Undrained Shear Strength in Cohesive Soils Assessed by Directional Modes of In-Situ Shear Wave Velocity

Sung-Woo Moon, Taeseo Ku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The estimated undrained shear strength (s_u) is often not a unique value because it can be evaluated by various test types and/or procedures, such as different failure modes, shear strain rates, and boundary conditions. This study explores 1) the relationship between reference undrained shear strength and in-situ shear wave velocity in terms of the effective overburden stress, and 2) the independent relationships to evaluate the undrained shear strength with special consideration of different directional and polarization modes (VH, HV, HH shear waves), which has not been reported. This evaluation is done via a worldwide database compiled from 43 well-documented geotechnical test sites associated with soft ground. Finally, new correlation models are proposed to estimate the undrained shear strength based on the in-situ shear wave velocity as well as the plasticity index or the overconsolidation ratio. The application of the shear wave velocity – undrained shear strength relation is illustrated through two independent case studies. The proposed relationships are expected to contribute to reasonable estimates of undrained shear strength as well as offer practical guidance on even extrapolation beyond the data that is available to geotechnical engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2851-2868
JournalGeotechnical and Geological Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2018


  • Stress-dependency
  • Anisotropy
  • Overconsolidation ratio
  • Plasticity index
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Undrained shear strength

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