Spread Footings in Sand: Load Settlement Curve Approach Academic Article uri icon


  • A study of the assumptions involved in the ultimate bearing capacity equation indicates the shortcomings of that equation and load test data confirm these shortcomings. A new approach using a normalized load settlement curve is proposed to alleviate these shortcomings and to obtain the complete load settlement curve for a footing in sand. The normalization consists of plotting the mean footing pressure divided by a measure of the soil strength within the depth of influence of the footing versus the settlement divided by the footing width. It is shown that the normalized load settlement curve for a footing is independent of footing size and embedment. It is proposed to obtain the normalized curve point-by-point from a soil test. Because the deformation of the soil observed under full-scale footings during loading indicates a barreling effect similar to the soil deformation around a pressuremeter probe, the preboring pressuremeter curve is used to obtain the footing curve. The new method consists of transforming the preboring pressuremeter curve point-by-point into the footing load settlement curve. Load tests and numerical simulations are used to propose a method for a rectangular footing near a slope subjected to an eccentric and inclined load. The new method gives the complete load settlement curve for the footing and alleviates the problems identified with the bearing capacity equation. 2007 ASCE.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

author list (cited authors)

  • Briaud, J.

citation count

  • 61

complete list of authors

  • Briaud, Jean-Louis

publication date

  • August 2007