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# BEHAVIOUR OF SKEW FOOTINGS RESTING ON CLAYEY AND SANDY

SOIL
Shahzad Anwar1, M. A. Khan2 and I. K. Khan3
1
M.Tech (Structure), Department of Civil Engineering, A.M.U. Aligarh, 202002, UP, India
2,3
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, A.M.U. Aligarh, 202002, UP, India
Abstract-Sometimes foundations of bridges, aqueducts and culverts need skew footings. Shape
factors for rectangular, circular and square footings have been given by various investigators. To the
knowledge of the author, neither any analytical or empirical formula for ascertaining the ultimate
bearing capacity nor shape factor has so far been given by any one for skew footings. The author,
therefore had attempted to investigate the behaviour of such footings experimentally. In the present
study, an effort has been made for the stability and settlement behaviour of the skew model footings
of width, B = 60 mm, 80 mm and 100 mm each having skew angles of 10o, 20o and 30o resting on
bed of clay, sand and sand-clay layers. This study is based on non-dimensional technique. The
physical variables included in theoretical analysis are the width and skew angle of the skew footings
and soil parameters, angle of shearing resistance and unit weight of clay, sand and sand-clay layers.
Keywords- Skew Footings, Non-dimensional technique, Prototype and small-scale model tests.
I. INTRODUCTION
Sometimes foundations of bridges, aqueducts and culverts etc. need skew footings. For
foundation shapes other than strip footings, analytical solutions of ultimate bearing capacity problem
is considerably difficult. Based on some published (Golder, 1941-42, and skempton, 1942) and
unpublished test results, Terzaghi (1943) gave semi empirical formulae for ultimate bearing capacity
of circular and square footings. De Beer and Vesic (1975) have also suggested shape factor for
rectangular, circular and square footings, based on extensive experiments. To the knowledge of the
author, neither any analytical or empirical formula for ascertaining the ultimate bearing capacity nor
shape factor has so far been given by any one for the skew footings. Experimentally also, no
investigation seems to have yet been carried out for studying the behaviour of skew footings. The
author, therefore, has attempted to investigate the behaviour of such footings experimentally. The
design of bridges on straight alignments with support skews between 0 and 60 degrees. For bridges
on straight alignments with support skews exceeding 60 degrees, the designer should use a skew
footing to more accurately capture true load distribution. For the superstructure, it was assumed that
support skew does not affect the distribution of loading response across the section with the
exception of shear. In a skewed bridge, loads tend to distribute to the supports in a direction normal
to the supports. This causes a greater proportion of the load to concentrate at the obtuse corners of
the span and less at the acute Corners. Depending on the contract, the centrelines of construction,
structure, and roadway may be the same line or three different lines. For example, a two-lane bridge
with no shoulders or with shoulders of equal widths would probably have one line for all three
references. In most cases, however, one or more centrelines is different from the other centrelines.
Centrelines of bearing are transverse lines that bisect the bridge seats or bearing areas on abutments
and piers and intersect the longitudinal centrelines. Generally, if the centrelines of bearing intersect
the longitudinal centrelines at an oblique angle (an angle other than a right angle), the bridge is said
to be skewed or built on a skew. If the centrelines of bearing intersect the longitudinal centrelines at
right angles, there is no skew. For this study, investigations were carried out by small-scale model
footings tests on clay, sand and sand-clay layers, in laboratory. Three sizes of footings, 60 mm, 80
mm and 100 mm, each having skew angles of 100, 200 and 300 were tested. Since the test results of
small-scale model tests are quite often looked with suspicion, the dimensional analysis was carried

DOI:10.21884/IJMTER.2017.4319.H2DNY 136
International Journal of Modern Trends in Engineering and Research (IJMTER)
Volume 04, Issue 10, [October 2017] ISSN (Online):23499745; ISSN (Print):2393-8161

