.365 at lO"e,
b = constant, with an average value of 5.15 at lO"e.
The Loudon fonnula is much more convenient to use than the KozcnyCarman equation and gives
approximately the same accuracy.
(4) Consolidation test data. 1bc coefflcicnt of permeability of finegrained soils can be determined
.:ndirectly from the data ootained from a consolidation test conducted on the sample (see chapter 12). It is
given by
Ie  C~'t", m~  C~p",gm.. ...(8.36)
where Ie :::: coefficient of permeability (m/Sec). C.. = coefficient of consolidation (m 2 /soc),
pw = density of water (kg/m~, g = 9.81 m/sec?,
2
m.. = coefficient of volume compressibility (em /N). y.., = unit weight or water (N/m\
This method is suitable for very finegrained soils (Ie < Itr mm/sec) for which permeability test cannot
be easily conducted in the laboratory.
8.16. CAPILLARITYPERMEABILITY TEST
The coefficient of permeability of soil in unsaturated condition can be determined from the
capillaritypenncability test. The apparatus consists of a transparent tube made of lucite or glass, about 35 an
long and 4 em diameter (Fig. 8.13). 1be sampie of the dry soil in powdered form is placed in the tube and
screens are fixed at both ends. One end of the transparent tube is connected to high level waler reservoirs and
the other end is open to atmosphere through an airvent pipe. The airvent pipe is connected to the screen at
that end with a spring.
The valve D connecting to the higher reservoir is initially closed. When the valve C connecting to lhe
lower reservoir is opened, capillary action in soil occurs and it draws water into it. The wetled surface starts
advancing towards the open end. Lei us oonsider the stage when the welted surfaoe has advanced by a
distanoe of x. Let the negative capillary head be hrt as shown by an imaginary manometer in figw'C. (The
manometer is imaginary and in actual tests, no manometer is used. It has been shown in the figure just to
PERMEABILITY OP SOILS 1"
IndiaJle the negative bead). The
total bead causing flow is increased
because of the negative bead (he)
and is given by
Integrating, ! 1
Xdx .. i.(h l +
Sn
ht)! dl1
or ..sil
 2   Sn
k.(hl+h.) (
t2  tl
)
..s  .G
(1211) ..
21. (hi + h,)
Sn ...(8.37)
Eq. 8.37 can be used to detennine the coefficient of pcnneability (l..) if all other variables are given. As
the capillary head (he) is also not known, there are two unknowns (ktt and ht) on the righthand side of the
equation. Therefore, one more equation is required.
The SCCX)nd equation can be derived if the head is changed from hi to ~ when the water surface has
advanced 10 about half the length of the transparent tube by closing the valve C and opening the valve
D. Let %2 and x,l by the distances measured from the left end at the time t;2 and I). Eq. 8.37 becomes. for
this case, as
.oi..s 21. (h,+ h.)
(I)tV .. Sn ... (8.38)
The values of the unknown k,. and ht can be obtained analytically from Eqs. 8.37 and 8.38. A plol. is
154 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
 __
"1 LAVER 0)
~_LA_~E_R_(2)
_ _"
q
Let (kllh snd (kllh be the permeability of the layers 1 and 2 rc5ped.ively, parallel to the plane of
stratification and (kh) be the overall penneability in that direction. From Eq. (a), using Darcy's law,
~ )( i )( (HI + Hv  (k")1 )( i '/(, HI + (k"h )( i )( H2
k (kil >.)(
HI + <kiln )( H2
/I  HI + H2
If there are n layers instead of two.
k _ (k"h )( HI + (k"h )( H2 + ... + (k"),, )( H"
ll . . .(8.41)
HI + 112 + ... + II"
(b) Flow normal to the plane or stratlncatlon. Let us consider 8 soil deposit consisting of two layers
of thickness HI and 112 in wbich the now
occurs normal to the plane of stratification (Fig. 8.16).
Loyer 0)
i.
to
I'] '" 1T
T
1
h
Loyer III
I.
WritiDg in teoos of hydraulic grandient (I) and the distance of flow, remembering h .. i )( L,
i" )( H  (i~)1 )( HI + (i..h )( Hl
Us;ng Bqs. (c) and (d),
. H (k,) • H (k,) . H
I" )(  (k~)1 x 1,,)( I + (k~h x ' .. )( 2
SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
'"
k, [(Z;, + (Z~ j H  H, + H,
k..~
HI H2
(k,), + (k,h
In general, when there are n such layers,
.t.. .. HI + H2 + . .. + HII
... (8.42)
HI . H2 RIO
(k,)' + (k,h + ... + (k,)"
Evan (1962) proved that for isotropic (A;. .. kll) and homogeneous layers. the average permeability of the
entire depooit parallel to the plane of stratification is always greater than that normal to this plane. For
illustration, let us consider a deposit oonsisling of two layers of thickness 1 m and 2 m, having the coefficient
of permeabJljty of 1 )( 102 em/sec and 1 x 104 an/sec, respectively.
2
From ):I". 8.41. Ie 1)( 10 X 100 + 1 )( 10.... )( 200
"""'I ... .. 100 + 200
.. 0.34 x 102 ern/ sec
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
Dlustratlve Example 8.1. In a oonstant head penneameter test, the following observations were taken.
))istaIIU between piezometer lappings c:: 100 nun
Altematlve Method
From Eq. 8.16, k.1.4ko.a.~e2
4 x 10' _ 1.4 ko" x (0.7)'
In this case, Z2" 8.50  0.50  8.0 m and Zl" 8.50  3.0 .. S.sO m
Illustrative Example 8.7. Dnennille the coejficielll of permellbWly of a confined aquifer 5 m thick which
Rilles a .frcelli), tIi.~c/llIrge of 20 /itreslsec through (/ well of 0.3 til radills. The height of water in 'h e well which
1\'(1.\' 10 '" aIJo\'(! the base lJeJ()I1.~ pumping dropped to 8 m. Take the I'Mius of influence as 300 m.
k = q /ogr (Rlr)
Solution. From Eq. 8.26,
2xb(Dh)
lIIustrntive Example 8.8. De/ermine the average coefficient of pemllmbiliry ill 'he horh,ollral and
wmical diret',j(JI1.~ for (I deposit ("(msi~'ril1g of llime layers of thickness 5 m. J til a/1d 2.5 m and having the
cm'fficit:III.\' of perml'a{,ility of 3 x /01 /11I11/.H~C. 3 x JO.~ IIIIIi/sec. and 4 x J(r 2 mmhec. respectively. Assume
tile layer.\· an: i.Wllrvpic,
Solution. From Eq. R.4J. taking /I = 3,
q _ k
dz )
;& ,(z, I)
t.
• ..I ' t160 m  I
(
qdz_kzdz Fig. E8.n .
