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# PE Exam Review - Geotechnical

## I. Solved Problems .................................................................................. 2

1. Soil Classification............................................................................ 2
2. Phase Relationships ....................................................................... 6
3. Effective Stress and Stress Distribution ...................................... 100
4. Consolidation .............................................................................. 133
5. Strength and Bearing Capacity ..................................................... 18
6. Earth Retaining Structures............................................................ 21
7. Piles .............................................................................................. 25
8. Seepage ....................................................................................... 28

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 2

## Demo Problem Solutions

Module 1 - Soil Classification
Situation
Laboratory gradation analyses and Atterberg Limits were performed on two soil samples.
Results are summarized below. No organic odor or materials were noted in either sample.

Soil A:

No. 4 100
No. 10 91
No. 40 83
No. 200 51

## liquid limit (wl) = 35%

plastic limit (wp) = 22%

Soil B:

No. 4 80
No. 10 72
No. 40 35
No. 200 20

## liquid limit (wl) = 37%

plastic limit (wp) = 20%

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 3

Requirements
AASHTO Soil Classification System a

Granular materials (35% or less passing #200 sieve) Silt-clay material (more than
35% passing #200 sieve)
A-1 A-3 A-2 A-4 A-5 A-6 A-7 A-8
A1-a A1-b A2-4 A2-5 A2-6 A2-7 A7-5
Sieve analysis: A7-6
% passing
#10 < 50
#40 < 30 < 50 > 51
#200 < 15 < 25 < 10 < 35 < 35 < 35 < 35 > 36 > 36 > 36 > 36
Characteristics
of fraction
passing #40:
Wl: < 40 > 41 < 40 > 41 < 40 > 41 < 40 > 41

Ip: <6 NP < 10 < 10 > 11 > 11 < 10 < 10 > 11 > 11

1A) What is the classification of Soil A according to the AASHTO System (include the group
index)?

## 1. First, find the plasticity index: Ip = wl wp

Ip = 35 22 = 13
2. Use the chart to find the soil group
% passing #200 > 35%
wl < 40
Ip > 11
Soil is in group A-6
3. Find the group index: I g = ( F200 35)[0.2 + 0.005( wl 40)] 0.01( F200 15)( I p 10)

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 4

1B) What is the classification of Soil B according to the AASHTO System (include the group
index)?

## 1. First, find the plasticity index: Ip = wl wp

Ip = 37 20 = 17
2. Use the chart to find the soil group
% passing #200 < 35%
wl < 40
Ip > 11
Soil is in group A-2-6
3. Find the group index. For A-2-6 and A-2-7 soils: I g = 0.01( F200 15)( I p 10)

## Unified Soil Classification System b

Soil Classification
Criteria for assigning group symbols and group names using laboratory tests A Group
Symbol
Group NameB
Course-grained Clean gravels: Cu > 4 and 1 < Cc < 3E GW Well-graded gravelF
soils: Gravels: > 50% < 5% fines c Cu > 4 and/or 1 < Cc < 3E GP Poorly graded gravelF
More than 50% of course Fines classify as ML or
fraction retained Gravels w/ fines: MH
GM Silty gravelF, G, H
retained on
#200 sieve on #4 sieve > 12% fines c Fines classify as CL or
CH
GC Clayey gravelF, G, H
Clean sands: Cu > 6 and 1 < Cc < 3E SW Well-graded sandI
< 5% fines D Cu > 4 and/or 1 < Cc < 3 E
Sands: > 50% of
Fines classify as ML or
course fraction
Sands w/ fines: MH
SM Silty sand G, H, I
passes #4 sieve
> 12% fines D Fines classify as CL or
CH
SC Clayey sand G, H, I
Fine-grained Ip > 7 and plots on or
CL Lean clay K, L, M
soils: above A line J
Inorganic
50% or more Ip < 4 or plots below
Silts and Clays: ML Silt K, L, M
pass the #200 A line J
wl < 50
sieve w l oven dried Organic clay K, L, M, N
< 0.75
Organic w l not dried OL Organic silt K, L, M, O

