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1 2 Braja M. Das* and Nagaratnam Sivakugan

Settlements of shallow foundations on granular soil an overview


ABSTRACT: The main objective of this paper is to review the current state-of-the-art for predicting settlements of shallow foundations in granular soils. The traditional settlement prediction methods are critically reviewed. The Settlement 94 prediction session held in Texas clearly showed the deficiencies in the present settlement prediction methods, which generally overestimate the settlements and underestimate the allowable pressures, making the foundation designs very conservative. Some recent developments, including two deterministic methods and a probabilistic approach, are discussed as they have significant potential to improve the current state-of-the-art. Several empirical correlations relating the modulus of elasticity of soil and penetration resistances and standard penetration and cone penetration tests are summarized. KEYWORDS: Shallow foundations, granular soils, settlements, empirical correlations, Settlement 94

1. INTRODUCTION
Shallow foundations are generally designed to satisfy bearing capacity and settlement criteria. The bearing capacity criterion stipulates that there is adequate safety against bearing capacity failure beneath the foundation, and a factor of safety of three is generally used on the computed ultimate bearing capacity. Settlement criterion is to ensure that the settlement is within tolerable limits. It is commonly believed that the settlement criterion is more critical than the bearing capacity one in the designs of shallow foundations, especially for foundation width greater than 1.5 m, which is often the case. By limiting the total settlements, differential settlements and any subsequent distresses to the structure are limited. Generally the settlements of shallow foundations such as pad or strip footings are limited to 25 mm (Terzaghi et al. 1996). Douglas (1986) reported the existence of more than 40 different methods for estimating settlements in granular soils. All these methods recognize that the applied pressure, soil stiffness and the foundation width are the three most important variables affecting the settlements in granular soils. Soil stiffness is often quantified indirectly through penetration
*Corresponding Author 1Geotechnical Engineer, Henderson, Nevada 89044 USA, e-mail: brajamdas@gmail.com 2Associate Professor and Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, AUSTRALIA, siva.sivakugan@jcu.edu.au

resistance such as blow count from standard penetration test or tip resistance from cone penetration test. The objective of this paper is to present the current state-of-the-art for computing settlements of shallow foundations on granular soils, discuss some of the popular methods and review the empirical correlations for estimating the soil stiffness.

2. CURRENT STATE-OF-THE-ART
The most popular methods for settlement predictions, discussed commonly in text books, are the ones proposed by Terzaghi and Peck (1948), Schmertmann (1970), Schmertmann et al. (1978) and Burland and Burbidge (1985). Meyerhof (1956) and Peck and Bazaraa (1969) methods are similar to the one proposed by Terzaghi and Peck (1948). Two of the more recent methods are after Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) and Mayne and Poulos (1999). Sivakugan and Johnson (2004) proposed a probabilistic approach quantifying the uncertainties associated with the settlement prediction methods. Computed and measured settlements of full-scale footings have been compared by Jeyapalan and Boehm (1986), Papadopoulos (1992) and Sivakugan et al. (1998). The message is loud and clear that the predictions are generally significantly greater than the measured values. Based on 79 case histories of shallow foundations, Sivakugan et al. (1998) showed that Terzaghi and Peck (1948) method overestimates the settlements by 218% and Schmertmann (1970) method overestimates the settlements by 339%.
J. Ross Publishing, Inc. 2007

International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (2007) 1: (1929) DOI 10.3328/IJGE.2007.01.01.19-29

20 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

fx(x)

Settlement ratio (x) =

Calculated settlement Measured settlement

bility among all methods. Terzaghi and Peck (1948) and Schmertmann (1970) methods appear to have high reliability and poor accuracy, reflecting their conservativeness. On the other hand, Burland and Burbidge (1985) and Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) methods have good accuracy, with values close to unity, but low reliability.

2.2 Settlement 94 Prediction Session

Reliability

Accuracy

Figure 1. Accuracy and reliability in settlement predictions.

