Differential Settlement at Selfridge Air Force Base

by George B. Wallace,
William C. Otto,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 5, Pg. 197-220

Document Type: Journal Paper


Structural damage of buildings is noted after 25 yr of satisfactory service. Surveys for a 6-yr period have shown movements that tipped and warped floors and walls. Calculations show that variation in thickness of buried clay strata can result in detrimental movements following an extended period of acceptable settlement. In-situ studies of individual strata by embedded transformer gages at various depths show that critical movements occur in the deeper strata. Laboratory tests show that these deep clay strata are of low density, wet, soft, and sensitive. Actual movement of some foundations agreed with theoretical values, whereas others did not. Evidence, including data from nuclear probes, indicates that the free waterline has lowered unevenly in recent years. The resulting load increases, combined with shifting building loads, apparently have overstressed the low shearing resistance of the sensitive clays in some areas and caused in-situ remolding, with attendant abnormal settlements.

Subject Headings: Soil settlement | Clays | Differential settlement | Field tests | Shear resistance | Damage (structural) | Geomatic surveys | Warpage

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