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CVG3106 Summer 2018

Soil Mechanics II

Course Instructor
Sai K. Vanapalli
(613)562-5800 Ext. 6638

 Foundation Engineering is a clever combination of soil mechanics, engineering
geology and proper judgment derived from engineering experience.
 Foundation engineering to some extent can be considered as ART
 What information is required to design a foundation?
 Load from superstructure (such as dead load, live load etc.)
 Stability (i.e., f(τf)) and deformation (i.e., f(∆V) properties of soils
 Geological conditions
 Soil type
 Depth and thickness
 Engineering properties
 Hydrogeology
 Site investigations (i.e., subsurface exploration)

Weathering of Rocks

 Soil origin (weathering of rocks) Mechanical Chemical

(Physical forces) (Original material properties
 Loads from columns and foundation change and a different
material forms)

walls must be transferred to the soil SOIL CLASSIFICATION – FOUNDATION DESIGN

through shallow foundations (e.g., SOIL

spread footings or mat foundations)

or deep foundations (e.g., pile
foundations, pier foundations) Coarse-grained

Dense Loose

N.C. O.C.

Shallow foundations
 Shallow foundations are used when you have favourable soils such as coarse
grained soils ( i.e., high shear strength, τf and low deformation, ∆H)

(a) square spread footing

(b) long (strip) footing
(c) rectangular footing for two
columns (combined footing)
(d) trapezoidal footing for two

Shallow foundations
 If sum of areas of spread footing = ½ of total area use Mat (or Raft) foundations.
 Mat foundations are used to reduce differential settlement between adjacent
areas (for soils having low bearing capacity or where soil conditions are variable
and erratic).

Shallow foundations

Deep foundations

(a) slender driven, drilled, or

cast-in-place pile
(b) drilled or cast-in-place pier
with enlarged bases
(c) open caisson
(d) box type caisson
(e) pneumatic caisson

Major purpose of foundations
 To transfer the loads from the superstructure to the earth safely such that the
supporting soil is not overstressed and the deformations would cause no serious
settlement of the superstructure.
 Foundation classification depends on Df / B ratio (where Df is the depth of
foundation and B is the width of the foundation).
 The soil-foundation system is responsible for providing support for the lifetime of
a structure
 Foundations should be designed for the worst conditions that may develop during
its lifetime.
 Structural loads (dead and live loads)
 Load effects that may result from environmental factors such as wind, ice,
frost, heat, water, earthquake, and explosive blasts.

Shallow or deep foundations
 Establish the loads supplied by the structural loads (i.e. dead load and live load).
 Shallow foundations (2 to 3 m depth) if the upper soils are competent.
 Deep foundation if the loads are large (say 200 kN).
 Other factors: Bearing capacity (stability and deformation properties of soils).
 Stability: Depends on the shear strength parameters, c’ and φ’.
 Deformation: ρ total = ρ elastic + ρ consolidation + ρ sec ondary
 NOTE: In many situations, ρt is controlled by code provisions

Characteristics of shallow foundations
 Df ≤ B to 3B
Df = depth from ground level to the base
of footing
B = width of footing
 Foundation or footing should be below
depth of frost penetration, undermining
by scour and preferably below zone of
seasonal change. Can be very difficult to
meet all these criteria and sometimes
 Footing must not break into ground (i.e.
safe against overall shear failure).
 Footing must not settle excessively.

Foundation design consideration
 The soil bearing capacity is the pressure that a foundation unit can impose onto
the supporting earth mass without causing overstressing (shear failure).
 Deformations occurring because of foundation loading usually cause settlement.
Lateral movements associated with settlement are also of concern.
 Failure of foundations can be due to:
 Shear failure (based on the permissible load)
 Settlement failure (permissible settlement)

Estimate/determine the bearing capacity of soils
 Bearing capacity equations: shear strength
properties of the soil (takes into account only
shear failure criteria) (NOT SETTLEMENT! Don’t
know what will be the settlement)
 Penetration resistance data (i.e. such as the
SPT data) and relate it to the bearing capacity
and settlement characteristics of the soil.
(Commonly used for sandy soils and shallow
foundations. Such design approaches are not
available for all type of soils and foundations).
 Takes into account shear strength and
settlement: Good design approach.

Estimate/determine the bearing capacity of soils
 Relating soil type to presumptive bearing
capacity recommended by building codes
(Limitation: do not consider the soil
compressibility and the possible influence of
poorer soil layers under the bearing layer).
Not a good approach for foundation design.
(reliable only if you have prior experience)
 Field load tests (commonly used for pile
 Test results related to both carrying capacity
and settlement (Expensive)
 Careful evaluation
 For every 10 piles, 1 pile is fully tested.

