Last Updated  S012019 
BCS207S
Unit Name  Soil Mechanics 
Unit Code  BCS207S 
Unit Duration  1 Semester 
Award 
Bachelor of Science (Engineering) Duration 3 years 
Year Level  Two 
Unit Creator / Reviewer  N/A 
Core/Elective:  Core 
Pre/Corequisites  BCS106S, BSC107C 
Credit Points 
3 Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3) 
Mode of Delivery  Online or oncampus. 
Unit Workload  (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery) Prerecordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours Tutorial – 1.5 hours Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours Personal Study recommended – 5 hours 
Unit Description and General Aims
The objective in presenting this unit is to impart to students the principles of soil mechanics, particularly the behaviour of soil under mechanical pressure (stress) and deformation upon interaction with water.
The subject matter covered in this unit will include: the description of soils on the REV scale and the characterisation and classification of soils; the principles of fluid mechanics based on the description of water head using Bernoulli’s and other equations; the determination of flow nets and hydraulic conductivity; fundamental mechanical concepts such as the effective stress concept, strength of soils, consolidation, settlement, and testing procedures. Limited working knowledge of the geological principles and procedures used in a site investigation is introduced, as it is required by engineers involved in foundation works.
At the conclusion of this unit, students will have acquired specialised knowledge of soil mechanics and be able to undertake a variety of soil mechanics analyses.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:
 Demonstrate a broad knowledge of fundamental phase relationships for soils; understand and apply soil and engineering use classification systems and perform and analyse results in tests for determining the compaction and field density of soils.
Bloom’s Level 2  Determine and classify the hydraulic conductivity of soils in the lab and in the field.
Bloom’s Level 4  Analyse seepage flows through saturated soils.
Bloom’s Level 4  Demonstrate and assess the role of effective stress in soil mechanics theory, and describe the strength of soils based on test results and basic theories.
Bloom’s Level 5  Describe and analyse consolidation of finegrained soils and the testing methods that are used for these.
Bloom’s Level 4  Conduct soil mechanics practicals.
Bloom’s Level 3
Student assessment
Assessment Type  When assessed  Weighting (% of total unit marks)  Learning Outcomes Assessed 
Assessment 1 Type: Multichoice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation Example Topic: Foundations of Soil Engineering & Soil Analysis Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts. 
Due after Topic 3  15%  1, 2, 3 
Assessment 2 Type: Multichoice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation Example Topic: Classification and Compaction; Soil Water Students may be asked to provide solutions to simple problems on various topics. 
Due after Topic 6  20%  2, 3, 4, 5 
Assessment 3 Type: Multichoice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report Example Topics: Soil Stress and Settlement; Soil Shear Strength OR Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or use software to complete a practical. 
Due after Topic 10  20%  4, 5, 6 
Assessment 4 Type: Examination An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours. 
Final Week  40%  1 to 6 
Attendance / Tutorial Participation Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, selfassessment/reflection, case study analysis, application. 
Continuous  5%  1 to 6 
Prescribed and Recommended Readings
Required textbook(s)
Knappett, J.A., 2012, Craig's Soil Mechanics, 8th Edition, Spoon Press.
Reference Materials
Das, B.M. 2010, Principles of Geotechnical Engineering, SI version, 8th Edition, Cengage Learning, Stamford, Conn.
Budhu, M., 2011. Soil Mechanics and Foundations, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA
Unit Content
Topic 1
Introduction – Basic characteristics of soils
• The origin of soils
• The nature of soils
• Plasticity of finegrained soils
• Particle size analysis
• Soil description and classification
• Phase relationships
• Soil compaction
Topic 2
Seepage – Soil Water and Permeability
• Soil water
• Permeability and testing
• Seepage theory
• Flow Nets
• Anisotropic soil conditions
• Nonhomogeneous soil conditions
• Numerical solution using the Finite Difference Method
• Transfer condition
• Seepage through embankment dams
• Filter design
Topics 3 & 4
Effective Stress and Consolidation
• The principle of effective stress
• Numerical solution using the Finite Difference Method
• Response of effective stress to a change in total stress
• Effective stress in partially saturated soils
• Influence of seepage on effective stress
• Liquefaction
• The oedometer test
• Consolidation settlement
• Degree of consolidation
• Terzaghi’s theory of onedimensional consolidation
• Determination of coefficient of consolidation
• Secondary compression
• Numerical solution using the Finite Difference Method
• Correction for the construction period
• Vertical Drains
• Preloading
Topic 5
Soil behaviour in shear
• An introduction to continuum mechanics
• Simple models of soil elasticity
• Simple models of soil plasticity
• Laboratory shear tests
• Shear strength of coarsegrained soils
• Shear strength of saturated finegrained soils
• The critical state framework
• Residual strength
• Estimating strength parameters from index tests
Topics 6 and 7
Ground Investigation and Insitu Testing
• Methods of intrusive investigation
• Soil Sampling
• Selection of laboratory test method(s)
• Borehole logs
• Cone Penetration Testing (CPT)
• Geophysical methods
• Contaminated ground
• Introduction to Insitu testing
• Standard Penetration Test (SPT)
• Field Vane Test (FVT)
• Pressuremeter Test (PMT)
• Cone Penetration Test (CPT)
• Selection of insitu test method(s)
Topics 8 and 9
Applications of Soil Mechanics – Shallow and Deep foundations
• Shallow Foundations
• Bearing capacity and limit analysis
• Bearing capacity in undrained materials
• Bearing capacity in drained materials
• Stresses beneath shallow foundations
• Settlements from elastic theory
• Settlements from consolidation theory
• Settlement from insitu test data 311
• Limit state design
• Deep Foundations
• Pile resistance under compressive loads
• Pile resistance from insitu test data
• Settlement of piles
• Piles under tensile loads
• Load testing
• Pile groups
• Negative skin friction
Topic 10
Stability of earthretaining structures
• Basic Concepts of Lateral Earth Pressures
• Coulomb’s Earth Pressure Theory
• Rankine’s Lateral Earth Pressure for a Sloping Backfill and a Sloping Wall Face
• Lateral Earth Pressures for a Total Stress Analysis
• Application of Lateral Earth Pressures to Retaining Walls
• Types of Retaining Walls and Modes of Failure
• Stability of Rigid Retaining Walls
• Stability of Flexible Retaining Walls
• Analysis of Sheet Pile Walls in Uniform Soils
• Analysis of Sheet Pile Walls in Mixed Soils
• Analysis of Cantilever Sheet Pile Walls
• Analysis of Anchored Sheet Pile Walls
Topic 11
Slope stability
• Types of Slope Failure
• Causes of Slope Failure
• Erosion
• Rainfall
• Earthquakes
• Geological Features
• External Loading
• Construction Activities
• Excavated Slopes
• Fill Slopes
• Rapid Drawdown
• Infinite Slopes
• TwoDimensional Slope Stability Analyses
• Rotational Slope Failures
• Method of Slices (Bishop’s Method, Janbu’s Method)
• Cemented Soils
• Application of the Method of Slices
• Procedure for the Method of Slices
• Stability of Slopes with Simple Geometry (Taylor’s Method, Bishop–Morgenstern Method)
• Factor of Safety
Topic 12
Unit Review
In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of students’ work and to clarify any outstanding issues.
Software/Hardware Used
Software

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Version: N/A

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Hardware
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