Soil Mechanics Fundamentals and Applications: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Soil Mechanics Fundamentals and Applications

2nd Edition

By Isao Ishibashi, Hemanta Hazarika

CRC Press

432 pages | 365 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482250411
pub: 2015-03-24
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pub: 2015-03-24
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How Does Soil Behave and Why Does It Behave That Way?

Soil Mechanics Fundamentals and Applications, Second Edition effectively explores the nature of soil, explains the principles of soil mechanics, and examines soil as an engineering material. This latest edition includes all the fundamental concepts of soil mechanics, as well as an introduction to foundation engineering, including coverage of site exploration, shallow and deep foundation design, and slope stability. It presents the material in a systematic, step-by-step manner, and contains numerous problems, examples, and solutions.

New to the Second Edition:

The revised text expands the contents to include an introductory foundation engineering section to make the book cover the full range of geotechnical engineering. The book includes three new chapters: Site Exploration, Deep Foundations, and Slope Stability.

This text:

  • Provides an introductory chapter on soil mechanics
  • Explores the origin and description of soils and discusses soil shapes and gradations
  • Presents the unique characteristics of clays
  • Details soil classifications by the Unified Soil Classification System (also ASTM) and by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
  • Highlights laboratory and field compaction techniques, including field specification and density testing,, and the CBR (California Bearing Ratio) method
  • Discusses the flow of water through soils, defining hydraulic heads, as well as the two-dimensional flow net technique and a systematic approach to compute boundary water pressures
  • Examines the concept of effective stress and its applications to various soil mechanics problems
  • Explores stress increments in a soil mass due to various types of footing load on the ground
  • Presents Terzaghi’s one-dimensional consolidation theory and its applications
  • Covers Mohr’s circle from geotechnical perspectives with use of the pole, which is utilized in chapters relating to shear strength and lateral earth pressure
  • Addresses the shear strength of soils, failure criteria, and laboratory as well as field shear strength determination techniques
  • Evaluates at-rest earth pressure and the classic Rankine and Coulomb active and passive pressure theories and present critical review of those methods
  • Reviews introductory foundation engineering and site exploration
  • Describes the bearing capacity theory and, as an application, the shallow foundation design procedure
  • Covers deep and shallow foundation design procedures
  • Explains slope stability problems and remediation procedures, and more

Soil Mechanics Fundamentals and Applications, Second Edition is a concise and thorough text that explains soil’s fundamental behavior and its applications to foundation designs and slope stability problems and incorporates basic engineering science knowledge with engineering practices and practical applications.


"Overall, this book is written in an easy-to-read style suitable for undergraduate engineering students. Chapter 1 is an excellent example of that style. In just a few pages, Chapter 1 provides the reader with an appreciation for geotechnical engineering and its evolution. It succinctly makes the point that soils are different from other civil engineering materials, and thus gives students a reason and purpose for studying the behavior of soils in a stand-alone course. In particular, the case histories in Section 1.5 stand out; students are immediately confronted with some of the unique challenges in geotechnical practice. … For me, the material in Chapter 2 that stands out is related to phase diagrams; the presentation of phase diagrams is ideal for students. How one can use the phase diagram to determine fundamental physical properties is illustrated well. It emphasizes the process of 'filling in' the phase diagram to find phase weights and volumes, rather than having students sort through a plethora of pre-derived expressions to find one that works for a specific problem. This process is important because it helps reinforce the fundamental weight-volume relationships for soils, which can be used again and again throughout the course as students learn more advanced concepts."

—Charles E. Pierce, Ph.D, The University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA

"In summary, the level of explanation is much richer than most undergrad level books in use and … Many soil mechanics text book authors do not know where to draw the line between mechanics and engineering and they load up the texts with too many foundation related information"

—Hirroshan Hettiarahchi, United Nations University

"This is a good soil mechanics book. It is written very concisely and straightforwardly, in a way students can teach themselves. It covers most of the common topics in the areas of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering practice. It is a good textbook for a Civil Engineering Program where students only take one course in geotechnical engineering."

—Jay X. Wang, Louisiana Tech University

Table of Contents


Soil Mechanics and Related Fields

Biography of Dr. Karl von Terzaghi

Uniqueness of Soils

Approaches to Soil Mechanics Problems

Examples of Soil Mechanics Problems


Physical Properties of Soils


Origin of Soils

Soil Particle Shapes

Definitions of Terms with Three-Phase Diagram

Particle Size and Gradation



Clays and Their Behavior


Clay Minerals

Clay Shapes and Surface Areas

Surface Charge of Clay Particles

Clay-Water Systems

Interaction of Clay Particles

Clay Structures

Atterberg Limits and Indices


Swelling and Shrinkage of Clays

Sensitivity and Quick Clay

Clay Versus Sand



Soil Classification


Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)

