12.12 DETERMINATION OF BEARING CAPACITY AND SETTLEMENT OF COARSEGRAINED SOILS FROM FIELD TESTS
457
12.12 DETERMINATION OF BEARING CAPACITY
AND SETTLEMENT OF COARSEGRAINED SOILS FROM FIELD TESTS
We are going to consider the SPT and CPT results in estimating the bearing capacity and settlement of shallow foundations. You need to be extra careful in selecting the N or q _{c} values to use in the empiri cal equations given below. You should inspect the results and then eliminate excessively high values of either N or q _{c} that appear to be spurious. These high values may be due to an obstruction such as from a boulder. A continuous set of low values of N or q _{c} may indicate a weak soil layer. Depending on the location of this layer, for example, within a depth B below the foundation, it may control the perfor mance of the foundation.
12.12.1 Standard Penetration Test (SPT)
Computer Program Utility
Access www.wiley.com/college/budhu, click on Chapter 12, and then click on bc.xls for a spread sheet to estimate bearing capacity and settlement from SPT data.
It is dif cult to obtain undisturbed samples of coarsegrained soils for testing in the laboratory. Consequently, the allowable bearing capacity and settlement of footings on coarsegrained soils are often based on empirical methods using test data from eld tests. One popular method utilizes results from the standard penetration test (SPT). It is customary to correct the N values for overburden pressure. Various correction factors have been suggested by a number of investigators. Energy and other correc tions were considered in Chapter 3. Two suggestions for correcting N values for overburden pressure are included in this text. These are
_{c} N _{5}_{a} 95.8 sr zo
b 1/2
;
C _{N} # 2
c _{N} 5 0.77 log _{1}_{0} _{a} ^{1}^{9}^{1}^{6} _{b}_{;} sr zo
1 Liao and Whitman, 19852 
(12.44) 

C _{N} # 2; 
sr _{z}_{o} . 24 kPa 
1 Peck et al., 1974 2 
(12.45) 
where c _{N} is a correction factor for overburden pressures, and s9 _{z}_{o} is the effective overburden pressure in kPa. A further correction factor is imposed on N values if the groundwater level is within a depth B below the base of the footing. The groundwater correction factor is
c W 5
1
2 ^{1}
z
21D _{f}
_{1} _{B}_{2}
(12.46)
where z is the depth to the groundwater table, D _{f} is the footing depth, and B is the footing width. If the depth of the groundwater level is beyond B from the bottom of the footing base, c _{w} 5 1. The corrected N value is
(12.47)
N _{1} 5 c _{N} c _{W} N
The ultimate bearing capacity for a shallow footing under vertical loads is
(12.48)
where B is the width in m. In practice, each value of N in a soil layer up to a depth 1.5 B below the footing base is corrected, and an average value of N _{1} is used in Equation (12.48).
q _{u}_{l}_{t} 5 32 N _{1} B 1 kPa2
458 CHAPTER 12
BEARING CAPACITY OF SOILS AND SETTLEMENT OF SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS
Meyerhof (1965) proposed that no correction should be applied to N values for the effects of groundwater, as these are already incorporated in the measurement. Furthermore, he suggested that q _{u}_{l}_{t} calculated from Equation (12.45) using N _{1} 5 c _{N} N be increased by 50%. In using Equation (12.48), the settlement is assumed to be less than 25 mm. Burland and Burbidge (1985) did a statistical analysis of settlement records from 200 footings located in quartzitic sand and gravel. They proposed the following equation for the settlement of a footing in a normally consolidated sand at the end of construction:
Burland and Burbidge also recommended a time factor to account for timedependent settlement. You can check the original reference for this factor. The procedure for the Burland–Burbidge method is as follows:
1. Determine the in uence depth z _{1} .
2. Find the average N value within the depth z _{1} below the footing.
3. Calculate I _{c} from Equation (12.51).
4. Determine r from the appropriate equation [Equation (12.49) or (12.52) or (12.53)] or, if r is speci ed, you can determine s _{a} .
