Coefficient of earth pressure at rest for sands subjected to vibration

Gholamreza Mesri, Barames Vardhanabhuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An oedometer instrumented to measure horizontal pressure was used to examine the behavior of the coefficient of earth pressure at rest, K o, of clean sands subjected to vertical vibration. Reconstituted specimens of Ottawa, Lake Michigan Beach, and Niigata sands were used in a comprehensive series of tests. The dynamic effort is defined by the ratio of dynamic increase in effective vertical stress to the static effective vertical stress, and frequency and duration of vibration. Dynamic changes in K o are referenced to a series of lines representing the ratio of the increase in effective horizontal stress to the increase in effective vertical stress corresponding to different void ratios or friction angles through the Jaky equation. An increase in Ko occurs when the combination of the initial sand state and dynamic effort results in periodic disengagement of interparticle contacts, producing a periodic decrease in interparticle shearing resistance and thus a periodic fluidization of the sand. The highest values of [Ko]max as well as the lowest values of emin were obtained with dynamic stress ratios equal to or greater than 3-4. Vibration of overconsolidated sands results in an initial Ko drop that increases with previbration density and overconsolidation ratio. Thereafter, the behavior of Ko and void ratio with vibration depend on the potential for fluidization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1263
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


  • Coefficient of earth pressure at rest
  • Compaction
  • Sands
  • Vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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