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# Chapter 3:

Shallow Foundations:
Ultimate Bearing Capacity
References: Principles of Foundation Engineering, 7 th Edition by Braja M. Das
Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering, Phil. Ed. By Braja M. Das
Fundamentals of Building Construction, 5th Edition by E. Allen and J. Iano
Review: Parts of a Structure

• Superstructure
• Substructure
• Foundation
foundation
• Lowest part of a structure that transfer the load of the structure to the
soil which it is resting.

## Two Types of Foundations:

1. DEEP FOUNDATIONS – Piles, drilled shafts
2. SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS – Spread, mat, etc.
Shallow foundations: Ultimate
bearing capacity

• General Concept
• Two main characteristics for a shallow foundation to perform satisfactorily:
• Safe against shear failure of soil
• Safe against excessive displacement
Shallow foundations: Ultimate
bearing capacity

• General Concept
• The three types of failures corresponding with different relative density.

Soil Failure

## Loose soil Punching Shear Failure

Case 1: General shear failure

## Wherein: qu – ultimate bearing capacity

Case 2: Local Shear failure

## • qu(1)- first failure load

• Qu- ultimate bearing capacity
Case 3: punching shear failure
Vesic’s
experiments
(1973)
• Dr = relative density of sand
• Df = depth of foundation
measured from the ground
surface
• B* = 2BL/(B+L)
• Wherein B = width of foundation,
L = Length of foundation
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
• Terzhagi initially proposed that for a foundation to be considered as
shallow, the depth Df must be less than or equal to its width.

## • It was later then suggested by recent investigators that foundations

with Df of 3 to 4 times the width may be defined as shallow
foundations.
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
• Continous or Strip Foundation

• Square Foundation

• Circular Foundation
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
• Wherein:
qu = ultimate bearing capacity
c’ = cohesion of soil
γ = unit weight of soil
q = γDf
Nc, Nq, Ny = non dimensional bearing capacity factors and are functions of the
soil friction angle, Φ’
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
• For FOUNDATIONS that exhibit the LOCAL SHEAR FAILURE mode in
soils.

## • Continous or Strip Foundation

• Square Foundation

• Circular Foundation
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory

• N’c, N’q, N’y = modified bearing capacity factors

## Can be computed by replacing Φ’ by Φ’ = Φ’)

Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
• EXAMPLE
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory
• Continous or Strip Foundation

• Square Foundation

• Circular Foundation
Terzhaghi’s
bearing
capacity
theory
Terzhaghi’s bearing capacity theory