out on the effect of the size, skew angle of the footing and the soil parameters, on the ultimate
bearing capacity of skew footings. The soil parameters include the angle of shearing resistance and
unit weight of clay, sand and sand-clay layers. It may be mentioned here that the dimensional
analysis helps in providing a simple basis for the possible correlation ship between the results of
small-scale model tests and the behaviour of full-scale prototypes. Kondner (1960), had first
demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique in the field of soil mechanics. Experimental data has
been analysed for shear and settlement criteria. Experimental results have confirmed the findings of
the dimensional analysis in so far as the effect of the size is concerned. The observed values have
been compared with the theoretical values obtained from Theoretical Model, based on modification
of the bearing capacity formula for square footing, suggested by Terzaghi. The theoretical and
experimental results are found to be in fairly good agreement qualitatively. However, quantitatively,
the results are at much variance. This is so, probably because of the conservative values of N c, N,
suggested by Terzaghi. Based on the experimental results, the author has suggested a shape factor for
computing the ultimate bearing capacity for skew footings resting on the surface of clay, sand, and
sand-clay layers. The settlement aspect of the problem has also been analysed and a new approach,
incorporating the concept of load intensity and settlement has been suggested, for the prediction of
settlement of the prototype, on the basis of small-scale model tests. The value of predicted
settlements for skew footings, by proposed method has been found to be much closer to the observed
values of settlements.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
Dash et al. (2001) conducted a load test for a strip footing on homogeneous dense sand
(relative density of 70%) beds, however, indicate that an 8 fold increase in bearing capacity could be
achieved with the provision of geocell in the foundation sand. Dash et al.(2001) conducted the model
test results on a circular footing supported on a dense sand layer (relative density of 70%) overlying
a soft clay bed show about a six-fold increase in bearing capacity with the provision of geocell in the
overlying sand layer. The higher performance improvement due to geocell in the sand bed compared
with that in the soft clay bed is attributed to the mobilization of higher passive force at the geocell
walls and frictional resistance at the geogrid-soil surface.
Mostafa A et al. (2007) tries to investigate the potential benefits of reinforcing a replaced
layer of sand constructed on near a slope crest was studied. Model tests were carried out using model
footing of 75 mm width and geogrids. Several parameters including the depth of replaced sand layer
and the location of footing relative to the slope crest were studied. Particular emphasis is paid on the
reinforcement configurations including number of layers, spacing, layer length and depth to ground
surface. A series of finite element analyses were performed on a prototype slope using two-
dimensional plane strain model using the computer code Plaxis. The soil was represented by non-
linear hardening soil model, which is an elasto-plastic hyperbolic stressstrain model while
reinforcement was represented by elastic elements. A close agreement between the experimental and
numerical results is observed. Test results indicate that the inclusion of geogrid layers in the replaced
sand not only significantly improves the footing performance but also leads to great reduction in the
depth of reinforced sand layer required to achieve the allowable settlement.
Rethaliya R. P. and Verma A. K. (2009) investigated the foundation on soft clay can be
improved by placing a layer of compacted sand or gravel. The results shows that, while placing of
sand over the soft clay sub grade leads to an increase in the load carrying capacity and also the
reinforcement layer at the sand clay interface has resulted in the additional increase in bearing
capacity and decrease in the settlement of the footing. The optimum width of reinforcement for sand
layer overlying soft clay was found 5B for strip footing and 3B for
Rajeev Gupta et al. (2009) carried out an experimental study on the influence of cell
confinement on the bearing capacity and settlement of circular footing on silty sand. Laboratory
experiments on clean sand and sand containing silt up to 25% were performed. Model cells with
different diameters and heights have been used to confine the silty sand. The effect of the cell

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Volume 04, Issue 10, [October 2017] ISSN (Online):23499745; ISSN (Print):2393-8161

