Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering, An

Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering, An, 2nd edition

  • Robert D Holtz, 
  • William D. Kovacs, 
  • Thomas C. Sheahan

Choose the option that's right for you


$9.99 / mo

4-month minimum term for $39.96

  • Access this eText title
  • Up to 2 devices


$14.99 / mo

4-month minimum term for $59.96

  • Access over 1,500 titles
  • Up to 2 devices
  • Discounted tutor access

Learn more, spend less

  • Icon

    Listen on the go

    Learn how you like with full eText audio

  • Icon

    Learn anytime, anywhere

    Get the app to access your eText whenever you need it

  • Icon

    Make it your own

    Your notes. Your highlights. Your eText

  • Icon

    Find it fast

    Quickly navigate your eText with search

  • Icon

    Stay organized

    Access all your eTexts in one place


An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering gives you the practical knowledge you'll need about soil and rock behavior to design and construct foundations and earth structures. Simple geotechnical designs are illustrated, such as determining the flow, uplift pressures and exit gradients in 2-D seepage problems.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2011

ISBN-13: 9780137524624

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
1.1 Geotechnical Engineering
1.2 The Unique Nature of Soil and Rock Materials
1.3 Scope of This Book
1.4 Historical Development of Geotechnical Engineering
1.5 Suggested Approach to the Study of Geotechnical Engineering
1.6 Notes on Symbols and Units
1.7 Some Comments on How to Study in General

Chapter 2 Index and Classification Properties of Soils
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Basic Definitions and Phase Relations for Soils
2.3 Solution of Phase Problems
2.3.1 Submerged or Buoyant Density
2.3.2 Unit Weight and Specific Gravity
2.4 Soil Texture
2.5 Grain Size and Grain Size Distribution
2.6 Particle Shape
2.7 Atterberg Limits
2.7.1 Cone Liquid Limit
2.7.2 One Point Liquid Limit Test
2.7.3 Additional Comments on the Atterberg Limits
2.8 Introduction To Soil Classification
2.9 Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)
2.9.1 Visual-Manual Classification of Soils
2.9.2 What Else Can We Get From The LI-PI Chart?
2.9.3 Limitations of the USCS
2.10 AASHTO Soil Classification System

Chapter 3 Geology, Landforms, and the Origin of Geo-Materials
3.1 Importance of Geology to Geotechnical Engineering
3.1.1 Geology
3.1.2 Geomorphology
3.1.3 Engineering Geology
3.2 The Earth, Minerals, Rocks, and Rock Structure
3.2.1 The Earth
3.2.2 Minerals
3.2.3. Rocks
3.2.4. Rock Structure
3.3 Geologic Processes and Landforms
3.3.1 Geologic Processes and the Origin of Earthen Materials
3.3.2 Weathering
3.3.3. Gravity Processes
3.3.4. Surface Water Processes
3.3.5 Ice Processes and Glaciation
3.3.6 Wind Processes
3.3.7 Volcanic Processes
3.3.8 Groundwater Processes
3.3.9 Tectonic Processes
3.3.10 Plutonic Processes
3.4 Sources of Geologic Information Problems

Chapter 4 Clay Minerals, Soil and Rock Structures, and Rock Classification
4.2 Products of Weathering
4.3 Clay Minerals
4.3.1 The 1:1 Clay Minerals
4.3.2 The 2:1 Clay Minerals
4.3.3 Other Clay Minerals
4.4 Identification of Clay Minerals And Activity
4.5 Specific Surface
4.6 Interaction between Water and Clay Minerals
4.6.1 Hydration of Clay Minerals and the Diffuse Double Layer
4.6.2 Exchangeable Cations and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
4.7 Interaction of Clay Particles
4.8 Soil Structure and Fabric of Fine Grained Soils
4.8.1 Fabrics of Fine Grained Soils
4.8.2 Importance of Microfabric and Macrofabric; Description Criteria
4.9 Granular Soil Fabrics
4.10 Soil Profiles, Soil Horizons, and Soil Taxonomy
4.11 Special Soil Deposits
4.11.1 Organic soils, peats, and muskeg
4.11.2 Marine Soils
4.11.3 Waste Materials and Contaminated Sites
4.12 Transitional Materials: Hard Soils vs. Soft Rocks
4.13 Properties, Macrostructure, and Classification of Rock Masses
4.13.1 Properties of Rock Masses
4.13.2 Discontinuities in Rock
4.13.3 Rock Mass Classification Systems

