The Introduction to the Mechanics of Soils & Foundations

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Groundwater behind the wall that is not dissipated by a drainage system causes an additional horizontal hydraulic pressure on the wall. Gravity walls depend on the size and weight of the wall mass to resist pressures from behind. Gravity walls will often have a slight setback, or batter, to improve wall stability.

For short, landscaping walls, gravity walls made from dry-stacked mortarless stone or segmental concrete units masonry units are commonly used. Earlier in the 20th century, taller retaining walls were often gravity walls made from large masses of concrete or stone. Today, taller retaining walls are increasingly built as composite gravity walls such as geosynthetic or steel-reinforced backfill soil with precast facing; gabions stacked steel wire baskets filled with rocks , crib walls cells built up log cabin style from precast concrete or timber and filled with soil or free-draining gravel or soil-nailed walls soil reinforced in place with steel and concrete rods.


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For reinforced-soil gravity walls , the soil reinforcement is placed in horizontal layers throughout the height of the wall. Commonly, the soil reinforcement is geogrid , a high-strength polymer mesh, that provides tensile strength to hold the soil together. The wall face is often of precast, segmental concrete units that can tolerate some differential movement.

The reinforced soil's mass, along with the facing, becomes the gravity wall. The reinforced mass must be built large enough to retain the pressures from the soil behind it. Gravity walls usually must be a minimum of 30 to 40 percent as deep thick as the height of the wall and may have to be larger if there is a slope or surcharge on the wall. Prior to the introduction of modern reinforced-soil gravity walls, cantilevered walls were the most common type of taller retaining wall. Cantilevered walls are made from a relatively thin stem of steel-reinforced, cast-in-place concrete or mortared masonry often in the shape of an inverted T.

These walls cantilever loads like a beam to a large, structural footing; converting horizontal pressures from behind the wall to vertical pressures on the ground below. Sometimes cantilevered walls are buttressed on the front, or include a counterfort on the back, to improve their stability against high loads. Buttresses are short wing walls at right angles to the main trend of the wall. These walls require rigid concrete footings below seasonal frost depth. This type of wall uses much less material than a traditional gravity wall.

Basements are a form of cantilever walls, but the forces on the basement walls are greater than on conventional walls because the basement wall is not free to move. Shoring of temporary excavations frequently requires a wall design that does not extend laterally beyond the wall, so shoring extends below the planned base of the excavation. Common methods of shoring are the use of sheet piles or soldier beams and lagging.

Sheet piles are a form of driven piling using thin interlocking sheets of steel to obtain a continuous barrier in the ground and are driven prior to excavation.

Soldier beams are constructed of wide flange steel H sections spaced about 2—3 m apart, driven prior to excavation. As the excavation proceeds, horizontal timber or steel sheeting lagging is inserted behind the H pile flanges.

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In some cases, the lateral support which can be provided by the shoring wall alone is insufficient to resist the planned lateral loads; in this case, additional support is provided by walers or tie-backs. Walers are structural elements that connect across the excavation so that the loads from the soil on either side of the excavation are used to resist each other, or which transfer horizontal loads from the shoring wall to the base of the excavation. Tie-backs are steel tendons drilled into the face of the wall which extends beyond the soil which is applying pressure to the wall, to provide additional lateral resistance to the wall.

Ground Improvement is a technique that improves the engineering properties of the treated soil mass. Usually, the properties modified are shear strength, stiffness, and permeability. Ground improvement has developed into a sophisticated tool to support foundations for a wide variety of structures. Properly applied, i. Slope stability is the potential of soil covered slopes to withstand and undergo movement. Stability is determined by the balance of shear stress and shear strength. A previously stable slope may be initially affected by preparatory factors, making the slope conditionally unstable.

NPTEL :: Civil Engineering - Soil Mechanics

Triggering factors of a slope failure can be climatic events that can then make a slope actively unstable, leading to mass movements. Mass movements can be caused by increases in shear stress, such as loading, lateral pressure, and transient forces. Alternatively, shear strength may be decreased by weathering, changes in pore water pressure , and organic material. Several modes of failure for earth slopes include falls, topples, slides, and flows.

In slopes with coarse-grained soil or rocks, falls typically occur as the rapid descent of rocks and other loose slope material. A slope topples when a large column of soil tilts over its vertical axis at failure. Typical slope stability analysis considers sliding failures, categorized mainly as rotational slides or translational slides. As implied by the name, rotational slides fail along a generally curved surface, while translational slides fail along a more planar surface. A slope failing as flow would resemble a fluid flowing downhill. Stability analysis is needed for the design of engineered slopes and for estimating the risk of slope failure in natural or designed slopes.