diameter, cell height and fines on bearing capacity and settlement were investigated with the help of
an experimental programme using circular footing having a diameter of 0.15m. Initially, the response
of a footing without confinement was determined and then compared with that of footing with
confinement. The results indicate that the bearing capacity of circular footing decreases on the
addition of fines and can be appreciably increased by soil confinement. The results also indicate that
the settlement of circular footing can be appreciably decreased by soil confinement. It was
interpreted that such confinement provides lateral displacement of soil underneath the footing. It
leads to a significant improvement in the response of the footing. The cellsoil footing behaves as
one unit for small cell diameters, while this pattern was no longer observed with large diameter cells.
The recommended cell diameters that give the maximum ultimate bearing capacity improvement and
less settlement are presented and discussed.
A. Mabrouki et al. (2009) tries to studies of bearing capacity for shallow foundations tend to
rely on the hypothesis of an isolated footing. In practice a footing is never isolated; it is mostly in
interaction with other footings. This paper focuses on a numerical study using the nite-difference
code Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua (FLAC), to evaluate the bearing capacity for two
interfering strip footings, subjected to centered vertical loads with smooth and rough interfaces. The
soil is modelled by an elasto-plastic model with a MohrCoulomb yield criterion and associative
ow rule. The interference effect is estimated by efciency factors, dened as the ratio of the bearing
capacity for a single footing in the presence of the other footing to that of the single isolated footing.
S. M. Nawghare et al. (2010) investigated the bearing capacity of eccentrically loaded
footing. Footings of different size and shape are used for testing. Testing for bearing capacity of
centrally loaded footing and then for eccentrically loaded footing with different e/B ratio is carried
out. For every footing bearing capacity and settlement has been found out for central as well as
eccentric loading. These results of central and eccentric loading are compared with each other for
same footing.
Jignesh N. Lad et al. (2011) investigated the potential benefits of using the reinforced soil
foundation to improve the bearing capacity and reduce the settlement of strip footing on sand bed
with thin soft lens. It is found that the soft lens below strip footing influence not only the bearing
capacity but also the settlement of the footing. It is found that when the soft lens is within a zone of
1.5 times width of footing, the bearing capacity and settlement are affected. After 1.5B, the soft lens
has no effect on the performance of strip footing.
Sai K. Vanapalli et al. (2013) studied the influence of three parameters; namely, (i) matric
suction, (ii) overburden stress, and (iii) dilation, on the bearing capacity and settlement behaviour of
surface and embedded model footings in unsaturated sands. The results show that the bearing
capacity and settlement behaviour of unsaturated sands are significantly influenced by all the three
parameters. In addition, comparisons are provided between the predicted and measured bearing
capacity and estimated and measured settlement values using the proposed modified Terzaghis
equation and modified Schmertmanns CPT-based method, respectively. There is a good comparison
between the predicted/estimated and measured bearing capacity and settlement values for the
laboratory and field tests using the proposed modified methods.
Ravi Gupta et al. (2014) presented the results of laboratory model tests on the influence of
three dimensional confinement of dense sand on the behaviour of a model circular footing resting on
dense sand (Relative Density 70%). To confine the soil three dimensionally, skirts of different height
and diameter with a layer of geogrid below it used. The load bearing capacity of a circular footing
supported on a three-dimensional confined sand bed was studied. The studied parameters include the
confinement height and confinement diameter. Initially, the response of an unconfined case was
determined and then compared with that of confined soil. The results were then analysed to study the
effect of each parameter. The results indicate that the bearing capacity of circular footing can be
appreciably increased by soil confinement. It was concluded that such type of confinement (skirt
with geogrid) restricts the lateral and longitudinal displacement of sand leading to a significant
improvement in the response of the footing. For small confinement diameters, the three dimensional

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confinementsand-footing system behaves as one unit (deep foundation), while this pattern of
behaviour was no longer observed with large cell diameters.
Hemantkumar Ronad (2014) tries to investigate the bearing capacity of the square footing
resting on reinforced sand bed. In the present study an attempt has been made to study the bearing
capacity of square footing on sand reinforced bed. The effect of different parameter like the depth of
the upper most layer of reinforcement from the base of the model footing (u), for different densities
of the sand ( = 1.55, 1.65, and 1.75 gm/cc) the test has been carried out. The test results showed
that the beneficial use of geo-grid reinforcement in terms of increasing in the bearing capacity and
minimizing the settlement, at an optimum depth of reinforcement, however for the higher density of
the soil gives maximum bearing capacity. Therefore, for effective utilization of geo-grid
reinforcement, the optimum depth should be (u= 0.33B) which is found to be good agreement with
the past researchers, and the foundation soil should be in higher density.
III. EXPERIMENTAL DETAILS
Load and Settlement Measuring Devices
The load was measured by using calibrated proving ring of capacity 500 kg with least count
1.37 kg. The settlement of the footings was measured by dial gauges of least count 0.002 mm.
Models of Skew Footing
The models for skew footings were made from 6 mm thick mild steel plates and 10 mm
diameter circular bars. The solid plate at the top was grooved to accommodate a ball such that a
model can be centred with proving ring and load applied concentrically. Three sizes of model
footings 60 mm, 80 mm and 100 mm were prepared with different angles of skew. In the present
study various angles of skew () of 100, 200 and 300 were proposed for all the three sizes of footings.

Model of skew footings, B = 60 mm, 80 mm and 100 mm, = 100, 200 and 300
Tank for Ultimate Load Study
For the preparation of the bed of clay, sand and sand-clay layers rigid tank was prepared. The
internal dimensions of the tank were as 450 mm x 450 mm x 300 mm deep. The size of the tank was
chosen to determine the edge interference as well as the ease in handling the tank during compaction
etc. The tank was prepared with 1/2 inch thick plastic ply.

