New York's Glacial Lake Formation of Varved Silt and Clay

by James D. Parsons, (F.ASCE), Consulting Engr.; Asheville, N.C.; formerly, Assoc. Part. and Sr. Assoc., Mueser, Rutledge, Wentworth & Johnston, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 6, Pg. 605-638

Document Type: Journal Paper


The principal and distinct subsoil of New York City is a varved glacial lake formation. While this formation has been considered, for many years, unsatisfactory for the support of heavy structures, laboratory testing of samples from the formation have demonstrated that it has been heavily preconsolidated. Settlement analyses have indicated that medium to high-rise structures accordingly may be supported above it with tolerable settlements. This paper presents the analyses and observations of settlement on a number of structures so supported and analyzes the conclusions derived from such observations regarding consolidation of the deposit and settlement of structures.

Subject Headings: Clays | Structural settlement | Structural analysis | Lakes | Silt | Laboratory tests | Soil settlement | Subsoils | New York | United States | New York City

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