Consolidation is a form of settlement where the air and liquids in a soil (the voids) are removed due to pressures acting on the soil. Consolidation can occur over a long period of time and can destroy structures if not address soon enough.
The distance of consolidation is determined using this equation:
s = settlement
H = layer thickness
= initial void ratio
= change of the void ratio due to the increase in vertical stress at the midpoint of the layer