Course Title: 
Geotechnical Engineering
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Undergraduate (UG)
School of Engineering

'Geotechnical Engineering' is a course offered in the fifth semester of B. Tech. in Civil Engineering program at School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Unit 1

Shear strength of soils: Mohr – Coulomb Failure theories – Types of laboratory strengthtests – strength tests based on drainage conditions – Shear strength of sands – Critical Void Ratio – Liquefaction - shear strength of clays.

Soil Exploration: Need – Methods of soil exploration – Boring and Sampling methods – Field tests – Penetration Tests – Plate load test – Pressure meter – Planning of programme and preparation of soil investigation report.

Unit 2

Shallow Foundations: Types - choice of foundation – Location of depth – Safe Bearing Capacity – Terzaghi, Meyerhof, Skempton and IS Methods.

Safe bearing pressure based on N-value – allowable bearing pressure; safe bearing capacity and settlement from plate load test – allowable settlements of structures – Settlement Analysis.

Pile Foundation: Types of piles – Load carrying capacity of piles based on static pile formulae – Dynamic pile formulae – Pile load tests - Load carrying capacity of pile groups in sands and clays – Settlement of pile groups.

Well Foundations: Types – Components of well foundation – functions and design. Design Criteria – Sinking of wells – Tilts and shifts.

Unit 3

Earth Slope Stability: Infinite and finite earth slopes – types of failures – factor of safety of infinite slopes – stability analysis by Swedish arc method, standard method of slices, Bishop’s Simplified method – Taylor’s Stability Number.

Earth Pressure Theories: Rankine’s theory of earth pressure – Earth pressure in layered soils – Coulomb’s earth pressure theory – Culmann’s graphical method.

Retaining Walls: Types of retaining walls – stability of retaining walls.


  • Gopal Ranjan and A. S. R. Rao, “Basic and Applied Soil Mechanics”, New Age International Pvt. Ltd, 2004.
  • Venkataramaiah. C., “Geotechnical Engineering”, New Age International Publishers, 2006.


  • Varghese, P. C., “Foundation Engineering”, PHI Learning, 2009.
  • Das, B. M., “Principles of Foundation Engineering”, CL Engineering, 2013.
  • Bowles, J. E., “Foundation Analysis and Design”, Tata McGraw Hill, 1996.
  • Swami Saran, “Analysis and Design of Substructures”, Oxford and IBH Publishing Company Pvt Ltd, 2008 .
  • Teng, W. C, “Foundation Design”, Prentice Hall, 1998.