Coefficient of consolidation for soil - that elusive quantity

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Although it is accepted that the coefficient of consolidation for soil is not a true material property, but reflects the net effect of permeability and compressibility, it is a very useful parameter in day to day design. Design calculations make extensive use of elastic solutions for consolidation, such as beneath a shallow foundation or around a driven pile, but an important consideration is how to measure or estimate an appropriate coefficient of consolidation to use in those solutions. Typically the quantity is determined either from laboratory oedometer tests (generally then referred to as cv) or from field dissipation tests using a piezocone or piezoball penetrometer (generally then referred to as ch). Since the latter form of test includes a mix of stress paths, for some of which the soil has a stiffness associated with unloading and others of which involve plastic compression, the magnitude of ch for a given soil is typically 3 to 10 times the value of cv from virgin compression in laboratory oedometer tests. The paper explores the relationship between cv and ch for different boundary value problems, within the confines of soil modelled as Modified Cam Clay, for both isotropic and anisotropic permeability. Problems range among: simulated oedometer testing, field dissipation testing and pore pressure response beneath a shallow foundation. Results of finite element analysis of this range of problems are used to develop guidelines for different classes of problem, comparing the relevant coefficient of consolidation against a benchmark cv value associated with virgin compression in an oedometer. The normalised values of consolidation coefficient are expressed as functions of fundamental soil parameters used within Modified Cam Clay.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Coupled Problems in Science and Engineering
    Place of PublicationSpain
    ISBN (Print)9788494392832
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event6th International Conference on Coupled Problems in Science and Engineering - San Servolo, Venice, Italy
    Duration: 18 May 201520 May 2015
    Conference number: 6


    Conference6th International Conference on Coupled Problems in Science and Engineering


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