# Effective stress

Karl von Terzaghi first proposed the relationship for**effective stress**in 1936. [*http://fbe.uwe.ac.uk/public/geocal/SoilMech/stresses/stresses.htm*] For him, the term ‘effective’ meant the calculated stress that was effective in moving soil, or causing displacements. It represents the average stress carried by the soil skeleton.Effective stress (σ') acting on a soil is calculated from two parameters, total stress (σ) and

pore water pressure (u) according to::$sigma\text{'}\; =\; sigma\; -\; u,$Typically, for simple examples:$egin\{align\}sigma\; =\; H\_\{soil\}gamma\_\{soil\}\backslash u\; =\; H\_wgamma\_wend\{align\}$

Much like the concept of stress itself, the formula is a construct, for the easier visualization of forces acting on a soil mass, especially simple analysis models for

slope stability , involving a slip plane. [*http://www.dur.ac.uk/~des0www4/cal/slopes/page4.htm*] With these models, it is important to know the total weight of the soil above (including water), and the pore water pressure within the slip plane, assuming it is acting as a confined layer.However, the formula becomes confusing when considering the true behaviour of the soil particles under different measurable conditions, since none of the parameters are actually independent actors on the particles.

Consider a grouping of round

quartz sand grains, piled loosely, in a classic ‘cannonball’ arrangement. As can be seen, there is a contact stress where the spheres actually touch. Pile on more spheres and the contact stresses increase, to the point of causing frictional instability (dynamicfriction ), and perhaps failure. The independent parameter affecting the contacts (both normal and shear) is the force of the spheres above. This can be calculated by using the overall averagedensity of the spheres and the height of spheres above.If we then have these spheres in a

beaker and add some water, they will begin to float a little depending on their density (buoyancy ). With natural soil materials, the effect can be significant, as anyone who has lifted a large rock out of a lake can attest. The contact stress on the spheres decreases as the beaker is filled to the top of the spheres, but then nothing changes if more water is added. Although the water pressure between the spheres (pore water pressure) is increasing, the effective stress remains the same, because the concept of 'total stress' includes the weight of all the water above. This is where the equation can become confusing, and the effective stress can be calculated using the buoyant density of the spheres (soil), and the height of the soil above.The concept of effective stress truly becomes interesting when dealing with non-

hydrostatic pore water pressure. Under the conditions of a pore pressure gradient, the ground water flows, according to the permeability equation (Darcy's law ). Using our spheres as a model, this is the same as injecting (or withdrawing) water between the spheres. If water is being injected, the seepage force acts to separate the spheres and reduces the effective stress. Thus, the soil mass becomes weaker. If water is being withdrawn, the spheres are forced together and the effective stress increases. [*http://fbe.uwe.ac.uk/public/geocal/SoilMech/water/water.htm*]Two extremes of this effect are

quicksand , where the groundwater gradient and seepage force act againstgravity ; and the 'sandcastle effect', [*http://home.tu-clausthal.de/~pcdj/publ/PRL96_058301.pdf*] where the water drainage and capillary action act to strengthen the sand. As well, effective stress plays an important role inslope stability , and othergeotechnical engineering andengineering geology problems, such asgroundwater-related subsidence .**References**

* Das, Braja,2005 , "Fundamental of Geotechnical Engineering - 2nd ed", ISBN 978-0-534-49294-6

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### Look at other dictionaries:

**effective stress**— efektyvusis įtempis statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. effective stress vok. effektive Spannung, f rus. эффективное напряжение, n pranc. contrainte effective, f … Fizikos terminų žodynas**effective stress**— Смотри истинное напряжение … Энциклопедический словарь по металлургии**stress, effective**— Stress (pressure) that is borne by and transmitted through the grain to grain contacts of a deposit, and thus affects its porosity or void ratio and other physical properties. In onedimensional compression, effective stress is the average… … Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology**stress, preconsolidation**— The maximum antecedent effective stress to which a deposit has been subjected, and which it can withstand without undergoing additional permanent deformation. Stress changes in the range less than the preconsolidation stress produce elastic… … Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology**stress, applied**— The downward stress imposed at an aquifer boundary. It differs from effective stress in that it defines only the external stress tending to compact a deposit rather than the grain to grain stress at any depth within a compacting deposit [21] … Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology**stress, geostatic**— The total load per unit area of sediments and water above some plane of reference. It is the sum of (1) the effective stress, and (2) the neutral stress [21] … Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology**Stress (biological)**— Stress is a biological term which refers to the consequences of the failure of a human or animal body to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to the organism, whether actual or imagined. [ The Stress of Life , Hans Selye, 1956.] … Wikipedia**Stress ulcer**— Stress ulcers are single or multiple mucosal defects which can become complicated by upper gastrointestinal bleeding during the physiologic stress of serious illness. Ordinary peptic ulcers are found commonly in the gastric antrum and the… … Wikipedia**Stress management**— encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stress, with stress defined as a person s physiological response to an internal or external stimulus that triggers the fight or… … Wikipedia**Stress-related disorders**— Stress is a conscious or unconscious psychological feeling or physical situation which comes after as a result of physical or/and mental positive or negative pressure to overwhelm adaptive capacities.Stress is a psychological process initiated by … Wikipedia