Ip plots on or above A
CH Fat clay K, L, M
Inorganic line
Silts and Clays: Ip plots below A line MH Elastic silt K, L, M
wl > 50 w l oven dried Organic clay K, L, M, P
< 0.75
Organic w l not dried OH Organic silt K, L, M, Q

Highly organic
Primarily organic matter, dark in color, and organic odor PT Peat
soils

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

A: based on the material passing the 3-in (75-mm) sieve G: If fines classify as CL-ML, use dual symbol GC-GM or SC-
B: if field sample contained cobbles or boulders, add with SM
cobbles, boulders, or both to group name H: If fines are organic, add with organic fines to group name
C: Gravels with 5-12% fines require dual symbols: I: If soil contains > 15% gravel, add with gravel to group
GW-GM: well-graded gravel with silt name
GW-GC: well-graded gravel with clay J: If Atterberg Limits plot in hatched area, soil is a CL-ML, silty
GP-GM: poorly-graded gravel with silt clay
GP-GC: poorly-graded gravel with clay K: If soil contains 15-29% plus #200, add with sand or with
D: sands with 5-12% fines require dual symbols: gravel, whichever is predominant
SW-SM: well-graded sand with silt L: If soil contains > 30% plus #200, predominately sand, add
SW-SC: well-graded sand with clay sandy to group name.
SP-SM: poorly-graded sand with silt M: If soil contains > 30% plus #200, predominately gravel, add
SP-SC: poorly-graded sand with clay gravelly to group name.
D60 D302 N: Ip > 4 and plots on or above A line
E: Cu = Cc = O: Ip < 4 or plots below A line
D10 D10 D60 P: Ip plots on or above A line
F: If soil contains > 15% sand, add with sand to group name Q: Ip plots on or above A line

1C) What is the classification of Soil A according to the Unified Soil Classification System?

## 1. Use USCS chart

% passing #200 > 50 Fine-grained soils
wl < 50 top row
no organic odor or color inorganic
Ip > 4
wl = 35; Ip = 13 plots above A line on plasticity chart c
Soil A is CL

1D) What is the classification of Soil B according to the Unified Soil Classification System?

## 1. Use USCS chart

% retained on #200 > 50 Course-grained soils
% passing #4 > 50 Sands
% passing #200 (i.e., % fines) > 12%
classify fines according to plot location on plasticity chart c
wl =37
Ip = 20
Plots in region labeled CL or OL fines classify as CL or CH
Soil B is SC

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 6

## Module 2 - Phase Relationships

Situation
Soil from a borrow pit will be used to construct a 250,000 cubic yard highway embankment.
Project specifications require that the fill in the embankment be compacted to at least 95% of
the Modified Proctor maximum dry density. The material in the borrow pit has the following
characteristics:

## Total Unit Weight: 120.0 pcf

Moisture Content: 8.0%
Specific Gravity of Soil: 2.66

The Modified Proctor maximum dry density and optimum moisture content are 128 pcf and
13.0%, respectively.

Requirements
2A) What is the dry unit weight of the material in the borrow pit?

t
1. Dry unit weight: d =
1+ w
120
2. d = = 111.1 pcf
1 + 0.08

2B) What is the void ratio of the borrow material in the borrow pit?

Vv
1. Void ratio: e =
Vs
Ws
Vs =
Gs w
Ws = d = 111.1 for 1 ft3 soil
111.1
Vs = = 0.669
2.66 62.4
Vv = Vt Vs = 1 0.669 = 0.331
0.331
2. e = = 0.49
0.669

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 7

2C) In order to meet the specified compaction criteria, what is the minimum dry unit weight of
the compacted fill?