Integrating,
... (0)
PROBLEMS
A Numerkals
8.1. (0) A CODStmt·head permeability test was run on a sand sample 30 em in length and 20 cml in area. When a
loss of bead was 60 em, the quantity of waler ooIlecled in 2 minutcs was 250 mi . Dclennine Ihe mefficient
~ of permeability of the soil.
(b) If the specific gravity of grains was 2.65, and dry mass of the sample, 1.1 kg, find the void ratio of the
sample. [Ans. 0.052 an/Sec; 0.445]
8.5. Calculate Ihe coeflklent of pemleability of a soil sOlmp[e 8 em in height and crosssectional area 60 cm 2. It is
observed thnt in [2 minutes. 600 ml of water passed down under an effective constant hc~d of 50 em.
On oven drying, Ihe test specimen weighs 750 gm. Taking 2.70 as speeific gravit~ of soil, calculate the
seep:lge velocity of water during the test. lAos. 2.22 x 10' em/sec; 0.33 emlsec.]
8.6. Fig. P8.6 shows :J. eros.q·se<:tion through the simla underlying a site. Calculate the equivalent permeability of the
layered system in the venical and horizontal din'Clioll.
.. Assume thaI ench layer i~ isotropic.
[Ans. 1.41 x 106 cm/sec: 0.081 emlsec1
Fig. PS.6.
8.7. A glucial cl;lY deposit eontnins a series of sill partings in il at un average venical spacing of 2 m. If the silt
layel'll are about 5 mm in thiekne.qs and have a permeability of one hundred limes thlll of the clay. determine Ihe
ralio of the horizontal and vertical penlle.1bi litics. [Aos. 1.244]
,8.8. In l\ fllllinghead permeameler ir Ihe time intervals for drop in levels from II( to "2 and 1z2 to 11:1 are equal. prove
thai
8.9. If the eITcrlivc gmin sile of the soil is 0.3 mm, estimate the cocfficielll of permeability. Take Hazen's C = 10.
[Ans. 0.9 mm/sec[
8.10. A soil ha~ a eodlicient of pcrme.1bilily of 0.5 x 104 emlsce at 20°C. Determine its vulue when the temperature
rises 10 35°C. (~11O" '" 10.09 x 10~ paiM: and ~IW'" 7.21 x 103 poise). [Ans. 0.7 x 104 emlsecJ
8.11. A dminage pipe beneath :I dam h;\s m..come clogged with sand whose cocflicient of permeability is 10 m/day. It
8.19. How would you (\ctermine the average permeability of a soi l deposit consisting of a number of layers ? What
is its use in soil enboinecring?
8.Z0. Write whether the following statements are true or fnls<:.
(a) The coellicienl of pcrnlcability of II soil increa$Cs with an increase in temperature.
lb) The soils with [\ higher void ralio have alw3Ys greater pt!mll~ability than soils with a smaller void ratio.
(el The coctlic.:icnl of pcnncability decreases with un increase in the specific surfncc.
(d) For a given soil, the coefficient of permeability incrctlscs with an increase in void mtio.
tel For a soil deposit co nsisting of isotropic layers, the cocftident of permeability parallel \0 the plane of
st[;).lificalion is always greater than that normal 10 [his plane.
if> The variablehead permeability tcst is used for fine grain¢.! soils_
(8) The line joining the piezometric.: surra(:"cs i~ also known us the hydraulic grac.lient line.
IAns. True (a). (e), (tI). (to). 00, (g»)
C. MultipleChoice Questions
I. The pcrmellbility of sOil varies
(a) inversely as square of grain size (b) liS SqUllrc of grain sizt/:
(e) as grain size (tl) invt/:rsely as void ratio.
2. The maximum particle size for which Darcy's IllW is applicnble is
(a) 0.2 mm (b) 0.5 mm
(e) 1.0 mm (J) 2.0 mm
3. According to U.S.B.R .. n soil with n coemdent of pcrmeubiHty of 104 mmlsec will be classified as
(a) Pervious (b) ImperviOUS
le) Semipervious (e) Highly pccvious
4. The coefficient of permeability of clay is generally.
(a) Between 101 lind 101 mmls (b) Between IO~ and 104 millis
(e) Between 10:'1 and 1011 mmls (JJ Less then roll mm/s
5. A constanthead permeamcter is used for
(a) Conrsegrained soils (b) Silty soils
(e) Clayey soils {d)Organic soils
6 , The coemcient or permeability of a soil
(a) increa.~es with a increase in temperature.
(b) increases with II decrca.~e in temperature.
(e) incrcase~ with II dt.'Crea.~e in unit weight of water.
(tI) decreases with an increase in void rJtio.
1. A soil has a discharge velocity of 6 x 101 mls and a void r.llio of 0.50. Its seepage velocity is
(a) 18 x 101 mls (h) 12 x 107 mls
(C') 24 x 101 m/s (tl) 36 x 107 IIlls
8. In a pumping.out lest. tlte druwdown i.~ 5m. If the coefficient of permeability of the soil is IOlmls, the radius
of inlluence will be about
(a) 250 m (b) 300 m
(e) 150 m (rl) 200 m
9. For II sphere of 0.5 111111 diameter. the specific surface is
(a) 12 mm I (b) 6 mm t
(c) 8 mm I (rl) 9 mm t
~_I~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~a~
9
Seepage Analysis
I. INTRODVcnON
Seepage is the flow of water under gravitational forces in a pcnneablc medium. Flow of waler lakes
place from a point of high head to a point of low head. The flow is generally hlminnr. ,
The path taken by a water particle is represented by a flow line. Although an infinite number of now
lines can be drawn, for convenience, only a few arc drawn. At certain points on different flow lines, the total
head will be the same. '111e lines connecting points of equal total head can be drawn. These lines arc known
as equipotential lines. As flow always takes place along the steepest hydraulic gradient, the equipotential lines
cross flow lines at right angles. TIle flow Unes and equipotential lines together form a flow net. The flow net
gives a pictorial rcpresentalion of Ihe path taken by water particles and the head variation along Ihat path.
Fig. 9.1 (a) shows a glass cylinder containing a soil sample of length L. A steady now occurs vertically
downward through the soil sample under a head of II. The elevation head, the pressure head and the total head
(0)
I) 0 ·251'1
O·5L O.5L"'H,O.5h L+HtO.51"1
,,0.5"O.5l :0·51'1
Flow nel
(0)
at points. A, Band C can be worked oul as shown in Fig. 9.1 (b) and 9.1 (e). The point B is at a height of
0.5 L above the datum. As the rate of loss of head is linear, the loss of he.'ld upto point B is hfl. Therefore,
the total head at point B is IIfl. Fig. 9.1 (d) shO\Vs 0 simple flow net, in which five flow lines and an equal
number of equipotcntinllincs are drawn. TIle equipotential lines are horizontal and the now lines arc vertical
in this case. If a dye is inserted al a few points on the top of the soil sample, the paths taken by the dye
represent the flow lines. 11lc flow nets in aclua! soil engineering problems are not as simple as shown in the
figure.
