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By Malcolm Bolton (auth.)

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Additional info for A Guide to Soil Mechanics

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Let a water pressure be a gauge water pressure, and a total stress be a gauge stress representing the whole superficial thrust of wet soil on a unit area. The effective stress, of vital significance in settlement and friction calculations, is then the difference between the two. 3 Suction Water pressures can be smaller than the pressure of neighbouring atmospheric air. They can even be smaller by a margin that is greater than one atmospheric pressure. In other words not only can gauge water pressures be negative, but also absolute water pressures can be negative: water can carry tension.

The first set consists of gauge water pressures u, which give rise to standpipe water rises h = uhw above the point concerned; these are particularly useful in problems of statics. The second set is typified by standpipe rises h above a constant arbitrary datum, and they can be referred to as 'excess' pore-water pressures ii = 'Ywh; they are particularly useful in problems concerning the flow of water. 5, and the actual pressure head h 1 , it is necessary to know only the position of the point in question above the datum that was used to arrive at the excess head, that is, h 1 = ht - dt .

Although this relative suction acting over the area 1rd2 /4 is tending to draw down the hemispherical meniscus A/B, we observe that upward surface tension T acting on the perimeter 1rd of the meniscus is just able to hold it in equilibrium. 3) he= 4T 'Ywd Making the substitutions T~ 7 x 10- 5 kN/m at 10 °C and 'Yw = 10 kN/m 3 we obtain he~ 3 x 10- 5 /d metres where both he and dare in metres. 001 mm (representing a uniform fine silt) he =30m: if a pure clay were thought to have effective void sizes of 10- 5 mm then its capillary rise becomes almost unimaginably large.

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