Research Paper

Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 31-40

First online:

Numerical investigation of undrained cavity expansion in fine-grained soils

  • Abid AliAffiliated withIndian Institute of Technology Delhi
  • , Thomas MeierAffiliated withBaugrund Dresden
  • , Ivo HerleAffiliated withInstitute of Geotechnical Engineering, TU-Dresden Email author 

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Based on the spherical cavity expansion (SCE) problem, Cudmani and Osinov (Can Geotech J 38:622–638, 2001), Osinov and Cudmani (Int J Numer Anal Method Geomech 25:473–495, 2001) developed a semi-empirical method of interpretation of CPT for coarse-grained soils (sand, gravel) using a hypoplastic constitutive model. Using a material-independent shape factor, the cone penetration resistance was related to the limit pressure required to expand a spherical cavity. The shape factor was observed to be a function of the soil state only, in particular the pressure-dependent relative density. This paper presents an analogous interpretation technique for CPT in fine-grained soils using the shape factor concept, Cavity Expansion approach, and a hypoplastic constitutive model. Relations for the shape factor and the limit pressure have been proposed based on the parameters affecting these quantities. A validation of the proposed interpretation technique with experimental results has also been performed.


CPT Cavity expansion Shape factor Limit pressure Hypoplasticity