Chapter 5 Compaction and Stabilization of Soils
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Compaction and Densification
5.3 Theory of Compaction for Fine-Grained Soils
5.3.1 Process of Compaction
5.3.2 Typical Values; Degree of Saturation
5.3.3 Effect of Soil Type and Method of Compaction
5.4 Structure of Compacted Fine-Grained Soils
5.5 Compaction of Granular Soils
5.5.1 Relative or Index Density
5.5.2 Densification of Granular Deposits.
5.5.3 Rock Fills
5.6 Field Compaction Equipment and Procedures
5.6.1 Compaction of Fine-Grained Soils
5.6.2 Compaction of Granular Materials
5.6.3 Compaction Equipment Summary
5.6.4 Compaction of Rockfill
5.7 Specifications and Compaction Control
5.7.1 Specifications
5.7.2 Compaction Control Tests
5.7.3 Problems with Compaction Control Tests
5.7.4 Most Efficient Compaction
5.7.6 Rockfill QA/QC
5.7.7 Compaction in Trenches
5.8 Estimating Performance of Compacted Soils

Chapter 6 Hydrostatic Water in Soils and Rocks
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Capillarity
6.2.1 Capillary Rise and Capillary Pressures in Soils
6.2.2 Measurement of Capillarity; Soil-Water Characteristic Curve
6.2.3 Other Capillary Phenomena
6.3 Groundwater Table and the Vadose Zone
6.3.1 Definition
6.3.2 Field Determination
6.4 Shrinkage Phenomena in Soils
6.4.1 Capillary Tube Analogy
6.4.2 Shrinkage Limit Test
6.4.3 Shrinkage Properties of Compacted Clays
6.5 Expansive Soils and Rocks
6.5.1 Physical-Chemical Aspects
6.5.2 Identification and Prediction
6.5.3 Expansive Properties of Compacted Clays
6.5.4 Swelling Rocks
6.6 Engineering Significance of Shrinkage and Swelling
6.7 Collapsible Soils and Subsidence
6.8 Frost Action
6.8.1 Terminology, Conditions, and Mechanisms of Frost Action
6.8.2 Prediction and Identification of Frost Susceptible Soils
6.8.3 Engineering Significance of Frozen Ground
6.9 Intergranular or Effective Stress
6.10 Vertical Stress Profiles
6.11 Relationship between Horizontal and Vertical Stresses

Chapter 7 Fluid Flow in Soils and Rock
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Fundamentals of Fluid Flow
7.3 Darcy's Law for Flow through Porous Media
7.4 Measurement of Permeability or Hydraulic Conductivity
7.4.1 Laboratory and Field Hydraulic Conductivity Tests
7.4.2 Factors Affecting Laboratory and Field Determination of K
7.4.3 Empirical Relationships and Typical Values of K
7.5 Heads and One-Dimensional Flow
7.6 Seepage Forces, Quicksand, and Liquefaction
7.6.1 Seepage Forces, Critical Gradient, and Quicksand
7.6.2 Quicksand Tank
7.6.3 Liquefaction
7.7 Seepage and Flow Nets: Two-Dimensional Flow
7.7.1 Flow Nets
7.7.2 Quantity of Flow, Uplift Pressures, and Exit Gradients
7.7.3 Other Solutions to Seepage Problems
7.7.4 Anisotropic and Layered Flow
7.8 Seepage towards Wells
7.9 Seepage through Dams and Embankments
7.10 Control of Seepage and Filters
7.10.1 Basic Filtration Principles
7.10.2 Design of Graded Granular Filters
7.10.3 Geotextile Filter Design Concepts
7.10.4 FHWA Filter Design Procedure

