Soil Mechanics

Soil mechanics is a branch of engineering mechanics that describes the behavior of soils. It differs from fluid mechanics and solid mechanics in the sense that soils consist of a heterogeneous mixture of fluids (usually air and water) and particles (usually clay, silt, sand, and gravel) but soil may also contain organic solids, liquids, and gasses and other matter. Along with rock mechanics, soil mechanics provides the theoretical basis for analysis in geotechnical engineering, a subdiscipline of Civil engineering, and engineering geology, a subdiscipline of geology. Soil mechanics is used to analyze the deformations of and flow of fluids within natural and man-made structures that are supported on or made of soil, or structures that are buried in soils. Examples applications are building and bridge foundations, retaining walls, dams, and buried pipeline systems. Principles of soil mechanics are also used in related disciplines such as engineering geology, geophysical engineering, coastal engineering, agricultural engineering, hydrology and soil physics.

This article describes the genesis and composition of soil, the distinction between pore water pressure and inter-granular effective stress, capillary action of fluids in the pore spaces, soil classification, seepage and permeability, time dependent change of volume due to squeezing water out of tiny pore spaces, also known as consolidation, shear strength and stiffness of soils. The shear strength of soils is primarily derived from friction between the particles and interlocking, which are very sensitive to the effective stress. The article concludes with some examples of applications of the principles of soil mechanics such as slope stability, lateral earth pressure on retaining walls, and bearing capacity of foundations.

Read more about Soil MechanicsEffective Stress and Capillarity: Hydrostatic Conditions, Soil Classification, Seepage: Steady State Flow of Water, Consolidation: Transient Flow of Water, Shear Behavior: Stiffness and Strength

Other articles related to "soil mechanics, soils, soil":

Ralph Brazelton Peck
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Critical State Soil Mechanics
... Critical State Soil Mechanics is the area of Soil Mechanics that encompasses the conceptual models that represent the mechanical behavior of saturated remolded soils based on ...
Karl Von Terzaghi - Biography - Later Years
... these obstacles aside, and once more set up a new laboratory geared to making measurements on soils with instruments of his own devising ... translating a handwritten manuscript in German dealing with new principles of soil mechanics. 1926 to 1932, Arthur Casagrande, another pioneer of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, worked as Terzaghi's private assistant at MIT ...
Geotech - History
... Humans have historically used soil as a material for flood control, irrigation purposes, burial sites, building foundations, and as construction material for buildings ... Until the 18th century, however, no theoretical basis for soil design had been developed and the discipline was more of an art than a science, relying on past experience ... Henri Gautier, a French Royal Engineer, recognized the "natural slope" of different soils in 1717, an idea later known as the soil's angle of repose ...
Soil Mechanics - Applications - Slope Stability
... dams, slopes of other types of embankments, excavated slopes, and natural slopes in soil and soft rock ...

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