A critical reappraisal of the average degree of consolidation

Lovisa, Julie, Read, Wayne, and Sivakugan, Nagaratnam (2011) A critical reappraisal of the average degree of consolidation. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 29 (5). pp. 873-879.

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Abstract

Since its development in 1925, Terzaghi's expression for the average degree of consolidation has been extensively used in teaching, research and consulting to determine the consolidation settlement that has taken place at a specific time in a geotechnical problem. Recent research by the authors has revealed that the term degree of consolidation is not very meaningful when the initial pore pressure distribution is highly skewed. In view of these findings, a review of all aspects of Terzaghi's consolidation theory is required, particularly when considering asymmetric initial pore pressure distributions. An exact method for estimating the consolidation settlement of a clay stratum using the mass flux per unit area out of the drainage boundaries is proposed. Graphical representations of both exact and traditional methods reveal identical average degree of consolidation curves. In light of this, Terzaghi's expression for the average degree of consolidation was re-examined. Upon application of the original governing one-dimensional consolidation equation, it was found that the traditional and exact methods for calculating the average degree of consolidation are identical. Thus, the widespread proclivity for geotechnical engineers to use Terzaghi's average degree of consolidation equation to estimate the consolidation settlement of a clay stratum has been validated.

Item ID: 18332
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: pore pressure, soil consolidation, clays
ISSN: 1573-1529
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2011 05:54
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090501 Civil Geotechnical Engineering @ 100%
SEO Codes: 87 CONSTRUCTION > 8702 Construction Design > 870201 Civil Construction Design @ 100%
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