Chapter 8 Compressibility of Soil and Rock
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Components of Settlement
8.3 Compressibility of Soils
8.4 One-Dimensional Consolidation Testing
8.5 Preconsolidation Pressure and Stress History
8.5.1 Normal Consolidation, Overconsolidation, and Preconsolidation Pressure
8.5.2 Determining the Preconsolidation Pressure
8.5.3 Stress History and Preconsolidation Pressure
8.6 Consolidation Behavior of Natural and Compacted Soils
8.7 Settlement Calculations
8.7.1 Consolidation Settlement of Normally Consolidated Soils
8.7.2 Consolidation Settlement of Overconsolidated Soils
8.7.3 Determining Cr and Cre
8.8 Tangent Modulus Method
8.9 Factors Affecting the Determination of s¢P
8.10 Prediction of Field Consolidation Curves
8.11 Soil Profiles
8.12 Approximate Methods and Typical Values of Compression Indices
8.13 Compressibility of Rock and Transitional Materials
8.14 In Situ Determination f Compressibility

Chapter 9 Time Rate of Consolidation
9.1 Introduction
9.2 The Consolidation Process
9.3 Terzaghi's One-Dimensional Consolidation Theory
9.3.1 Classic Solution for the Terzaghi Consolidation Equation
9.3.2 Finite Difference Solution for the Terzaghi Consolidation Equation
9.4 Determination of the Coefficient of Consolidation Cv
9.4.1 Casagrande's Logarithm of Time Fitting Method
9.4.2 Taylor's Square Root of Time Fitting Method
9.5 Determination of the Coefficient Of Permeability
9.6 Typical Values of the Coefficient Of Consolidation, Cv
9.7 In Situ Determination of Consolidation Properties
9.8 Evaluation of Secondary Settlement

Chapter 10 Stress Distribution and Settlement Analysis
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Settlement Analysis of Shallow Foundations
10.2.1 Components of Settlement
10.2.2 Steps in Settlement Analysis
10.3 Stress Distribution
10.4 Immediate Settlement
10.5 Vertical Effective Overburden and Preconsolidation Stress Profiles
10.6 Settlement Analysis Examples

Chapter 11 The Mohr Circle, Failure Theories, and Strength Testing of Soil And Rocks
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Stress at a Point
11.3 Stress-Strain Relationships and Failure Criteria
11.4 The Mohr-Coulomb Failure Criterion
11.4.1 Mohr Failure Theory
11.4.2 Mohr-Coulomb Failure Criterion
11.4.3 Obliquity Relations
11.4.4 Failure Criteria for Rock
11.5 Laboratory Tests for the Shear Strength of Soils and Rocks
11.5.1 Direct Shear Test
11.5.2 Triaxial Test
11.5.3 Special Laboratory Soils Tests
11.5.4 Laboratory Tests for Rock Strength
11.6 In Situ Tests for the Shear Strength of Soils and Rocks
11.6.1 Insitu Tests for Shear Strength of Soils
11.6.2 Field Tests for Modulus and Strength of Rocks

Chapter 12 An Introduction to Shear Strength of Soils and Rock
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Angle of Repose of Sands
12.3 Behavior of Saturated Sands during Drained Shear
12.4 Effect of Void Ratio and Confining Pressure on Volume Change
12.5 Factors that Affect the Shear Strength of Sands
12.6 Shear Strength of Sands Using In Situ Tests
12.6.1 SPT
12.6.2 CPT
12.6.3 DMT
12.7 The Coefficient of Earth Pressure at Rest for Sands
12.8 Behavior of Saturated Cohesive Soils during Shear
12.9 Consolidated-Drained Stress-Deformation and Strength Characteristics
12.9.1 Consolidated-Drained (CD) Test Behavior
12.9.2 Typical Values of Drained Strength Parameters for Saturated
12.9.3 Use of CD Strength in Engineering Practice
12.10 Consolidated-Undrained Stress-Deformation and Strength Characteristics
12.10.1 Consolidated-Undrained (CU) Test Behavior
12.10.2 Typical Value of the Undrained Strength Parameters
12.10.3 Use of CU Strength In Engineering Practice
12.11 Unconsolidated-Undrained Stress-Deformation and Strength Characteristics
12.11.1 Unconsolidated-Undrained (UU) Test Behavior
12.11.2 Unconfined Compression Test
12.11.3 Typical Values of UU and UCC Strengths
12.11.4 Other Ways to Determine the Undrained Shear Strength
12.11.5 Use of UU Strength in Engineering Practice
12.12 Sensitivity
12.13 The Coefficient of Earth Pressure at Rest for Clays
12.14 Strength of Compacted Clays
12.15 Strength of Rocks and Transitional Materials
12.16 Multistage Testing
12.17 Introduction to Pore Pressure Parameters