2.1 Accuracy and Reliability of the Different Methods


Tan and Duncan (1991) defined two parameters for comparing settlement prediction methods: accuracy and reliability. Accuracy is how close the predictions by a specific method are to the measured values, and is defined as the average value of the ratio of the calculated to measured settlements. Reliability is the probability that the actual settlements would be less than those computed by a specific method. It is a measure of conservativeness of a settlement prediction method. The probabilistic representation of these two terms, accuracy and reliability, is shown in Figure 1. Here, settlement ratio (x) is defined as the ratio of calculated to measured settlements. A good method should have accuracy closer to 1 and reliability closer to 100%. Tan and Duncan (1991) found that there is generally a trade-off between accuracy and relia-

Briaud and Gibbens (1994) documented the class A settlement prediction session held at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas in 1994, where 16 academics and 15 consultants participated. An extensive site investigation involving 7 cone penetration tests, 6 standard penetration tests, 4 dilatometer tests, 4 pressuremeter tests, 4 cross hole tests, 3 bore hole shear tests and a step blade test was carried out at a 12 m 18 m site, where five different square pad footings were to be load tested to failure at a future date. Laboratory test data including maximum/minimum densities, specific gravity of the grains, natural water content, void ratio, densities and friction angles were also available for sand samples taken from 0.6 m and 3.0 m depths. The soil profile consisted predominantly of sands. The soil data were available to all participants, who were asked to predict the loads, Q25 and Q150, which would make the five footings settle by 25 mm and 150 mm, respectively. Q25 is the allowable footing load satisfying the settlement criterion, and Q150 is more or less the failure load corresponding to ultimate bearing capacity. The predicted and measured Q25 and Q150 values are summarized in Table 1. Also shown in the table are the values of measured Q150 divided by the safety factors of 2.5 and 3, which are the allowable footing loads that satisfy the bearing capacity criterion. It is interesting to note that in all five footings, these allowable loads satisfying bearing capacity criterion are reached before the loads corresponding to settlement criterion. In other words, bearing capacity considerations

Table 1. Predicted and measured values of Q25 and Q150


Footing dimensions (m) Q25: Measured (kN): Predicted/Measured: Range Mean Std.dev. Q150: Measured (kN): Predicted/Measured: Range Mean Std.dev. Q150/2.5 (Allowable load with FS = 2.5) Q150/3.0 (Allowable load with FS = 3.0) 1.0 1.0 850 0.07-1.29 0.71 0.30 1740 0.12-2.28 0.65 0.45 696 580 1.5 1.5 1500 0.08-1.73 0.84 0.60 3400 0.12-3.34 0.81 0.64 1360 1133 2.5 2.5 3600 0.08-1.19 0.68 0.29 7100 0.15-2.32 0.99 0.55 2840 2367 3.0 3.0 5200 0.08-1.23 0.69 0.28 10250 0.15-2.51 1.08 0.59 4100 3417 3.0 3.0 4500 0.09-1.24 0.70 0.35 9000 0.15-3.11 1.12 0.69 3600 3000

Settlements of shallow foundations on granular soil an overview 21

govern the failure of all footings, as opposed to the common belief that the settlement considerations are more critical. This is probably due to the overestimations in the settlement prediction methods that result in underestimation of the allowable pressures. A total of 22 different methods were used by the participants, with Schmertmann (1970, 1978), Burland and Burbidge (1985) and finite element analysis being more popular. Table 1 shows that the quality of predictions were better for Q150 than Q25, emphasizing the poor state-of-the-art for settlement predictions of shallow foundations in sands.

Applied pressure (kPa) 0 0 Very dense 10 Dense 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

Settlement (mm)

20 Medium 30 Loose 40 50 60 N60 = 10

N60 = 50

N60 = 30

3. TRADITIONAL SETTLEMENT PREDICTION METHODS


The traditional settlement prediction methods that were widely used over the past two decades or more are discussed in this section. These methods are discussed in great detail in several foundation engineering text books.

Figure 2. Pressure-settlement plot of a 300 mm square plate in sands with N60 = 10, 30 and 50 (load test data from Late Professor G.A. Leonards).

When correction for depth of embedment is taken into account, Eqs. (2) and (3) would become:
footing (mm) = 1.33q(kPa) N 60 Df 1 4B for B 1.22 m

(4)

3.1 Terzaghi and Peck (1948) and Related Methods


Terzaghi and Peck (1948) proposed the first rational method for estimating the settlement of a square footing on granular soils. They carried out plate load tests using a 300 mm square plate on sands with N60 = 10, 30 and 50 respectively and the pressure-settlement plots are shown in Figure 2. Here, N60 is the blow count from standard penetration test, not corrected for overburden stress. They related the settlement of a B meter wide square footing (footing) to that of a 300 mm plate (plate) by the following equation:
2 2B D f footing = plate 1 B + 0.3 4B

footing (mm) =

2 0.53q(kPa) 2B D f B + 0.3 1 4B for B > 1.22 m N 60

(5)

