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Soil Mechanics Fundamentals

By Isao Ishibashi, Hemanta Hazarika

CRC Press – 2010 – 340 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Hardback:
    December 13th 2010


While many introductory texts on soil mechanics are available, most are either lacking in their explanations of soil behavior or provide far too much information without cogent organization. More significantly, few of those texts go beyond memorization of equations and numbers to provide a practical understanding of why and how soil mechanics work.

Based on the authors’ more than 25 years of teaching soil mechanics to engineering students, Soil Mechanics Fundamentals presents a comprehensive introduction to soil mechanics, with emphasis on the engineering significance of what soil is, how it behaves, and why it behaves that way. Concise, yet thorough, the text is organized incrementally, with earlier sections serving as the foundation for more advanced topics. Explaining the varied behavior of soils through mathematics, physics and chemistry, the text covers:

  • Engineering behavior of clays
  • Unified and AASHTO soil classification systems
  • Compaction techniques, water flow and effective stress
  • Stress increments in soil mass and settlement problems
  • Mohr’s Circle application to soil mechanics and shear strength
  • Lateral earth pressure and bearing capacity theories

Each chapter is accompanied by example and practicing problems that encourage readers to apply learned concepts to applications with a full understanding of soil behavior fundamentals. With this text, engineering professionals as well as students can confidently determine logical and innovative solutions to challenging situations.



The Authors

1. Introduction

Soil Mechanics and Related Fields

Dr. Karl von Terzaghi

Uniqueness of Soils

Approaches to Soil Mechanics Problems

Examples of Soil Mechanics Problems

Organization of Contents


2. Physical Properties of Soils


Origin of Soils

Soil Particle Shapes

Definitions of Terms with Three-Phase Diagram

Particle Size and Gradation




3. Clays and Their Behavior


Clay Minerals

Clay Shapes and Surface Areas

Surface Charge of Clay Particles

Clay–Water System.

Interaction of Clay Particles.

Clay Structures

Atterberg Limits and Indices


Swelling and Shrinkage of Clays

Sensitivity and Quick Clay

Clay versus Sand



Problems4. Soil Classification


Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)

AASHTO Classification System




5. Compaction


Relative Density

Laboratory Compaction Test

Specification of Compaction in the Field

Field Compaction Methods

Field Density Determinations

California Bearing Ratio (CBR) Test




6. Flow of Water through Soils


Hydraulic Heads and Water Flow

Darcy’s Equation

Coefficient of Permeability

Laboratory Determination of Coefficient of Permeability

Field Determination of Coefficient of Permeability

Flow Net

Boundary Water Pressures




7. Effective Stress


Total Stress versus Effective Stress

Effective Stress Computations in Soil Mass

Effective Stress Change due to Water Table Change

Capillary Rise and Effective Stress

Effective Stress with Water Flow

Quicksand (Sand Boiling)

Heave of Clay due to Excavation




8. Stress Increments in Soil Mass


2:1 Approximate Slope Method

Vertical Stress Increment due to a Point Load

Vertical Stress Increment due to a Line Load

Vertical Stress Increment due to a Strip Load

Vertical Stress Increment under a Circular Footing

Vertical Stress Increment under an Embankment Load

Vertical Stress Increment under Corner of Rectangular Footing

Vertical Stress Increment under Irregularly Shaped Footing




9. Settlements


Elastic Settlements

Primary Consolidation Settlement

One-Dimensional Primary Consolidation Model

Terzaghi’s Consolidation Theory

Laboratory Consolidation Test

Determination of Cv

e-log σ Curve Normally Consolidated and Overconsolidated Soils

Final Consolidation Settlement for Thin Clay Layer

Consolidation Settlement for Multilayers or a Thick Clay Layer

Summary of Primary Consolidation Computations

Secondary Compression

Allowable Settlement

Ground Improving Techniques Against Consolidation Settlement




10. Mohr’s Circle in Soil Mechanics


Concept of Mohr’s Circle

Stress Transformation

Mohr’s Circle Construction

Sign Convention of Shear Stress

Pole (Origin of Planes) of Mohr’s Circle

Summary of Usage of Mohr’s Circle and Pole

Examples of Usage of Mohr’s Circle and Pole in Soil Mechanics




11. Shear Strength of Soils


Failure Criteria

Direct Shear Test

Unconfined Compression Test

Triaxial Compression Test

Other Shear Test Devices

Summary of Strength Parameters for Saturated Clays

Applications of Strength Parameters from CD, CU, and UU Tests to In Situ Cases

Strength Parameters for Granular Soils

Direction of Failure Planes in Sheared Specimen




12. Lateral Earth Pressure


At-Rest, Active, and Passive Pressures

At-Rest Earth Pressure

Rankine’s Lateral Earth Pressure Theory

Coulomb’s Earth Pressure

Lateral Earth Pressure due to Surcharge Load

Coulomb, Rankine, or Other Pressures?




13. Bearing Capacity


Terzaghi’s Bearing Capacity Theory

Generalized Bearing Capacity Equation

Correction due to Water Table Elevation

Gross versus Net Bearing Capacity

Factor of Safety on Bearing Capacity




Numerical Answers to Selected Problems

Subject Index

Author Index

Unit Conversion Table

Author Bio

Dr. Isao Ishibashi is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He was born in Japan, where he obtained his bachelor and master degrees from Nagoya University. After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, he served as a faculty member at the University of Washington and Cornell University, before moving to Old Dominion in 1986. Professor Ishibashi has been involved in research in the areas of geotechnical and earthquake engineering, specifically soil liquefaction, dynamic soil properties, static and dynamic earth pressures as well as seismic water pressure, granular mechanics, slope stability, and used tire application to embankment, etc. He is the author or co-author of over 100 published technical papers that have appeared in journals and proceedings in these areas. He is a member of the ASCE, ISSMFE, ASTM, EERI, and JGS.

Dr. Hemanta Hazarika is professor in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Born in India, he obtained his bachelor of technology degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, India and his Ph. D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Nagoya University in Japan. Before moving to his present position, he worked as a practicing engineer for a few years and spent several years teaching and conducting research in academia, as well as with public sector research institutes in Japan. Professor Hazarika’s research activities include soil-structure interaction, seismic stability of soil-structure, ground improvement geosystem, applications involving recycled waste and lightweight geomaterials, stability of cut slopes, and landslides and protection against them. He has published more than 100 technical papers in international journals and for international conferences and symposia proceedings, several of which have appeared as contributed chapters in books. He is also credited with serving as the editor of two books in his research fields. He is a member of ASCE, ISSMGE, IACMAG, IGS, JSCE, and JGS.

Related Subjects

  1. Soil Science

Name: Soil Mechanics Fundamentals (eBook)CRC Press 
Description: By Isao Ishibashi, Hemanta Hazarika. While many introductory texts on soil mechanics are available, most are either lacking in their explanations of soil behavior or provide far too much information without cogent organization. More significantly, few of those texts go beyond memorization...
Categories: Soil Science