Volume 20, Issue 1 (March 1997)
Determination of Shear Strength Parameters of Unsaturated Silts and Sands Based on the Water Retention Curve
Great efforts have been made to understand and determine the stress parameters of unsaturated soils. However, this requires elaborate laboratory tests, which are both difficult and time consuming to perform. A hypothesis for determination of the shear strength of unsaturated soils is suggested. The hypothesis suggests a simple way of determining the shear strength based on the water retention curve and the angle of internal friction. Values of shear strengths have been taken from the literature and compared with shear strengths calculated according to this hypothesis. The shear strengths obtained from the hypothesis are in surprisingly good agreement with those found in the literature. The suggested hypothesis is critically examined and its limitations discussed. Finally, a reasonable way of applying the hypothesis in engineering practice is proposed.