Geotechnical Engineering Insights Understanding Effective Stress

Understanding Effective Stress Concept and Definition

In the realm of geotechnical engineering, the concept of effective stress-Terzaghi's Principle plays a pivotal role in understanding soil behavior under various loading conditions. This principle, formulated by Karl Terzaghi, distinguishes between the total stress applied to a soil mass and the water pressure within the pores, highlighting that the strength and deformation of soils are primarily influenced by the effective stress. Effective stress is crucial for predicting how soil will react to construction activities, such as excavating, loading, and foundation setting, ensuring the stability and safety of structures. It guides engineers in designing foundations and earth-retaining structures that can withstand the complexities of soil mechanics, making it an indispensable tool in geotechnical analysis and application.«A finite element method integrated with terzaghi’s principle to estimate settlement of a building due to tunnel construction»

What is effective stress in soil?

Effective stress in soil is the force exerted on the soil particles by the solid skeleton of the soil. It is the difference between the total stress applied to the soil and the pore water pressure within the soil. Effective stress governs the mechanical behavior of soil and determines factors such as shear strength, consolidation, and deformation. The effective stress concept is critical in geotechnical engineering for analyzing soil stability, foundation design, and other geotechnical problems.«Queen elizabeth ii conference centre: geotechnical aspects. proceedings of the institution of civil engineers»

Soil Types and Effective Stress Comparative Table

Type of Soil Description Total Stress (kPa) Pore Water Pressure (kPa) Effective Stress (kPa) Effective Strain (kPa) Notes
Clay Fine-grained, plastic 59 - 178 18 - 91 45 - 92 8 - 49 Highly compressible
Silt Fine-grained, non-plastic 39 - 147 6 - 57 28 - 78 6 - 36 Prone to liquefaction
Sand Coarse-grained, granular 62 - 224 0 - 42 62 - 174 17 - 90 Good drainage properties
Gravel Coarse-grained, rounded particles 70 - 277 4 - 36 82 - 232 29 - 130 Low compressibility

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Effective stress is an important concept in geotechnical engineering that helps us understand the behavior of soils and their response to loading. By considering the interplay between the total stress and the pore water pressure, engineers can effectively analyze and predict the stability and deformation of soil layers. Understanding effective stress is crucial for constructing safe and reliable foundations, slopes, and other geotechnical structures. By applying effective stress principles, engineers can make informed decisions about design and construction methods, ensuring the long-term performance and stability of engineering projects.«Application of remote vane results to offshore geotechnical problems otc offshore technology conference onepetro»

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1. What is the relationship between total stress, effective stress, and pressure on soil mass?

Total stress is the sum of the effective stress and the pore water pressure on a soil mass. Effective stress represents the soil's ability to bear loads and is the difference between the total stress and the pore water pressure. Pressure on the soil mass is the external load applied to the soil. The relationship can be expressed as: Total stress = Effective stress + Pore water pressure. It's important to consider effective stress in soil engineering as it governs the soil's strength and deformation behavior.«On principle of effective stress and effective stress»

2. What is the ratio between lateral and vertical principal effective stress?

The ratio between lateral and vertical principal effective stress is represented by the coefficient of lateral earth pressure, which varies depending on the soil type and conditions. In general, for a saturated soil, the lateral effective stress (σ'h) can be considered to be approximately two thirds of the vertical effective stress (σ'v). So, the ratio can be expressed as σ'h / σ'v ≈ 2/3. However, it is important to note that this is a simplified approximation and the exact ratio can vary depending on the specific soil properties and conditions.«A new nonlinear effective stress method for one-dimensional seismic site response analysis and its validation»

3. Can effective stress of soil be negative?

No, the effective stress of soil cannot be negative. Effective stress is a measure of the load-carrying capacity of a soil, and it is defined as the difference between total stress and pore water pressure. Total stress is the sum of the weight of soil particles and any externally applied loads, while pore water pressure represents the pressure exerted by the water within the soil pores. Both total stress and pore water pressure can be positive, but the effective stress is always positive or zero.«Emerging thermal issues in geotechnical engineering»

4. What is the difference between safe bearing capacity and ultimate bearing capacity?

The safe bearing capacity is the maximum allowable load that can be applied to a soil without causing any significant settlement or shear failure. It is determined by considering factors such as soil strength, stability, and the desired level of risk. On the other hand, the ultimate bearing capacity is the maximum load that can be sustained by the soil before it fails in shear. It is determined by conducting laboratory or field tests and is used for designing deep foundations and determining suitable load limits for structures.«Determination of the effective stress law for deformation in coalbed methane reservoirs rock mechanics and rock engineering»