Nomographs for predicting allowable bearing capacity and elastic settlement of shallow foundation on granular soil

  • Maher OmarEmail author
  • Abdallah Shanableh
  • Khaled Hamad
  • Ali Tahmaz
  • Mohamed G. Arab
  • Zaid Al-Sadoon
Original Paper


Prediction of allowable bearing capacity of granular soil requires an intensive field investigation program. This research proposes empirical correlations to predict the allowable bearing capacity and elastic settlement of shallow foundation on granular soils. The current correlation using only standard penetration blow count number and soil unit weight an estimation of the bearing capacity can be attained. Such correlations can be used at the preliminary stage of estimating the allowable bearing capacity and elastic settlement of shallow foundation on granular soils and can help site engineers make immediate decisions in cases of field variations given in soil reports. Moreover, it can be used to create a map for the country in basis of the allowable bearing capacity based on few soil parameters. In this study, database of granular soil properties obtained from 650 boreholes collected from various locations in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, were used to develop the governing predictive equations. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to develop mathematical models and nomographic solutions to predict the allowable bearing capacity and elastic settlement of shallow foundation. Following development of predictive equations, a set of data collected from 40 boreholes and 20 zone load tests was used to verify validity of the predictive model. The results indicated that the nomographs could effectively predict allowable bearing capacity within ± 15% confidence interval and the elastic settlement within ± 10%.


Shallow foundations Allowable bearing capacity Elastic settlement Multiple regression Nomograph 


  1. Bowles JE (1987) Elastic Foundation Settlements on Sand Deposits. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE 113(8):846–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burland JB, Burbidge MC (1985) Settlement of foundations on sand and gravel. Proc Inst Civ Eng 78(1):1325–1381Google Scholar
  3. Das BM, Sivakugan N (2007) Settlement of shallow foundations on granular soil—an overview. Int J Geotech Eng 1(1):19–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Beer EE (1965) Bearing capacity and settlement of shallow foundations on sand. In: International proc. of the bearing capacity and settlement of foundations symposium. Duke University, Durham, pp 15–34Google Scholar
  5. Erzin Y, Gul TO (2014) The use of neural networks for the prediction of the settlement of one-way footings on cohesionless soils based on standard penetration test. Neural Comput & Applic 24(3–4):891–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gupta R, Goyal K, Yadav N (2016) Prediction of safe bearing capacity of noncohesive soil in arid zone using artificial neural networks. Int J Geomech 16(2):04015044. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hansen JB (1970) Revised and extended formula for bearing capacity. Danish Geotech Inst Copenhagen Bull 28:5–11Google Scholar
  8. Kalinli A, Cemal Acar M, Gunduz Z (2011) New approaches to determine the ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations based on artificial neural networks and ant colony optimization. Eng Geol 117:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Marto A, Hajihassani M, Momeni E (2014) Bearing capacity of shallow foundation’s prediction through hybrid artificial neural networks. Appl Mech Mater 567:681–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mayne P, Illingworth F (2010) Direct CPT method for footing response in sands using a database approach. The 2nd international symposium on cone penetration testing, Huntington BeachGoogle Scholar
  11. Meyerhof GG (1956) Penetration tests and bearing capacity of cohesionless soils. Soil Mech Found Div, ASCE 82:1), 1–1),19Google Scholar
  12. Meyerhof GG (1963) Some recent research on the bearing capacity of foundations. Can Geotech J 1:16–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nazir R et al (2014) Prediction of spread foundations’ settlement in cohesionless soils using a hybrid particle swarm optimization-based ANN approach. Proc. of the Intl. Conf. On advances in civil, structural and mechanical engineering – CSM 2014, London, pp 20–24Google Scholar
  14. Nazir R et al (2015) An artificial neural network approach for prediction of bearing capacity of spread foundations. Sand Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences & Engineering) 72(3):9–14Google Scholar
  15. Ornek M, Laman M, Demir A, Yildiz A (2012) Prediction of bearing capacity of circular footings on soft clay stabilized with granular soil. Soils Found 52(1):69–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Padmini D, Ilamparuthi K, Sudheer KP (2008) Ultimate bearing capacity prediction of shallow foundations on cohesionless soils using neurofuzzy models. Comput Geotech 35(1):33–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Prandtl L (1921) On the penetrating strengths (hardness) of plastic construction materials and the strength of cutting edges. Z Angew Math Mech 1:15–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Reissner H (1924) Zum Erddruck problem (concerning the earth–pressure problem). In: International proceedings of the first International Congress of Applied Mechanics. Delft, Germany, pp 295–311Google Scholar
  19. Schmertmann JH (1970) Static cone to compute static settlement over sand. J Soil Mech Found Div ASCE 96(3):1011–1043Google Scholar
  20. Schmertmann JH, Hartman JP, Brown PR (1978) Improved strain influence factor diagrams. J Geotech Eng Div ASCE 104(8):1131–1135Google Scholar
  21. Shahin MA, Maier HR, Jaksa MB (2002) Predicting settlement of shallow foundations using neural networks. J Geotech Geoenviron 128(9):785–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sivakugan N, Johnson K (2004) Settlement predictions in granular soils: a probabilistic approach. Geotechnique 54(7):499–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Soleimanbeigi A, Hataf N (2005) Predicting ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations on reinforced cohesionless soils using artificial neural networks. Geosynth Int 12(6):321–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Terzaghi K (1943) Theoretical soil mechanics. John Wiley and Sons, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Terzaghi K, Peck RB (1948) Soil mechanics in engineering practice, 1st edn. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Vesic AS (1973) Analysis of ultimate loads of shallow foundations. J Soil Mech Found Div ASCE 99:45–73Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maher Omar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdallah Shanableh
    • 1
  • Khaled Hamad
    • 1
  • Ali Tahmaz
    • 1
  • Mohamed G. Arab
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zaid Al-Sadoon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringMansoura UniversityMansouraEgypt

Personalised recommendations