Balochistan University of Engineering & Technology, Khuzdar
Balochistan University of Engineering & Technology, Khuzdar

Soil Mechanics

Specific Objectives of course:

  • To enable students to learn soil properties and its behavior under loading.
  • To apply the laws of mechanics to soils so that the engineers can design and construct safe structures on or with soil.
Course Outline:
Introduction: Applications in engineering practice, soil formation:  mechanical and chemical weathering agents. Types of soil deposits & their properties, soil structure and clay minerals.
Index properties of soil:  Water content, voids ratio, porosity, degree of saturation, specific gravity, unit weight and their determination. Mass-volume relationships.
Soil Classification: Importance of soil classification. Grain size distribution by sieve analysis and hydrometric analysis, Atterberg’s limits, classification systems.
Geotechnical Investigation:  Purpose, phases and scope.  Methods of soil exploration: probing, test trenches/pits, auger boring, wash boring, rotary drilling.  Disturbed and undisturbed samples. Introduction to Geotechnical report writing.
Permeability and Seepage: Darcy’s law, factors affecting permeability, laboratory and field determination of permeability. Introduction to flow nets. Estimation of seepage quantity and gradients.

Stress Distribution in Soils: Geo-static stresses, total stress and pore pressure, effective stress, capillarity and its effects. Vertical stresses induced due to structural loads:  Boussinesq & Westergaard’s  theory. Pressure bulb, Stress distribution diagrams on horizontal and vertical planes. Induced stress at a point outside the loaded area: use of influence charts and 2:1 method.

Shear Strength: Concept, parameters, Coulomb’s law, shear strength of cohesive and non-cohesive soils. Factors affecting shear strength of soil and its applications in engineering. Laboratory and field tests for determination of shear strength.

Compaction: Mechanism, moisture density relationship, compaction standards, laboratory tests, factors affecting compaction, field control and measurements of in-situ density. Field compaction equipment.  Relative density, relative compaction & compaction specification

Lab Outline:

The Design work and/or experiments related to above mentioned outline shall be covered in the Laboratory/Design class.

Recommended Books:

  1. Donald P.Coduto Geotechnical Engineering (Principles and practices)
  2. Whitlow, R., Basic Soil Mechanics, Longman Scientific & Technical
  3. Smith, G.N. Elements of Soil Mechanics, Oxford BSP, Professional Books.
  4. Smith, G.N. Elements of Foundation Design, Granada Publisher.
  5. Braja M. Das, Principles of Geotechnical Engineering, 5th edition, Thomson-Engineering
  6. J.E. Bowls, Physical and geotechnical properties of soils, McGraw Hills Inc.
  7. Lamb & Whitman, Soil Mechanics, John Willey & Sons.