Based on Terzaghi's consolidation theory, percent of consolidation, U, versus the time factor, T, relationship for constant/linear excess pore water pressure distribution, it is possible to generate theoretical log10(H2/t) versus U curves where H is the length of the drainage path of a consolidating layer, and t is the time for different known values of the coefficient of consolidation, cν. A method has been developed wherein both the theoretical and experimental behavior of soils during consolidation can be simultaneously compared and studied on the same plot. The experimental log10(H2/t) versus U curves have been compared with the theoretical curves. The deviations of the experimental behavior from the theory are explained in terms of initial compression and secondary compression. Analysis of results indicates that the secondary compression essentially starts from about 60% consolidation. A simple procedure is presented for calculating the value of cv from the δ-t data using log10(H2/t) versus U plot.
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