In Ihis chapter, the methods for construction of flow nct and their uses arc discussed. 1be forces
associated with seepage and their effect on the stresses are dealt in the following chapter.
9.2. l:APlACE'S EQUATION
The simple method of construction of flow net as explained above cannot be used for soil engineering
problems in which the flow is generally twodimensional The Laplace equarion is used in the construction
of the flow net in such cases.
The follOWing assumptions arc made in the derivation of the Laplace equation:
(1) The flow is twodimensional.
(2) Water and soil are incompressible.
(3) Soil is isotropiC arfd homogeneous.
(4) The soil is fully saturated.
(5) The flow is steady, Le., flow conditions do not change with time.
(6) Darcy's law is valid.
Let us consider an element of soil of size dx by dz through which Dow is taking place (Fig. 9.2). The
third dimension along ya:ds is large. For convenience, it is taken as unity. Let the velocity at the inlet and
outlet faces be v" and ( v.. + ~: . dx) in xdirection and Vz and ( ".. + ~ . dz) in zdirection.
"D
... . Yx + ~V, 1
~ d_
1
""
Fig. 9.2. TwodImensional Row.
As the flow is steady and the soil is incompressible, the discharge entering tbe element is equal to thal
leaving the element.
or (~ + ~) .. 0 ...(9.1)
and
V
z
 k ~
Substituting the values of V;r and v, in Eq. 9.1,
t.t t.t 0
ar'+ai' ... (9.3)
..[9.4(a)]
ihI>!':'I>.·u+!':'I>.·tt.
ax az
166 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
or
(1!) _"
dx... V.o:
...(9.5)
k* . .
and *.
~  v, 
v: ..  k y£ ... [9.6(b)J
[96(o)J
d'''~'dx+~.dz
If $ is a constant along a curve, dcp .. 0
Hence, O~'dx+~dz
or (dz)
dX ...  ~ v,
acp/oz ..  ~ ... (9.7)
or n~
ariJz" iPz
and ~~
., ax
SEEPAGE ANALYSIS 161
_i'.!.. ~
ilxiJz 0:2
Therefore, ~ + ~ __ .i.t + l i _0
;v? ar axaz araz
Thus., the stream function ("') also satisfies the Laplace equation.
Determination of Discharge
The discharge 6q between two adjacent flow lines 'tjI and (til + .6.",) can be determined as follows
[Fig. 9.3 (a)].
The discharge is equal to the resultant velocity v multiplied by the nonnal distance (An) between 'tjI and
('I' + d\j». Obviously.
discharge _  v~ de + v", dz
A
Therefore, 6.q  J",:t+ '"
( v" dr + v",dz)
~.~~+~ . ~
Using Eqs. 9.6, ~ _ v", cos a + v", (sin a)
Likewise,
depend much on the exaciness of the now net. A reasonably good estimate of hydraulic quantities can be
made even from a rough flow net.
'fl1e following points should be kept in mind while sketching the now net.
(1) Too many flow channels distrad the attention from the essential features. Nonnally, three to five
flow d:13nnels are sufficient. (The space between two flow lines is called a flow channel).
(2) The appearance of the entire flow net should be watched and not th:lt of a part of it. Small details
can be adjusted after tbe entire Dow net bas been roughly drawn.
(3) The curves should be roughly elliptical or parabolic in shape.
(4) All transitions should be smooth.
(5) The flow lines and equipotential lines should be orthogonal and form approximate squares.
(6) The size of the square in a flow channel should change gradually from the upstream to Ihe
downstream.
The procedure for drawing the flow net can be divided into (he following steps:
(1) First identify the hydraulic boundary conditions. In Fig. 9.5, the upstream bed lcvel GDAK represents
100% potential line and the downstream bed level CFJ, 0% potential linc. The first flow line KLM hugs the
II is nOl necessary tbat the last flow channel should make oomplete squares. The flow fields in the last
channel may be approximate rectangles with the same length to width ratio. In this ca<>e, the number of flow
channels would not be full integer. In facl, the flow channels will be an integer only by chance.
kfA ~
1
....w : q  Law:I_K' ' ,4
2. Disclurge,q Current, 1
3. Hend,h VoImge,E
4. Length, L Length. L
5. Nen,A A1ea,A
6. Permeability. k Conductivity, K
An electrical model is , made whose boundary conditions are similar to those of the soil modeL 1be
equipotential lines are drawn by joining the points of equal voltage. The now pauem obtained from the
elcctrical model are used in the construction of Oow net in the model.
The following three types of electrical. analogy modelS are used.
(I) Electrical Analogy Tray. A shallow tray, with a flat bottom , made of an insulating material is taken.
The tray is filled with water. A small quantity of salt or hydrochloric acid or copper sulphate solution is added
to water to make it a good conductor of electricity.
The hyd~ulic boundaries are simulated on the tray. For the flow below a sheet pile shown in Fig. 9.6
(a), the boundary flow lines :)rt ABC and FG. An insulating material, such as ebonite or pcrspcx, is used to
simulate the boundary flow lines. The insulating material is fixed to the tray by means of some
nonconducting adhesive, such as plasticene or bee wax.
The boundary equipotential lines DA and CE are simulated by some good conductor of electricity such
as copper bars.
For obtaining the flow pauern, an electrical potential difference of 20 V is applied to the two electrodes
DA and CEo A VOltage dividing variable resistor, known as potential divider, is connected in parallel to the
alternating current source to vary the voltage in the range of 0 to 20 V. A galvanometer (or any other null
indicator) and a probe are connected to the variable potential ann [Fig. 9.6 (b)].
The position of the equipolentiallines is determined by locating the points of oonstant potential (VOltage).
To trace the equipotential line corresponding to a given percentage of total potential (say }O%), the VOltage
divider is set at that potential (2V). 1be 'Probe is moved in the tray till the galvanometer shows no ament
flow. That position of the probe gives tbe point corresponding to 2V potential. By moving the probe, other
points corresponding to that potential are obtained. A graph sheet is generally placed below the transparent
plate to detennine the roordinates of the poinlS. A line joining all these points gives the equipotential line
corresponding to 10% of the total head. likewise, the c:;quipotential line oorrespooding to 20% of the total
head is3lbtained by changing the selling on the voltage, divider to 4V and repeating the procedure. Other
equipotential lines can be drawn in the same manner.
After the equipotential Ii"es have been draWl), flqw lines can be sketched manually. The flow lines
should be orthogonal to the Cfluipotential lines and must. satisfy the actual hydraulic boundary conditions.
Alternatively, the flow lines can be drown electrically by interchanging the boundaries. The copper strips are
used for impenneable boundaries ABC and FG and insulating strips for VA and CEo The VOltage difference
SllEPAGE ANALYsrS 171
~:
help of probe.
