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Shweta Sharma

Civil Engineering at AKTU,Lucknow

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FCE 311 – GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING I 2 2.1 OSN - Lecture Notes INTRODUCTION TO SOIL MECHANICS DEFINITION OF SOIL Soil is the relatively loose mass of mineral and organic materials and sediments found above the bedrock, which can be relatively easily broken down into its constituent mineral or organic particles. Fig. 2-1: Soil layers Soil consists of layers of minerals constituents of variable thickness, which differ from the parent materials in the morphological, physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics, as shown in Fig. 2-1. It is thus a natural product of weathering of rocks and decomposition of organic matter. It is an accumulation of individual particles that are bonded together by mechanical or attractive means, the strength of the bonds being a small fraction of the mineral particles. The particles may range from colloidal size to small boulders. Soil can also be referred to as regolith, or loose rock material. 2.2 SOIL MECHANICS AND GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING Soil mechanics is a branch of engineering mechanics that describes the behaviour of soils. Soil mechanics provide the theoretical basis for analysis in geotechnical engineering. UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI Page 2