Peck and Bazaraa (1969) methods adopt Eq. (3), replacing N60 with (N1)60 blow count from standard penetration test corrected for overburden stress. The settlement should then be multiplied by water table correction and depth correction. Thus,

0.53q(kPa) 2B footing (mm) = CW C D (N1 )60 B + 0.3


where
CW =

(6)

(1)

The last term in Eq. 1 accounts for the depth of embedment. Presence of water table in the vicinity of the footing is reflected in the blow count and therefore a separate correction for water table is not warranted. Nevertheless, rise of water table, while in service, can reduce the stiffness and produce additional settlements. Meyerhof (1965) noted the conservativeness in his previous method (Meyerhof, 1956) and the modified expression for the settlement is:

o at 0.5B below the bottom of the foundation t (7) o at 0.5B below the bottom of the foundation

o = total overburden stress o= effective overburden stress

Df C D = 1.0 0.4 q
= unit weight of soil The relationships for (N1)60 are:
(N1 )60 =

0.5

(8)

footing (mm) =
footing (mm) =

1.33q(kPa) N 60
2

for B 1.22

(2)

4N 60 (for o 75 kN/m2 ) 1 + 0.04 o

(9)

0.53q(kPa) 2B B + 0.3 N 60

for B > 1.22 m (3)

and

22 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

Q 0 0 B 0.5B B 0.5B B 0.5B B


lz peak

0.2

0.4

0.6

lz 0

0.2

0.4

0.6

lz 0

0.2

0.4

0.6

lz

B/

(see Eq 14) 2B 2B 2B

B/L

=0

0<

3B

3B

3B

4B (a) Schmertmann (1970) z

4B (b) Schmertmann et al. (1978) z

4B (c) Terzaghi et al. (1996) z

Figure 3. Iz z variation: (a) Schmertmann (1970), (b) Schmertmann et al. (1978), (c) Terzaghi et al. (1996).

(N1 )60 =

4N 60 (for > 75 kN/m 2 ) o 3.25 + 0.01 o

(10)

C1 = 1 0.5

o 0.5 qnet

B/L

=0

B/

L<

B/

(12)

While Meyerhof (1965) and Peck and Bazaraa (1969) expressions imply that the settlement is proportional to the applied pressure, the load test data (Figure 2) clearly show that this is not the case in loose and medium sands. It can also be seen that footing/plate increases with B, and takes the maximum of 4 at very large B. These methods were originally developed for square footings, but are valid for strip footings too. The higher settlement due to deeper influence zone is compensated by the increase in the soil stiffness due the plane strain situation.

t C2 = 1 + 0.2 log 0.1

(13)

3.2 Schmertmann (1970) and Related Methods


Schmertmann (1970) proposed a simple semi-empirical expression, based on elastic analysis and supported by model tests and finite element analysis, to estimate the settlement of a footing on granular soil as:
footing = C1C2qnet
z =0 z =2B

Here, o = effective overburden stress at the foundation level, qnet = net applied pressure at foundation level, and t = time since loading in years. The variation of the influence factor Iz with depth is represented by the 2B-0.6 diagram shown in Figure 3a. The modulus of elasticity (E) is estimated from the cone resistance from a static cone penetration test as E = 2qc. Schmertmann et al. (1978) made some modifications to the above method, with new influence factors as shown in Figure 3b, separating square and strip footings. The influence factor peaks at a depth of 0.5B for square footing and B for strip footing, and the peak values are given by:

I z dz E

I z ,peak = 0.5 + 0.1


(11)

qnet o

(14)

where C1 and C2 are the depth and time correction factors given by:

where o is computed at the depth where Iz,peak occurs. Noting that the stiffness is about 40% larger for plane strain compared to axisymmetric loading, they suggested that E = 2.5qc for square footings and Es = 3.5qc for strip footings. For

Settlements of shallow foundations on granular soil an overview 23

rectangular footings, the settlements should be computed for square and strip footing of the same width, and interpolated on the basis of B/L (L = length of footing). Terzaghi et al. (1996) simplified this further and suggested influence factors as shown in Figure 3c. Here, Iz,peak = 0.6 for both square and strip. For rectangular footing, the depth of influence (see Figure 3c) can be computed as:

2 1.71 footing = qnet p 1.4 B 0.7 if q p 3 N 60

(21)

The settlements estimated as above apply for square footings. For rectangular or strip footings, the settlements have to be multiplied by the following factor (fs):
1.25 L / B fs = 0.25 + L / B
2

