Guide for Depth of Foundation Exploration

by Ronald E. Smith, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 377-384

Document Type: Journal Paper


A procedure for rapidly determining the depth of exploration beneath a foundation system is presented. The determined depth is based on a widely used settlement criterion and the Boussinesq stress distribution. A single chart is used for surface foundations, whereas embedded foundations require the same chart plus a few simple calculations. The paper was prepared primarily for the benefit of young, inexperienced engineers to provide a sound basis for determining critical depth of exploration.

Subject Headings: Foundations | Stress distribution | Boussinesq equations | Professional societies

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