2021 Soil Mechanics I

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Takemura Jiro 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon5-6(M114)  Thr5-6(M114)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

 Soils are important engineering materials with complex mechanical characteristics. Among various basic knowledges on the soils to understand such characteristics, the followings are explained in this class.
1. Formation of soil deposits, 2. Physical and chemical properties of soils, 3. Soil classification, 4. Soil investigation methods, 5. Stress in ground (Principle of Effective Stress), 6. Seepage in ground, 7. Compression and consolidation of clay, 8. Mechanical properties of compacted soils

Student learning outcomes

Infrastructures and lifelines are basic components in the built environment. Knowledge and deep insight on the ground are critical in the design, construction and maintenance of those structures. In this class the students study about the ground formed in huge time and space, especially about basics, such as, 1) creation of soils and formation of soil deposits, 2) basic physical properties of soils, 3) soil classification methods, 4) soil investigation methods, 5) stresses in ground, 6) theory of ground water seepage,7) compression and consolidation of clay, (8)mechanical properties of compacted soils.


soil mechanics, basic physical properties of soils, soil classification, ground seepage, compression and consolidation, unsaturated soils, compaction

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

At the end of each lecture short test is made on the issues studied in the class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Standpoint of soil mechanics in geotechnical engineering、Materials and environment at the surface of the Earth, Formation of geological unit Understanding geotechnical engineering problems and role of soil mechanics Understanding geo materials and formation of geological units
Class 2 Basic physical properties of soils Understanding the basic component of soils (solid, liquid and gas phases) and basic physical properties determined by the composition of these phases.
Class 3 Soil mineralogy, composition and classification Understanding soil mineralogy and engineering classification of soil based on composition of grain size of soil particle
Class 4 Soil consistency, soil investigation, soil characterization, soil profile Understanding soil consistency, Atterberg limits and classification of fine soil. Understanding the method of soil characterization and soil profiles in the actual ground
Class 5 Stresses in ground(effective stress, total stress, pore water pressure), elastic stress distribution Understanding the principle of effective stress and stress distribution by the elastic theory
Class 6 Ground water seepage (hydraulic head, head loss and Darcy's law) 地盤中の水の流れの基本法則であるダルシー側の理解
Class 7 Ground water seepage (determination of hydraulic conductivity, basic equation of steady state flow and flownet ) Understanding permeameter tests, derivation of basic equation of steady state flow (Laplace eq.), and understanding the flownet
Class 8 Ground water seepage (solutions of boundary value problems, stress under seepage flow) Understanding some solutions of the basic equation of steady state seepage (dam and wells), and also seepage force and stresses under ground water seepage
Class 9 Compression of soils Understanding compression behavior of clayey soil
Class 10 One dimensional consolidation equation, Understanding derivation of 1D consolidation equation and some solutions
Class 11 Consolidation tests, settlement calculation Understanding standard consolidation test and consolidation settlement analyses
Class 12 Characteristics of unsaturated soils Understanding the conditions of soils above ground water surface
Class 13 Soil compaction and Proctor's principle Understanding soil compaction, Proctor's principle and its interpretation
Class 14 Engineering properties of compacted unsaturated soils, construction of roadbed and subgrade of pavement, fill dam Understanding the engineering properties of unsaturated compacted soils and design and construction of pavement structures and fill dam

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Soil Mechanics 2nd ed. Kenji Ishihara, Maruzen

Reference books, course materials, etc.

handout and related materials are uploaded in OCWi and also delivered at the lecture time

Assessment criteria and methods

Short quiz in each class: 50%, intermediate assignment:25% and final assignment:25%

Related courses

  • CVE.C202 : Soil Mechanics II
  • CVE.C311 : Geotechnical Engineering in Practice
  • CVE.C401 : Mechanics of Geomaterials
  • CVE.C402 : Stability Problems in Geotechnical Engineering
  • CVE.C431 : Physical Modeling in Geotechnics
  • CVE.C403 : Geo-environmental Engineering
  • CVE.N231 : Concrete and Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory I
  • CVE.N331 : Concrete and Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory II

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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