L z I = 2B 1 + log B

(15)

(22)

3.3 Burland & Burbidge (1985) Method


Burland and Burbidge (1985) proposed a semi-empirical method, using the blow counts from standard penetration test, based on the review of an extensive database of settlement records of shallow foundations for buildings, tanks and embankments on granular soils. They noted that the influence depth of the footing, zI, is approximately B0.7, where B and zI are in meters. They recommend increasing N60 by 25% in gravel or sandy gravel. For fine sands and silty sands below water table, where N60 >15, driving of the split spoon sampler can dilate the sands which can produce negative pore water pressures that would increase the effective stresses and hence overestimate the blow counts. Here, Terzaghis correction given below should be applied: N60,corrected = 15 + 0.5(N60 15) (16)

The settlements estimated above imply that there is granular soil at least to a depth of zI. If the thickness (Hs) of the granular layer below the footing is less than the influence depth, the settlements have to be multiplied by the following reduction factor (fl):
fl = Hs Hs 2 z zI I

(23)

Burland and Burbidge (1985) noted some time-dependent settlements of the footings, and suggested a multiplication factor (ft) given by:
t (24) 3 where R3 takes into consideration the time dependent settlement during the first three years of loading, and the last component accounts for the time-dependent settlement that takes place after the first three years at a slower rate. Suggested values for R3 and Rt are 0.3-0.7 and 0.2-0.8 respectively. The lower end of the range is applicable for static loads and the upper end for fluctuating loads such as bridges, silos, and tall chimneys. ft = 1 + R3 + Rt log

The compressibility of the soil was represented by a compressibility index (Ic), defined as:
Ic = 1.71 1. N 604

(17)

where Ic is in MPa-1, and N60 is the average value of N60 within the influence depth zI. For overconsolidated granular soils, Ic is 1/3 of what is given in Eq. (17). Burland and Burbidge (1985) suggested that the settlement can be estimated from: footing = qnetIczI
1.71 = qnet 1.4 B 0.7 N 60

4. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN SETTLEMENT PREDICTION METHODS


Two recent methods that appear to give better settlement predictions are the ones proposed by Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) and Mayne and Poulos (1999). These two methods are briefly discussed below. Sivakugan and Johnsons (2004) probabilistic approach is an effective way of quantifying the risk associated with the settlement prediction methods.

(18)

In normally consolidated granular soils, Eq. (18) becomes:


footing

4.1 Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) Method


Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) proposed a method to estimate the elastic settlement which takes into account the variation of the modulus of elasticity of soil with the strain level. This method is also described by Berardi et al. (1991). According to this procedure: q B footing = I s net E (25)

(19)

In overconsolidated granular soils, with preconsolidation pressure of p, Eq. (19) becomes:


1 1.71 footing = qnet 1.4 B 0.7 3 N 60 if q p

(20)

24 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

Table 2. Variation of Is
Depth of influence, zI B L/B 1 2 3 5 10 0.5 0.35 0.39 0.40 0.41 0.42 1.0 0.56 0.65 0.67 0.68 0.71 1.5 0.63 0.76 0.81 0.84 0.89 2.0 0.69 0.88 0.96 0.89 1.06

C. Determine the average corrected blow count from standard penetration test (N1)60 and hence the average relative density as:

N Dr = 1 60

0.5

(28)

where Is = influence factor for a rigid footing (Tsytovich, 1951) and E = modulus of elasticity of soil. The variation of Is (Tsytovich, 1951) with Poissons ratio v = 0.15 is given in Table 2. Analytical and numerical evaluations have shown that, for circular and square footings, the depth z25 below the footing beyond which the residual settlement is about 25% of the surface settlement can be taken as 0.8 to 1.3B. For strip footings (L/B 10), z25 is about 50 to 70% more as compared to that for square footings. Thus the depth of influence zI can be taken to be z25. The modulus of elasticity E in Eq. (25) can be evaluated as:
+ 0.5 E = K E pa o pa
0.5

D. With known Dr, determine KE(/B = 0.1%) from Figure 4a and, hence, E from Eq. (26) for /B = 0.1%. E. With the known value of E from Step D, the magnitude of elastic settlement footing can be calculated from Eq. (25). F. If the calculated /B is not the same as the assumed /B, then use the calculated /B from Step E and use Figure 4b to estimate a revised KE(/B). This value can now be used in Eqs. (26) and (25) to obtain a revised footing. This iterative procedure can be continued until the assumed and calculated footing is the same.

