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# Chapter 1

Soil Exploration
Symbols for Soil Exploration
CB STP correction factor for the boreholes diameter.
CR STP correction factor for the rod length.
CS STP correction factor for the sampler type used.
cu Soils un-drained cohesion.
Df Depth of the foundations invert.
Em The efficiency of the STP hammer.
N The raw value of the STP (as obtained in the field).
po The original vertical stress at a point of interest in the soil mass.
S The number of stories of a building.
SPT Stands for Standard Penetration Test.
N60 Corrected STP assuming 60% efficiency in the field.
N70 Corrected STP assuming 70% efficiency in the field.
m Correction factor for the shear vane test using the clays Plasticity Index PI.

## *Exploration01. Find the required number of borings and their depth.

(Revised: Sept. 08)

A four story reinforced concrete frame office building will be built on a site where the soils are
expected to be of average quality and uniformity. The building will have a 30 m x 40 m footprint
and is expected to be supported on spread footing foundations located about 1 m below the ground
surface. The site appears to be in its natural condition, with no evidence of previous grading.
Bedrock is 30-m below the ground surface. Determine the required number and depth of the
borings.
Solution:
A reinforced concrete building is heavier than a steel framed building of the same size. Hence, the
design engineer will want soil conditions that are at least average or better. From Table-1 below, one
2
boring will be needed for every 300 m of footprint area. Since the total footprint area is 30 m x 40 m
2
=1,200 m , use
four
borings.
0.7

0.7

Table-2 provides the minimum depth required for the borings, 5 S + D = 5(4) + 1 = 14 m. Most
design engineers want one boring to go to a slightly greater depth to check the next lower stratums
strength.
In summary, the exploration plan will be 4 borings to a depth of 14 m.
Table-1 - Spacing of the exploratory borings for buildings on shallow foundations.
Subsurface Conditions

2

(m )

(ft )

200

2,000

Average

300

3,000

600

6,000

## Table-2 - Depths of exploratory borings for buildings on shallow foundations.

Minimum Depth of Borings
Subsurface Conditions

## (S = number of stories and D = the anticipated

depth of the foundation)
(m)

(ft)

0.7

+D

20S

0.7

+D

6S

Average

5S

0.7

+D

15S

0.7

+D

3S

0.7

+D

10S

0.7

+D

## *Exploration02. The samples disturbance due to the boring diameter.

(Revised: Sept. 08)

The most common soil and soft rock sampling tool in the US is the Standard Split Spoon.
Split spoon tubes split longitudinally into halves and permit taking a soil or soft rock sample. The
tube size is designated as an NX. The NX outside diameter is Do = 50.8 mm (2 inches) and its
inside diameter is Di = 34.9 mm (1-3/8 inches). This small size has the advantage of cheapness,
because it is relatively easy to drive into the ground. Ho wever, it has the disadvantage of
disturbing the natural texture of the soil. In soft rocks, such as young limestone, it will destroy the
rock to such a degree that it may be classified as a sand.
A better sampler is the Shelby (or thin-tube sampler). It has the same outside diameter of 2 inches
(although the trend it to use 3 inches).
Compare the degree of sample disturbance of a US standard split-spoon sampler, versus the two
Shelby thin-tube samplers (2 and 3 outside diameters) via their area ratio Ar (a measure of
sample disturbance).
Solution:

## The area ratio for a 2"-standard split-spoon sampler is,

2
2
2
2.0
1.38
D2
D
o
i
A (%)
2 (100) 110%
2 (100)
Di
r
1.38
The area ratio for a 2"-Shelby-tube sampler is,
2
2
Do
D
i
2.0 2
(100) 13.8%
(100)
2
Ar (%)
Di
1.875 2
1.875
2

2
2
Do
D
i
3.0 2
(100) 8.9%
(100)
2
Ar (%)
Di
2.875 2
2.875
2

## *Exploration03. Correcting the SPT for depth and sampling method.

(Revision Sept-08)

A standard penetration test (SPT) has been conducted in a loose coarse sand stratum to a depth of
16 ft below the ground surface. The blow counts obtained in the field were as follows: 0 6 in = 4
blows; 6 -12 in = 6 blows; 12 -18 in = 8 blows. The tests were conducted using a US-style donut
hammer in a 6 inch diameter boring with a standard sampler and liner. The effective unit weight
of the loose sand stratum is about 93.8 pcf.
Determine the corrected SPT if the testing procedure is assumed to only be 60% efficient.
Solution:
The raw SPT value is N = 6 + 8 = 14 (that is, only the last two sets of 6 penetrations).
The US-style donut hammer efficiency is Em = 0.45, and the other parameters are obtained from the
Tables provided on the next page: CB = 1.05, CS = 1.00, CR = 0.85.
With these values, the SPT corrected to 60% efficiency can use Skemptons relation,

Em C B C S C R

N
60

0.45

0.60

1 .0 5

1 .0 0

0.60

0.85

14

## Notice that the SPT value is always given as a whole number.

That corrected SPT N60 is then corrected for depth. For example, using the Liao and Whitman method
(1986),

