Geomechanics in Soil, Rock, and Environmental Engineering: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Geomechanics in Soil, Rock, and Environmental Engineering

1st Edition

By John Small

CRC Press

541 pages | 450 B/W Illus.

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Utilizes both Computer- and Hand-Based Calculations…

Modern practice in geomechanics is becoming increasingly reliant on computer-based software, much of which can be obtained through the Internet. In Geomechanics in Soil, Rock, and Environmental Engineering the application of these numerical techniques is examined not only for soil mechanics, but also for rock mechanics and environmental applications.

… For Use in Complex Analysis

It deals with the modern analysis of shallow foundations, deep foundations, retaining structures, and excavation and tunneling. In recent years, the environment has become more and more important, and so it also deals with municipal and mining waste and solutions for the disposal and containment of the waste. Many fresh solutions to problems are presented to enable more accurate and advanced designs to be carried out.

A Practical Reference for Industry Professionals, This Illuminating Book:

  • Offers a broad range of coverage in soil mechanics, rock mechanics, and environmental engineering
  • Incorporates the author‘s more than 40 years of academic and practical design experience
  • Describes the latest applications that have emerged in the last ten years
  • Supplies references readily available online for futher research

Geomechanics in Soil, Rock, and Environmental Engineering should appeal to students in their final undergraduate course in geomechanics or master’s students, and should also serve as a useful reference to practitioners in the field of geomechanics, reflecting the author’s background in both industry and academia.


"… covers some topics which are not to be found in other texts, for example, the design of working platforms, foundations on fissured soils, and the material on excavation analysis including groundwater… suitable for more advanced undergraduate courses and post-graduate courses in geotechnical engineering."

—Harry Poulos, Senior Consultant, Coffey International

"Small’s text covers a broad range of information available to help assess the properties and strength of soil, rock, and environmental controls encountered in certain types of construction applications. In 12 chapters (some with associated appendixes), Small (emer., geotechnical engineering, Univ. of Sydney, Australia) covers the basic concepts and tests

used in soil mechanics, describes finite layer and finite element method mathematical techniques, presents site investigation requirements, and examines sample collection and lab and field testing methods. Information on analyses and considerations associated with shallow and deep foundations, slope stability, excavations, retaining structures, soil improvement, and geotechnical aspects related to disposal of municipal, industrial, and mining wastes are also provided. The last chapter presents methods needed for testing rock, along with the analyses and considerations recommended for construction in rock. Ample equations, figures, photographs, graphs, and tables fully support the text, as do generous references and a substantial index. The text assumes a fundamental knowledge of geomechanics and would benefit from a glossary. The strength of the text is in the broad coverage of the presented information; however, a few chapters lack meaningful introductions that would help provide a framework for their content."

CHOICE, December 2016

Table of Contents

Basic Concepts

Basic Definitions

Soil Tests

Direct Shear Tests

Consolidation Tests


Finite Layer Methods

Approximation of Fourier Coefficients


Solution Procedure

Three-Dimensional Problems

Consolidation Problems

Fourier Transforms


Finite Element Methods

Types of Elements

Steady State Seepage

Stress Analysis

Consolidation Analysis

Numerical Integration

Elastic–Perfectly Plastic Models

Work Hardening Models

Effective Stress Analysis Using Cam Clay Type Models

Cam Clay Type Models

Undrained Analysis

Finite Element Analysis


Site Investigation and In Situ Testing

Exploration Methods

Site Investigation

Object of Site Investigation

Category of Investigation

Planning an Investigation

Preparing Cost Estimates for the Work

Detailed Exploration

Presentation of Information (Logs)

Excavation or Drilling Methods

Sampling Methods

Rock Coring

Field Tests

Vane Shear Test

Standard Penetration Test



Cone Penetrometers

Interpretation of Cone Data

Liquefaction Potential

Geophysical Methods


Magnetic Surveying

Ground Probing Radar

Seismic Borehole Techniques

Cross-Hole Techniques

Other Seismic Devices

Shallow Foundations

Types of Shallow Foundations

Bearing Capacity

Numerical Analysis


Numerical Approaches

Raft Foundations

Reactive Soils

Cold Climates

Deep Foundations

Types of Piles


Pile Driving Equipment

Problems with Driven Piles

Problems from Soil Displacement

Non-Displacement Piles

Design Considerations

Selection of Pile Type

Designs of Piles

Single Piles

Methods Based on Field Tests

Pile Groups

Piles in Rock

Settlement of Single Piles

Interaction of Piles

Assessment of Parameters

Lateral Resistance of Piles

Laterally Loaded Pile Groups

Displacement of Laterally Loaded Piles

Deflection of Pile Groups

Estimation of Soil Properties

Load Testing of Piles

Pile Load Tests

Dynamic Pile Testing

Pile Integrity Tests

Capabilities of Pile Test Procedures

Number of Piles Tested

Test Interpretation

Monitoring of Piled Foundations

Measurement Techniques

Comparison with Predicted Performance

Interpretation and Portrayal of Measurements

Piled Rafts

Uses of Piled Rafts

Design Considerations

Bearing Capacity of Piled Rafts

Analysis of Piled Raft Foundations

Example of the Finite Layer Method


Structural Stiffness

Slope Stability

Slip Circle Analysis

Non-Circular Failure Surfaces

Wedge Analysis

Plasticity Theory

Upper- and Lower-Bound Solutions

Finite Element and Finite Difference Solutions

Seismic Effects

Factors of Safety

Slope Stabilisation Techniques

Stability Charts



Types of Excavation Support

Stability of Excavations

Base Heave for Cuts in Clay

Ground Settlement Caused By Excavation

Effect of Shape of Excavation

Forces on Braced Excavations

Stability of Slurry-Filled Trenches

Numerical Analysis

Excavation Including Groundwater

Soil Models

Retaining Structures

Earth Pressure Calculation

Effect of Water

Surface Loads

Sheet Pile Walls

Anchored Walls

Reinforced Earth

Computer Methods

Soil Improvement

Soft Soils

Surcharging and Wick Drains



Column-Supported Embankments

Controlled Modulus Columns

Dynamic Compaction

Deep Soil Mixing

Jet Grouting


Other Methods

Numerical Analysis

Environmental Geomechanics


Compacted Clay Liners

Flexible Membrane Liners

Geosynthetic Clay Liners

Stability of Liners

Processes Controlling Pollutant Transfer

Finite Layer Solutions


Mining Waste

Basic Rock Mechanics

Engineering Properties of Rocks

Failure Criterion for Rock

Classification of Rocks and Rock Masses

Planes of Weakness

Underground Excavation

Rock Slopes

Foundations on Rock

Vibration through Rock

Numerical Methods



About the Author

John Small is Emeritus Professor of geotechnical engineering at the University of Sydney. He has worked as a university researcher and teacher and has also spent time working as a senior geotechnical engineer for a large multi-discipline engineering consultant, thus gaining both practical and academic experience. He has carried out the design of many large engineering projects notably foundations for tall buildings.

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