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Consolidation Settlement Examples 1

1.

A horizontal layer of clay of saturated unit weight 22kN/m3 is 8.0m thick and is
overlain by a 4.0m thick granular layer (unit weight 19.5kN/m 3). Ground-water level
occurs at a depth of 2.0m below the surface of the granular material.
A consolidation test carried out an a sample of the clay gave the following results:
Pressure
kN/m2

Sample thickness
mm

19.86

25

19.50

50

19.30

100

19.02

200

18.75

400

18.56

19.30

After the swelling stage, the moisture content of the sample was determined as 27.2%.
If the particle specific gravity is 2.68, obtain the void ratio / effective stress plot for
the sample. A foundation is to be constructed on the surface of the sand and it is
expected that this will subject the centre of the clay layer to a vertical stress increase
of 75kN/m2. Determine the consolidation settlement of the clay.
2.

The readings below were obtained from an oedometer test on a specimen of saturated
clay. The load was held constant for 24 hours before the addition of the next
increment.
At the end of the last load increment, the load was removed and the
sample allowed to swell for 24-hours, at the end of which time its thickness was
determined as 17.92mm and its moisture content found to be 31.8%. The specific
gravity of the soil was 2.66.
(a)

Plot the e/p curve for this specimen.

(b)

Determine the coefficient of volume compressibility for a stress range of 220360kN/m2.


(c) Use these data to obtain the ultimate consolidation settlement of a 4.0m thick
layer of this material when subjected to an average effective stress 220 to
360kN/m2.

3.

Pressure
kN/m2

Sample thickness
mm

19.60

25

19.25

50

18.98

100

18.61

200

18.14

400

17.68

800

17.24

A flexible raft foundation 10m 20m is to be constructed at a depth of 2.0m in a


granular material of thickness 10.0m, and exerts a gross contact pressure of
2
250kN/m . A clay layer of thickness 2.0m is located at a depth -10.00m below ground
level (0.00m) and rockhead is located at -12.00m. Ground water level occurs at
-2.00m; the saturated unit weights of the granular soil and the clay are, respectively,
19kN/m3 and 22kN/m3, the granular soil can be assumed to be fully saturated above
permanent water table.
(i)

calculate the elastic settlement of the clay layer below the plan centre of the
foundation given that Eu = 12MN/m2 .

(ii)

by considering the stress increase at the centre of the clay layer, calculate the
ultimate consolidation settlement of the clay layer below the plan centre, given
that the moisture content of the clay is 35% and the specific gravity of the clay
particles is 2.65. Cc for the clay is 0.40.

qB(1 2 )I
Eu
Note: elastic settlement of a clay layer resting on a rigid base is
, where I
is an influence factor (from Steinbrenner's chart) and other symbols have their usual
contextual meaning.
4.

You are an engineer involved in a dewatering project. On your site is an historically


important building which is about 100 years old. It has a foundation plan area of 20m
15m with foundations at a depth of 1.5m below existing ground level (taken as 0.00
datum). The soil profile for the site is
Granular:

0.00m to -7.50m

sat = 18kN/m3

Clay

-7.50m to -13.50m

sat = 22kN/m3

The granular material above water table can be regarded as saturated. You estimate
that the foundation exerts a (gross) contact pressure of 230kN/m 2. Representative
samples from the clay layer were tested in an oedometer and gave the following
results shown below.
It is expected that pumping operations will lower ground water level from its existing
level (-1.75m) to -7.00m. Assuming 1-D consolidation conditions prevail, determine
the consolidation setttlement that will occur at the centre of the building if the water
table remains at its new level.
Pressure kN/m2

Void Ratio

50

0.73

100

0.68

200

0.62

300

0.58

400

0.54

State any assumptions or approximations in you solution.

SOLUTIONS

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