(2) Conducting Paper Method. A
conducting paper is made by
introducing graphite during its
manufacture. One side of the graphite
paper is coated with a nonconducting
material and the other side wilh Ii
positive aluminum coating. The paper
is CUI to the shape of the hydraulic
structure for which the flow net is F G
required. The boundary equipotential 7 / / ) / / / / ; ; ?/Ta( ) ) J / ) ) ))???
lines, such as DA and CE in Fig. 9.6
(a), are given a coating of silver paint.
When the paint has dried, the
connecting wires are spaced out along
GAlVA,NOMET6I
the boundary strips in individual
strands and are stapled in position.
Direct current (D.C.) supply can be
used as there are no polarization TRAYFIUEO
effects. A 2 V accumulator is used for WlrH WATER
'rt
A seepage flume of width of a few centimeters is used in thi... mcthoo. A model made of plastic is
fastened to one side wall of Ihe flume, leaving II small space of 2.5 mm or less between ,Ihe model and the
olher side wall (Fig. 9.8).
GLYCERINE
') PLASTIC
" MODEL
SIDE VIEW
Fig. 9.8. Plastic model.
A highly viscous fluid. such as glycerine, is made to seep through the small space between the model and
the side wall. The flow is laminar. As the fluid flows, it gives an accurate representation of seepage through
soil. The flow lines can be observed directly by injecting II dye at suitable points.
Plastic models can be constructed more quickly than soil models. The flow lines in such models are also
better defined. Consequently, the flow net obtained is more acaJrate than that obtained from soil models.
Different penneabilitics of the soil can be accounted for by varying the space between the model and the
wall. Anisotropic soils can be represented by a zigzag face.
9.9. FLOW NET BY SOLUTION OF LAPLACE'S EQUATION
Laplace's equatiqn can be solved by numerical techniques, such as finite difference method. Relaxation
method is generally used to find the potentials at various points. Once the potentials have been determined at
different oodal points, the equipotential lines are drawn by joining the points of equal potentials. Potentials
can be obtained very quickly if a highspeed digital computer is available.
The Laplace equation (Eq. 93) can be written in fmite difference form, as
~+.+~+~~.O .. ~~
where '10
b ch and , .. are the potentials at the four adjoining points around the central point 0 with the
potenlial " (Ag. 9.9).
The aos,ssection of the earth structure, for which the flow net is required, is covered with a square grid
with a number of nodes. The values of the potential (,) at various nodal points 2rc assumed, satisfying the
SEEPAGE ANALYSIS 173
hydraulic boundary conditions. As the assumed values are not r  2 ,
correct. there would be a residual Ro at point 0, given by the I 2 i
equation, 1 I
" + ~ + +.J + ,. 4$0 • Ro ... (9.15) :I 1I
Each node is oonsidered as a central node in tum and the
residual determined. The ooject of the rela'tatioo method is to 3 ., 1
reduce these rcsidu.'lls !o uro. It must be borne in mind that the
potentials at different nodes are interrelated and any change in
!
I
i
I
potential at one node has an effect on the residuals at the adjacent
nodes. The process is, therefore, quile tedius and time
I I
L. ______ .~ _____ J
consuming. Howevcr, special relaxation techniques have been
devised to reduce the effort. •
The final com~ct value of $ give the true picture of the GRID AROUMl ·0·
variation of potential. The equipotential lines are drawn through
the points o( equal potentials. 'Ibc flow lines are then drawn Ag. 9.9. Fillito Diffcl'<:llocGrid
orthogonal to equipotcntial lincs.
9.10. FLOW NET IN EARTU DAMS wnn A HORIZONTAL FILTER
"ll1e methods of drawing a flow net discussed in the preceding sections are used when the boundary flow
lines and equipotential lines are given. Seepage through an earth dam is a case of unconfined seepage in
which the upper boundary of flow net
is not known. In such cases, it becomes
necessary to first locate the upper
boundary before a now net can be
drawn.
Let US consider the case of a
homogeneous eanh dam on an impervi FILTER
ous foundation and having a hOrizontal
filter at the downstream end (Fig. 9.10).
The horizontal filter starts at point C. Fig. 9.10. EArth Dam with a horizontal filter
The impermeable boundary CD is a flow line wh:ich forms Ihe,lower boundary of the flow oct. The upstream
face AD is an equipotential line as the total head at every point on this face is equal to h. The discharge face
cn is the equipotential line of zero potential. Thus, Ihn:c hyclnlulLc houndarv c(>nditicms :Ire known.
The fourth boundary of the flow net is
the lap flow line AB, which is not known in
A
the beginning. Below the line AB, the soil is
saturated and the pressure every where on the
AB is atmospheric. The line AB is known a<>
phreatic line or seepage line. As the pressure PERVI().J5
Kozcny's conditions arc not entirely fulfIlled by any practical earth dam. However, an earth dam with a
horizontal drainage approximates the conditions at exit. An inconsistency occurs due to the fact that tbe
upstream equipotential tine in an actual earth dam is a plane surface and not a parabola as assumed by
Kozeny. OIs3grnnde (1940) recommended ilial the seepage line in actual dams can also be taken as ba<>ic
parabola. provided the starting point for the parabola is taken al point E, sucb that AE '" 0.3 AF (Fig. 9.10).
The distance AF is the projection of the upstream slope Oil the water surface. lbe coordinates of the phreatic
line can be determined using Eg. 9.16. The origin is at C, which is also the focus.
Substituting z = 0 in Eq. 9.16, the value of x is given by
xo .. i (;)  ik or q  2kXo
The distance 2xo between the focus and the diredrix is known as focal distance (s). Thus
q  b ... (9.17)
Substituting the value of q from Eq. 9.17 in Eq. 9.16,
x~(¥tr')ft
or i2xs? .. 0 ... (9.18)
Eg. 9.18 can also be derived directly using the property of the parabola that the distance o( any point P
on the parabola (rom the focus is equal to the distance from the directrix. (Fig. 9.12). lbus
FP  PO
~ .. sx
By squaring, Xl + ? .. i + x2_2sx
or i2rs?O
If x is taken positive towards left of F. the above
equation becomes
s' 2xsr' _
+ 0 ... (9.19)
The value of s can be determined using the
coordinates of the starting point E (Fig. 9.10).
Substituting x .. d and z _ " in Eq. 9.19. PARABOLA~
s2 + 2ds_h 2 .. 0
2d=~
2
Fig. 9.12. Properties of PlIl<lootli.
Taking positive sign, s _ ..; (Jl + h 2 ) d ... (9.20)
Once the value of $ has been determined, Eq. 9.19 can be used to determine the coordinates of the
various points on the phreatic line. For diITerenl value of X, the corresponding z coordinates are computed and
ploUed.
