An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering / Edition 2

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An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering offers a descriptive, elementary introduction to geotechnical engineering with applications to civil engineering practice.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The authors do a nice job in presenting significant discussion in theory and background information. I prefer this approach to the more mechanical cookbook approach in which equations and methods are emphasized over theory. If the students are committed and dedicated to reading the text, they will find a wealth of useful information that compliments classroom lectures, and homework problems.”


“The text provides information that goes beyond a typical undergraduate soil mechanics course. In fact I tell my students that ‘this is a text that you can retain for future use and reference, whether you choose to go to graduate school or engineering practice.’ Plus, it’s written with a good sense of humor.”


“Writing is excellent, engaging, and helpful. It anticipates well the questions forming in the average student’s mind.”


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132496346
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 864
  • Sales rank: 286,078
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Holtz, PhD, PE, D.GE, has degrees from Minnesota and Northwestern, and he attended the Special Program in Soil Mechanics at Harvard under Professor A. Casagrande. Before coming to the UW in 1988, he was on the faculty at Purdue and Cal State-Sacramento. He has worked for the California Dept. of Water Resources, Swedish Geotechnical Institute, NRC-Canada, and as a consulting engineer in Chicago, Paris, and Milano. His research interests and publications are mostly on geosynthetics, soil improvement, foundations, and soil properties. He is author, co-author, or editor of 23 books and book chapters, as well as more than 270 technical papers, discussions, reviews, and major reports.

Professor Holtz is a Distinguished Member of ASCE, was President of the ASCE Geo-Institute 2000-1, and currently serves as the International Secretary for the Geo-Institute. He is a Member Emeritus of TRB Committee on Soil and Rock Properties, a Past President of North American Geosynthetics Society; and a member of several other professional and technical organizations. He has taught numerous short courses and given many presentations at seminars and conferences, both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2010 he was named the 46th Karl Terzaghi Lecturer, which has been presented at several US venues and in Brazil, China, and Canada. In 2008, he was named the Puget Sound Academic Engineer of the Year.

Throughout his academic career, Professor Holtz has had an active consulting practice, involving geosynthetics, foundations, soil reinforcing, soil improvement, properties and containment of nuclear wastes, slope stability and landslides, investigation of failures, and acting as an expert witness. His clients have included federal, state, and local public agencies, civil and geotechnical engineering consultants and contractors, attorneys, and manufacturers, both in North America and overseas.

William D. Kovacs, F. ASCE, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1984 to 1990, Dr. Kovacs has conducted sponsored research under the aegis of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States National Bureau of Standards (USNBS), the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). He is the author and co-author of over sixty-five publications. A registered professional engineer, a member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, and a recipient of predoctoral grants in 1967 and 1968, Dr. Kovacs’ geotechnical engineering research interests focus on: In Situ Testing; Foundation Engineering; Dynamic Soil Property Evaluation; and Earthquake Engineering

Dr. Kovacs received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, the B.C.E. from Cornell University, and P.E. (CA 1965, IN 1974-2002, RI 1998).

Thomas C. Sheahan is a Professor and the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University. Dr. Sheahan received his Sc.D. in Civil Engineering from M.I.T., his M.S. in Civil Engineering from M.I.T., and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Union College.Dr. Sheahan's areas of expertise include: Rate Effects in Soils; Offshore Geohazards; Sampling Disturbance Effects; and Laboratory Instrumentation. He is licensed as a professional engineer in California and Massachusetts. Among his most recent honors and awards are the Northeastern College of Engineering Dean’s Meritorious Service Award (2009), the ASTM Committee D-18, Special Service Award (2009), the ASTM Committee on Publications, Certificate of Appreciation (2008), and the Tau Beta Pi National Capers and Marion McDonald Mentoring Award (2007).

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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 Cr e

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 t F /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

13.14.1Matric 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


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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2009

    This book is advertised as a Hardcover but is actually a Softcover

    I was disappointed after waiting weeks for my book to arrive, to find it was actually a Softcover instead of a Hardcover as advertised. I could have purchased a softcover copy quicker through the college bookstore, but as a reference book I will be using in my engineering career, I really would have prefered a hardcover version and ordered it instead. Other than that the book has met my expectations for a civil engineering text.

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