## 1. Maximum dry density = 128 pcf

2. Minimum dry density is 95% of max
3. Minimum dry density = 0.95 128 = 121.6 pcf

2D) The minimum number of cubic yards of borrow material required to construct the
embankment is approximately:

1. For each cubic foot of compacted fill, you need 121.6 lb of dry soil, but each cubic
foot of excavated borrow weighs only 111.1 lb, so you will need to excavate a larger
volume.
d borrow Vborrow = d fill Vfill

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 8

2E) How many gallons of water must be added per cubic yard of borrow to achieve the
Modified Proctor optimum moisture content? Assume no loss of water by evaporation
during transport from the borrow pit.

1. Find difference between current and optimum weight of water in borrow material
Ww
w opt =
Ws
Ww
0.13 =
111.1
Ww opt = 14.44 pcf

Ww
w cur =
Ws
Ww
0.08 =
111.1
Ww cur = 8.88 pcf
2. Added water = 14.44 8.88 = 5.56 pcf
5.56 lb 27 ft 3 gal
3. 3
3
= 18 gal/yd3
ft yd 8.34 lb

2F) If the compacted fill in the embankment becomes saturated, what is the moisture content?
Assume that the compacted fill does not swell when water is added.

1. Se = wG s
S = 1.0 for saturated soil
e = 0.49
Gs = 2.66
2. 1.0 0.49 = w 2.66
3. w = 18.4%

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 9

2G) The borrow material is transported from the borrow pit in dump trucks that can hold 10
cubic yards of material. The average total unit weight of the borrow when it is placed in the
truck is 115.0 pcf. The minimum number of truck loads of borrow required to construct the
embankment using 250,000 yd3 is approximately:

1. First find the volume of borrow material that must be transported by truck to fill the
embankment.
d trucks Vtrucks = d fill Vfill
t trucks 115
d trucks = = = 106.5
1 + w 1.08
106.5 Vtrucks = 121.6 250,000
Vtrucks = 285,446
2. Divide by the truck capacity
285,446
10

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 10

## Module 3 - Effective Stress and Stress Distribution

Situation 1
A subsurface profile consists of a 6 foot layer of sand overlying 20 feet of clay. The clay is
underlain by a gravel layer that is at least 50 feet thick. The total unit weights of each of the
materials encountered are given below.

## Total Unit Weight

Sand 120 pcf
Clay 115 pcf
Gravel 140 pcf

The ground water level is at the top of the sand layer. Assume that the total head is the same
in the sand and the gravel layer.

Requirements
3-1A) The total vertical stress at a depth of 28 feet below ground surface is approximately:

1. Total vertical stress is the sum of stresses for each soil layer: v = t H

## Sand: 120 6 = 720 psf

Clay: 115 20 = 2300 psf
Gravel: 140 2 = 280 psf
2. v = 3300 psf

3-1B) The pore water pressure at a depth of 28 feet below the ground surface is
approximately:

## 1. Pore water pressure without seepage: u = w h

2. u = 62.4 28 = 1747 1750 psf

3-1C) What is the vertical effective stress at a depth of 28 feet below ground surface?

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 11

3-1D) What is the total vertical stress at a depth of 28 feet below ground surface if the water
level rises to 4 feet above the ground surface?

## 1. Add stress of extra 4-ft of water to total stress from requirement A.

v = w h = 62.4 4 = 250 psf
v = 3300 + 250 = 3550 psf

3-1E) What is the change in the vertical effective stress at a depth of 28 feet below ground
surface if the water level rises to 4 feet above ground surface?

## 2. 'v = 3550 2000 = 1550 psf

3. 'v = 0

3-1F) A 20-foot diameter water storage tank is constructed on the ground surface. The weight
of water in the tank exerts a uniform pressure of 1,200 psf on the ground surface. What is
the total vertical stress at a depth of 20 feet below ground surface at the center of the
tank? Assume the sand and the clay have the same elastic modulus.

