First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Engineering
Course unit
INP6075640, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course 5 years single cycle degree in
IN0533, Degree course structure A.Y. 2010/11, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOIL MECHANICS
Department of reference Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in BUILDING ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE

Teacher in charge MARCO FAVARETTI ICAR/07

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses ICAR/07 Geotechnics 9.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 4th Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 95 130.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2010 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 2019 01/10/2019 30/11/2021 FAVARETTI MARCO (Presidente)

Prerequisites: Theory of structures
Target skills and knowledge: Aim of the course is to provide the basic notions of the subject, with particular attention to the mechanical behaviour of soil and to the issues relevant to the phenomena of soil-foundation interaction, both from a theoretical and practical point of view, in a global united vision.
Examination methods: Written test containing n.3 exercises e n.2 theory questions. The written test lasts 2 hours. An oral test must be passed successfully in order to obtain a final grade greater than 28/30.
Assessment criteria: Evaluation of the student level will be based on an understanding of the topics of the lectures, on the acquisition of concepts, theories and methodologies on which it is based geotechnical engineering and the ability to apply them in specific exercises. To pass the final test the student must demonstrate adequate learning skills and have independent judgment.
Course unit contents: The educational activities will be developed through lectures and exercises.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: INTRODUCTION TO GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING PROBLEMS.
INDEX PROPERTIES AND CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. Basic definitions. Relations between solid, liquid and gas phases. Texture and shape. Size distribution. Atterberg limits. Classification systems.
GEOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SOILS. Composition, formation and type of land. Clay minerals. Surface forces. Adsorbed water. Structure. Activity.
COMPACTION AND STABILIZATION OF SOILS. Compaction of fine and coarse grain solis. Geotechnical properties of compacted soils. Laboratory tests. Checking test in situ.
HYDROSTATIC WATER IN SOILS. Capillarity. Groundwater table and vadose zone. Shrinkage and swelling. Total stresses, effective and neutral. Relationships between horizontal and vertical stresses.
FLUID FLOW IN SOILS. Darcy's law. Measurement of coefficient of permeability. One- and two- dimensional seepage e flow nets. Seepage force. Quicksand. Liquefaction.
COMPRESSIBILITY OF SOILS. Stress history. Preconsolidation stress. Normally- and over-consolidated soils. One-dimensional consolidation tests. Components and calculation of settlement. In situ determination of the compressibility parameters.
TIME RATE OF CONSOLIDATION. The connsolidation process. Terzaghi's one-dimensional consolidation theory. Determination of coefficient of consolidation and permeability. Secondary compression.
DISTRIBUTION OF STRESS AND SETTLEMENT ANALYSIS. Settlement of a shallow foundation. Stress distribution. Immediate settlement. Settlement due to the primary consolidation and secondary compression.
MOHR CIRCLE, FAILURE CRITERIA, STRENGTH TESTING. State of stress at one point. Stress-strain relationships and failure criteria. The failure criterion of Mohr-Coulomb. Laboratory tests for determining the shear strength of soils.
SHEAR STRENGTH OF SOILS. Behaviour of sands and clays under drained and undrained conditions. Factors affecting the shear strength of sands and clays. In situ tests. The coeffciient of earth pressure at rest. Pore pressure parameters. Residual strength.
SHALLOW AND DEEP FOUNDATIONS. Bearing capacity and settlements of shallow foundations (individual, strip and mat). Types of piles. Bearing capacity of vertically loaded piles.
RETAINING STRUCTURES. Earth pressure theories. Stability of rigid and flexible retaining walls. Braced exacavations.
Additional notes about suggested reading: the teacher will provide the student essays, viedo, quiz and powerpoint presentations available on the e-learning plattform Moodle.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Holtz. R.D., Kovacs W.D. & Sheahan T.C., An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering. USA: Pearson, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Tonni L. & Gottardi G., Esercizi di Geotecnica. Bologna, Italia: Esculapio, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Budhu M., Soil Mechanics and Foundations. USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Colombo P. & Colleselli F., Elementi di Geotecnica. Bologna, Italia: Zanichelli Editore S.P.A., 2004. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Case study
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

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