AASHTO Classification System





Relative Density

Laboratory Compaction Test

Specification of Compaction in the Field

Field Compaction Methods

Field Density Determinations

California Bearing Ratio Test



Flow of Water through Soils


Hydraulic Heads and Water Flow

Darcy’s Equation

Coefficient of Permeability

Laboratory Determination of Coefficient of Permeability

Field Determination of Coefficient of Permeability

Flow Net

Boundary Water Pressures



Effective Stress


Total Stress Versus Effective Stress

Effective Stress Computations in Soil Mass

Effective Stress Change due to Water Table Change

Capillary Rise and Effective Stress

Effective Stress with Water Flow

Quicksand (Sand Boiling)

Heave of Clay due to Excavation



Stress Increments in Soil Mass


Approximate Slope Method

Vertical Stress Increment due to a Point Load

Vertical Stress Increment due to a Line Load

Vertical Stress Increment due to a Strip Load

Vertical Stress Increment under a Circular Footing

Vertical Stress Increment under an Embankment Load

Vertical Stress Increment under Corner of Rectangular Footing

Vertical Stress Increment under Irregularly Shaped Footing





Elastic Settlements

Primary Consolidation Settlement

One-Dimensional Primary Consolidation Model

Terzaghi’s Consolidation Theory

Laboratory Consolidation Test

Determination of Cv

e-log σ Curve

Normally Consolidated and Overconsolidated Soils

Final Consolidation Settlement for Thin Clay Layer

Consolidation Settlement for Multilayers or a Thick Clay Layer

Summary of Primary Consolidation Computations

Secondary Compression

Allowable Settlement

Ground-Improving Techniques against Consolidation Settlement



Mohr’s Circle in Soil Mechanics


Concept of Mohr’s Circle

Stress Transformation

Mohr’s Circle Construction

Sign Convention of Shear Stress

Pole (Origin of Planes) of Mohr’s Circle

Summary of Usage of Mohr’s Circle and Pole

Examples of Usage of Mohr’s Circle and Pole in Soil Mechanics



Shear Strength of Soils


Failure Criteria

Direct Shear Test

Unconfined Compression Test

Triaxial Compression Test

Other Shear Test Devices

Summary of Strength Parameters for Saturated Clays

Applications of Strength Parameters from CD, CU, and UU Tests to In Situ Cases

Strength Parameters for Granular Soils

Direction of Failure Planes on Sheared Specimen



Lateral Earth Pressure


At-Rest, Active, and Passive Pressures

At-Rest Earth Pressure

Rankine’s Lateral Earth Pressure Theory

Coulomb’s Earth Pressure

Lateral Earth Pressure due to Surcharge Load

Coulomb, Rankine, or Other Pressures?



Site Exploration


Site Exploration Program

Geophysical Methods

Borehole Drilling

Standard Penetration Test

Undisturbed Soil Samplers

Groundwater Monitoring

Cone Penetration Test

Other In Situ Tests



Bearing Capacity and Shallow Foundations


Terzaghi’s Bearing Capacity Theory

Generalized Bearing Capacity Equation

Correction due to Water Table Elevation

Gross Versus Net Bearing Capacity

Factor of Safety on Bearing Capacity

Shallow Foundation Design



Deep Foundations


Types of Piles

Load Carrying Capacity by Static Analytical Methods

Static Pile Capacity on Sandy Soils

Static Pile Capacity in Cohesive Soils

Other Methods of Pile Capacity Estimation

Negative Skin Friction

Group Pile

Consolidation Settlement of Group Piles

Pullout Resistance



Slope Stability


Slope Failure

Slope Stability Analytical Methods

Slope Stability of a Semi-infinitely Long Slope

Stability Analysis for Circular Slip Surface

Analysis for Multiple Liner Sliding Surfaces

Stabilization for Unstable Slopes



Numerical Answers to Selected Problems

About the Authors

Dr. Isao Ishibashi, P.E., is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He obtained bachelors and master’s degrees from Nagoya University, Japan. After earning his PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle, he taught and was on the research faculty at the University of Washington and Cornell University before moving to Old Dominion University in 1986. His research includes soil liquefaction, dynamic soil properties, static and dynamic earth pressures, seismic water pressure, granular mechanics, slope stability, and used-tire application to embankment. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 published technical papers.

Dr. Hemanta Hazarika is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. He obtained his bachelor of technology degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, India, and his PhD in geotechnical engineering from Nagoya University, Japan. He also worked as a practicing engineer in industry as well as a researcher in the public sector research institute of Japan. Professor Hazarika has more than 130 technical publications in reputed international journals, proceedings of international conferences, and symposia, including contributed chapters in several books. He is also the editor of two books in his research fields.

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