EXAMPLE 12.13
Allowable Bearing Capacity Using SPT Data
The SPT results at various depths in a soil are shown in Table E12.13a.
TABLE E12.13a
Depth (m) 
0.6 
0.9 
1.2 
1.5 
2.1 
2.7 
3 
3.3 
4.2 
N (blows/ft) 
25 
28 
33 
29 
28 
29 
31 
35 
41 
12.12 DETERMINATION OF BEARING CAPACITY AND SETTLEMENT OF COARSEGRAINED SOILS FROM FIELD TESTS
459
Determine the allowable bearing capacity for a square footing 2 m wide located at 0.6 m below the surface. The tolerable settlement is 25 mm. The groundwater level is deep and its effects can be neglected.
Strategy The question that arises is what value of N to use. We will estimate the thickness of the soil (.2B) below the footing that will be stressed signi cantly (.10% of applied stress) and take an average value of N within that layer. The unit weight is not given, so we have to estimate this based on the description and the N values (see Chapter 10, Table 10.4).
Solution 12.13
Computer Program Utility
Access www.wiley.com/college/budhu, click on Chapter 12, and then click on bc.xls for a spread sheet to estimate bearing capacity and settlement from SPT data.
Step 1:
Determine N _{1} .
Calculate s9 _{z}_{o} and the correction factor c _{N} using either Equation (12.44) or (12.45). Use a spreadsheet to do the calculation, as shown in Table E12.13b.
TABLE E12.13b
Bearing capacity from SPT
q _{a} Width of footing Depth of footing Groundwater FS
1033 
kPa 
2 
m 
0.9 
m 
5 
m 
3 
Vertical
Depth 
Unit weight (kN/m ^{3} ) 
effective stress 
C _{n} 
C _{n} 

(m) 
(kPa) 
calc. 
use 
N 
N _{1} 

0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0.6 
18.5 
11.1 
2.9 
2.0 
25 
50 
0.9 
19 
16.8 
2.4 
2.0 
28 
56 
1.2 
20 
22.8 
2.0 
2.0 
33 
66 
1.5 
19 
28.5 
1.8 
1.8 
29 
53 
2.1 
19 
39.9 
1.5 
1.5 
28 
43 
2.7 
19 
51.3 
1.4 
1.4 
29 
40 
3 
20 
57.3 
1.3 
1.3 
31 
40 
3.3 
20.5 
63.45 
1.2 
1.2 
35 
43 
4.2 
20.5 
81.9 
1.1 
1.1 
41 
44 
Avg 
31 
48 
Step 2: 
Calculate q _{a} . 

Equation (12.48): 
q _{u}_{l}_{t} 5 32N _{1} B 5 32 3 48 3 2 5 3072 kPa 
q a 5
^{q} ult
_{5} 3072
FS
3
5 1024 kPa
The spreadsheet gives q _{a} 5 1033 kPa because it uses more signi cant gures in doing the calculations.
460 CHAPTER 12
BEARING CAPACITY OF SOILS AND SETTLEMENT OF SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS
EXAMPLE 12.14
Allowable Bearing Capacity and Settlement Using SPT
Redo using the Burland–Burbidge method for a footing 3 m 3 4 m.
Strategy You have to determine whether the sand is normally consolidated or overconsolidated. No direct evidence is provided to allow you to make a decision as to the consolidation state of the sand. One way around this problem is to use Table 10.4 to make an estimate of the consolidation state.
Solution 12.14
Step 1:
Determine the consolidation state and nd z _{1} .
Within a depth equal to B (3 m), the average N value is 29. From Table 10.4, the sand can be classi ed as medium (N in the range 10–30). A reasonable estimate of the consolidation state is normally consoli dated.
Step 2:
Step 3:
Step 4:
_{z} 1 _{5} _{B} 0.763
_{5} _{3} 0.763
_{5} _{2}_{.}_{3} _{m}
Find an average N for a depth 2.3 m below the base.
Average N value over a depth of 2.3 m below the base is 29. (Note: 2.3 m below the base is equivalent to a depth of 2.9 m, so use the N values up to 3 m.)