## 1. Total = from soil + from tank

soil = (120 pcf 6 ft) + (115 pcf 14 ft) = 2330
To find tank use the Boussinesq stress contour chart for uniformly loaded
circular footings d
x z 20
Stress is acting at center of tank, so = 0; = =2
r r 10
I = 0.31 (from chart)
tank = Ipfoundation = 0.31 1200 = 372 psf
Total = 2330 + 372 = 2702 psf

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 12

Situation 2
A two mile long embankment was constructed for a new highway. The embankment is 12 feet
high and 20 feet in width. Due to right-of-way restrictions, retaining walls are used to maintain
the width of the embankment at 20 feet for its full height. The total unit weight of the
embankment fill is 125 pcf. The embankment is constructed on a sand layer that is more than
100 feet thick. The water table is at a depth of 5 feet below the original ground surface. The
total unit weight of the sand is 120 pcf above the ground water table and 130 pcf below the
water table.

Requirements
3-2A) The stress increase at a depth of 15 feet under the center of the embankment is
approximately:

## From Boussinesq stress contour chart for square footings d:

depth = 0.75B (width)
distance from center = 0B
so, I = 0.60
2. v = 1500 0.60 = 900 psf

3-2B) How much would the stress due to the embankment increase/decrease if the water table
was lowered to 10 feet?

1. As long as the embankment is above the water table, raising or lowering water table
wont affect the applied stress due to the embankment. The best answer here is It
would not change.

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 13

Module 4 - Consolidation
Situation 1
A soil profile consists of dense sand, 40 feet in thickness, underlain by a 10-foot layer of
normally consolidated clay. The clay, in turn, is underlain by relatively incompressible and
impermeable bedrock. The present water table is at the existing ground surface. Ten feet
of fill will be placed over the existing ground surface in a 1,000-foot wide by 1,500-foot long
area.

The sand has a void ratio of 0.45 and a specific gravity of 2.67. The sand is saturated
below the water table and has a moisture content of 5 percent above the water table. The
fill has a total unit weight of 125 pounds per cubic foot and a moisture content of 10
percent. The water table will be lowered 20 feet with the addition of the fill material.

The clay is saturated, has a specific gravity of solids of 2.70 and a moisture content of 35
percent. The compression index of the clay has been determined to be 0.22. The
coefficient of consolidation 0.1 square feet per day.

Requirements
4-1A) What is the total unit weight of the saturated sand?

(G s + e) w
1. Saturated unit weight: sat =
1+ e
(2.67 + 0.45)62.4
2. sat = = 134.3 pcf
1 + 0.45

4-1B) What is the total unit weight of the moist sand above the ground water level?

(G s + S e) w
1. Total unit weight: t =
1+ e
wG s 0.05 2.67
S= = = 0.297
e 0.45
(2.67 + 0.297 0.45) 62.4
2. t = = 120.7 pcf
1 + 0.45

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 14

## 4-1C) What is the total unit weight of the saturated clay?

(1 + w ) w
1. Saturated unit weight: sat =
w+ 1
Gs
(1 + 0.35) 62.4
2. sat = = 116.9 pcf
0.35 + 1
2.7

## 4-1D) What is the void ratio of the saturated clay?

1. Se = wG s
wG s 0.35 2.7
2. e = = = 0.95
S 1

4-1E) What is the total settlement in inches of the clay layer due to the combined effect of the
imposed fill and lowered water table?

Cc ' v
1. Settlement for normally consolidated clay ( 'vm = 'vf ): = H log f
1 + e0 ' v
0
Initial stresses at mid-depth in clay
v0 = sand h sand + clay 1 h clay = 134.3 40 + 116.9 5 = 5957 psf
2
u 0 = w h = 62.4 45 = 2808 psf
'v0 = v0 u 0 = 3149 psf

## Final stresses at mid-depth in clay

vf = fill h fill + moistsand h moistsand + satsand h satsand + clay h clay

## u f = w h = 62.4 25 = 1560 psf

'vf = vf u f = 5373 psf

0.22 5373
2. = 10 log = 0.26 ft = 3.1 in
1 + 0.94 3149

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 15

4-1F) What is the estimated time required for 50% consolidation of the clay layer?