SEEPAGE ANALYSIS 175
15 10
l~"m~~
q '"' k· ~ . (z x 1) ...(a)
Cd)
Fig. 9.16.
laking the point C as the focus and also the origin. 'lbc phreatic line is given the entry correction as before.
An additional correction at exit is required in Ihis casc, as the basic parabola goes outside Ihe
downstream face, which is impossible. lbe actual seepage line meets the discharge face langcntially for
p < 90°, ll1c seepage line has been shown by full line, whereas the theoretical basic parabola is shown
by dotted line.
In the case of borizontal filter, the angle p is 180<> [Fig. 9.16 (b)]. For a rock toe [Fig. 9.16 (c)J, the angle
~ is greater than 90<>. The phreatic line drops vertically in this case.
Casagrande gave the charts for the exit
correction. The basic parabola is shifted by
O. ,
distance 6.a 10 locale the point where the actual '....
seepage line cuts the discharge face. The value o·3
of All is obtained [rom the value or "
I
~
'" "'"
Aa/(a + 6.a) after the distance (a + Aa) is
obtained from the basic parabola. lbe value o[ .+ o· 2
Aa/(a + An) depends upon the angle p, given in
Fig. 9.16 (d). The value is also available in the
"'.
6 ·1
~
form of a curve (Fig. 9.17). It is wonh noting
that the correction is zero when the angle fl is
ISO. That is the reason why exit correction was o·0
not applied in the case of horizontal filler. The 30 90 126 156
chart is applicable [or p :t 30<>. /l
Fig. 9.17. Casagrnnd's Chart.
Obviously, An .. C (a + ALl)
where C is the correction [actor obtained from the chart (Fig. 9.17)
9.12. SEEPAGE THROUGll EARTH DAM WITH DISCHARGE ANGLE LESS TllAN 30°
If the angle p is less than 30<> (Fig. 9.1 8). point S at where the seepage line becomes tangential to
downstream face can be obtained using Schaffemack's method. It is assumed that part CS of the seepage line
is a straight line. A tangent at point S coincides over the length CS with tbe seepage line.
SEEPAGE ANALYSIS 177
Fig. 9.18
But ~ .. i .. tanp
kz ~ .. kosin~tan~
zdt  asinptan~dr
Integrating between x .. 0 cos P to x .. d., and between z .. 0 sin P to h,
..
j ,' zdz = o~tanpj
.~,
+ 2d. V4d'4(h'COSP/Sin'P)COSP
0" 2cosp
... (9.24)
Once the value of 0 has been detennined from Eq. 9.24, the discharge can be found using Eq. 9.23.
9.13. SEEPAGE THROUGH EARm DAM WITH DISCHARGE ANGLE GREATER mAN 30°
BUT LESS THAN 60°.
Eq. 9.24 was obtained on the basis of Dupuit's assumplioo that the hydraulic gradient is equal to dz/dr,
Casagrande suggested that the actual hydraulic gradient for discharge angle greater Ihan 3Q°is given by
178 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
. dz
I .. (is
where distance s is measured along the curve.
Based on tbis assumption, the discharge expression can be written as
q_k(~)Z ... (9.25)
T h
1
I.
Fi.g 9.19. Earth Dam with dischJirge ~ng!e greater than 30".
aod ~  sin~
Therefore. Eq. (9.25) becomes q .. kasin'lj3 ... (9.26)
Integrating, ! zdz .. aj
culnp (J
(sinzj3)ds
of flow channels. The difference between two adjacent equipotential lines is called ~ quipotcntial drop. l...ct
Nd be the number of equipotential drops. In Fig. 9.20, there are 5 flow channels and 10 equipotential drops.
n:l///
I
/
I
2/
31
" lI \ \
\8\ \\
! ! 4! 5 6\ '1
/ : ~
777;;;);;;}) 777/;; 777 77l!..17;)) J
IIo1PERVlOOS
dq  k . (* 1 (dn x 1) .. (a)
where llh is equipotential drop in the flow field,
and /!..s and t:.n are dimensions of the flow field.
Substituting Ah  k in Eq. (a),
dq  k· ~.
Nd
("!!.)
As
The rotio (NINd ) is a characteristic of the flow net. It is known as shape [actor (p). It is independent
of the penneability (k) of the soil. It depends only on the configuration or the shape of the soil mass.
It is not necessary that NI and Nd be always full integer. The last flow channel may consist of rectangles,
However, in the last flow channel, the \englhtbreadlh (/!..s/6n) ratio should be approximately the same for all
flow fields.
(2) Thtnl head. The loss of head (Ah) from one equipotential line to the next is hINd' The total head at
aoy point (P) can be delennined as under.
h, _ h  n x (hiNd) ... (9.31)
where n is the number of the equipotential drops upto point P.
In Fig. 9.20, n = 8 for point P. Therefore, total head at P is
I'" SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
TD"
'"
1.
c.) C"
Fig. 9.21. Trnnsfonnlllion of Coordinates.
SEEPAGE ANALYSIS 181
( ~)t!!+i'h.O
k. a2 a?
2
or a h+i'h.o ... (9.36)
a;; a?
Eq. 9.36 is the Lnplace equation in X, and z. Therefore, the principles of flow net construction can be
used for anisotropic soils after transfocmmion.
The crosssection of the soil mass whose flow nel is required is redrawn keeping the z·scale unchanged
but reducing the x scale by the ratio ~. The flow net is constructed for the transformed section by usual
methods [Fig. 9.22 (b)]. The flow nCI for the actual section is obtained by transferring back the flow nct to
the natural section by increasing the xscale in the ratio ..ff;7iZ;. Obviously. the flow nct for the natural section
docs not have the flow lines and the equipotcntial lines orthogonal to each other [Fig. 9.22 (a)J.
¥s  ~ . ~ + *. . ~
i .._'
(0)
Using the relations,
kx~. v~ _ ~ ¥Z
~,
v% 
~ _ ~ . ~  ~ . ~ ... (b)
Fig. 9.23. PenneAbility in an indined direction
Now V% _ VI cos a and vl _ VI sin a
~cooa and~_Sina
... (9.40)
tl tz J'
, : l
,, kd, .f
....... ~,'
(0) (b)
k, <"'"
Fig. 9.26. Nonhomogeneous llCCli~.
)84 son. MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
(3) The now net in soiJs2 consists of rectangles. The ratio of the sides of the rcaangIe can be
determined as under: From Eq. 9.41,
k) (~::)  k, (~~)
!;:  ~ (~::)
Ani .6.n:z k1
6$1, 6521;
or
/>.'2
1n Fig. 9.26, as ~ > k J • !J. n2 > 1.0
If the ratio of permeability is greater than 10, now net in the soil of higher permeability nced not be
drawn. Tbe 1005 of head in the soil of higher permeability is neglected. For example, in Fig. 9.26, if
k t > 104 the flow net in soill is neglected and it is assumed thnt the now lines in soill are horizontal.
