Bearing Capacity of Soils

Course Outline

This course provides guidance for calculation of the bearing capacity of soil under shallow and deep foundations supporting various types of structures and embankments based on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineer Manual on Bearing Capacity of Soils. This manual presents estimates of obtaining the bearing capacity of shallow and deep foundations for certain soil and foundation conditions using well-established, approximate solutions of bearing capacity. Principles for evaluating bearing capacity presented in this manual are applicable to numerous types of structures such as buildings and houses, towers and storage tanks, fills, embankments and dams. These guidelines may be helpful in determining soils that will lead to bearing capacity failure or excessive settlements for given foundations and loads.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

• Have a better understanding of the design guidelines and criteria for calculation of bearing capacity of soils;
• Be familiar with definitions, failure modes and factors that influence bearing capacity;
• Be familiar with non-load related design considerations; and
• Be familiar with laboratory and in situ methods of determining soil parameters required for analysis of bearing capacity.

Course Content

The purpose of this course is to provide design guidelines and criteria for calculation of the bearing capacity of soil under shallow and deep foundations. You will be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' website to study Engineering and Design - Bearing Capacity of Soils (Engineer Manual EM 1110-1-1905, 1992 edition, 196 pages, PDF file format), which discusses the bearing capacity evaluation procedures, failure modes, soil parameters, and non-load related design considerations for shallow and deep foundations, such as drilled shaft and pile foundations..

Bearing Capacity Evaluation Procedures

1 Evaluate the ultimate bearing capacity pressure qu or bearing force Qu using guidelines in this manual and Equation 1-1.

2 Determine a reasonable factor of safety FS based on available subsurface surface information, variability of the soil, soil layering and strengths, type and importance of the structure and past experience. FS will typically be between 2 and 4. Typical FS are given in Table 1-2.

3 Evaluate allowable bearing capacity qa by dividing qu by FS; i.e., qa = qu /FS, Equation 1-2a or Qa =Qu /FS, Equation 1-2b.

4 Perform settlement analysis when possible and adjust the bearing pressure until settlements are within tolerable limits. The resulting design bearing pressure qd may be less than qa . Settlement analysis is particularly needed when compressible layers are present beneath the depth of the zone of a potential bearing failure. Settlement analysis must be performed on important structures and those sensitive to settlement.

Bearing Capacity of Soils

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

Purpose and Scope
Definitions
Failure Modes
Factors Influencing Bearing Capacity

CHAPTER 2 NON-LOAD RELATED DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

General
Earthquake and Dynamic Motion
Frost Action
Subsurface Voids
Expansive and Collapsible Soils
Soil Reinforcement
Heaving Failure in Cuts
Soil Erosion and Seepage

CHAPTER 3 SOIL PARAMETERS

Methodology
Site Investigation
Soil Exploration

CHAPTER 4. SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS

Basic Considerations
Solution of Bearing Capacity
Retaining Walls
In Situ Modeling of Bearing Pressures
Examples

CHAPTER 5 DEEP FOUNDATIONS

Basic Considerations
Section I Drilled Shafts
Vertical Capacity of Single Shafts
Capacity to Resist Uplift and Downdrag
Lateral Load Capacity of Single Shafts
Capacity of Shaft Groups
Section II Driven Piles
Effects of Pile Driving
Vertical Capacity of Single Driven Piles
Lateral Load Capacity of Single Piles
Capacity of Pile Groups

APPENDIX A REFERENCES A-1
APPENDIX B BIBLIOGRAPHY B-1
APPENDIX C COMPUTER PROGRAM AXILTR
Organization
Applications
Listing
APPENDIX D NOTATION D-1

Once you finish studying the above course content you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDHonline.org or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.