60

2, 000 lb / ft 2
depth
effective unit w eight

N 60
9

2, 000 lb / ft
10
ft
93.8 pcf

16

## SPT Hammer Efficiencies (adapted from Clayton, 1990).

Country

Hammer Type

Release Mechanism

Hammer Efficiency

Argentina

donut

0.45

Brazil

pin weight

hand dropped

0.72

China

automatic

trip

0.60

donut

hand dropped

0.55

donut

0.50

Colombia

donut

0.50

Japan

donut

Tombi trigger

0.78 - 0.85

donut

0.65 - 0.67

UK

automatic

trip

0.73

US

safety

0.55 - 0.60

donut

0.45

donut

0.43

Venezuela

Correction Factors for the Boring Diameter, Sampling Method and Boring Rod Length
Correction Factor

Equipment Variables

Value

1.00

150 mm (6 in)

1.05

200 mm (8 in)

1.15

Standard sampler

1.00

## Sampler without liner

(not recommended)
Rod length factor, CR

1.20

3 4 m (10 13 ft)

0.75

4 6 m (13 20 ft)

0.85

6 10 (20 30 ft)

0.95

1.00

## *Exploration04. Three methods used for SPT depth corrections.

(Revision Sept.-08)

A raw value of N = 40 was obtained from an SPT at a depth of 20 feet in a sand stratum that has a
3
unit weight of 135 lb/ft . Correct it only for depth.
Solution:
Any of these three methods will provide acceptable answers. Notice how similar their results are from
each other:
1. Using the Bazaraa Method (1967):
'
if p0 d 1.5 kips / ft and
4N
2
N corrected 1 2
po
'

4N
3.25 0.5
po

N corrected

if p0 t 1.5 kips / ft 2
3

( 20 ft )(135 lb / ft )
2
2
2.70 kips / ft ! 1.5kips / ft
1000 lb / kip
'
4(40)
4N
corrected
35
therefore N
3.25 0.5(2.70 kips / ft 2 )
3.25 0.5
po
but

p0

## 2. Using the Peck Method (1974):

0.77 log 20

'

NC
corrected

where C

or

10

is in tons / ft

if p

p0

2
0.77 log 1915
is in kN / m
if p0
10
p0

CN
3

but

( 20 ft )(135 lb / ft )

p0

1.35 tons / ft

2.70 kips / ft

2000 lb / ton
0.77 log
20

?
CN

10

0.90 ?

1.35 tons / ft

(40)(0.90)

36

corrected

## 3. The Liao-Whitman Method (1986), as used in Exploration-03,

2
'
in psf
in kN / m or
N 2, 000 psf
' 10 0
N
N
with p
with p
corrected
o
o
po
po
but

p
o

96.1 kN / 2m

(1.35 tons / ft )

1 ton / ft 2

129.7 kN / m

40

corrected

100 kN / m
129.7 kN / m 2

35

## *Exploration05. SPT corrections under a mat foundation.

(Revision Sept.-08)

Correct the SPT values shown below for an energy ratio of 60% using a high-efficient US-type
donut hammer in a 2-diameter boring. The invert (bottom) of the mat foundation is at elevation
+5.2 feet.
+20
Ground Surface
+13.2
+10.9

+8 7

Water Table

+5.2
invert

+10.0
Sand+ gravel

N =26
N =25

+4.1

+0.0

Soft clay

Medium sand
-10.0

-20.0

T = 3.5

Hard clay

N =24
N =30

N =31

of

Solution:
Skempton proposed in 1986 the following correction for the sampling methods to the raw SPT value,

N 60

assuming that only 60% of the energy of the hammer drives the sampler,

Em C B C S C R
N
0.60

where: N60 = SPT N-value corrected for field procedures assuming 60% efficiency
Em = 0.60 o

CB = 1.00 o

CS = 1.00 o

## CR = 0.85 (13-20)o rod length correction, = 0.95 (20-30), = 1.0 (>30)

N = SPT-value recorded in the field by the driller (known as the raw SPT).
The depth correction is,
N 160

2, 000 lb / ft 2
depth
effective unit weight

N 60

## At depth of +5.2 feet:

N 60

(0.60)(1)(1)(0.75)(26)
20 and N
0.60

At +4.1

At+2.0

At -1.0

At -5.0
At -10
At -21

N 60

N 60

N 60

(0.60)(1)(1)(0.75)
(25)
0.60

(0.60)(1)(1)(0.75)
(24)
0.60

(0.60)(1)(1)(0.85)
(30)
0.60

20

60

19 and N

60

19

127

18 and N

60

18

60

26

35

31

11 ft
125
62.4 pcf
2, 000 lb / ft

26 and N

39

14 ft
126
62.4 pcf
2

60

26

N 60

(0.60)(1)(1)(0.95)(30)
29 and N
0.60

60

29

2, 000 lb / ft
18 ft
126
62.4 pcf

34

2, 000 lb / ft
34
23 ft
126
62.4
pcf
2

43 and N

60

62.4 pcf

9 ft
127
62.4 pcf
2, 000 lb / ft

(0.60)(1)(1)(0.85)(31)
26 and N
0.60

(0.60)(1)(1)(1)
(43)
0.60

8 ft
2, 000 lb / ft

N 60

N 60

2, 000 lb / ft 2

43

2, 000 lb / ft

33 ft
130
62.4 pcf

Notice that the depth correction does not affect the deeper layers.