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Materials
The clayey soil was collected from the water drain near A. M. U. Gas Plant and law faculty of
Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh. Medium uniform Ganga sand was collected from Narora river
bank.
IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The specific gravity of the clay soil obtained from density bottle as 2.74 at 28 0 C [RILEM
recommendation (1989)]. The specific gravity of the sandy soil obtained from pycnometer as 2.62 at
280 C [RILEM recommendation (1989)]. The natural water content present in the sand and clay was
found 4 %, 7% respectively. The optimum moisture content (OMC) was obtained by performing
standard proctor compaction test in the laboratory as 19 % with maximum dry density of 17.6 kN/m3
for clay [IS: 2720 (Part 7) 1985]. In the proctor Compaction Test it was observed that as the
percentage of moisture content increases, the dry density (d max) also increases but at the certain
stage if a little amount of water added the dry density starts to reduce.
The liquid limit of the clay soil was determined by Casagrande Liquid Limit apparatus was
found 37 % and plastic limit as 21 % and the plasticity index was calculated as 16 % [IS: 2720 (Part
5) 1985]. The value of shear strength parameters were determined by performing unconsolidated
undrained (UU), consolidated drained (CD) and consolidated undrained (CU) triaxial shear tests
[IS:2720(part 11)-1981] for clay, sand and sand-clay layers respectively. All the triaxial samples
were prepared at their respective OMC and tested under the confining pressure of 50, 100 and 150
kN/m2. By using Mohrs Circles graphical method and failure envelopes.
For the grain size analysis of soils [IS:2720(part 4)-1985], the particle size distribution curves
have been drawn. Hydrometer analysis was also carried out for the clayey soil. The clay percentage
was found to be 17 % and classification of clay as CI type.
Load intensity vs Skew angle curves are drawn and load intensity w.r.t. the settlements of
model footings having width, B = 60 mm, 80 mm and 100 mm with skew angles of 10 0, 200 and 300
are calculated. The results show that with same intensity of load, the value of settlement increases
with increase of skew angle and decrease of the size of footing for clay, sand and sand-clay layers.
The value of ultimate bearing capacity obtained from the curve by double tangent method. It was
observed that for the same size of skew footing, the ultimate bearing capacity increases with the
increase of skew angle for clayey soil but decreases for sand and sand-clay layers. It was also
observed that the ultimate bearing capacity increases with the increase in size of footings for clay,
sand and sand-clay layers.

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The value of non- dimensional parameter (Qf / B3) and shape factor, (Sr) were determined
with the help of shear strength parameter.The value of non-dimensional parameter (Qf / B3)
decreases with the increase of skew angle and size of footings. In case of clayey soil, the value of
shape factor (Sr) slightly increases with the increase of skew angle and size of footing. But in case of
sand and sand-clay layers the value of shape factor (Sr) slightly decreases with the increase of skew
angle for the same size of footing.
Load intensity (kN/m2)
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
100 0
90 Grain size vs percent finer for clay
Grain size vs percent finer for sand 2
80
Percent finer by weight

70
4

Settlement (mm)
60
50 6
40 B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 10 Degree
30 8 B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 20 Degree
B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 30 Degree
20
10
10
0
12
0.001 0.01 0.1 1
Grain size diameter (mm) Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew
footings, B = 60 mm resting on clay
Particle size distribution curves for clay and Load intensity (kN/m2 )
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
sand 0

1
55
2

3
Settlement (mm)

4
45
5
Water content (%)

## 6 B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 10 Degree

B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 20 Degree
7 B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 30 Degree
35 8

10

## 25 Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew

5 50
Number of blows (N) footings, B = 80 mm resting on clay
Load intensity (kN/m2)
Liquid limit curve for clay 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
0
22
1
20
2
18
Dry density ( kN/m3 )

Settlement (mm)

16 4

## 14 5 B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 10 Degree

B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 20 Degree
6 B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 30 Degree
12
7
10
10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 8
Moisture content ( % )
Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew
Proctor compaction curve for clay footings, B = 100 mm resting on clay

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## Load intensity (kN/m2 )

0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Load intensity (kN/m2)
0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
0

1 1

2 2
Settlement (mm)

Settlement (mm)
3
3
4
4 B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 10 Degree
B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 10 degree
B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 20 Degree 5 B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 20 degree
B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 30 Degree B = 60 mm, Skew angle = 30 degree
5
6

6 7

Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew
footings, B = 60 mm resting on sand footings, B = 60 mm resting on layers
Load intensity (kN/m2)
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
Load intensity (kN/m2 )
0
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
0
1

1 2
Settlement (mm)

2 3
Settlement (mm)

4
3
B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 10 Degree 5
4 B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 20 Degree B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 10 degree
B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 30 Degree 6 B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 20 degree
B = 80 mm, Skew angle = 30 degree
5
7

