Variability of Soil Properties and Reliability of Empirical Equations on Soil Settlement Predictions

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Foundation Engineering in the Face of Uncertainty: Honoring Fred H. Kulhawy


The engineering properties of soils can vary quite dramatically throughout a site, and even more so from site to site. Several soil test data have been collected from numerous projects to perform a statistical analysis to evaluate the variability of these properties and to study the effect of empirical equations on consolidation settlement calculations. A total of 203 soil samples from sites located throughout the State of Ohio were studied and analyzed. Some of the soil properties investigated include the water content, void ratio, Atterberg limits, and compression index. The study results showed that the soil properties varied significantly across the state. It is difficult to find good correlations among the properties due to the scatter in data, and the use of empirical equations may result in very unrealistic settlement predictions.

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Permission documentation is on file.


American Society of Civil Engineers

Place of Publication

San Diego, CA