TH d2
1. Consolidation time: t =
cv
Single drainage, so Hd = thickness of soil layer = 10 ft
Read T from Time factor vs. Degree of Consolidation chart e. U = 50%, so
T = 0.20
0.20 10 2
2. t = = 200 days
0.1

4-1G) How long will it take for 50% consolidation of the clay layer to occur if the clay layer is
underlain by sand instead of bedrock?

TH d2
1. Consolidation time: t =
cv
Single drainage, so Hd = thickness of soil layer = 5 ft
Read T from Time factor vs. Degree of Consolidation chart e. U = 50%, so
T = 0.20
0.20 52
2. t = = 50 days
0.1

Situation 2
A soil profile consists of a10-foot layer of dense sand overlying an 8-foot layer of normally
consolidated clay. The clay is also underlain by dense sand. The groundwater level is at
the ground surface. Also, the total head measured in a piezometer installed in the middle
of the clay layer is equal to the existing ground surface elevation. A proposed development
requires that 13 feet of fill be placed above the existing ground surface. The fill material
has a total unit weight of 130 pcf and a moisture content of 12 percent.

The saturated unit weight of the sand and clay is 138 pcf and 113 pcf, respectively. The
clay has a specific gravity of 2.68 and a moisture content of 40 percent. The clay has a
compression index of 0.20 and a coefficient of consolidation of 0.05 square feet per day.

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 16

Requirements
4-2A) What is the pore pressure in the center of the clay immediately after placement of the fill
layer? Assume that fill placement occurs instantaneously.

## u 0 = v = fill h fill = 130 13 = 1690 psf

2. u = 874 + 1690 = 2564 psf

4-2B) Assuming that the total consolidation settlement due to the weight of the added fill is 4.1
inches, how long after the fill is placed can the building be constructed? Assume that the
building has no weight

1. Total settlement = 4.1 in; allowable settlement = 1 in. So, fill must settle 3.1 in before
building can be constructed.
TH d2
2. Consolidation time: t =
cv
Use the Time factor vs. Degree of Consolidation chart e to find T.
t 3.1
U= = = 0.76
4.1
For U = 76%, T = 0.50
There is double drainage, so Hd = hclay = 4 ft
cv = 0.05
0.50 4 2
3. t = = 160 days
0.05

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 17

4-2C) What is the pore pressure in the middle of the clay layer 100 days after placement of the
fill? Assume fill placement is instantaneous.

1. Pore pressure: u = u e + u 0
u0 = 874 psf
ue v '
=1
ui ui
ui = 1690 psf
v '
Use the chart that relates to depth for various T values f
ui
z 4
depth = = = 1 (for double drainage)
H 4
TH d2
Use this equation to find T: t =
cv

T 42
100 =
0.05
T = 0.31
v '
= 0.41
ui
ue
= 1 0.41
ui
ue = 0.59 ui = 0.59 1690 = 997 psf
2. u = 997 + 874 = 1871 psf

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 18

## Module 5 - Strength and Bearing Capacity

Situation
A continuous footing is constructed at a depth of 5 feet in a uniform sand deposit. The width of
the footing is 10 feet. The sand has total unit weight of 130 pcf and a friction angle () of 37.
The depth to groundwater is greater than 100 feet. Assume concentric vertical loading. Use
Vesics bearing capacity factors for all calculations.

Requirements
5A) What is the approximate ultimate bearing capacity of the footing?

1. For sand with c = 0, bearing capacity: q ult = 0.5B' eff N SsSi + D N qSqsSqi

B = B 2e = B 2 0 = 10 ft
gwt > B below footing, so eff = t = 130 pcf
From table of Bearing Capacity Factors g, for = 37:
N 66
Nq 43
Strip footing with concentric vertical load, so: Ss = Sqs = Si = Sqi = 1.0

70,850 lb 1 ton
3. = 35.4 tsf
ft 2 2000 lb

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 19

5B) What is the approximate ultimate bearing capacity if the bottom of the footing is 10 feet
deep?