The flow net will be constructed only (or soil2, taking the interface as the uj:l>tream face. On the other
hand, if kz > 10 *10 the flow net will be drawn only for soilI. In Ibis latter case, the interface will act as
D. discharge face.
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
Illustrative Example 9.1. Determine the coordinates of the phreatic line for the earth dam shown in Fig.
9.14, Find the discharge through the earth dmn from the flow net and also analytically. Taire k =
4.5 X 1fT'
em/sec.
Solution. From Eq. 9.20, taking d = 72.5 m and h = 30 m,
, _ >I(d' + h')  d
~72.55.96m
The coordinates of the phreatic line are determined from Eq. 9.19.
i+7xsilo
or (5.96)' + 2x(5.96);  0
35.52 + 11.92xil  0
1be Icoordinates are determined for different values of x as under.
+72.5 m
30m
Fig. E9.2
The total head at the two extremities or the floor are 7.0 m and 0.5 m. These are also equal to the
pressure heads, as the underface or the floor is al the datum (dis level).
Total uplift roree U  t (hl + flu 1... x area
 ~(7.0 + 0.50) x 9.81 x (28.5 x 1)
or U  1048.4 kN
The length (As) or the last C10w field ncar toe is 1.0 m.
Thererore, exit gradient (I) _ 6.h/lls _ 0.5/1.00 _ 0.50
PROBLEMS
9.1. Determine the seepage discharge through the foundlltion of an earth dDm if the flow net has 10 cquipolcnlial
drops and 3.5 flow channels. The length of the dam is 300 m Dnd the coefficient of permeability of the soil is
2.5)( 10'" cm/see. The level of water above the base of the dam is 12 m on upstream and 4 m on downstream.
lAns.66.23 )( 103 rnll yearJ
9.Z. In the experimental set up shown in Fig. P 9.2, now lakes place undcr a constant head through the soils A
andD.
Fia. P9.2.
186 SOIL MECHANICS AND rOUNDA110N ENGINEERING
Fig. P9.3.
Also determine the seepage discharge per unit length jf the coefficient of permeability is 40 m/dOlY.
IAns. s .. 3.99 m, q = 159.6 m1/dayj
9.4. A Stlndy stratum 5 m thick has II slope of 1 in 10 and lies between two impervious simta (Fig. P 9.4). If the
piezometers inserted at two points 20 m apart indicate a pressure difference of 3.5m nnd the coefficient of
permeability is 1.91 )( 10""" cm/sec, determine the seepage dischnrge. [Ans. 5.96 litccSolbour]
Fig. P9.4.
9.5. Water percolntes across a rcclilngulnr silly earth fill 30 rn long and 15 m wide. The fiJI is founded on an
impervious strotum and the depth of watcr on one side is 5.0. Compute the seepage dischllrge. Ie = 0.15
crn/minute.. [Ans, 108 m3/dny]
9.6. A homogcneous dam is 21.5 m high and has a free board of 1.5 m. A flow net was constructed and the
following results were observed.
No. of polcntinl drops '" 12
No. of now chnnels =3
The dam has n horizonUlI fillcr of 15 m length
Cnlculate the discharge/m length of the darn if the coefficient or permeability or the dam mnterinl is 2.7 )(
10~ rnlsec. . [Ans. 1.35 )( 105 culllCCS/m]
Fig. P9.7.
9.10. Describe the electrical analogy method of flow net construction.
9.11. Prove that the discharge per unit width of .:m earth dam with Il horizOI1Ull filter Ilt its toe is equal to the
coofficient of permeability times the focal length.
9.12. Prove that the discharge through on earth mass iii given by
q ... k..t;'Nf
where 1r .. coefficient of permeability, Ii :: head, Nt = number of flow ch:mneis,
Nd "' number of equipotcntial drops.
9.13. How would you draw the flow nct for a homogcneom earth dam without any filter 1
9.14. Whlll is entry correction of the flow nct 1 How is it donc 1
9.15. How would you conslructthe flow net when lhe soil is anisotropic 1
9.16. Explain the method of constructing the flow net in an earth dam consisting of two different zones.
9.17. Memion whether the fallowing sUitemems are true or false.
(a) The flow lines and equipotential lines are orthogonal for an isotropic soil.
(b) The number of equipotential lines and flow lines is always a full integer.
(c) In twodimensional flow, the velocity in the thi rd direction is zero.
Cd) The velocity potential is equal to the totnI head.
(e) The flow net for anisotropic soil can be obtained from Loplacc's equation.
(/) The electrical analogy method can be used to obUlin directly flow lines.
(g) Relaxation method is used 10 determine the potentiDls at various poinlS.
(Ii) The upstream fDoe of an earth dam is an equipotential line.
(I) The shape factor depends upon the type of soil.
(J) When the flow pl\'iSCS from a soil of high permeability to that of low penneability, Ihe flow lines are
deflected aWllY from the normal. ~
(1) The equipD(ential lines make equal vertical intercepts on the phreatic line.
(I) The phreatic line of a homogeneous seccion always cuts the downstream face.
(m) The phreatic line at the entrance may rise upward.
(n) For an earth dam with a horizonUlI filter DC its downstream loe, lhe casagrande exit correction is zero.
IA..... Tru', (Q~ (,~ (j), (g), (h), ('), (I), (n)]
C. MultipleChoice Questions
1. The phreatic line in a homogeneous dam is
(a) Circular (b) Ellipliad
(c) Hyperbolic (II) Parabolic
2. If there is flow from a soil of permeability «1 tothat or k2, the angles Ih and 02 which the flow line makes witb
the normal to the interface are related as
", SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
sin9t kl
(tI) sina2 = k2
(c) c~se l = ~
COSe2 k2
3. The pressure on :l phreatic line is
«(I) cqunllo atmospheric pressure.
(b) greater than Iltmospheric pressure.
(e) less than atmospheric pressure.
(d) nOI related to Ihe atmospheric prcssure.