Chapter 13 Advanced Topics in Shear Strength of Soils and Rocks
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Stress Paths
13.3 Pore Pressure Parameters for Different Stress Paths
13.4 Stress Paths during Undrained Loading - Normally and Lightly Overconsolidated Clays
13.5 Stress Paths during Undrained Loading - Heavily Overconsolidated Clays
13.6 Applications of Stress Paths to Engineering Practice
13.7 Critical State Soil Mechanics
13.8 Modulus and Constitutive Models for Soils
13.8.1 Modulus of Soils
13.8.2 Constitutive Relations
13.8.3 Soil Constitutive Modeling
13.8.4 Failure Criteria for Soils
13.8.5 Classes of Constitutive Models for Soils
13.8.6 The Hyperbolic (Duncan-Chang) Model
13.9 Fundamental Basis of the Drained Strength of Sands
13.9.1 Basics of Frictional Shear Strength
13.9.2 Stress-Dilatancy and Energy Corrections
13.9.3 Curvature of the Mohr Failure Envelope
13.10 Behavior of Saturated Sands in Undrained Shear
13.10.1 Consolidated-Undrained Behavior
13.10.2 Using CD Tests to Predict CU Results
13.10.3 Unconsolidated-Undrained Behavior
13.10.4 Strain Rate Effects in Sands
13.11Plane Strain Behavior of Sands
13.12 Residual Strength of Soils
13.12.1 Drained Residual Shear Strength of Clays
13.12.2 Residual Shear Strength of Sands
13.13 Stress-Deformation and Shear Strength of Clays: Special Topics
13.13.1 Definition of Failure in CU Effective Stress Tests
13.13.2 Hvorslev Strength Parameters
13.13.3 The tF/s¢Vo Ratio, Stress History, and Jürgenson-Rutledge Hypothesis
13.13.4 Consolidation Methods to Overcome Sample Disturbance
13.13.5 Anisotropy
13.13.6 Plane Strain Strength of Clays
13.13.7 Strain Rate Effects
13.14 Strength of Unsaturated Soils
13.14.1 Matric Suction in Unsaturated Soils
13.14.2 The Soil-Water Characteristic Curve
13.14.3 The Mohr-Coulomb Failure Envelope for Unsaturated Soils
13.14.4 Shear Strength Measurement in Unsaturated Soils
13.15 Properties of Soils under Dynamic Loading
13.15.1 Stress-Strain Response of Cyclically Loaded Soils
13.15.2 Measurement of Dynamic Soil Properties
13.15.3 Empirical Estimates of Gmax, Modulus Reduction, and Damping
13.15.4 Strength of Dynamically Loaded Soils
13.16 Failure Theories for Rock

Your questions answered

Introducing Pearson+. Reimagined learning, designed for you. Choose from one eText or over 1,500 eTexts and study tools, all in one place, for one low monthly subscription. A new way to buy books that fits your budget. Make the most of your study time with offline access, enhanced search, notes and flashcards — to get organized, get the work done quicker and get results. Plus, with the app, put textbooks in your pocket and learn wherever. It's time to upgrade the textbook and simplify learning, so you can have time to live too.

Pearson eText is an easy-to-use digital textbook available from Pearson+. Make it your own by adding notes and highlights. Download the Pearson+ mobile app to learn on the go, even offline. Listen on the go with our new audiobook feature, available for most titles.

When you choose a plan, you're signing up for a 4-month term. We will charge your payment method each month until your 4-month term has ended. After that, we'll automatically renew your subscription and charge you on a month-to-month basis unless you turn off auto-renewal in My account.

When you purchase a Pearson+ subscription, it will last a minimum of 4 months, and then automatically renew each month thereafter unless you turn off auto-renew in My account.

If you want to stop your subscription at the end of your 4-month term, simply turn off auto-renew from My account. To avoid the next payment charge, make sure you turn auto renewal off 1 day before the auto renewal date.

You can subscribe again after auto-renew has been turned off by purchasing another Pearson+ subscription.

We use your credit card to renew your subscription automatically. To make sure your learning is uninterrupted, please check your card details before your first monthly payment.

With a Multi Pearson+ subscription plan, you can download up to 5 titles on the Pearson+ app from My list on each of your authorized devices every month.

When you're using your Multi Pearson+ subscription plan in a browser, you can select and read from as many titles as you like.