1. For sand with c = 0, bearing capacity: q ult = 0.5B' eff N SsSi + D N qSqsSqi

B = B 2e = B 2 0 = 10 ft
gwt > B below footing, so eff = t = 130 pcf
From table of Bearing Capacity Factors g, for = 37:
N 66
Nq 43
Strip footing with concentric vertical load, so: Ss = Sqs = Si = Sqi = 1.0

## Sand deposit, so D = v ' at bottom of footing

u = 0, so v ' = t = t D = 130 10 = 1300 psf

98,800 lb 1 ton
3. = 49.4 tsf
ft 2 2000 lb

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 20

5C) What is the bearing capacity if the water table is at ground surface? Assume that the
saturated unit weight of sand is equal to 138 pcf.

1. For sand with c = 0, bearing capacity: q ult = 0.5B' eff N SsSi + D N qSqsSqi

B = B 2e = B 2 0 = 10 ft
eff = sat - w = 138 62.4 = 75.6
From table of Bearing Capacity Factors g, for = 37:
N 66
Nq 43
Strip footing with concentric vertical load, so: Ss = Sqs = Si = Sqi = 1.0

D = t u

## D = 690 312 = 378 psf

2. q ult = 0.5 10 75.6 66 1 1 + 378 43 1 1 = 41,202 psf
41,202 lb 1 ton
3. = 20.6 tsf
ft 2 2000 lb

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 21

## Module 6 - Earth Retaining Structures

Situation
A reinforced concrete retaining wall is proposed to support 14 feet of cohesionless sand
backfill as shown on the figure below. The sand has a total unit weight of 120 pcf and an angle
of internal friction of 300. The unit weight of the concrete is 150 pcf. Assume that the friction
angle for shear along the bottom of the wall is 300. Use Rankines theory to complete the
following requirements.

Requirements
6A) What is the active earth pressure coefficient?

1 sin
1. Active lateral earth pressure coefficient: K a =
1 + sin
= 30
1 sin 30
2. K a = = 0.33
1 + sin 30

## 6B) What is the total active force per foot of wall?

1
1. Active force: Pa = t H 2K a
2
1
2. Pa = 120 182 0.33 = 6415 lb = 6.4 k
2

6C) What is the overturning moment per foot of wall about point A?

H
1. Overturning moment: M o = Pa
3
18
2. M o = 6.4 = 38.4 k/ft
3

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 22

6D) What is the resisting moment per foot of wall about point A, neglecting passive pressure at
the toe of the wall?

2 1

18

2 4
2 3
A
3 2 5

1. Divide the wall into 4 rectangular areas, as shown in the figure above.
2. Sum the moments for each of the four areas:
Mr = (Fi armi)
F = A
Arm = d

F Arm M
Section H W A
(kips) (ft) (ft-k)
1 16 5 80 120 9.60 7.5 72.0
2 16 2 32 150 4.80 4.0 19.2
3 2 10 20 150 3.00 5.0 15.0
4 2 3 6 120 0.72 1.5 1.1
Total 107.3

6E) What is the approximate factor of safety against overturning, neglecting passive pressure
at the toe of the wall?

Mr
1. Factor of safety: F.S. =
M0
107.3
2. F.S. = = 2.8
38.4

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 23

6F) What is the approximate eccentricity of the resultant of the vertical and horizontal forces?

Wbase
1. Eccentricity: e = x
2
Mr Mo
x=
Fv
Fv = 9.60 + 4.80 + 3.00 + 0.72 = 18.12 k
107.3 38.4
x= = 3.8 ft from point A
18.12
10
2. e = 3.8 = 1.2 ft
2

6G) What is the factor of safety against sliding without passive earth pressure considered?

s
1. Factor of safety: F.S. =
Pa
s = Fv tan s

Fv = 18.12 k
s = 30
s = 18.12 tan 30 = 10.46 k
10.46
2. F.S. = = 1 .6
6 .4

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 24

6H) What is the Approximate factor of safety against bearing capacity failure? Use Meyerhofs
bearing capacity and correction factors.