Estimate/determine the bearing capacity of soils

 conservative design approaches (higher values of factor of safety)

 Factor of safety between 2 and 4. Note: In many cases < 0.1% of the construction
area is investigated.
 The foundations profession is still considered a “state-of-the-art” profession.
 Experience is the “key” parameter in the design of foundation.
 Scientific methods and principles are utilized, but there are no unique solutions.
Various alternative solutions are possible….
 The ultimate soil bearing capacity for foundations is related to the properties of
soil, stress history, GWT, including the size, depth, and shape of the foundation
and the method of construction or installation.

Footing behavior - general shear failure
 Well-defined failure mode
 Dense and coarse-grained soils
 φ’ ≥ 36o, Dr ≥ 71%
 The ground surface adjacent to the
footing bulges upward.
 Soil displacement is accompanied by
tilting of the foundation.

Footing behavior – local shear failure
 Has both general shear and punching shear failure characteristics.
 Any increment of load is associated with foundation settlement.
 39% ≤ Dr ≤ 71%, φ’ = 24 to 28°

Footing behavior – punching shear failure
 No defined failure load (occurs in soils with plastic properties).
 Footing sinks, very large settlement
 Dr ≤ 39%

Test at

Definitions and terminology
 Gross bearing pressure, q at the base
of foundation: P +P
s f

 Total vertical stress (overburden
Df pressure): q = γ D
Pf 0 f

 Net bearing pressure: qn= q − q0

 Foundation settles if qn is positive

and foundation will rise if qn is

Definitions and terminology
 Floating foundation
 Take advantage of load of soil removed by excavation. qn =q − q0 =0
 Ultimate bearing capacity, qu: bearing pressure of soil at failure conditions.
 From an engineering practice point of view, we do not load a foundation close to
ultimate bearing capacity of the soil to avoid failure conditions (i.e. strength or
deformation failure).
qu − q0
 Net safe bearing capacity qns =
 Safe bearing capacity, (Footing will not fail, but settlement may be excessive).

q=s qns + γ D f

Definitions and terminology
 Typically FS: between 2.5 to 3
 Dead load
 Live load
 Variability of deposit
 Extent of site investigation
 Reliability of shear strength parameters
 FS = 4 or even higher for pile foundations
 Allowable bearing capacity, qa is the bearing pressure that will not cause
excessive settlement (i.e. to limit the settlements to some allowable limit ρa, it is
necessary to reduce the bearing pressure to some value qa).
 qa < qs < qu

Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory (for
drained loading conditions)
 General bearing capacity equation
valid for strip footings (i.e. continuous
footing with an infinite length).

Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory
(for drained loading conditions)
 Terzaghi assuming general shear failure conditions proposed bearing capacity
equation in terms of shear strength parameters, unit weight, depth and width of
foundation for drained loading as given below:

qu =c′N c + qN q + γ BNγ

qu = ultimate bearing capacity

c’ = cohesion of the soil below foundation level
q = γDf
Nc = bearing capacity factor associated with the cohesion
Nq = bearing capacity factor associated with the surcharge
Nγ = bearing capacity factor associated with the unit weight of soil

Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory
(important notes)
 Shear strength properties at the base of the footing!
 Only width and depth
 Shear strength of a soil by its angle of internal friction only (φ’ in drained loading
conditions (typically φ’ > 36) (General Shear Failure: GSF)
 Non-cemented soils: c’ ≈ 0
 Nc, Nq and Nγ = f(φ’ )
 Different bearing capacity factors available in the literature with small
 You can stick to the values available in the text book. The charts given in your text
book are reproduced on the next page.
 Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual

Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory

 General shear failure


Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory
 General shear failure  Local shear failure

 Continuous or strip footing  Continuous or strip footing

qu = c′N c + qN q + 1 2 γ B Nγ qu= 2 3 c′N c′ + qN q′ + 1 2 γ B Nγ′

 Square footing  Square footing

qu= 1.3 c′N c + qN q + 0.4 γ B Nγ =qu 0.867c′N c′ + qN q′ + 0.4γ B Nγ′

 Circular footing  Circular footing

qu= 1.3 c′N c + qN q + 0.3 γ B Nγ = qu 0.867c′N c′ + qN q′ + 0.3 γ B Nγ′

Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory

 Local shear failure


φ ′ = tan −1 ( 2 3 tan φ ′ )

Terzaghi’s ultimate bearing capacity theory
 Terzaghi’s bearing capacity equation for continuous strip footings under drained
loading conditions.
qu = c′N c + qN q + 1 2 γ B Nγ

 Shear strength of a soil = f(c’ and φ’)

 For most soils, effective cohesion, c’ is zero.

 Do not use c’ value in the bearing capacity equation unless there is enough
evidence with respect to cohesion value, say in the form of soil cementation.