(26)

where pa = atmospheric pressure, o and = effective overburden stress and net effective stress increase due to the foundation loading, respectively, at a depth B/2 below the foundation, and KE = nondimensional modulus number. After reanalyzing the performance of 130 structures found on predominantly silica sand as reported by Burland and Burbidge (1986), Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) obtained the variation of KE with the relative density Dr at /B = 0.1% and KE at varying strain levels. Figures 4a and 4b show the average variation of KE with Dr and [KE(/B)/KE(/B=0.1%)] with /B In order to estimate the elastic settlement of the footing, an iterative procedure is suggested, which can be described as follows: A. Determine the variation of the blow count from standard penetration test N60 within the zone of influence, that is z25. B. Determine the corrected blow count (N1)60 as:
2 (N1 )60 = N 60 1+ o

(27)
Figure 4. (a) Variation of KE with Dr for /B = 0.1%. (b) Variation of [KE(/B)/KE(/B = 0.1%)] with /B (adapted from Berardi and Lancellotta, 1991).

where o = vertical effective stress

Settlements of shallow foundations on granular soil an overview 25

4.2 Mayne and Poulos (1999) Method


Mayne and Poulos (1999) provided a general relationship for elastic settlement calculation of footings using displacement influence factors derived from elasticity continuum theory. Here, it is assumed that the soil stiffness increases linearly with depth, from a value of Eo at footing level. According to this theory (Figure 5a):
qnet t Compressible soil layer Hs E v

B Df

Ef

Eo E= Eo + kz

footing =

qnet B IG IF IE (1 2 ) Eo

(29)

Rigid Layer Depth, z (a) 1.0 >30 0.8 2.0 1.0 10.0 5.0

4BL where B =

0.5

IG IE IF

= equivalent diameter of a rectangular footing =Poissons ratio of soil =displacement influence factor (Figure 5b) =settlement coefficient factor to account for depth of embedment =rigidity coefficient factor
G

0.6

The relationships to estimate IE and IF are:

IE = 1

1 B 3.5 exp(1.22 0.4) + 1.6 D f


(30)

0.4

0.5

0.2 Hs lB = 0.2

IF = + 4

1 3 E f 2t 4.6 + 10 B B Eo + k 2
(31)
0 0.01 0.1 1 Eo lkB (b)
Figure 5. Solution of Mayne and Poulos: (a) Footing on a compressible layer; (b) Variation of IG with Eo/kB and Hs/B.

10

100

where Ef = modulus of elasticity of the footing material (which is, in most cases, reinforced concrete), t = footing thickness, and k = increase in soil stiffness per unit depth (i.e., E = Eo + kz). The above procedure will give good results provided the modulus of elasticity of soil is predicted reasonably well.

4.3 Sivakugan and Johnsons (2004) Probabilistic Approach


Noting the different degrees of scatter associated with the settlement prediction methods, a probabilistic approach is more appropriate than the traditional deterministic methods. The magnitude of settlement can have different meaning depending on which method was used for the computations. Sivakugan and Johnson (2004) developed a probabilistic framework, based on the settlement records in the literature, to quantify the risk associated with the settlement prediction methods. They proposed probabilistic design charts, for four

different settlement prediction methods, which enable the designer to quantify the probability that the actual settlement will exceed a specific limiting value. The design chart for limiting settlement value of 25 mm is shown in Figure 6. It can be seen from Figure 6 that when the settlement estimated by Terzaghi and Peck or Schmertmann et al. method is 25 mm, there is only 26% probability that the actual settlement will exceed 25 mm, demonstrating their conservativeness. The Burland and Burbidge method is a clear improvement on the quality of predictions, and the Berardi and Lancellotta method improves this even further.

26 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

1 0.9

p (actual settlement will exceed 25 mm)

0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 Predicted settlement (mm)

ra Be

& rdi

ce Lan

llot

ta

rla Bu

nd

urb &B

idg

e
t al.

m Sch

a ertm

nn e

h Terzag

i & Pec

Figure 6. Probabilistic design chart.

