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Featured in Print: Soils and Foundations Reference Manual

soils-and-foundations-cover-volume-i-digestWay back in the 1980’s, the Federal Highway Administration was faced with a problem: how is it possible to disseminate new technologies and methods to the state departments of transportation when many of their personnel lack a basic understanding of soil mechanics as an engineering discipline to evaluate changes?  Or, from another perspective, how is it possible for these people to intelligently evaluate proposals from industry without this knowledge?

The answer to this was the Soils and Foundations Workshop, introduced in 1982 and authored by Richard Cheney and Ronald Chassie.  In addition to the many live workshops these men gave, the first FHWA publication on the subject was widely disseminated by Pile Buck in its “White Book” series.  It has since become the best short course on soil mechanics and foundations in the United States.  Its contents are as follows:

  1. soils-and-foundations-cover-volume-ii-digestIntroduction
  2. Stress and Strain in Soils
  3. Subsurface Explorations
  4. Engineering Description, Classification and Characteristics of Soils and Rocks
  5. Laboratory Testing for Geotechnical Design and Construction
  6. Slope Stability
  7. Approach Roadway Deformations
  8. Shallow Foundations
  9. Deep Foundations
  10. Earth Retaining Structures
  11. Geotechnical Reports
  12. References

It includes several worked examples and an extensive test case with field data.

The current edition of the Soils and Foundations Reference Manual is the 2006 edition, which is featured in two handy digest volumes.  Although it does not cover some topics that generally appear in introductory soil mechanics courses (most notably permeability) and others not in the depth one would expect, its coverage of field testing and data is much more in depth than is found in most soil mechanics textbooks.  It is one of the best general references on the subject in print.  You can order it from the following links, or click on the book covers:


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