A common assumption is that a slope consists of a layer of soil sitting on top of a rigid base. The mass and the base are assumed to interact via friction. The interface between the mass and the base can be planar, curved, or have some other complex geometry. The goal of a slope stability analysis is to determine the conditions under which the mass will slip relative to the base and lead to slope failure. If the interface between the mass and the base of a slope has a complex geometry, slope stability analysis is difficult and numerical solution methods are required.

Typically, the exact geometry of the interface is not known and a simplified interface geometry is assumed. Finite slopes require three-dimensional models to be analyzed. To keep the problem simple, most slopes are analyzed assuming that the slopes are infinitely wide and can, therefore, be represented by two-dimensional models. A slope can be drained or undrained.

An introduction to the mechanics of soils and foundations: through critical state soil mechanics

The undrained condition is used in the calculations to produce conservative estimates of risk. A popular stability analysis approach is based on principles pertaining to the limit equilibrium concept. This method analyzes a finite or infinite slope as if it were about to fail along its sliding failure surface. Equilibrium stresses are calculated along the failure plane and compared to the soils shear strength as determined by Terzaghi's shear strength equation. Stability is ultimately decided by a factor of safety equal to the ratio of shear strength to the equilibrium stresses along the failure surface.

A factor of safety greater than one generally implies a stable slope, failure of which should not occur assuming the slope is undisturbed. A factor of safety of 1. Offshore or marine geotechnical engineering is concerned with foundation design for human-made structures in the sea , away from the coastline in opposition to onshore or nearshore.

There are a number of significant differences between onshore and offshore geotechnical engineering. Offshore structures are exposed to various environmental loads, notably wind , waves and currents. These phenomena may affect the integrity or the serviceability of the structure and its foundation during its operational lifespan — they need to be taken into account in offshore design.

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In subsea geotechnical engineering, seabed materials are considered a two-phase material composed of 1 rock or mineral particles and 2 water. Undersea mooring of human-engineered floating structures include a large number of offshore oil and gas platforms and, since , a few floating wind turbines. Two common types of engineered design for anchoring floating structures include tension-leg and catenary loose mooring systems.

Catenary mooring systems provide station keeping for an offshore structure yet provide little stiffness at low tensions. Geosynthetics are a type of plastic polymer products used in geotechnical engineering that improve engineering performance while reducing costs.

This includes geotextiles , geogrids , geomembranes , geocells , and geocomposites. The synthetic nature of the products makes them suitable for use in the ground where high levels of durability are required; their main functions include drainage, filtration, reinforcement, separation, and containment.

Geosynthetics are available in a wide range of forms and materials, each to suit a slightly different end-use, although they are frequently used together. These products have a wide range of applications and are currently used in many civil and geotechnical engineering applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, piled embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, landfills, bank protection and coastal engineering.

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An introduction to the mechanics of soils and foundations: Through critical state soil mechanics

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main articles: Soil mechanics and Rock mechanics. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. Published by Spon Press About this Item: Spon Press, Condition: Fair. This book has soft covers.

In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9.

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A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. More information about this seller Contact this seller Condition: Poor. In poor condition, suitable as a reading copy. Published by Maclaren About this Item: Maclaren, Book is in good condition. Cover has some wear. Fingermarks present. Page discolouration present. Creasing present. Seller Inventory ZZ3. Published by Elsevier Applied Science About this Item: Elsevier Applied Science, Published by Mcgraw-Hill College About this Item: Mcgraw-Hill College, Condition: Used: Good.

Published by Applied Science Publishers Ltd. Second Edition, Reprint. Blue cover with gilt lettering to spine looks a generally corner worn with sunfaded and nicked spine. Large scrape on the tail of spine. Contents in very good clean condition.

get link Library sticker on FEP. Library stamp on prelims and some pages with no obstruction of text. Highly illustrated by diagrams. Published by Applied Science Publishers, London DJ sunned, darkened, smudged, heavily rubbed, chipped, torn. Corners lightly bumped. Pages sunned. Spine tight, cocked. Interior lightly sunned, clean. No marks. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Calculate stress changes and associated settlements below or near shallow raft foundations. Analyse retaining walls and shallow strip foundations at failure, using simple methods.


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  6. Discuss the limitations of the methods used to analyse retaining walls and strip foundations. Assess the stability of slopes. Transferable and Generic Skills Having successfully completed this module you will be able to: Ability to learn Problem analysis and problem solving Information handling Self-management e.

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