Qult
1. Factor of safety: F.S. =
Fv
Qult = qult B
For sand with c = 0, bearing capacity:
q ult = 0.5B' eff N SsSi + D N qSqsSqi

B = B 2e = 10 2 1.2 = 7.6 ft
eff = 120 pcf
From graph of Bearing Capacity Factors g, for = 30:
N = 15.7
Nq = 18.4
For strip footing: Ss = Sqs = 1.0
2

For inclined load: Si = 1

Pa
= arctan = 19.5o
Fv
2
19.5
Si = 1 = 0.1225
30
2

90
Sand deposit, so D = v ' at bottom of footing

## D = 120 4 = 480 psf

q ult = 0.5 7.6 120 15.7 1 0.1225 + 480 18.4 1 0.6136 = 6,296 psf

47.85
2. F.S. = = 2 .6
18.12

## 2002 SmartPros Ltd.

Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 25

Module 7 - Piles
Situation
A bridge is proposed to span a river. The bridge piers will be supported on 12 diameter, steel,
closed-end pipe piles (concrete-filled) driven into the medium-dense sand river bottom. The
water in the river is 15 feet deep. Laboratory tests indicate that the sand has the following
properties: specific gravity Gs = 2.67; void ratio, e = 0.60

The results of a pile load test on a 12 steel pipe pile driven 15 feet into the sand indicated that
the unit skin friction on the test pile at a depth of 10 feet into the sand was 350 psf at failure.
Also, the ultimate end bearing capacity of the test pile was estimated to be 32.0 kips.

Neglect the structural capacity of the pile and settlement in answering the following questions.

Requirements
7A) What is the saturated unit weight of the sand?

w (G s + e)
1. Saturated unit weight: sat =
1+ e
Gs = 2.67
e = 0.60
62.4(2.67 + 0.60)
2. sat = = 127.5 pcf
1 + 0.60

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 26

7B) The ultimate skin friction capacity of a pile embedded 25 ft into the sand river bottom is
approximately:

1. You need the unit skin friction to find the ultimate friction capacity. You know the skin
friction for the pile test at 10 feet is 350 psf.
350
f s = K v ' tan , so K tan =
v '
effective stress at 10 ft: v ' = v u

v = w h w + sat h sat

350
K tan = = 0.538
651
f s = 0.538 v '

## 2. Now you need the effective stress at 15 ft: v ' = v u

v = w h w + sat h sat

## v ' = 2849 1872 = 977 psf

3. So, unit skin friction at 15 ft:
f s = 0.538 v ' = 0.538 977 = 526 psf
15 526 1
4. Ultimate friction capacity: Q s = + 10 526 1 = 29 k
2

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 27

7C) What is the ultimate end bearing capacity of a pile embedded 25 feet into the sand river
bottom?

## Qt from test at 15 feet = 32 k

Nq is the same at 15 and 25 feet
25 feet is deeper than the critical depth of 15 feet, v ' 25' = v ' 15'
2. So, Qt at 25 feet = 32 k

7D) Using a factor of safety of 3.0, what is the allowable capacity of a pile embedded 25 feet
into the sand if the water level rises 10 feet?

Q ult
1. Allowable capacity: Q all =
FS
FS = 3
Qult = Qs + Qt
Change in water level does not change Qs and Qt from previous
requirements.
Qult = 29 + 32 = 61 k
61
2. Q all = = 20.3 k
3

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 28

Module 8 - Seepage
Situation 1
A 10-foot thick layer of Soil A overlies Soil B, as shown in the figure below. The ground surface
is at elevation 100 feet. Soil A has a coefficient of permeability of 20 ft/day and a total unit
weight of 125 pcf. Soil B has a coefficient of permeability of 10 ft/day and a total unit weight of
120 pcf.

Groundwater is observed at the ground surface, elevation 100. A piezometer is installed in Soil
B at elevation 75. The total head measured in the piezometer is elevation 85.

