Soil Mechanics

Concepts and Applications, Second Edition

By William Powrie

© 2005 – CRC Press

704 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415311557
pub: 2004-08-11
US Dollars$265.00

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

The aim of this book is to encourage students to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of soil mechanics. It builds a robust and adaptable framework of ideas to support and accommodate the more complex problems and analytical procedures that confront the practising geotechnical engineer.

Soil Mechanics: Concepts and Applications covers the soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering topics typically included in university courses in civil engineering and related subjects. Physical rather than mathematical arguments are used in the core sections wherever possible.

New features for the second edition include: an accompanying website containing the lecturers solutions manual; a revised chapter on soil strength and soil behaviour separating the basic and more advanced material to aid understanding; a major new section on shallow foundations subject to combined vertical, horizontal and moment loading; revisions to the material on retaining walls, foundations and filter design to account for new research findings and bring it into line with the design philosophy espoused by EC7.

  • More than 50 worked examples including case histories
  • Learning objectives, key points and example questions


"It is always a delight to read a book written by someone who knows what he is writing about, and who writes well. This textbook is a perfect example. … If I were only permitted to own one undergraduate textbook on soil mechanics, this would probably be it."

—Eddie Bromhead, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (comment on the second edition)

"Being somewhat of a late-comer with respect to critical state soil mechanics, I decided I needed to get better acquainted with the way the subject is utilized and taught in the UK. I can tell you that the first 175 pages of your Soil Mechanics: Concepts and Applications were my companion on the airplane flights to and around Europe on this latest trip, and I have found them lucid and most helpful—attributes I can't ascribe to some of the other literature I have encountered. I am quite interested in the somewhat different trends in geotechnical education in the UK and the US and your book provides a useful insight."

—Ralph Peck (comment on the first edition)

Table of Contents

1 Origins and Classifications of Soils

2 Soil Strength

3 Groundwater, Permeability and Seepage

4 One-Dimensional Compression and consolidation

5 The Triaxial Test and Soil Behaviour

6 Calculation of Soil Settlements using Elasticity Methods

7 The Application of Plasticity and Limit Equilibrium Methods to Retaining Walls

8 Foundations and Slopes

9 Calculation of Bearing Capacity Factors and Earth Pressure Coefficients for More Difficult Cases

10 Particular Types of Earth

11 Modelling, in situ Testing and Ground Improvement

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