Collapsible soils engineering

Sandra Houston, William N. Houston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

36 Scopus citations


A major consideration for geotechnical engineers dealing with unsaturated soils relates to the effect of wetting on engineering performance. The most-cited problem with unsaturated soils is wetting-induced volume change. The amount of volume change depends on the soil type and structure, the initial soil density, the imposed stress state, and the degree of wetting. Some soils and conditions lead to increased volume (expansion) upon wetting, and other soils and conditions lead to decreased volume (collapse) upon wetting. This paper focuses on engineering issues for collapsible soils. While collapsible soils pose a significant engineering challenge, numerous methods for identification of collapsible soils, estimation of collapse potential, and mitigation methods for foundations on collapsible soils are available to the geotechnical engineer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeotechnical Special Publication
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture


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