Calculate I _{c} .
Calculate q _{a} .
_{I} c _{5} 1.71
1.4
_{N}
_{5} 1.71 _{1}_{.}_{4} 5 0.015
29
L
5 ^{4} 5 1.33;
3
f _{s} 5a
1.25L
1 0.25 ^{b} 2 ^{5}^{a} 1.33 3 0.25 ^{b} 2
/
B
1.25 3 1.33
B
f _{1} 5 1 1 thickness of sand stratum greater than 2.3 m 2
B
L
/
5 1.11
q _{a} 5 s _{a} 5
^{r}
_{5}
f _{s} f _{1} B ^{0}^{.}^{7} I _{c}
25
1.11 3 1 3
3 ^{0}^{.}^{7} 3 0.015 ^{5} ^{6}^{9}^{6} ^{k}^{P}^{a}
12.12.2 Cone Penetration Test (CPT)
Computer Program Utility
Access www.wiley.com/college/budhu, click on Chapter 12, and then click on bc.xls for a spread sheet to estimate bearing capacity and settlement from CPT data.
Schmertmann (1970) and Schmertmann et al. (1978) proposed a methodology to determine settle ment from the quasistatic cone test data for sands. They assumed that the sand is a linearly elastic material, and only stress changes within depths of 2B for axisymmetric conditions and 4B for plane strain conditions in uence the settlement. Settlement is calculated by integrating the vertical strains; that is,
r
5 _{3} ε _{z} dz
(12.54)
12.12 DETERMINATION OF BEARING CAPACITY AND SETTLEMENT OF COARSEGRAINED SOILS FROM FIELD TESTS
461
The equation proposed for settlement (mm) by Schmertmann et al. is
where
r 5 ^{c} ^{D} ^{c} ^{t}
b
n
^{q} net _{a}
i51
^{1}^{I} co ^{2} i 1q _{c} 2 _{i}
Dz _{i}
c _{D} 5 Depth factor 5 1 2 0.5 ^{s}^{r} ^{z}^{o}
^{q}
net
$ 0.5
c _{t} 5 Creep factor 5 1.0 1 A log _{1}_{0} _{`} _{0}_{.}_{1} _{`}
t
(12.55)
(12.56)
(12.57)
b is cone factor [b 5 2.5 for square footing (axisymmetric condition), b 5 3.5 for strip footing (plane strain
condition ^{L}
. 10)], q _{n}_{e}_{t} is the net footing pressure in kPa (applied stress minus soil pressure above the
base of footing), s9 _{z}_{o} is the original vertical effective stress in kPa at the depth of the footing, t is time in year (t $ 0.1), A is an empirical factor taken as 0.2, Dz _{i} is the thickness of the ith layer, and (I _{c}_{o} ) _{i} is the in uence factor of the ith layer given as:
B
Axisymmetric:
L 5 B
z
I _{c}_{o} 5 0.1 1 21 I _{c}_{p} 2 0.12 _{B}
I co 5I cp c1 2 ^{2}
3
a
z
B
^{2}
1
_{2} _{b}
_{d}
for
for
z
B ^{#}
2 $
1
_{2}
z
B
^{.}
1
_{2}
(12.58)
(12.59)
Plane strain:
L . 10B
z
I _{c}_{o} 5 0.2 1 1 I _{c}_{p} 2 0.22 _{B}
I co 5I cp c1 2
1
3 ^{a}
z
_{B}
2 1b _{d}
for
for
z
_{B} # 1
4 $
z
_{B}
. 1
(12.60)
(12.61)
where I _{c}_{p} 5 0.5 1 0.1 _{Å}
effective stress at the depth where I _{c}_{p} occurs, which is ^{B}
2
strain; and n is the number of sublayers. The unit of B is meters.
^{q} net
sr zp
; (q _{c} ) _{i} is the cone tip resistance for the ith layer; s9 _{z}_{p} is the original vertical
for axisymmetric condition and B for plane
The procedure to determine the settlement from cone data is as follows:
1. Divide the soil below the footing into a number of sublayers. For square footings, the total depth of the sublayers is 2B and a reasonable number of sublayers is four. For strip footing, the total depth is 4B and a reasonable number of sublayers is eight.
