To understand the fundamental significance of effective stress in the study of soil mechanics. To determine values of total stress, pore water pressure and effective stress. To appreciate the effects of geological and stress history on the behaviour of a soil and the difference between normally consolidated and overconsolidated soils. To understand the state of stresses that can exist in the ground and how they are changed due to engineering processes. To introduce the theory of pore pressure parameters. To appreciate the effects of capillary rise above a water table. To understand the pore pressure and effective stress state above a water table. To appreciate the effects of desiccation in clay soils and the problems of expansive soils. To be aware of the problems associated with freezing and thawing of the ground. Total stress is the stress acting on a plane assuming the soil to be a solid material, the force from the soil particles and the pore water applied over an area. For the present, assume that this stress is the only stress acting between the soil particles. This stress is effective in providing shear strength or in supporting the soil particle structure against compression and is referred to as the effective stress.
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