41

39

## *Exploration06. The Shear Vane Test determines the in-situ cohesion.

(Revision Sept.-08)

A shear vane tester is used to determine an approximate value of the shear strength of clay. The
tester has a blade diameter d = 3.625 inches and a blade height h = 7.25 inches. In a field test, the
vane required a torque of 17.0 ft-lb to shear the clay sample, which has a plasticity index of 47%
(PI = LL PL). Determine the un-drained cohesion cu corrected for its plasticity.

47

S (d 2h/ 2) (d3 / 6)

17.0 ft lb

168 psf

## (0.3021 ft)2 (0.6042 ft) (0.3021 ft)3

2
6

The plasticity index helps correct the raw shear vane test value (Bjerrum, 1974) through the graph
shown above. For a plasticity index of 47% read a correction factor P = 0.80. Therefore,

cu
corrected

134

psf

## *Exploration07. Reading a soil boring log.

(Revision Sept.-08)

Read the boring log shown below and determine, (1) the location of the phreatic surface, (2) the
depth of the boring and (3) the number of samples taken.
Solution:
(1) The phreatic surface (the water table) was not encountered in this boring and is noted at the bottom
of the report;
(2) The boring was terminated at 21 feet in depth; and
(3) Five samples were taken. Only one sample (#2) was used for laboratory tests (dry density and
moisture content). Samples #1 and #3 were complete split-spoon samples. Samples #4 and #5 were
incomplete split-spoon samples.

## *Exploration08: Using a boring log to predict soil engineering parameters.

(Revision Sept.-08)

Using the boring log and the SPT versus Soil Engineering Parameters Table shown on the next two
(1) Correct the values of the SPT of Sample S-4 to a 70% sampling efficiency with a standard
sampling method and a US-donut hammer at elevation 17 feet;
(2) Correct the same sample S-4 for depth assuming the unit weight is = 126 pcf;
(3) What are your estimates for the angle of internal friction and unit weight ?
(4) What is the elevation (above sea level) of the groundwater and the elevation of the bottom of
the boring?
Solution:
(1) The log shows a value of N = 15 (Sample S-4) at elevation -16.5; at elevation -17 it has dropped a
small amount to N = 14. Notice that the Legend portion denotes that the sampler was a 2 O.D. split
spoon. Therefore, the sampling correction is,

N70

ECBCS CR
N

0.45

1.0

0.70

1.0

0.70

## (2) Correct the same sample S-4 for depth.

N
N
8
200 0 p s f
200 0 p s f
70
70

0.85

14

|
8
|8

J h

126

17

psf

(3) What are your estimates for the angle of internal friction and unit weight ?
The log identifies this level at -17 as a brown and grey fine to medium SAND. Use the Table
provided on page 23 to obtain an estimate of some of the engineering parameters for granular soils. Read
the SPT for medium sands; then go to the Medium column and read the value of N = 8 to obtain the
values:
2

## = 32 and wet = 17 kN/m .

(4) What are the elevations (above sea level) of the groundwater and of the bottom of the boring?
- The boring
table.

## did not report finding a ground water

- The bottom of the boring was at -36.5 from the surface, or 347.0 36.5 = +310.5.

12

Correlation between SPT values and some Engineering Parameters of Granular Soils
Description

Loose

Medium

Dense

Very
dense

0.85

Dr

Relative
density

0.15

0.35

0.65

SPT

fine

1-2

3-6

7 - 15

16 - 30

(N'70 )

medium

2-3
3-6

4-7
5-9

8 - 20
10 - 25

21 - 40
26 - 45

26 - 28
27 - 28
28 - 30

28 - 30
30 - 32
30 - 34

30 - 34
32 - 36
33 - 40

33 - 38
36 - 42
40 - 50

70 - 102

89 - 115

108 - 128

108 -140

11 - 16

14 - 18

17 - 20

17 - 22

coarse

I
fine
medium
coarse

Jwet
Note
Note
Note
Note

Very loose

pcf

## #1: These values are based on tests conducted at depths of about 6 m;

#2: Typical values of relative densities are about 0.3 to 0.7; values of 0 or 1.0 do not exist in nature;
#3: The value of the angle of internal friction is based on = 28 + 15Dr;
3
#4: The typical value of an excavated soil ranges from 11 to 14 kN/m ;

Correlation between SPT values and some Engineering Parameters of Cohesive Soils

13

SPT - N70

Compressive Strength qu

Description

0-2

< 25 kPa

## Very soft squeezes between fingers

Very young NC clay

3-5

25 - 50 kPa

Young NC clay

6-9

50 - 100 kPa

Medium

10 - 16

## Stiff Hard to deform w/fingers

Small OCR aged clay

17 - 30

## Very Stiff Very hard w/fingers

Increasing OCR older clays

> 30

## Hard Does not deform w/fingers

Higher OCR cemented clays

> 40

< 50

128 147
20 23

**Exploration09. Find the shear strength of a soil from the CPT Report.
(Revision: Sept.-08)

Classify a soil from the data provided by the Cone Penetration Test (CPT) shown below at a depth
3
of 11 m. The clay samples recovered from that depth had = 20 kN/m and PI = Ip = 20. Compare
your estimate of the shear strength versus the lab test value of 550 kPa.

