Simple formulas for the response of shallow foundations on compressible sands

N. Yamamoto, Mark Randolph, I. Einav

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    The engineering design of shallow foundations on sand is almost universally based on one of the variants of the classical bearing capacity formula. However, this formula is suitable only where the sand exhibits dilative behavior and a clear rupture mechanism forms at failure. The main challenge then is choosing a suitable friction angle, taking into account the soil density and the high stresses beneath the footing. When other conditions apply, in particular when the footing is large or founded on compressible materials, alternative approaches need more focus on soil compressibility. Two simple semianalytical formulas are proposed and explored in this paper: (1) an analysis using a one-dimensional (1D) compression equation; and (2) an analysis using the concept of “bearing modulus.” It is argued that the bearing modulus approach may be used for conditions that reflect moderate design parameters (i.e., moderate foundation size and sand compressibility), but for very large foundations or highly compressible soils the 1D compression method is found more suitable. It is shown that the bearing modulus analysis can be approached in terms of the compression response of the soil, suggesting a possible route to link the bearing modulus directly to the compression model parameters of the soil. © 2008 ASCE
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-239
    JournalInternational Journal of Geomechanics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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