Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–12

Some remarks on the coefficient of earth pressure at rest in compacted sandy gravel

Research Paper


In compacted coarse-grained materials, the stress state is largely influenced by the compaction procedure and by the characteristics of the single grains (mineralogy, shape). In this work, two compacted sandy gravels with the same grading but different grain properties have been tested in a large soft oedometer to highlight this influence. In the first part of the paper, the effect of oedometric ring deformability on the stress state is quantified in the framework of elastoplasticity. It is then shown that, for the adopted apparatus and for the tests carried out, the error in the measurement of the coefficient of earth pressure at rest K0 caused by ring deformability is very small. The two tested materials, compacted by wet tamping, behave differently because of their different grain properties, showing, respectively, small and large grain breakage. In primary loading, the more crushable material has values of K0 that compare well with Jaky’s (J Soc Hungarian Archit Eng 355–358, 1944) equation at any stress level and for every tested soil density. For the material with stronger grains, only very loose specimens that have undergone little or no compaction have a similar behaviour, while the denser specimens show the typical behaviour of overconsolidated soils, with values of K0 initially larger than that suggested by Jaky (J Soc Hungarian Archit Eng 355–358, 1944) for normally consolidated soils, tending to it only at the largest applied stress values. By considering the complex combined effect of tamping and grain crushing on the stress state and on the overconsolidation ratio of the soil at the end of compaction, these experimental evidences have been qualitatively explained.


Coefficient of earth pressure at rest Compacted material Grain breakage Gravel 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hydraulic, Geotechnical and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Napoli Federico IINaplesItaly

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