 Nc, Nq and Nγ = f(φ’ )

Effect of groundwater table on the bearing capacity
qu = c′N c + qN q + 1 2 γ b B Nγ
 Case I (0 ≤ D1 ≤ Df)
D1γ + D2 (γ sat − γ w )
b γ=′ γ sat − γ w
 Case II (0 ≤ d ≤ B)
q = γ Df
γ b =+ (γ − γ ′)
 Case III (B ≤ d): no effect

 DGD Problem 1

A square column foundation has to carry a gross allowable load of 1805 kN (FS = 3).
Given: Df = 1.5m, γ = 15.9 kN/m3, φ’ = 34°, and c’ = 0 kPa.
Use Terzaghi’s equation to determine the size of the foundation (B). Assuming
general shear failure.

The general bearing capacity equation
 Ultimate bearing capacity equation
 continuous, square and circular foundations (not rectangular foundation)
 Influence of shearing resistance in the surcharge loading region
 Inclination of load of the foundation

 Meyerhof (1963)

qu =c′N c Fcs Fcd Fci + q N q Fqs Fqd Fqi + 1 2 γ B Nγ Fγ s Fγ d Fγ i

Fcs , Fqs , Fγs = shape factors

Fcd , Fqd , Fγd = depth factors
Fci , Fqi , Fγi = inclination factors

General bearing capacity equation
 Meyerhof (1963) from Canada

qu =c′N c Fcs Fcd Fci + q N q Fqs Fqd Fqi + 1 2 γ B Nγ Fγ s Fγ d Fγ i

 Depth factors are ignored in soil layer above the footing. However, soil
confinement increases as depth increases. Due to this reason, depth factors are ≥
 Inclination factor is a load reduction factor and is less than 1.
 Shape factor due to influence of cohesion and surcharge ≥ 1 and due to unit
weight < 1.

General bearing capacity equation

 Shape factor (De Beer, 1970)  Inclination factor (Meyerhof,

1963; Hanna and Meyerhof,
 B   Nq  1981)
Fcs = 1 +    
 L   Nc 
β° 

B Fci= Fqi= 1 − 
Fqs = 1 +   tan φ ′  90° 
L 2
 β° 
B Fγ= 1 − ′ 
Fγ s = 1 − 0.4   i
 φ 

General bearing capacity equation
 Depth factor (Hansen, 1970)
for D f / B ≤ 1, φ ′ > 0 for D f / B ≤ 1, φ ′ =
1 − Fqd  Df 
F= Fqd − Fcd = 1 + 0.4  
N c tan φ ′  
 Df  F= F=
γd 1
1 + 2 tan φ (1 − sin φ ) 
Fqd = ′ ′

 B 
Fγ d = 1

for D f / B > 1, φ ′ > 0 for D f / B > 1, φ ′ =

1 − Fqd  Df 
F= Fqd − −1
Fcd = 1 + 0.4 tan   radian
N c tan φ ′
radian  B 
 Df  F= F= 1
1 + 2 tan φ ′ (1 − sin φ ′ ) tan −1 
Fqd = γd
2 qd

 B 
Fγ d = 1

The general bearing capacity equation

 DGD Problem 2

A square footing ( B x B) has to be constructed as shown below. Assume that γ = 16.5

kN/m3, γsat = 18.5 kN/m3, D1 = 0.6m, Df = 1.2m. The gross allowable load, Qall, with FS
= 3 is 667 kN. The SPT values (N60) are as follows. Determine the size of footing. (Use
General bearing capacity equation)
Depth (m) N60
1.5 4
3.0 6
4.5 6
6.0 10
7.5 5

 DGD Problem 3

The applied load on a shallow square foundation makes an angle of 15° with the
vertical. Given: B = 1.83m, Df = 0.9m, γ = 18.08 kN/m3, φ’ = 25, and c’ = 23.96 kN/m2.
Use FS = 4 and determine the gross allowable load. (General bearing capacity

Eccentrically load foundations

Eccentrically load foundations
(Effective area method, Meyerhof, 1953)
 In addition to vertical loads,
foundations are subjected to
moments (example, base of retaining
 The pressure distribution under such
loading conditions is not uniform .

Q  6e 
qmax 1 + 
BL  B
Q  6e 
qmin 1 − 
BL  B

Eccentrically load foundations

Q  6e 
qmin 1 − 
BL  B
= M e B= / 6 qmin 0 
e=  
Q e > B / 6 qmin =
( −) 
 tensions (i.e., cracks will develop);
separation between the
foundation and the underlying
 Exact distribution of pressure is
difficult to estimate.

Meyerhof’s effective area method
 Step 1: effective dimensions
 B’ = effective width = B – 2e
 L = effective length = L
 Note: if the eccentricity is in the direction of length, then, L’= L-2e and B’ = B.

