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Last edited 17 Sep 2020
The term 'bearing capacity' refers to the capacity of soil to support applied loads that are acting on it. In the construction industry, this typically relates to the capacity of soil to support building foundations, in which case, the bearing capacity can be calculated from the maximum average contact pressure between the foundation and the soil that would not produce shear failure.
Three modes of failure limit bearing capacity:
qnu = qu - Ydf
qns = qnu / F
Karl von Terzaghi developed a theory for evaluating the ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations. His theory states that a shallow foundation is one where the depth is less than or equal to its width.
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