With the advent of nuclear weapons it has become necessary to study soil behavior under single pulse dynamic loads. As part of a project entitled “Nuclear Weapons Effects on Structures, Terrain, and Waterways” the Waterways Experiment Station has undertaken a research study of the dynamic bearing capacity of soils under the joint sponsorship of the Office, Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army, and the Defense Atomic Support Agency. The objective of the study is to develop criteria for the design of foundations subjected to dynamic loads. This study consists of both an analytical and laboratory effort, each complementing the other. A description of a dynamic loading machine used for the laboratory phase of the study and results of preliminary small-scale footing tests are the subject of this paper.
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