 Step 2: ultimate bearing capacity

qu′ =c′N c Fcs Fcd Fci + q N q Fqs Fqd Fqi + 1 2 γ B′ Nγ Fγ s Fγ d Fγ i
 Step 3: total ultimate load
Qult = qu′ ( B′ )( L′ )
 FS against bearing capacity failure FS =
 FS against qmax FS =

 DGD Problem 4

A continuous foundation is shown in the figure below. If the load eccentricity is 0.2
m, determine the ultimate load, Qult per unit length of the foundation. Use
Meyerhof’s effective area method.

Bearing capacity equation for undrained loading Conditions

 Foundations on clay soils which are typically in a state of saturated condition and
are frequently loaded much more rapidly than which the pore-water pressures
can dissipate.
 For such cases, the concept of φu = 0 should be used for determining the ultimate
bearing capacity of soils. In other words, undrained shear strength, su (in some
cases term cu is used) describes the shear strength of soil.
 For φu = 0 , the bearing capacity factors Nc, Nq and Nγ are 5.7 (Terzaghi)/5.14
(Genral bearing capacity), 1 and zero respectively (This set of values should be
 φu = 0, c = cu

Bearing capacity equation for undrained loading Conditions

qu =c′N c + γ D f N q + 1 2 Bγ Nγ
qu =5.7cu + γ D f (1) + 1 2 Bγ (0)

qu 5.7cu + γ D f

 NOT dependent on shape and size of the foundation.

 Net bearing capacity: qnet = qu – surcharge
 qnet = 5.7cu
 Net bearing capacity of saturated clay soils under undrained loading conditions is
not dependent on shape and size of the foundation and only depends on cu.

Bearing capacity equation for undrained loading Conditions

 General bearing capacity equation for undrained loading conditions

=qu c N c Fcs Fcd + q0

 Net ultimate bearing capacity qn =qu − qo =c N c Fcs Fcd

 Skempton (1951): φu = 0
 Df  B
qn =5.14cu 1 + 0.4  1 + 0.2 
 B   L 

 Triaxial test (UU test; also called as Quick test)

 Field vane tests (typically in soft and sensitive saturated clays) (In situ test)
 Laboratory vane tests
 Standard penetration tests (SPT).
 Cone penetrometer test (static or dynamic cone tests)

 DGD Problem 5

Determine the allowable load on a footing 4.5 m x 2.25 m at a depth of 3.50 m in a

stiff clay if a factor of safety 3 with respect to shear failure is specified. The saturated
unit weight if 20 kN/m3 and the relevant shear strength parameters are cu = 135
kN/m2 and φu = 0.

Factor of safety
 A safety factor is introduced into geotechnical stability in order to ensure
reasonable safety of earthworks, earth retaining structures and foundations,
design, and construction.

 Safety factor may be defined as the ratio of the resistance of the earth structure
or foundation to the applied load effects to ensure freedom from danger, loss or
unacceptable risk (Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual).

 Global factor of safety value is typically in the range of 1.3 to 3.0. This factor of
safety depends on how well we are able to define dead load, live load, variability
of deposit, extent of investigation and reliability of strength parameters.

Factor of safety
 Terzaghi and Peck (1967) suggested customary safety factors (also called as global
safety factors) which are summarized below:
Failure type Item Safety factor, F

Shearing Earthworks 1.3 -1.5

Earth retaining structures, excavations 1.5 -2
Foundations 2-3

Seepage Uplift, heave 1.5 – 2

Exit gradients, piping 2-3

 Upper values: normal and service conditions.

 Lower values: maximum loads and worst environment conditions. These are used
in conjunction with performance observations, large field tests, analyses of
failures of similar structures, at the end of service life, and for temporary works.

Factor of safety
 Various influences affecting the margin of safety in earthwork and foundation are
the variability of the loads and load effects and of the soil resistance (Meyerhof,
 Meyerhof (1982) introduced a more consistent approach (leading to a more
uniform margin of safety for different types and components of earth structures
and foundations under different loading conditions) by using partial safety
 Ultimate Limit States (ULS): Uses load factors that are greater than one and
factored strength parameters that are less than one. These factors are based on
structural working stress design (consistent with structural design concepts);
supported by probability studies of variability of various types of loading (Allen

Factor of safety
Category Item Load factor Load factor
Symbol Value
Loads Dead loads fd 1.25 (0.8)

Live loads, wind, or fl 1.50


Water pressures fu 1.25 (0.8)

Category Item Load factor Load factor
Symbol Value
Shear Cohesion (c) (stability, fc 0.65
strength earth pressures)

Cohesion (c) (foundations) fc 0.50

Friction (tan φ ) fφ 0.8

Factor of safety
 The load factors are provided mainly for variability and pattern of loading, which
differ for dead loads, live and environmental loads, and water pressures.
 The resistance factors (i.e. strength) take into account mainly the variability and
uncertainty of the assessment of shear strength parameters.

Thank You
Your Attention