It is the purpose of this six-part series to show that there is a long history of scientific contributions that can be used to analyze and design soil-related structures with complete confidence. One of the first laws that remains of importance today was that developed by Robert Hooke (1635-1703) that deals with the elastic behavior of materials. The most practical analytical method for soil analysis was published by Coulomb in 1776 as the ever useful mathematical formula for shearing of soils. The 1800s are well-represented by scientists that developed analytical tools for soil analysis, including Darcy (1856), Rankine (1860), and Boussinesq (1885). During the mid-1930s, Gow developed the first practical sampling tubes, which led to the standard split and Shelby tubes used today. The matter of soil and rock predictability was first studied by geologist A.K. Lobeck around 1920. R.W. Simonson and colleagues published "Understanding Iowa Soils" in 1952, which led to the classification and division of the surficial soils into groups with similar characteristics. All of these theories, methods, and equipment are available today to assure foundation stability for any type of earthen structure if properly followed. The soil at a site can be predicted with accuracy and theories of shear strength, compressibility, volumetric stability, and evaluation of the horizontal earth force on piling and walls can be calculated using well-accepted methods. Future articles will show a step-by-step method for the various duties that a geotechnical engineer must perform in analyzing and designing a soil investigation and common earthen structures.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Civil Engineering News, Incorporated

    1255 Roberts Boulevard, Suite 230
    Kennesaw, GA  United States  30144
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  • Publication Date: 1999-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 58-61
  • Serial:
    • Civil Engineering News
    • Volume: 11
    • Issue Number: 3
    • Publisher: Civil Engineering News, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 1051-9629

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00763618
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 23 1999 12:00AM