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Soil Mechanics – Consolidation


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:

$$ s = H \varepsilon_v = \frac{H \Delta e}{1  + e_0} $$


s = settlement

H = layer thickness

\(e_0\) = initial void ratio

\(Delta e\) = change of the void ratio due to the increase in vertical stress at the midpoint of the layer

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