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An Introduction to Soil Mechanics

  • Textbook
  • © 2018


  • Presents soil mechanics from an engineering mechanics viewpoint
  • Provides clear presentations, with worked examples, exercises, illustrations, and computer programs
  • Includes references to additional material (illustrations, videos) on the internet
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Theory and Applications of Transport in Porous Media (TATP, volume 30)

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About this book

This textbook offers a superb introduction to theoretical and practical soil mechanics. Special attention is given to the risks of failure in civil engineering, and themes covered include stresses in soils, groundwater flow, consolidation, testing of soils, and stability of slopes.

Readers will learn the major principles and methods of soil mechanics, and the most important methods of determining soil parameters both in the laboratory and in situ. The basic principles of applied mechanics, that are frequently used, are offered in the appendices. The author’s considerable experience of teaching soil mechanics is evident in the many features of the book: it is packed with supportive color illustrations, helpful examples and references. Exercises with answers enable students to self-test their understanding and encourage them to explore further through additional online material. Numerous simple computer programs are provided online as Electronic Supplementary Material. 

As a soil mechanics textbook, this volume is ideally suited to supporting undergraduate civil engineering students.

“I am really delighted that your book is now published. When I “discovered” your course a few years ago, I was elated to have finally found a book that immediately resonated with me.  Your approach to teaching soil mechanics is precise, rigorous, clear, concise, or in other words “crisp." My colleagues who share the teaching of Soil Mechanics 1 and 2 (each course is taught every semester) at the UMN have also adopted your book.”

Emmanuel Detournay

Professor at Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, University of Minnesota, USA

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Table of contents (48 chapters)


Authors and Affiliations

  • Delft, The Netherlands

    Arnold Verruijt

About the author

Prof. Arnold Verruijt is Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He received his MSc and PhD degrees in 1964 and 1969 from this university. He stayed with the university until he retired in 2002, interrupted by Visitor Professorships at Ontario (Canada), Haifa (Israel) and Sydney (Australia). He has published many papers and several books on groundwater flow and soil mechanics, usually with an emphasis on theoretical solutions of engineering problems. His main research interests are the development of analytical and numerical solution methods, such as the complex variable method and the finite element method.

Prof. Verruijt is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science (KNAW) and an honorable member of the Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI). In 1997, he was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix. At Delft University of Technology he was known as an excellent teacher,

for which he received the (first) Master Prize of the Delft University Foundation. In 2014, he received the Biot medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for his pioneering contributions to the theory of poroelasticity.

He also acted as consultant on engineering projects, such as tunnels, river embankments and storm surge barriers, mainly in the Netherlands but also abroad. 

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