4. A !low net ha.' 4 !low channels and 20 eq uipotential drops. the shape factor is
(a) 1/5 (b) 5
(a) 80 (,I) None of above
5. For an isotopic soil, k,,/kz '" 9. For the transposed section. th e horizontal scale should be
(Q) 1/9 (b) J/3
(e) nl ree limes (d) N ine times
6. The slarting point of the horizontal dminage is usually taken as .... of parabola
(a) Focus (b) Origin
(c) Vertex (d) Both (a) and (h)
7. If the flow net of a cofTcrd:lnl foundation ha.~
II = 6m. N.I = 6 and N,I = 18, k = 4 x IO~ m/inin. then the sccp;tgc discharge (in m3/d) per m lenglh is
(0) 0.2304 (b) 0.1152
(el 1.0368 (d) 2.304
8. A fl ow net can be used 10 determine
(a) Seepage. cocflicicnt of permeability und uplift pre.qsure
(b) Seepage. coell1cient of permeability and exil gradient
(c ) Seepage, exit grndient nnd uplift pressure
(d) Seepage and ex it gmdient o nl y
9. For an an isOlropic soil with kx = 4kz. the value of the modified coefficient of permeability k' is
~)2kx W4kx
(d 0.5 kx Cd) 0.25 kx
10. For a now net wilh Nt'" 5 und N,I = 20, the shape factor is
(a) 0.25 (b) 4.0
(el lOO (d) 1.0
(An.<;. I. (d). 2. (b). 3. (a). 4. (a) 5. (b), 6. Cd), 7. (b), 8. (e), 9. (a) . 10. (a)]
10
Effective Stress Principle
10.1. INTRODUcnON
The effective SlreSS principle enunciated by Karl Thrzaghi in 1936 fonns an extremely useful basis of the
most importanf theories in soil engineering. 1be effective stress principle consists of two parts :
1. Oefmitioo of the effective stress.
2. Importance of the effective stress in engineering behaviour of soil
This dlapter is devoted mainly to the fin! part. 1be socond part dealing with the importance of effective
stress is discussed briefly in the follOWing article. The role of effedive stress on compression rflaraderistics
and shear strength is dealt in detail in chapters 12 and 13, respectively.
The methods for determination of effective stress in soils for hydrostatic conditions and for steady
seepage conditions are discussed separately. The effect of seepage pressure on the stability of the soil masses
in described. Piping failures and the methods for its prevention are also disrussed.
10.2. EFFECTIVE STRESS PRINCIPLE
(1) DeOnilion of Effective Siress
Fig. 10.1 shows a soil mass which is fully saturated. Let us oonsider a prism of soil with a O"OSSsectional
area A. The weight P of the soil in lhe prism is given by
P _ Y,tII hA ...(a)
where YUIl is the saturated weight of the soil. aod h is the height of lhe prism.
Total stress (a) on the base of the prism is equal to the force per unit area. Thus
I
Pore water pressure (u) 15 the pressure due to pore water
The lOtal normal force P acting on the soil model is resisted partly by the interparticle forces at the points
of contact (P"') and panly by the pore water pressure force (P..,) [Fig. 10.2 (b)].
'Thus P  p. + p. ",(105)
At every point of contact, the interparticle force F can be resolved into the normal component (N) and
the tangential component (T) to the plane XX [Fig. ID.2 (e)]. The interparticle forces are random in both
o Pm
,~,
(b)
~
I Am I .... /
j.A ..j
(e) (d)
(; _ sumar::~~~mpk:n~
0_ I: ",(lO,6)
Let the area of qosssection occupied by the solid particles (minerals) be Am and that occupied by wale<
bl: A_ [Fig, 10,2 (d)J
Therefore, A  A", + A...
or A ...  A  A", ,.(10.7)
Let u be the pore water pressure. From Eq. ID.5,
P _ Pm + P", .. l:N + IV
oA  a Am + uA ... ",(108)
where 0 is tbe actual normal stress transmitted at the points of contact of the solid particles, and a is the
total stress (Eq. 10.1).
Eq. 10.8 .can be written as
a _ " (Am/A) + U (A.lA)
Using Eq. to.7, o .. 0 (A",/A) + u (1  A".IA)
0"0 + u (Ia",) ".(10,9)
'"where Q", _ Am/A.
Q ...
1<>2 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
'Ille geolcdmical engineer is interested in the effective stress (0) not in the actual contact stress (0). Let
us again consider the equilibrium in the vmical direction [Fig. 10.2 (d)}. We have
P _ TN + uA ...
aA .. 'EN + uA ...
or 0 _ IN/A + u (A,./A) .. .(10.10)
In Eq. 10.7, as the area occupied by the interparticle contact (mineral to mineral) A. is very small (about
3% for granular soils). the area A ... be taken approximately equal to the lotal area A. In other words,
A ... _A .
Therefc::re, Eq. 10.10 becomes 0 " IN/A + u
Designating IN/A by the nominal effective stress, 0,
0 .. a + u
or cr .. 0 u (same as Eq. 10.3)
It must be nOled that the effective stress (0) depends upon the normal force (IN) transmitted at the points
of contact, but it is not equal to the contact stress (fJ). It is equal to the total normal (orce N transmitted at
the points of contad divided by the total area A, including that occupied by water. It has no physical meaning
and, therefore. cannot be directly measured. It is much smaller (han the actual contact stress '&.
The pore water pressure due to water in voids acts equaUy in aU directions (pascal's law). It docs not
resist any shear stress. and, therefore, is also called the neutral stress. However. it is very important as tbe
effective stress depends upon the pore water pressure.
In clayey soils, there may not be direct contact between the minerals due to the surrounding adsorbed
water layers. However, it has been established by actual experiments that the interparticle contact forces can
be transmitted even through tbe highly viscous adsorbed water. The above equations whK;b have been
developed assuming 'he soil as coarsegrained may be used for clayey soils as well.
For surface active minerals, Eq. 103 is modified as
cr •
0  u + (A'  R') ... [10.3 <a)]
where A' and If are respectively the attractive and repulsive forces per unit area.
i. 1H} + 1,,# H2
The lefthand side is equal to the lotal stress CEq. 10.1).
! ! ! ! !U
Therefore, 0 .. Y HI + y,atH2
The pcxe water pressure (u) is given by Eq. 102 as w = 1."t+ f sa• Hz'
u .. y,.,H2 Fig. to.3
From Eq. 10.3, 0_ 0  u .. (yHI + y_Hi)  y... H 2
0' (j .. yHI + (y_  Y...) H2
ErFECTIVE stRESS PRINCIPLE J93
... (10.11)
Eq. 10.11 gives the. effcaive stress at section XX. Fig. 10.3 also shows ti<l: directions of a and u at
XX.
(a) If the water table rises to the ground surface, the whole of the soil is S.'ltUf'dted, and
a.y'(H\+H,).y'H ... (10.12)
As y' < y, the effective stress is reduced due to rise of water table.
(b) If the water table is depressed below the section Xx,
'0  1 H ... (10.13)
In this case, the effective stress is increased.
Thus, it is observed that the fluctuations in water table level cause changes in the pore water pressure and
the corresponding chnnges in the effective stress.
10.5. EFFEC'IWE STRESS IN A SOIL MASS UNDER nYDROSTA"nC CONllrnONS
Fig. 10.4 (a) shows n soil mass under hydrostatic conditions, wherein the wmer level remains constant.
As the interstices in the soil mass nre interconnected, water rises to [he same clevmion in different
piezometers fixed to the soil mass. 'nlC effective stress al various sections can be determined using Eq. 10.3.
r
WATER 'tw
SOIL.ltl'5.;lIt>' (Yut~
SOIL.2!)'U\), (lui?