Elevation (ft)
Piezometer
100
Soil A
k =20 ft/day
t =125 pcf

90

Soil B 85
k =10 ft/day
t =120 pcf

75

Requirements
8-1A) What is the total vertical stress at elevation 90?

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 29

## 1. Vertical effective stress: v ' = v u

u = hpw

h p = h t h e = 85 75 = 10

## u = 10 62.4 = 624 psf

2. v ' = 3050 624 = 2426 psf

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 30

## 1. Vertical effective stress: v ' = v u

v = 1250 psf
u = hpw

hp = ht he

he = 90 ft
h t 90 = 100 h A
For A = 1 ft2, QA = QB
kAiA = kBiB
h A
iA =
HA
h B
iB =
HB
kA = 20; HA = 10
kB = 10; HB = 15
h A h B
kA = kB
HA HB
h B
h A =
3
h B
We know that h A + h B = 15 , so + h B = 15
3
h A = 3.7 ft
h B = 11.3 ft
3. Returning to the equations for head: h t 90 = 100 h A

## h t 90 = 100 3.7 = 96.3 ft

h p = 96.3 90 = 6.3 ft

## 4. So, pore pressure, u = 6.3 62.4 = 393

5. And v ' = 1250 393 = 857 psf

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 31

8-1E) What is the rate of vertical seepage for a 1 square foot area?

1. With one-dimensional flow, use Darcys equation to find seepage rate: Q = kiA
kA = 20 ft/day
3.7
iA = = 0.37
10
A = 1 ft2
2. Q = 20 0.37 1 = 7.4 ft3/day

Situation 2
A concrete dam is constructed on a fine sand layer, as shown on the figure below. The sand is
underlain by impervious bedrock. The sand is 40 feet thick and has a coefficient of
permeability of 10-4 ft/minute and a saturated unit weight of 122 pounds per cubic foot. The
bottom of the dam is 5 feet below the top of the sand layer.

The tail water is at the ground surface, elevation 100, and the level of the head water is
elevation 120.

Use the flow net shown below to respond to the various requirements.

60 ft

E L 120

H = 20 ft
E L 100
DAM
A 5 ft

35 ft

Impervious B

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 32

Requirements
8-2A) What is the rate of seepage (per foot of length) below the dam?

N
1. Seepage: Q = k f h
Nd
k = 10 4 ft/min
Nf = 4 (number of flow channels, from flow net)
Nd = 12 (equipotential drops, from flow net)
h = 20 ft
4
2. Q = 10 4 20 = 6.7 10 4 ft 3 / min
12

## 8-2B) What is the total head at point A?

1. h TA = h T h

each equipotential drop represents an equal amount of head loss. There are
6 drops from the headwater side of the dam to point A, so:
6
h = 20 = 10 ft
12
2. h TA = 120 10 = 110 ft

8-2C) What is the uplift pressure at the bottom of the dam at point A?

1. Uplift pressure: u = h p w

hp = hT he

hT = 110 ft
he = 95 ft
h p = 110 95 = 15 ft

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 33

## 8-2D) What is the pore pressure at point B?

1. Pore pressure at B: u = h p w

hp = hT he

Points A and B are on the same equipotential line, so they have the
same total head, so hT = 110 ft
he = 60 ft
h p = 110 60 = 50 ft

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Demonstration Problem Solutions Geotechnical Engineering 34

References:
a.
Adapted from: Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of
Sampling and Testing, Part I, Specifications, 13th ed., AASHTO, 1982.
b.
c.
See: 1989 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM, Philadelphia, 1989.
d.
See, for example: Michael R. Lindeburg, Civil Engineering Reference Manual, 7th ed.,
Professional Publications, Inc., Belmont, CA, 1999.
e.
See, for example: Wayne C. Teng, Foundation Design, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs,
NJ, 1962.
f.
See Module 4 Visual Aids
g.
From: Karl Terzaghi, Ralph B. Peck, and Gholamreza Mesri, Soil Mechanics in Engineering
Practice, 3rd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1996.