Solution.
Reading the data, q s ~ 400 kPa and q c ~ 11 MPa which results in a fR ~ 3%.
From the next chart, the soil appears to be a silty clay.

14
14

14
14

## At a depth of 11 m, the in-situ pressure po for a NC clay is,

3
po J
(20 kN / m )(11 m) 220 kPa
z
From the N k versus I graph, for I = 20 yields an N ~ 17.5.
p
p
k

15
15

15
15

su
po

qc
Nk

16
16

kP a
17.5

220

## 616 kPa versus lab 550 kPa (a 12% error).

16
16

Chapter 2
Phase Relations of Soil
Symbols for Phase Relations of soils
e
GS

Voids ratio.
Specific gravity of the solids of a soil.

Porosity.

Degree of saturation.

Va

Volume of air.

VV

## Volume of voids (water + air).

VS

Volume of solids.

VW Volume of water.
w

## Water content (also known as the moisture content).

WS

Weight of solids.

WW Weight of water.
g

gd

gb

## gSAT Unit weight of a saturated soil.

gW Unit weight of water

## Basic Concepts and Formulas for the Phases of Soils.

(A) Volumetric Relationships:

1. - Voids ratio e
e

VV
VS

2-1

## ranges from 0 to infinity.

Typical values of sands are: very dense 0.4 to very loose 1.0
Typical values for clays are: firm 0.3 to very soft 1.5.
2. - Porosity n
n

VV
V

100%

2.2

## ranges from 0% to 100%.

The porosity provides a measure of the permeability of a soil.
The interrelationship of the voids ratio and porosity are given by,
e
n and n
e
1
1 n
e
3. - Saturation S

2-3

VW

x100%

VV

2-4
ranges from 0% to 100%.

## (B) Weight Relationships:

4. - Water content w
w

WW
x100%
WS

2-5

## Values range from 0% to over 500%; also known as moisture content.

5. Unit weight of a soil

J
WW
V

WS
VS
VA

2-6
VW

The unit weight may range from being dry to being saturated.
Some engineers use bulk density to refer to the ratio of mass of the solids and water
3
contained in a unit volume (in Mg/m ). Note that,
W
m
J
U g
g which is the equivalent of F ma.
V
V
6. - Dry unit weight d

J
d

J
WS
V

2-7

1
w

## The soil is perfectly dry (its moisture is zero).

7. - The unit weight of water
WW
VW

J
w
J

where J

62.4 pcf

1g/
ml

U g (F

1 kg /
liter

2-6

ma)

9.81 kN / m

Note that the above is for fresh water. Salt water is 64 pcf, etc.
8. - Saturated unit weight of a soil sat

WS
WW
V
V
0

SAT

2-8

J ' J
J w

2-9

SAT

## 10. - Specific gravity of the solids of a soil G

J
S

G
S

2-10

J
w

Typical Values for the Specific Gravity of Minerals in Soils and Rocks
Mineral

Composition

## Absolute specific gravity Gs

Anhydrite

CaSO4

2.90

Barites

BaSO4

4.50

Calcite, chalk

CaCO3

2.71

Feldspar

KALSi3O8

2.60 to 2.70

Gypsum

CaSO4 2H2O

2.30

Hematite

Fe2O3

5.20

Kaolinite

Al4Si4O10(OH)8

2.60

Magnetite

Fe3O4

5.20

Pb

11.34

SiO2

2.65

Organic

1.0 or less

Skeletons of plants

2.00

Quartz (silica)
Peat
Diatomaceous earth

Se

wGS

1
J
dry

## Unit weight relationships :

(1
( GS
J
Se)J
w)GS J w
1
1 e
e
Saturated unit weights :
(GS
e
J
w
e
)
J
SAT
w

e
1
e
1
G
JJ
J
n
SAT
d
w

w)GS J

(1

GS J (1

n)(1

w)

1
w GS
S

1 w
J

n J

s
w

J '
J w

1
1

w
wG

GJ
s

SAT

GsJ 1
J
n
w
J
d
1
w

J
nJd

J
SAT

20
20

1
e

(1
e)w

SAT

eS J

GS J

e
e

e Gs J w
(S
wGs )

J
w

20
20

## *Phases of soils-01: Convert from metric units to SI and US units.

(Revision: Oct.-08)

A cohesive soil sample was taken from an SPT and returned to the laboratory in a glass jar. It was
3
found to weigh 140.5 grams. The sample was then placed in a container of V = 500 cm and 423
3
cm of water were added to fill the container. From these data, what was the unit weight of the soil
3
in kN/m and pcf?
Solution.
Notice that the 140.5 grams is a mass. Therefore, the ratio of mass to volume is a density ,

