Assessment of the range of variation of Nγ from 60 estimation methods for footings on sand

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The range of variation of the bearing capacity factor, Nγ, was assessed using 60 estimation methods for rough footings on sand subjected to static vertical loading. The influence on the Nγ values of the use of correlations for the estimation of the friction angle, φ, derived from in situ tests was also assessed. The analysis shows a marked dependency on the methods used to determine Nγ, showing differences for the same φ values of up to 267% between estimated values. Uncertainty in the estimation of φ, due to the use of correlations with in situ tests, leads to a range of variation for Nγ higher than that seen using the 60 estimation methods. Finally, given the regular use of the in situ standard penetration test (SPT) on sands, and based on a series of analyses using finite elements, a simplified method in terms of the SPT N-values is proposed for estimation of Nγ in footings on sands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-800
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013


  • Bearing capacity factor
  • Footings
  • Range of variation
  • Sands
  • Standard penetration test (SPT) N-values


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