Table 3. Correlations between E and N60 for granular soils


Reference Relationship Soil type
0.522

Schultze and Melzer (1965)

E = 246.2 log N 60 263.4 o + 375.6 57.6 o pa pa


E = 5(N 60 + 15) pa E = 3.33(N 60 + 5) pa
E = 7.5(1 2 )N 60 pa

for 0

o 1.2 pa

Dry sand

Sand

Webb (1969)

Clayey sand

Ferrent (1963)

Sand

Begemann (1974)

E = 40 + C(N 60 6) for N 60 > 15 pa E = 40 + C(N 60 + 6) for N 60 <15 pa

C = 3 for silt with sand and 12 for gravel with sand

Silt with sand to gravel with sand

Trofimenkov (1974)

E = (350 to 500) log N 60 pa


E = N 60 pa = 5 for sand with fines; 10 for clean normally l consolidated sands; and 15 for clean overconsolidated sands r

Sand

Kulhawy and Mayne (1990)

Sand

Settlements of shallow foundations on granular soil an overview 27

Table 4. Correlations between E and qc for granular soils


Reference Relationship Soil type
0.522

Schultze and Melzer (1965)

E = 301.1logqc 382.3 o +60.350.3 o pa pa


E/qc = 2.5(qc + 30) E/qc = 1.67(qc + 15) E = 1.5qc E = 2qc E = 2qc (axisymmetric loading) E = 3.5qc (axisymmetric loading) E = 2(1 + D2 ) qc r E = qc E = 1.5qc E = 1.5qc (for qc> 3 MN/m2) E = 3qc (for qc < 3 MN/m2) E = qc (1.5 < < 2) E = 2.5qc E = 3qc E = 7qc E = qc ( = 3 to 12) E = 1.5qc (for qc > 4 MN/m2) MN/m2 < qc < 4 MN/m2)

for 0

o pa

0.8

Dry sand

Webb (1969) Buisman (1940) Schmertmann (1970) Schmertmann et al. (1978) Vesic (1970) Bachelier and Parez (1965) DeBeer (1965)

Sand below water table Clayey sand below water table Sand Sand Normally consolidated sand Sand = 0.8 to 0.9 for pure sand; 1.3 to 1.9 for silty sand; 3.8 to 5.7 for clayey sand; and 7.7 for soft clay All soils Sand

DeBeer (1974)

Sand (Greek practice) Sand (U.K. practice) Sand (lower limit) Sand Clay Sand Sand and sandy gravel Silty saturated sand Clayey silt with silty sand, and silty saturated sand with silt (USSR practice)

Trofimenkov (1964) Trofimenkov (1974) Thomas (1968) Bogdanovi (1973)

E = 1.5 to 1.8qc (for 2

E = 1.8 to 2.5qc(for 1 MN/m2 < qc < 2 MN/m2) E = 2.5 to 3.0qc(for 0.5 MN/m2 < qc < 1 MN/m2)

5. EMPIRICAL CORRELATIONS FOR MODULUS OF ELASTICITY, E


One of the main factors that contribute to the uncertainty in settlement predictions is our inability to quantify the soil stiffness correctly. Soil stiffness, measured by the modulus of elasticity, is generally quantified indirectly through the penetration resistances from standard penetration or cone penetration tests. The various empirical correlations relating N60 and qc to E are summarized in Tables 3 and 4 respectively.

6. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


The current state-of-the-art for predictions of the settlements of shallow foundations in granular soils is discussed. The Settlement 94 prediction session held in Texas clearly showed the deficiencies in the current state-of-the-art, where the predictions from the 31 international experts varied in a wide range. In spite of having access to the full data from a rigor-

ous site investigation program, their predictions of Q25, the load required to produce 25 mm settlement, were significantly less than what was measured, implying that the settlements were overestimated in general. In reality, the geotechnical engineer has access to very limited data from the field, and the quality of predictions can only be worse. The load test data for the five footings at the above prediction sessions showed that, provided the factor of safety is greater than 2.5, bearing capacity considerations are more critical than the settlement criterion. It is the poor state-ofthe-art for settlement predictions, which results in overestimation of the settlements and underestimations of the allowable pressures, which leads one to believe that the settlement criterion generally governs the design of shallow foundations in granular soils. The traditional settlement prediction methods, including Terzaghi and Peck (1948), Schmertmann (1970) and Burland and Burbidge (1985) are discussed. Two of the most recent methods, proposed by Berardi and Lancellotta (1991) and Mayne and Poulos (1999) appear to give better and more

28 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

realistic settlement predictions. The probabilistic design chart presented by Sivakugan and Johnson (2004) can be used to estimate the probability that the actual settlement will exceed 25 mm in the field, based on the settlements estimated from the traditional methods. Several empirical correlations relating the modulus of elasticity of soil to blow count from a standard penetration test and cone resistance from a cone penetration test are discussed. These correlations are quite useful in assessing the soil stiffness, which is required in the settlement computations.

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