We knew that the main function of the foundation is to transmit the load to the soil from structure either building, bridges, dam, etc.,

So the foundation depth of the structure needs to be designed in such a way that neither the soil does not fail nor settle due to the load carried over it.

To achieve the required depth and strong foundation, we need to study the soil where the construction is going to take place. So in this post, we are going to discuss the bearing capacity of soil

What is the bearing capacity of Soil? bearing capacity of soil

The maximum capacity of the soil that supports the structural load without any shear failure or settlement is called the bearing capacity of the soil. It is calculated in load per unit area.

Factors affecting bearing capacity

When soil is imposed by loads such as buildings, bridges, etc, it tends to deform or settle. It greatly depends on the soil properties such as

  • Density of soil
  • Water Content
  • The angle of internal friction
  • Shear strength
  • Permeability

Methods of Determining Bearing Capacity of Soil

  • Presumptive Analysis
  • Analytical Methods
  • Plate Bearing Test
  • Standard Penetration Test
  • Modern Testing Methods
  • Centrifuge Test

Bearing Capacity Of Different Types Of Soil

1 Loose Gravel 98
2 Fine Sand, Loose & Dry 98
3 Moist Clay 147
4 Medium Clay 245
5 Fine Sand & Silt 245
6 Soft Rock 441
7 Gravel Sand 441
8 Coarse Sand, Compact & Dry 441
9 Coarse Sand, Compact & Dry 441
10 Hard Clay 451
11 Residual deposits of Shatters & broken bedrock 883
12 Sand Stone, Lime Stone 1618
13 Hard rock – Granite,Dionite 3236

Happy Learning 🙂


Bala is a Planning & QS Engineer working at Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Limited. He is the author, editor of Civil Planets.

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