Uf

m
V
3

J
Ug

140.5 g
(500

423)cm

1.82

gf
3
cm

f
f

1 kg

1.82

9.806
3
3

cm
10 g

2
m 1 k N 1 0 cm

3
sec 10 N
f
2

17.9

1m

3
kN 1000 N

1m
0.2248 lbs
f
J
114 pcf (US units )

17.9
m 1 kN

35.3 ft 3
1N
3

kN
( SI units )
m

## *Phases of soils02: Compaction checked via the voids ratio.

(Revision: Sept.- 08)

A contractor has compacted the base course for a new road and found that the mean value of the
3
test samples shows w = 14.6%, GS = 2.81, and J = 18.2 kN/m . The specifications require that e
d
0.80. Has the contractor complied with the specifications?
Solution:
GS J

J
1

w
1

2.81
9.81

e 1.74
e

0.146
m

18.2

?
0.8

1
e

GS J W 1
w
J

? 1
e
kN

1.74

kN
3
m

1 0.74
0.74

## *Phases of soils03: Value of the moisture when fully saturated.

(Revision: Oct.-08)

nJ

.

sat

## (2) Show that at saturation the moisture (water) content

is ww
sat

nJ

sat

1
1

J d J S

Solution:
(1) In a fully saturated soil the relation, Se
1 or GS
e
n
because S
wsat
but J

sat

n GS
1
G

rearranging

wsat 1

Jw
or

J
n

nJ

wsat (1
n)

therefore wsat

n
wsat

sat

wGs

sat

nJ

sat

wsat

J
w

w
sat

?
V
w V

w
sat

or

WS
WS

wsat

Jw

JV
V

VS

W
S

VV

VV J

VV J

VS
VS 1 WS

GS
VS

VS JS

VV

J
w

WS

VV

WS
VS

WS

VS

## *Phases of soils04: Finding the wrong data.

(Revision: Oct.-08)

A geotechnical laboratory reported these results of five samples taken from a single boring.
Determine which are not correctly reported, if any.
3

## Sample #1: w = 30%, d = 14.9 kN/m , s = 27 kN/m ; clay.

Sample #2: w = 20%, d = 18

## Sample #4: w = 22%, d = 17.3 kN/m , s = 28 kN/m ; silt.

Sample #5: w = 22%, d = 18

## kN/m , s = 27 kN/m ; silt.

Solution:

VV J

VV J
VS

sat

V J
S

J
V
w V

V 1 W
S

W
S

w
S

VV

VV
w

VS

VS

VV

1
1
VS
J

sat
w
w
WS
J S

J
WS

d
The water content is in error if it is greater than the saturated moisture, that is,

w
VS

? wd
wSAT
1) wSAT

2)

9.81 kN / m
1

J
S

14.9

1 kN / m
9.81

18

SAT

3) w
1 9.81
kN / m
SAT

4) wSAT

5)

v
1 18.5%
w

20% WRONG

27

26
1
3
9.81 kN / m
17.3 28
1

3
9.81
kN
/
m

w 30% GOOD

27

30%

!
24%
w

10% GOOD

16

22.1% !
w

22% GOOD

18.5%

22%
WRON
G
SAT

18

27

## *Phases of soils05: Increasing the saturation of a soil.

(Revision: Sept.-08)

A soil sample has a unit weight of 105.7 pcf and a saturation of 50%. When its saturation is
increased to 75%, its unit weight raises to 112.7 pcf.
Determine the voids ratio e and the specific gravity Gs of this soil.
Solution:

J
?
and

GS

Se

1 e
105.7 pcf

62.4(GS
0 .5 0 e )
1
e
6 2 .4 (G S
0 .7 5 e )
1
e

112.7 pcf

(1)
(2)

Gs

105.7
62.4

e
0.50e

?
?

112.7
e 0.814

1
e
and GS

105.7
2 .6 7

62.4

0.25e

## *Phases of soils06: Find d, n, S and Ww.

(Revision: Sept.-08)
3

The moist unit weight of a soil is 16.5 kN/m . Given that the w = 15% and Gs = 2.70, find:
(1) Dry unit weight d,
(2) The porosity n,
(3) The degree of saturation S, and
3

(4) The mass of water in kgm/m that must be added to reach full saturation.
Solution:

a) J =
d =

16.5

kN

= 14.3

(1 + w)
(1 + 0.15)
m
b) From the table of useful relationships,
2.70
9.81
GJ
GJ
s w
J
? 1
1.85 ?
s w
e
e
d
1
14.3
J d
e
e
46%
0 .8 5
n
100%
1
1 0.85
e
wGs ?

Se
c) Since S

d)
J

=
sat

( G S + e) J

w Gs
e

0.15
100

48%

2.70

0.85

2.70 + 0.85
9 .8 1

0.85

= 18.8

=
1+e

m3

1+0.85

## The water to be added can be found from the relation J

ass of water

?
m U

-m / s

g
m/s

kN

18.
8 - 16.5 kN 3/ m

U g

1, 000 N

9.81 kg -

9.81kg

1 kN

= 2, 340

kg

m
3

*Phases of soils07: Use the block diagram to find the degree of saturation.
(Revision: Sept.-08)

1.87, wN

60%, and GS

2.75 .

