American Society of Civil Engineers

New Structure-Based Model for Estimating Undrained Shear Strength

by Ozer Cinicioglu, (corresponding author), (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Bogazici Univ., Bebek, Istanbul, Turkey, 34342 E-mail:, Dobroslav Znidarcic, M.ASCE, (Prof., Dept. of Civ., Envir. and Arch. Engrg., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309), and Hon-Yim Ko, M.ASCE, (Prof., Dept. of Civ., Envir. and Arch. Engrg., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 133, No. 10, October 2007, pp. 1290-1301, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper presents an experimental study of the strength in anisotropic clays by means of centrifuge model, cone penetration, and vane shear tests. To understand the effects of void ratio, overconsolidation ratio, and testing rate on the undrained shear strength (Su) of anisotropic Speswhite clay, a new centrifugal testing technique is designed to obtain constant overconsolidation ratio (OCR) profiles with varying void ratios (e), called the “descending gravity test”. The parameters controlling the generation of peak shear strength are quantified. As a result of this function, a new material and rate-dependent surface is defined in the e-OCR-Su space, which is identified as a “structural state capacity surface” since it relates the anisotropic structure to structure inherent capacity and properties. A new function for the estimation of excess pore pressure (uex) generated by cone penetration is found. By combining the strength and pore pressure functions a new model is proposed, called the “CU model.” The CU model is a structure-based model that provides reliable estimates of shear strength for in situ saturated clays using the knowledge of void and overconsolidation ratios. Finally, by combining Su-e-OCR and uex-e-OCR relationships, it estimates the void ratio and OCR profiles of anisotropic clays from piezocone penetration test results.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Cone penetration tests
Overconsolidated soils
Pore water
Shear strength
Water pressure