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Elastic Properties of Soils

Can you suggest values for elastic soil properties?


Many sources list elastic properties of various soil types. The data below is taken from
Foundation Analysis and Design (5th Edition), by J.E. Bowles, 1996 McGraw-Hill.

Poisson’s ratio:

Clay, saturated: 0.4 to 0.5
Clay, unsaturated: 0.1 to 0.3
Sandy clay: 0.2 to 0.3
Silt: 0.3 to 0.35
Sand, gravelly sand: 0.1 to 1.0 (not elastic but 0.3 to 0.4 commonly used)
Rock: 0.1 to 0.3
Loess: 0.1 to 0.3

Poisson’s ratio:

Most clay soils: 0.4 to 0.5
Saturated clay soils: 0.45 to 0.5
Cohesionless, medium and dense: 0.3 to 0.4
Cohesionless, loose to medium: 0.2 to 0.35

Young’s modulus (MPa):

Clay:
Very soft: 2 to 15
Soft: 5 to 25
Medium: 15 to 50
Hard: 50 to 100
Sandy: 25 to 250
Glacial till:
Loose: 10 to 150
Dense: 150 to 720
Very dense: 500 to 1440
Loess: 15 to 60
Sand:
Silty: 5 to 20
Loose: 10 to 25
Dense: 50 to 81
Sand and gravel:

Loose: 50 to 150
Dense:100 to 200
Shale: 150 to 5,000
Silt: 2 to 20

Modulus of subgrade reaction (Westergaard’s modulus) (kN/m³):

Loose sand: 4,800 to 16,000

Medium dense sand: 9,600 to 80,000

Dense sand: 64,000 to 128,000

Clayey medium dense sand: 32,000 to 80,000

Silty medium dense sand: 24,000 to 48,000

Clayey soil: qa< 200kPa: 12,000 to 24,000 200kPa < qa < 800kPa: 24,000 to 48,000 qa > 800kPa: > 48,000

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