## What are the

moist and S? (Note: All soils are really moist except when dry, that is when w = 0%).

Set VS = 1 m3 (Note: this problem could also be solved by setting V = 1.0 m3).

Solution:

1 .8 7

?
1.87 V

## The "natural" water content is

?
VV

e
o
VS

Gs

Ws
Vs

1.87

2.87 m

1
Ww
N

?W
J
s

0.60W

?
w

Ws
3

1 m3
9.81 kN / m

G
s

0.60
W

2.75

26.98 kN

Ww 0.60 Ws
26.98
26.98

W Ws
Ww
?

W
V

43.17 kN
3
2.87 m

moist

Ww
?

Vw
VV

J
w

VV

16.19

9
.8 1

1.87

0.60

15.0

kN
3
m

88.2%

16.19

16.19 kN
43.17 kN

*Phases of soils08: Same as Prob-07 but setting the total volume V=1 m3.
(Revision: Oct.-08)

1.87, wN

60%, and GS

## 2.75 . What are the

moist and S? (Note: All soils are really moist except when dry, that is when w = 0%).

Solution:

VV

but e
o

but V

1.87
?

1m

V
V

V
S

VS

Ww

w
N

Gs

Ws
Vs

?W

Ws
3

0.60W

0.60 ?
W

0.348 m
3 2.75
kN / m

0.348 and V

2.87V
V

1.87V

9.81

9.39 kN

Ww 0.60 Ws
9.39
9.39

W Ws
Ww
?

W
V

15.0 kN
1 m3

moist

Ww

J
?

Vw
VV

VV

5 .6 3

9 .8 1

0.652

15.0

kN
m

88.0%

0.60

5. 6 3 k N

5.63

15.02 kN

0.652

## *Phases of soils09: Same as Problem #5 with a block diagram.

(Revision: Sept.-08)

A soil sample has a unit weight of 105.7 pcf and a water content of 50%. When its saturation is
increased to 75 %, its unit weight raises to 112.7 pcf. Determine the voids ratio e and the specific
gravity Gs of the soil. (NB: This is the same problem as Phase06, but solved with a block
diagram).
Solution:

Set V

J
J

1 ft

1 1 2 .7
7 .0

2
1

1 0 5 .7

V
w

4
V
a

and

2 0 .8 lb

Jw

62. pcf

0 .1 1 ft 3 ?
1
V

3
1
Vv

?
Vs
e

Ww

VV
VS
J
S

o f w a te r

2 1 .0 lb s a r 7 5 o f w a te r
e
%
2 0 .8
9 1 .9 lb

1 1 2 .7

?
WS

lb s a r 2 5
e
%

0 .3 3 ft 3
3

1
0 .4 4
4
0 .5 5
6

0 .4 4 4

V J

0 .8 0
9 1 .9 lb
2 .6 5

0 .5 5 6
w

0 .5 5 6

WS
S

0 .1 1 1
44

( 6 2 .4 )

0 .3 3 3

0 .4

## *Phases of soils10: Block diagram for a saturated soil.

(Revision: Sept.-08)

A saturated soil sample has a unit weight of 122.5 pcf and Gs = 2.70. Find J

dry

, e, n, and w.

Solution:

1 WS

V VS
Vw

J
G

WS

W
w

1 2 2 .5
lb

Ww

C
s o 1m b in in g eq u atio n s (1 ) an d (2 ) yield
? W
V

Ww

2 7 .0 lb ?

? W
V S

Jw
WS

9 5 .5 lb ?
S

?
WS
d ry

?
e

VV

VS

VV
V

30
30

GS J w

6 2 .4
p cf
0 .4 3
3

ft 3

6 2 . p cf
4
9 5 .5 lb
2 .7 0
2 .4

2 .7 0

Ww

0 .5 6 ft 3
7

(6 p cf )

9 5 . p cf
5

9 5 .5
lb
1 ft

2 7 .0 lb

1 2 2 .5

0 .7 6 4

0 .4 3
3
0 .5 6
7

?
Ww
WS

0 .4 3 3
27
9 5 .5

0 .4 3 3

0 .2 8 3

30
30

31
31

4 3 .3 %

2 8 .3 %

31
31

## *Phases of soils11: Find the weight of water needed for saturation.

(Revision: Sept.-08)

Determine the weight of water (in kN) that must be added to a cubic meter of soil to attain a 95 %
3
degree of saturation, if the dry unit weight is 17.5 kN/m , its moisture is 4%, the specific gravity of
solids is 2.65 and the soil is entirely made up of a clean quartz sand.
Solution:

kN

17.5
m

18.2
W

W
W

18.2kN

1
w
W

0.04
wW

m
(1 . 0 4 ) W

and

17.5kN ,

0.70 kN

WS

V
S

G J

17.5 kN

J
S

Ww

V
w

VV
VS

(9.81 k

W e require a
S
w
W

wW

(0.04)
100

2.65

0.49

0.17
kN )

2.98 kN

0.70 kN

?
er

V
s

0.49

( 0 . 1 7 ) (1 7 .
5

V
a

95% , therefore,

2.65
S

V
V

0.95
0.49

Se
GS

/m )

wGS
e

The existing
S

0.07 m
?

