Development of global correlation models between in situ stress-normalized shear wave velocity and soil unit weight for plastic soils

Sung-Woo Moon, Taeseo Ku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Shear wave velocity (Vs) in geo-materials is strongly dependent on factors such as stress state, void ratio, and soil structure. Stress-dependency and void-ratio dependency can be represented by the equations Vs = (Equation Found) and Vs = (Equation Found) (where α and a are material constants; exponents β and b represent the sensitivity of stress and the void dependent effect, respectively(Equation Found) is effective confining stress; e is void ratio), respectively. To consider the effect of soil disturbance and stress relief in geomaterials, shear wave velocity is often required to be normalized by adopting the site-specific model parameters (β or b). Based on a special in situ database compiled from 156 well-documented test sites that include various geo-materials, this study presents (i) the apparent relationships of the model parameters α and β for all soil and rock materials as well as a and b for all soil materials, (ii) new global correlations between soil unit weight and two types of stress-normalized shear wave velocities (Vs1 and Vsn), instead of the conventional Vs-soil unit weight relationship for clays, and (iii) the best-fitted multi-regression models between soil unit weight and site-specifically normalized shear wave velocity as well as the plasticity index for plastic soils. Moreover, this study presents the importance of site-specific stress normalization (Vsn) in creating a better correlation model. The proposed relationships offer first-order assessments of soil unit weight within the ranges of available data, which are also approximately guided by a hyperbolic unit weight model with depth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1600-1611
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Plasticity index
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Stress normalization
  • Unit weight
  • Void ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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