St.!ction CC
(.) (b)
Fig. 10.S. Wafe.r Table in (a) Soill and (b) Soit2.
Section AA auCi_O
Section DD 0"" yllIl',
where '(J is the unit weight of soil above D.D. u =0
Therefore, (j  '(I Hl'
Section nn 0" • Yl HI' + (y,...h Ht" (Note. HI' + Ht .. HI)
U .. y",ll(
Therefore, a .. YI HI' + [(y,...)1  y",l Ht .. YI HI' + YI' Ht"
Section CC 0"  yllIl' + 'r,a)1 Ht" + (Y/ahHz
U .. y..,(Hz + HI")
Therefore, a .. ylHt ' + YI' fIt" + yz' Hz
j
Section AA o ,. 0, U,. y..,HI
Therefore, '0_ 0 (y..,HI)  y..,H I
196 SOIL MECHANICS AND FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
uSaturated
Wet
Hi~
}"'
"2
C
(b)
The effective stress is increased by 'I ... Ht" due to capillary action.
Likewise, it can be shown that the effective stress is increased by 'Iwllt at section CC also.
The following points may be noted from the study of both cases :
(1) The capillary water above the water table causes a negative pressure '1 ... 11, where 11 is the capillary
rise. This negative pressure causes an increase in the effective stresses at all levels below the
saturation level. The increase is equal to '1 ... 11. The capillary action is equivalent to a surcharge
q  y.H.
(2) If the soil is saturated due to rise in water table, the e[fcx:tive stress depends upon the submerged unit
weight; whereas for the soil saturated with capillary water, the e[fedive stress depends upon the
saturated unit weight. In the latter case, the water does not contribute to hydrostatic pressure.
(3) If the water table rises to the top soil surface, the meniscus is destroyed and the capillary water
Changes to the free water, and the effective stress is reduced throughout.
(4) Eq. 103 is applicable in all cases. However, it should be remembered that the pore water pressure
in the capillary zone is negative.
10.8. SEEPAGE PRESSURE
As the water flows through a soil, il exerts a force on the soil. The force acts in the direction of flow in
the case of isotropic soils. The force is known as the drag force or seepage force. The pressure induced in
the soil is lenned seepage pressure.
Let us consider the upward flow of water in a soil sample of length L and crosssectional area A under
a hydraulic head of II [Fig. 10.9 (a)l. The expression for seepage force and seepage pressure can be derived
considering the boundary \/ater pressures III and u2 aC1ing on the lop and hoIlom of the soil sample, as shown
in Fig. 10.9 (bXI). The boundary water pressure can be resolved into two components, namely, the hydrostatic
pressure and the hydrodynamic pressure as shown in Fig. 1O.9{bXil) and 1O.9(b)(iit).
(I) The hydrostatic pressures III(S) and u2(s) are the components which would occur if there were no
flow. If the samples were submerged under water 10 a depth of HI, lhese pressures would have
occurred.
T
I
(b)
(2) The hydrodynamic pressures Ul(d) and u2(d) arc the components which arc responsible for flow of
waler. This pressure is spent as the water flows through the soil. 'nlcse components cause the
seepage pressure.
At the lop of Ihe sample, III .. "1 (5) + III (d)
1... H , .. 1... /11 + 0
At the bottom of the sample, 1.12" tl2 (s) + U2 (d)
'(..,{H I + L + h) .. ,(... (H I + L) + l ... h
The hydrodynamic pressure is due to hydraulic hc..1d h. The seepage force (1) ads on the soH skeleton
due to 'flowing water through frictional drag. It is given by
J  y.hA ... (10.14)
The seepage pressure (Ps) is the seepage force per unit area,
p, .. l / A .. '1 ... h .. (10.15)
'(he seepage pressure (Ps) can be expressed in terms of the hydraulic gradient. From 10.15,
p, .. 'Yw h .. 'I ... . (hIL) . L
P." i1... L ... (10.16)
The seepage force (1) can be expressed as the force per unil volume V). as
. J YwhA h
) .. A"";L .. :;u: .. Y.., L
or j .. h... ... (10.17)
lbus, the seepage force per unit volume is equal to the product of the hydraulic gradient (I) and the unit
weight of water. As the hydraulic gradient is dimensionless, the seepage force per unit volume has the
dimensions of the unit weight (i.e.)!F/L)). It bas the units of N/mJ. For isotropic soils, the seepage force acts
in the direct ion of now.
10.9. FORCE EQUILIBRIUM IN SEEIJAGE PROBLEMS
Force equilibrium in seepage problems can be considered adopting either of the following approaches.
(1) Considering the equilibrium of the entire mass and using the boundary pressures.
(2) Considering the equilibrium of the solid particle or the mineral skeleton, and using the hydrodynamic
pressures.
(a) Vertical F10w
(I) Upwards . Fig. 1O.10(a) shows the forces acting on the soil mass shown in Fig. 10.9 (a). The unit
weight of the soil used is the s..1turntcd unit weight. 'rne resultant force (If) on the soil mass considering the
equilibrium of the entire mass, adopting the first approoch,
1'.;1 ~I
)!T
"
5
,~H+h)'
I l4J lj]
U,' ....
BOI..IiD4RY
R : u,+
FO~CES
w ll2
u;' .... "
FORCES ACllNG ON
SOLID PAATrClES
: LA,'_ Y."A R:W"'ui~w"_J
:tA'f'Y... A
h, ) fb)
R = (W + Ud  U2
R .. (LA '(sat + '(wAHl)  '(... A (H J + L + h)
or R .. LA l'  1whA ... (10.18)
The figure on the lefthand side shows the force diagram. The resultant force R acts downwards. For
stability of the mass, R must act downwards.
Fig. to.IO(b) shows the forces acting on the solid particles, adopting the second approach. 1be unit
weight of the soil used in this approach is the submerged unit weight. 1be resultant force (10 on the soil
skeleton is given by
R .. W'  U2'
R .. LA'('  l..,hA (same as Eq. 10.18)
In Eq. 10.18, the first term gives the submerged unit weight and the second term, the seepage force (Eq.
10.14). It must be noted that in the first approach, the seepage force (J) is not considered separately. It is
automatically accounted for in the boundary forces.
(iI) Downwards. Adopting a similar procedure, it can be shown that the resultant force when the flow is
downward is given by
R '" 1..A y' + 1.., IIA ... (10.19)
(b) Inclined Flow
Fig. 10.11 (a) shown the flow through an inclined soil specimen. In this case also, the resultant force R
can also be determined by adopting either of the two approaches discussed above for the vertical flow. As for
the vertical flow, in tbe first approach, the resultant force R is the vectorial sum of the saturated weight
1b)
ic .. (~ : ~) ... (10.24)
Taking the specific gravity of solids (G) as 2.67, and the void ratio (e) as 0.67,
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