0.07
0.257
0.673

(9.8 / m )

2.65
1 kN

0.70 kN

Jw

0.673 m

17.5 kN

2.28 kN

21.6%

0.257 m
w

## *Phases of soils12: Identify the wrong piece of data.

(Revision: Sept.-08)

A project engineer receives a laboratory report with tests performed on marine marl calcareous
silt). The engineer suspects that one of the measurements is in error. Are the engineers suspicions
correct? If so, which one of these values is wrong, and what should be its correct value?
u n it w e ig h t o f s a m 1 8 . k N
G iv e n J p le
4
3
m
kN
J S u n it w e ig h t o f s o
26.
3
m
lid s
1
w w a te r c o n te
nt
e v o id s r a
tio

40%

1 .1 2

S d e g r e e o f s a tu r a
tio n

95%

Solution:

1.06
Se wGS ?
0.95
1.12
Se
wGS

0.4
26.1

w
S

9.81

J
w

## The only possibly incorrect value is J . Assume that = 1 m3 .

V
3
V
1
V 1m V
V
a

but e

VV

? 0
V

1.12

V
a

VS
?
V
?

0.472 m ,

0.95V

0.502 m

0.026 m
kN

26.1
0.472
3
J
?W
m
V

S
S S
3

m
kN

Ww wWS

0.40
3

12.3
m

0.528 m but V
V

1.12V

12.3 kN

4.9 kN

12.3 kN

4.9 kN

17.2 kN
Therefore, the actual unit weight of the soil is,
kN
kN
17.2 kN
z
17.2
18.4
?J
3
3
3
W
m
m
1m
V

## *Phases of soils13: The apparent cheapest soil is not!

(Revision: Sept.-08)
6

You are a Project Engineer on a large earth dam project that has a volume of 5x10 yd of select
fill, compacted such that the final voids ratio in the dam is 0.80. Your boss, the Project Manager
delegates to you the important decision of buying the earth fill from one of three suppliers. Which
one of the three suppliers is the most economical, and how much will you save?
3

Supplier A

Supplier B

Supplier C

## Sells fill at \$ 5.19/ yd with e = 1.60

3
3

Solution:
Without considering the voids ratio, it would appear that Supplier B is cheaper than Supplier A by \$1.37
3
per yd .
3

Therefore: To put 1yd of solids in the dam you would need 1.8 yd of soil.
3

## For 1yd of solids from A you would need 1.9 yd of fill.

For 1yd of solids from B you would need 3.0 yd of fill.
3

## For 1yd of solids from C you would need 2.6 yd of fill.

The cost of the select fill from each supplier is (rounding off the numbers):

A 6
10
B 6
10
C 6
10

1 .9

yd

1.8
3 .0

yd

1.8

yd

yd

yd

yd

5 .1 9 \$

3 .9 1 \$

1.8
2 .6

5 .2 8 \$

## *Phases of soils14: Number of truck loads.

(Revision: Sept.-08)

Based on the previous problem (Phases13), if the fill dumped into the truck has an e = 1.2, how
3
many truck loads will you need to fill the dam? Assume each truck carries 10 yd of soil.
Solution:

Set VS

1 e

VV

VV

VS

VV

## ? 2.2 yd of soil for each 1 yd of solids.

3
3
10 yd of soil for each x yd in a truck load
?
4.54

## The required volume of solids in the dam is,

6

solids

5x10 yd of soil
solids

1 yd of

2.8x10 yd of solids

3
1.8 yd of soil

6

Number of Truck
trips

2.8x10 yd of
solids
3

## 4.54 yd of solids / truck

616, 800
trip

*Phases of soils15: How many truck loads are needed for a project?
(Revision: Sept.-08)

You have been hired as the Project Engineer for a development company in South Florida to build
610 housing units surrounding four lakes. Since the original ground is low, you will use the
limestone excavated from the lake to fill the land in order to build roads and housing pads. Your
3
estimated fill requirements are 700,000 m , with a dry density equivalent to a voids ratio e = 0.46.
The in-situ limestone extracted from the lakes has an e = 0.39, whereas the limestone dumped
3
into the trucks has an e = 0.71. How many truckloads will you need, if each truck carries 10 m ?
Solution:

Assume: VS

3
1m ? e=
V

VV
VS

VV

## = 0.46 m3 in the compacted fill

The required 700,000 m of fill have 1.46 m of voids per each 1 m of solids
3

3

## Each truck carries 1.71 m of fill per 1 m solids

3

In order for the trucks to carry 479,000 m of solids they must carry 820,000 m of fill
3

820, 000 m
10 m3

## *Phases of soils16: Choose the cheapest fill supplier.

(Revised: Sept.-08)