6 8
Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew
footings, B = 80 mm resting on sand footings, B = 80 mm resting on layers
Load intensity (kN/m2 ) Load intensity (kN/m2)
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
0 0

0.5
1
1
1.5 2
Settlement (mm)
Settlement (mm)

2
3
2.5
3
4
B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 10 Degree
3.5 B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 10 degree
B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 20 Degree
B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 20 degree
4 B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 30 Degree 5
B = 100 mm, Skew angle = 30 degree
4.5
6
5
Load intensity vs settlement curves for skew
Load intensity vs settlement curves for footings, B = 100 mm resting on layers
skew footings, B = 100 mm resting on sand

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V. CONCLUSION
For the same soil and same size of skew footings, skew angle plays dominating role for the
increase of soil resistance with the decrease of skew angle.
For skew footing as for as the area is concern with the increase in skew angle, the area of the
footing decreases and therefore the settlement increases.
In case of clay soil, the soil develops the shear failure due to reduction in area. On increasing the
skew angle of footing, the ultimate bearing capacity increases.
It has also been proved theoretically that in case of clay there is no effect of width of footing on
the bearing capacity of soil.
Experimental result shows that the ultimate bearing capacity of skew footings resting on sand
will be more as compare to the clay, and sand-clay layers. But the ultimate bearing capacity of
skew footing resting on clay is found to be less than sand-clay layers.
In all the three cases of clay, sand and sand-clay layers, for the same intensity of load, the
settlement of all skew footings increase with the decrease in size of the footings.
For the same intensity of load, the settlement of the skew footings increases with the increase of
skew angle of footings.
The value of shape factor (Sr) for Skew footings comes out a little more as compared to shape
factor given by Terzaghi for rectangular and circular footings.
In case of clay the equation has been developed for shape factor of skew footings to counter the
effect of shape as Sr = 1.37 [1 3.655 x 10-5 (2 23.3)]. In this equation if we increase the
value of skew angle (), the shape factor increases and when = 900 then the width of skew
footing is negligible and length is much so that the footing becomes like strip for which the value
of shape factor was given by Terzaghi as 1.0, also in the case if the footing becomes strip, the
shape factor tends to unity. But the value of skew angle decreases, the value of shape factor is
little more than the square or rectangular footings.
In case of sandy soil, the experimental result shows that the ultimate bearing capacity of skew
footings is function of the skew angle (). The ultimate bearing capacity decreases with the
increase in the skew angle for 00 to 300. It is further observed that the values of ultimate bearing
capacity for models having skew angle () = 100 are almost equal to the values of ultimate
bearing capacity for models having skew angle () = 00 (square).
The empirical relationship for the ultimate bearing capacity and shape factor for skew footings
resting on the surface of sandy soil has been obtained as given by the following equation
qf = 0.4 B N . S
Where,
S = 2.71 [1 1.35 x 10-4 (2 + 18)]
For = 00 to 300.
In case of sand-clay layers, the experimental result shows that the ultimate bearing capacity of
skew footings is function of the skew angle (). The ultimate bearing capacity decreases with the
increase in the skew angle for 00 to 300. The empirical relationship for the shape factor for skew
footings resting on the sand-clay layers has been obtained as given by the following equation:
Sr = 2.06 [1 4.85 x 10-5 (2 43)]
For = 00 to 300.
The dimensional-analysis shows that in the case of clay the non-dimensional parameter is a
function of skew angle () only and is independent of the size of the footings and experimental
results confirm this.
=

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Also in the case of sand, the dimensional-analysis shows that the non-dimensional parameter

is a function of skew angle () only and is independent of the size of the footings and
experimental results confirm this.
= 0.4 N

In case of sand-clay layers, the dimensional-analysis shows the non-dimensional parameter is
a function of skew angle () only and is independent of the size of the footings and experimental
results confirm this.
=[ + 0.4 N

The empirical relationship for the non-dimensional parameter for skew footings resting on the
clayey soil has been obtained as given by the following equation
= 298.86 [1+ 6.36 x 10-4 (2 39.3)]

For = 00 to 300.
The empirical relationship for the non-dimensional parameter for skew footings resting on the
sandy soil has been obtained as given by the following equation
= 394.34 [1+ 6.59 x 10-4 (2 39.45)]

For = 00 to 300.
The empirical relationship for the non-dimensional parameter for skew footings resting on sand-
clay layers has been obtained as given by the following equation
= 347.03 [1+ 6.63 x 10-4 (2 40.3)]

For = 00 to 300.
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