Stress-Dilatancy, Earth Pressures, and Slopes

by P. W. Rowe,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 3, Pg. 37-62

Document Type: Journal Paper


The physical laws are stated that govern inter-particle sliding in soils that consist of individual particles in contact. A few examples illustrate how these laws fit, and yet qualify, current thought on deformation and failure, energy corrections, and the concept of a yield surface. The general equation for the stability of earth masses is developed and applied to the cases of active and passive pressure, slope stability, and bearing capacity. The equations, which include work done both internally and externally during volume change, yield solutions that are identical to those based on the Coulomb equation in the special case of no volume-change rate during failure. Much more attention to the particulate nature of soils is essential if fundamental progress in soil mechanics is to be achieved. Such treatment can still lead to simple practical applications along lines similar to those in present (1963) use.

Subject Headings: Soil pressure | Slopes | Particles | Failure analysis | Case studies | Laws | Landslides | Deformation (mechanics)

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