Advanced Soil Mechanics

Module aims

This module introduces advanced aspects of soil behaviour, the understanding of which contributes to a more efficient design of geotechnical structures and requires application of advanced numerical analysis. The module introduces an overarching critical state framework for describing soil behaviour and examines the application of this framework to natural soils. 

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to: 

  • Develop an understanding of advanced aspect of soil behaviour. 
  • Make an appropriate choice of strength parameters to be used in design, based on the nature of the geotechnical problem. 
  • Make an appropriate choice of soil stiffness for geotechnical design. 
  • Develop an understanding of the critical state framework of soil behaviour and its advantages and limitations.

Module syllabus

This module will cover: 

  • Definiton of soil’s stress and strain state at a point (Mohr circles) 
  • Stress paths and generalisation of 3D soil state; invariants and deviatoric plane 
  • Effective stress principle 
  • Soil strenght and strength criteria 
  • Soil stiffness 
  • Critical state soil mechanics framework 
  • Behaviour of natural clays; sensitivity framework 
  • Behaviour of sand

Reading list