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G/G_=1-/(t /-0*


where t = shear stress; = limiting shear stress, and / and g are fitting parameters. For sands, Mayne (1995) suggests typical values of/ = 1 and g = 0.3. Lee and Salgado (1999) have generalized Equation (8.4) for three dimensional stress states and have assumed that the shear modulus depends on the mean principal stress. They give the following expression;

G / G ^ =

1- f[(q - q ,)/( q ^


q,)]‘ ( p 'l p \ )"'


where qt = initial deviator stress; q = deviator tress; qmax = maximum deviator stress at failure; ns is a constant with a typical value of 0.5. The tangent shear modulus G, may be derived from the above equation by differentiation, to give:

G ,/G ^ =

(G /G ma)2(p'/ Py> /{I -

/ ( I


g)[(q -

<7, ) / ^


qt) Y )


Mayne (1995) demonstrates how the simple nonlinear rela­ tionship shown in Equation (8.4) can be used with simple elastic solutions to predict the load-settlement behaviour of shallow footings on sand and pile foundations a residual sandy soil. De­ spite the apparent success achieved by Mayne, there is still some potential difficulty in expressing the secant shear modulus in terms of stress level, in that the strain level for different founda­ tion types may be different, despite the fact that the stress level may be similar. For this reason, it may be preferable to consider the degradation relationship for shear modulus in terms of strain level, rather than stress level. It is possible to express the non-linearity of soil stiffness in terms of strain, rather than stress level (for example, Tatsuoka and Shibuya (1991); Michaelidis et a i, 1997; Atkinson, 2000). Lehane and Fahey (2000) suggest the following relationship for the secant Youngs modulus E (and also shear modulus G) of a soil in terms of strain:

E / E ^

=1/(1 + ( (e - e „)/(e r - e „) r( / o re > e t()


where £ra = very small strain value of Young’s modulus; e,( = elastic lim it strain (typically 10 ~5 ); er and n are empirical pa­ rameters used to alter the shape of the stiffness - strain relation­ ship. The relationship for tangent modulus may also be derived by differentiation of the above expressions. Equation (8.6) will be used subsequently in Section 3.4 to derive typical values of se­ cant shear modulus for various types of foundation on clay.

8.3 Deformation parameters —undrained and drained Young's modulus

While the shear modulus is relevant to both undrained and drained conditions, for drained conditions, consideration must also be given to strains arising from volume changes. These are usually described via a bulk modulus, which relates volumetric stress and volumetric strain, or via a constrained modulus, which describes the relationship between vertical stress and vertical strain in a one-dimensional test. The theory of elasticity provides the following relationships between the various parameters, for an isotropic material:



=9G/Q +G /K )

= 9G/[3 + G(1+ v)/3£>(l - 2v)]



where G = shear modulus; E = Young’s modulus; K = bulk modulus; D = constrained modulus; v = Poisson’s ratio. For the case of undrained loading of a saturated clay, the above equations give the following familiar result for the undrained Young’s modulus Eu:

£„ = 3G


The non-linearity of Eu is reflected directly by the non- linearity of the shear modulus G (Equation (8.4)). For drained conditions, the drained Young’s modulus is given by Equation (8.9), with v = v', the drained Poisson’s ratio of the soil. Typical values of v' range between 0.25 and 0.4. Also, the constrained modulus D may be related to the compression ratio CR( = Cc/ (1+eo)) of a soil as follows (for relatively small stress increments):

D = 2.3a



where eg = initial void ratio;

Substitution of the above values into Equation (8.8) gives the following result:

= initial vertical stress on soil.

E ' = 9G /[3 + b(G l a

V0')C R / 2.3]


where the factor b ranges between about 0.55 and 0.78. The non-linearity of the shear modulus G may be taken into account via Equation (8.3), so that the drained modulus can be expressed as:

E ' =

9 G max( l - / ( T

/ T

max) ^ )


3 + b[Gnax/G'vo^ - f ( r / r naxy ) 0 R /2 .3 )

Figure 8.3 plots the variation of normalized drained modulus, E'/Gmu, versus stress level for a typical case in which b = 0.62 (representing v' = 0.3), f - 1.0, g = 0.3 and Gma/<j,y0= 500, and various values of the compression ratio CR. Also shown in this figure is the relationship for an ideal two-phase elastic soil, in which the relationship between E' and Eu is given by equation E' = 1.5£„/(l+v'). The following useful conclusions can be drawn from this fig­ ure:

1. The normalized undrained modulus is more sensitive to stress level than the drained modulus.

2. The more compressible the soil, i.e., the larger the value of CR, the smaller is the drained modulus ratio. For very com­ pressible soils, the drained modulus may be only 10% or less of the undrained value, at the corresponding stress level.

3. As the compressibility decreases (CR decreases) the normal­

ized drained modulus becomes larger, but more sensitive to the shear stress level. Figure 8.3 demonstrates behaviour that is consistent with ex­ perience. For soft compressible clays, the ratio of the drained to the undrained modulus is small, while for stiffer overconsoli­ dated clays, the ratio of the drained and undrained modulus is more consistent with that derived from elasticity theory. Many of the commonly used solutions for foundation defor­ mations are derived from elasticity theory and are expressed in terms of the Young’s modulus of the soil. Equation (8.13) there­ fore provides a relatively simple means of estimating the drained Young’s modulus of a soil to use in such solutions, and its varia­ tion with shear stress level, once the values of small strain shear modulus Gnu and compression ratio CR are known. Since a number of correlations exist for both G ^ and CR with other

more easily measurable soil characteristics, the opportunity also exists to develop corresponding correlations for the drained and undrained values of Young’s modulus.

8.4 Typical values o f secant modulus fo r undrained loading o f foundations on clay

In the application of elasticity theory to a non-linear material such as soil, a critical factor is the selection of an appropriate modulus to represent the soil deformation behaviour over a range of stress appropriate to the problem in hand. One o f the difficul­ ties in expressing the secant shear modulus in terms of stress level is that the strain level for different founda tion types may be