2. Determine the average value of (q _{c} ) _{i} for each sublayer from the eld data of q _{c} versus depth.
3. Find I _{c}_{o} at the center of each sublayer.
4. Estimate r using Equation (12.54).
The bearing capacity from the CPT test is estimated by taking a weighted average of the cone resistance over a depth of 2B for axisymmetric condition and 4B for plane strain condition below the bottom of the footing base.
462 CHAPTER 12
BEARING CAPACITY OF SOILS AND SETTLEMENT OF SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS
EXAMPLE 12.15
Allowable Bearing Capacity and Settlement Using CPT Data
A representative set of cone data at a site is shown in Figure E12.15a. A square footing 3 m wide imposing an applied stress of 217 kPa is to be located 1 m below ground level at this site. Determine (1) the bearing capacity and
FIGURE E12.15a
q _{c} (MPa)
(2) the settlement of the footing one year after construction. The bulk unit weight of the sand is 17 kN/m ^{3} . Ground water level is 8 m below the ground surface.
Strategy For a square footing, the in uence depth is 2B. You need to divide this depth into soil layers and then use Equation (12.54).
Solution 12.15
Step 1:
Determine the in uence depth below base of footing.
Step 2:
Influence depth 5 2B 5 6 m
Inspect q _{c} values over the in uence depth below the bottom of the base of the footing. Ignore excessively large q _{c} values and sketch a composite distribution, as shown in Figure E12.15b. Find the average value of q _{c} , I _{c}_{o} , and r over the in uence depth.
FIGURE E12.15b
q _{c} (MPa)
Use a spreadsheet program (www.wiley.com/college/budhu_bc.xls; see Table E12.15).
Since this is an axisymmetric case, the depth at which I _{c}_{p} occurs is B/2.
q _{a}_{p} 5 applied pressure, D 5 depth of footing from original surface, D _{f} 5 depth of footing from nished surface.
q _{n}_{e}_{t} 5 q _{a}_{p} 2 gD _{f} 5 217 2 1 3 17 5 200 kPa
sr _{z}_{p} 5 ga ^{B}
2
1 D _{f} _{b} 5 17 3 _{a} _{2} 1 1b 5 42.5 kPa;
3
I _{c}_{p} 5 0.5 1 0.1 _{Å} _{4}_{2}_{.}_{5} 5 0.72
200
12.12 DETERMINATION OF BEARING CAPACITY AND SETTLEMENT OF COARSEGRAINED SOILS FROM FIELD TESTS
TABLE E12.15
463
sr _{z}_{o} 5 gD 5 1 3 17 5 17 kPa;
c _{D} 5 1 2 0.5 3
_{2}_{0}_{0} 17 5 0.96
c _{t} 5 1 1 0.2 log _{1}_{0} _{`} _{0}_{.}_{1} _{`} 5 1.2
1
Step 3: 
Calculate the bearing capacity. 
Step 4: 
Calculate the settlement 
q ult 5 Sq _{c} Dz _{5} 40.3
SDz
6
5 6.7 MPa
r 5 ^{c} ^{D} ^{c} ^{t}
b
n
^{q} net _{a}
i51
^{1}^{I} co ^{2} i
1q _{c} 2 _{i}
_{D}_{z} i _{5} 0.96 3 1.2
2.5
3 200 3 0.26 5 24 mm
12.12.3 Plate Load Test (PLT)
Tests on fullsized footings are desirable but expensive. The alternative is to carry out plate load tests (Figure 12.18) to simulate the load settlement behavior of a real footing. The plates are made from steel, with sizes varying from 150 to 760 mm. Two common plate sizes are used in practice. One is a square plate of width 300 mm and the other is a circular plate of diameter 300 mm. The test is carried out in a pit of depth of at least 1.5 m. Loads are applied in increments of 10% to 20% of the estimated allowable
FIGURE 12.18
Plate load test.
Stress or load
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