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Dr M. Touahmia

9

Lecture Outline: 1. 2. Effective Stress

In Situ Stresses

3.

4. 5.

Stress in Saturated Soil with Upward Seepage Stress in Saturated Soil with Downward Seepage

1

Effective Stress

As in other materials, stresses may act in soils as a result of an external load and the volumetric weight of the material itself. The pressure transmitted through grain to grain at the contact points through a soil mass is termed as intergranular or effective pressure . It is known as effective pressure since this pressure is responsible for the decrease in the void ratio or increase in the frictional resistance of a soil mass. If the pores of a soil mass are filled with water and if a pressure induced into the pore water, tries to separate the grains, this pressure is termed as pore water pressure (u) or neutral stress. The effect of this pressure is to increase the volume or decrease the frictional resistance of the soil mass.

Case 1: Dry sand under load (Q)

The load applied at the surface of the soil is transferred to the soil grains in the mold through their points of contact. If the load is quite considerable, it would result in the compression of the soil mass in the mold.

If the sectional area of the cylinder is A, the average stress at any level X-Y may be written as: Q

Since this stress is responsible for the deformation of the soil mass, it is termed the intergranular or effective stress. We may therefore write:

Intergranular pressure

3

Case 2: Fully saturated sand under load (Q)

If the same load Q is placed on the piston, this load will not be transmitted to the soil grains as in the case 1. If we assume that water is incompressible, the external load will be transmitted to the water in the pores. The pressure that is developed in the water is called the pore water or neutral stress (u). This pore water pressure prevents the compression of the soil mass. The value of this pressure is:

Soil under load in a rigid container

Q A

4

Case 2: Fully saturated sand under load (Q)

If the valve provided in the piston is opened, immediately there will be expulsion of water through the hole in the piston. The flow of water continues for some time and then stops. The expulsion of water from the pores decreases the pore water pressure and correspondingly increases the intergranular pressure. At any stage the total pressure Q/A is divided between water and the points of contact of grains. A new equation may therefore be written as: Q Total pressure Intergranular pressure pore water pressure A or u Final equilibrium will be reached when there is no expulsion of water. At this stage the pore water pressure u = 0. All the pressure will be carried by the soil grains. Therefore, we can write:

In summary, the total stress is the sum of the effective stress and the pore pressure (neutral stress). The effective stress is carried by the soil skeleton. The pore pressure is carried by pore water.

u

or

: Total stress;

: Effective stress;

u

The effective stress in a soil mass controls its volume change and strength. Increasing the effective stress (equivalent to reduce the pore pressure if the total stress is constant) induces soil to move into a denser state of packing.

The figure shows a column of saturated soil mass with no seepage of water in any direction. The total stress at the elevation of point A can be obtained from the saturated unit weight of the soil and the unit weight of water above it. Thus,

H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H u

w A sat w A sat sat w A sat w A w A sat w sat w A A sat w A w A A w

sat

7

Plots of the variations of the total stress, pore water pressure, and effective stress, respectively, with depth for a submerged layer of soil placed in a tank with no seepage:

If water is seeping, the effective stress at any point in a soil mass will differ from that in the static case. It will increase or decrease, depending on the direction of seepage.

Note that h/H2 is the hydraulic gradient i caused by the flow, and therefore:

z iz

c

If the rate of seepage and thereby the hydraulic gradient gradually are increased, a limiting condition will be reached, at which point:

z i z

c cr

i

cr w

Under such a situation, soil stability is lost. This situation generally is referred to as boiling, or a quick condition. For most soils, the value of icr varies from 0.9 to 1.1, with an average of 1.

10

Plots of the variations of the total stress, pore water pressure, and effective stress, respectively, with depth for a soil layer with upward seepage:

11

variation of total stress, pore water pressure and effective stress with depth for a soil layer with downward seepage:

12

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