SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1951

The Importance of Natural Controlling Conditions upon Triaxial Compression Test Conditions


The scientific approach to the study and analysis of the problems encountered in foundation and earthwork engineering not only requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of the behavior characteristics of soils under stress but also a recognition and comprehension of the nature and importance of the controlling conditions inherent in natural situations and imposed by structures and by construction practices, which may dominate and control the actual behavior of soils. These problems may be divided into two broad categories as to their essential nature: 1. Foundations for structures in which the supporting value and the load-settlement characteristics of the soils are or major interest, and 2. Stability problems of natural and excavated slopes, compacted earth embankments, heavily loaded foundation units and retaining structures, in which the stress and deformation conditions leading to failure and the ultimate strength of a soil mass to resist failure are of major concern. This paper is concerned with certain basic principles and concepts for the direct application of the stress-strain relations obtained from triaxial compression tests under controlled test conditions to foundation and stability problems.

Author Information

Burmister, Donald, M.
Columbia University, New York, N.Y.
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Developed by Committee: D04
Pages: 248–266
DOI: 10.1520/STP48417S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6732-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6503-8