A large housing development requires the purchase and placement of the fill estimated to be
200,000 cubic yards of lime-rock compacted at 95% Standard Proctor with an OMC of 10%. Two
lime-rock suppliers offer to fill your order: Company A has a borrow material with an in-situ =
115 pcf, w = 25%, GS = 2.70; Standard Proctor yields a maximum d = 112 pcf; at a cost of
3
3
\$0.20/yd to excavate, and \$ 0.30/yd to haul. Company B has a borrow material with an in-situ =
3
120 pcf, w = 20%, GS = 2.70; Standard Proctor yields a maximum d = 115 pcf; a cost of \$0.22/yd
3
to excavate, and \$ 0.38/yd to haul.
(1) What volume would you need from company A?
(2) What volume would you need from company B?
(3) Which would be the cheaper supplier?
Solution:
(1)
(2)
e

The key idea: 1 yd of solids from the borrow pit supplies 1 yd of solids in the fill.
3

Pit B: WS = 100 lb, WW = 20 lb, VW = 0.321 ft3, VS = 0.594 ft3, Va = 0.08 ft3
VV 0.401
? 1.68 yd 3of soil contains 1.0 yd 3of solids.
0.68
VS 0.594

## (3) Material needed for fill from company A:

J
0.95J d 1 0.95 112
1
117 pcf ?
w
0.10
WS
e

Pit A: WS = 92 lb, WW = 23 lb
VW = 0.369 ft , VS = 0.546 ft , Va = 0.085 ft
VV 0.454
3
3
0.83 ? 1.83 yd of soil contains 1.0 yd of solids.
VS 0.546

VV
VS

0.37
0.63

0.59

106.4 lb,

Ww

10.6 lb

## 1.59 yd of soil contains 1.0 yd of solids

3

? Site A requires
fill

200, 000 yd of

1.59

J
w

## Material needed for fill from company B:

0.95J d 1 0.95 115
1
120 pcf ?
0.10
WS

VV
VS

0.35
0.65

## ? 1.54 yd of soil contains

0.54 1.0

109.1 lb,
yd 3 of solids

? Site B requires
fill

200, 000 yd of
1.54

Ww

10.9 lb

Cost

125,
800 yd
\$0.50

\$ 115,100

1.83
yd

Cost

130,
000 yd
\$0.60
B

\$ 131,100

1.68

yd

## *Phases of soils17: Use a matrix to the find the missing data.

(Revision: Sept.-08)
3

A contractor obtains prices for 34,000 yd of compacted borrow material from three pits: Pit #3
is \$11,000 cheaper than Pit #2 and \$39,000 cheaper than Pit #1. The fill must be compacted down
3
3
to a voids ratio of 0.7. Pit #1 costs \$ 6.00/yd and Pit #3 costs \$ 5.50/yd . Pits #2 and #3 reported
their voids ratios as 0.88 and 0.95 respectively. Use a matrix to find,
a) The missing unit cost C2 for Pit #2;
b) The missing voids ratio e for Pit #1;
c) The missing volume of fill V required from each pit; and
d) The amount paid by the contractor for each pit.
Solution:
A summary of the data provided is herein shown in matrix form,

The volume of solids Vs contained in the total volume of fill V = 34,000 yd can be found from,
3
34, 000 20, 000 yd 3 of solids
0.7V
V
0.7
34, 000 yd ?
V
1
V
V V
V
V

V3

At Pit #3,

1 e ?
V
3
V3

1
0.95

V
S

1.7

20, 000 yd

39, 000 yd

\$ 214, 500

\$ 5.50 / yd

V2

At Pit #2:

1
e
V

?V
2

0.88

TC 1

At Pit #1: V
1

But, V
1

\$ 6.00 / yd
1
e
V 1
e
S

\$ 11,
TC 2
V2

TC3

\$ 225, 500
3
37, 600 yd

TC2
000
3

## But, the total cost of Pit #2 is TC2

000
The unit cost of Pit #2 C2

20, 000 yd

28, 000

\$ 6.00 / yd
3
20, 000 yd
1

?
TC2

\$ 214, 500
\$ 6.00 / yd

225, 500

## 42, 250 yd of soil

28,
3

\$ 6.00 / yd
3
?
42, 250 yd

e
1

\$ 225, 500

1.11

**Phases of soils18: Find the voids ratio ofmuck (a highly organic soil).
(Revision: Sept.-08)

You have been retained by a local municipality to prepare a study of their muck soils. Assume
that you know the dry unit weight of the material (solids) sm and the dry unit weight of the
organic solids so. What is the unit weight s of the combined dry organic mineral soil whose
organic content is M0? (The organic content is the percentage by weight of the dry organic
constituent of the total dry weight of the sample for a given volume.) What is the voids ratio e of
this soil if it is known that its water content is w and its degree of saturation is S?
Solution:
Js =

Ws
1
= (Vso + Vsm )
Vs

## (a) Assume Mo = Wo for a unit weight of the dry soil

Therefore 1 - Mo = Wm
M = volume of organic Vso solids
o

J
so

J
sm

## The total unit weight is the weight of a unit volume.

1

Therefore J

1 - M
o

so

so

J sm
)+ J

- J

M
o

sm

so

so

sm

volume of water

Vv

(b) e = Vs =

=
Vs

J S
1

weight of water w

J wS

Vs

weight of solids

J wS

Vs

40
40

wJ sm J so
Therefore e =
M
o

J so

J
J

1 - M

S M
w

sm

J
so

so

sm

41
41