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Geotechnical Engineering-1

Course Code CE-221

Credit Hours -3+1

Contact Hours -3+3

Dr Hassan Mujtaba

Some Typical Soil Names
Clay: finest soil particle wise having grain diameter less
than 0.002 mm. It is quite hard when dry and shrinks
during the process of drying. It possess much cohesion
and shrinks during the process of drying. It undergoes
large settlement when wet. It feels smooth when touched
with fingers.
Silt: (particle size 0.002-0.075 mm)
It is partly plastic and partly cohesive. Silt are
permeable to some extent and capillary action is high.
It has little value of dry strength. When taken in hand
it feels rough. It also exhibit dilatancy.
Some Typical Soil Names
Sand: (particle size 4.75 mm 0.075 mm)
It has no plasticity and negligible cohesion (in dry state zero). It
has marked value of internal friction between individual grains.
When sand is present in a confined it can withstand great load.
Fine sand have relatively high value of permeability and
capillarity where as medium and coarse sand have high
permeability and low capillarity. It feels gritty (rough) because
of presence of individual sand grains
Gravels: (particle size 4.75 mm - 75 mm)
It is used in road construction, foundation work and concreting.
Gravels when mixed with sand, silt and clay becomes a well
graded mass and it is an excellent load bearing material. The
capillary action in gravels is not very prominent. The rise in
water table is not likely to decrease its strength. 3
Some Typical Soil Names
Organic Matter:
The main source of organic matter which is found in the top soil
layer is animal or vegetable remains which are left in place
where these organisms die. The organic matter has spongy
structure (having large number of voids). These material
undergo large volume change upon application of loads. It has
large % of moisture content in it.
Boulder: (particle size > 300 mm)
They are rock fragment of any shape having size greater than
300 mm.
Cobbles: (particle size 75 mm - 300 mm)
They are rock fragment of any shape having size in the range of
75 mm to 300 mm
Some Typical Soil Names
It is very fine clay deposit. The clay is dark in colour and
when wet it is plastic, sticky and spongy
Hard Pan:
It is relatively hard densely cemented soil layer. It does not
soften when wet. It consists of either clay or silt with sand
or gravel in it. Hard pan offers great resistance to the
penetration of drilling tools and is difficult to excavate.
It is dark brown organic earth of top soil. It is unsuitable as
a foundation or as a construction material because it
continues to decay or shrinks.
Some Typical Soil Names
It is uniform, cohesive, wind blown porous deposit of very fine
material. The size of the particles ranges from 0.01 mm to 0.05
mm. these sizes corresponds to silty clays. Its colour is yellowish
light brown.
It is mixture of fine particle inorganic soils and black
decomposed organic matter. The material is either found in
swamps or is deposited by over flowing rivers.
It is organic soil formed by vegetable matter. Under conditions
of excessive moisture it is very compressible and is therefore
unsuitable for supporting even the lightest foundation
Some Typical Soil Names
Loam: mixture of sand, silt and clay
Mud: a pasty mixture of soil and organic matter
Caliche: cemented clay, sand gravel mixture. The
cementing material is clacium carbonate deposited through
Marl: Clay with calcareous material
Boulder clay: clays containing wide range of particle sizes
varying from boulder to very fine
Bentonite: clays with main mineral of montmorrilonite
formed by chemical weathering of volcanic ash
Black cotton soils: Highly expansive and compressible
clays of dark to black color commonly found in India 7
Case Studies
Minaret of a Mosque in
Walled City was raised to a height of 200 ft on fill
As a result walls cracked and settlement took place
The propose height was about 105 ft and it was
recommended that piles should be provided
Petrol Pump near Rawalpindi on Motor way
The contractor erected the whole structure on the
fill material without compaction in layer as a result
settlement took place and cracks appear in walls
Objectives of Geotechnical Engineering
To perform engineering soil survey
To develop soil sampling devices and sampling
To develop suitable soil testing devices and soil
testing method
To collect and classify information on soils and their
physical properties in the light of fundamental
knowledge of soil mechanics, earth works and
foundation engineering
To investigate physical properties of soil
Objectives of Geotechnical Engineering
To evaluate and interpret soil test results and their
application to the use of soil as foundation support or
as construction material
To understand physical processes which actually take
place in soils, subjected to static and dynamic load,
water and temperature.
Materials Encountered in Excavation
Top Soil- it contains organic matter Top Soil

Hard Pan (2-4)

called humus, which is highly
decayable vegetable matter. It is Water Table

generally very soft and spongy in

nature and can go down due to its Bed Rock
spongy nature.
Hard Pan- it exists at the top of the sub-soil and is weathered
portion. In areas of excessive rainfalls the rain water forms
humic acid. This humic acid will be later on acted with iron and
aluminium salts thus leaching out various oxides. These oxides
are deposited as densely cemented soil layer called hard pan.
Sometimes, hard pan has hard rock like properties.
Materials Encountered in Excavation
Sub Soil- it is soft geological
deposit and can be excavated Top Soil
by hands or by employing Hard Pan (2-4)
hand tools.

Water Table- it is the top of Water Table

under ground water reservoir.
Underneath ground water
reservoir exists the bed rock.
Bed rock has zero Bed Rock