The better question is this: where would geotechnical engineering be without DM 7.01: Soil Mechanics and its follow-up, DM 7.02: Foudations and Earth Structures? First, an explanation: “DM” stands for “Design Manual,” and a series of these were issued by the U.S. Navy in the 1960’s and 1970’s as guidance in designing and building the many bases, ports, harbours and other structures that it uses. Most of the Design Manuals have been forgotten; not DM 7. True to the geotechnical tradition, the information compiled in this series has become something of a “core knowledge” item for those in the profession.
It’s difficult to name a basic soil mechanics or foundations text produced during or since the 1970’s without at least one chart, drawing or reference to this, to say nothing of other publications from practical guides to peer-reviewed papers. As J. Ledlie Klosky explained in his introduction:
…it represents perhaps THE principal compendium of geotechnical knowledge used by designers between 1982 and around the turn of the century. It is a testament to the strength of the document that some of the design methods presented are still in use today.
- DM 7.01: Soil Mechanics
- Identification and Classification of Solid Rock
- Field Exploration, Testing and Instrumentation
- Laboratory Testing
- Analysis of Settlement and Volume Expansion
- Seepage and Drainage
- Slope Stability and Protection
- DM 7.02: Foundations and Earth Structures
- Compaction, Earthwork and Hydraulic Fills
- Analysis of Walls and Retaining Structures
- Shallow Foundations
- Deep Foundations
Strengths: even after all of these years, still a very strong reference for the topics it covers, containing information that is hard to find elsewhere.
Weaknesses: some of the data and methodology is “long in the tooth” (especially in 7.02) and must be used with care. Also its explanations of procedures are concise to the point of being cryptic; cannot be used as a textbook by itself. In our geotechnical courses, we coordinate it with actual textbooks.
These two volumes have been best-sellers for the site: they’re a big reason why it’s still here. So how do you get them? We actually put out three different books based on them:
- An economical paperback edition of DM 7.01 (Soil Mechanics); you can click here or on the photo above to order.
- An economical paperback edition of DM 7.02 (Foundations and Earth Structures); you can click here or on the photo above to order.
- A combined hardback edition containing both. It has an ISBN (978 1257064236) so it can be ordered by bookstores.
It’s been around for a long time but remains the most comprehensive reference of its kind available.