Advanced Soil Mechanics

By Prof. Sreedeep S.   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 1760
This course intends to bridge the basic soil mechanics concepts with the advanced topics related to stresses and soil strength. In the process, it will help to reinforce the understanding gained during the undergraduate learning and would help to alleviate any misconceptions related to the stress-strain response and strength behaviour of soils. Not all the concepts explained in this course are advanced, but attempts to add clarity to the knowledge gained at undergraduate level. This course is ideal for the orientation of geotechnical engineering post-graduate students and final year undergraduate students to the higher realms of geomechanical characteristics of soils. The course will help to appreciate the basic concepts of continuum mechanics, which is a pre-requisite for research in geomechanics. Even though the name is advanced, the course is introductory in nature when it deals with the advanced topics. It may be noted that this course do not deal with the other soil characteristics, namely flow characteristics and compressibility.

Undergraduate students in Civil Engineering, Postgraduate and Ph. D. students in geotechnical engineering
PREREQUISITES : Nil for PG. For UG, geotechnical engineering basic courses need to be done before this course.
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT     : Basic civil engineering infrastructural companies.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Analysis
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Module 1 Introduction to continuum mechanics 
Introduction to course contents
1.1a Stress at a point-Cauchy stress 
1.1b Stress at a point-Stress tensor 
1.2 Stress acting on a plane
1.2a Stress acting on a plane example
1.3 Transformation of stress tensor

Week 2: Module 1 Introduction to continuum mechanics   
1.4 Stress invariants
1.4a Relationship between stress invariants
1.4b Principal stresses and Eigen vectors
1.5 Strain in soil 
1.6 Cause-effect relationship

Week 3: Module 1 Introduction to continuum mechanics   
1.7 Important constitutive relationship
1.8 3D to 2D idealization 
1.9 Mathematical formulation of plane stress, plane strain 
1.10 Mathematical formulation of axisymmetric conditions
1.11 Summary of Module 1

Week 4:  Module 2 Shear strength of cohesionless and cohesive soil
2.1a Basics of shear strength
2.1b Stress representation 
2.2a Shear strength granular soil
2.2b Shear strength granular soil
2.3a Shear strength cohesive soil
2.3b Shear strength cohesive soil - Stress strain

Week 5:  Module 2 Shear strength of cohesionless and cohesive soil
2.4a Pore water pressure and Skempton’s equation
2.4b Overall pore water pressure parameter
2.4c Pore water pressure -plane strain-effect of sampling
2.4d Pore water pressure estimation

Week 6: Module 2 Shear strength of cohesionless and cohesive soil
Triaxial test
2.5b Interpretation triaxial test-UU UCS
2.5c Interpretation triaxial test-CU
2.5d Interpretation triaxial test-CD

Week 7:  Module 2 Shear strength of cohesionless and cohesive soil/ Module 3 Stress path 
2.6 Some additional aspects of shear strength
2.7 Summary of Module 2
Module 3 Stress path
3.1a Stress path and representation
3.1b Failure line in stress path
3.2a Stress path-some common cases
3.2b Stress path-some common cases

Week 8: Module 3 Stress path
3.3a Stress path-triaxial test-drained
3.3b Stress path-triaxial test-undrained
3.3c Stress path-additional undrained case
3.4a Stress path-field cases

Week 9:  Module 3 Stress path/ Module 4 Critical state soil mechanics  
3.4b Stress path-field cases
3.5 Stress path problems
3.6 Summary of Module 3
      Module 4 Critical state soil mechanics
4.1a Introduction-Critical state soil mechanics 

Week 10: Module 4 Critical state soil mechanics 
4.1b Introduction-Critical state soil mechanics 
4.2 CSSM-2 D representation
4.3 Peak state

Week 11: Module 4 Critical state soil mechanics  
4.4 Soil yielding
4.5 Cam clay
4.6 Modified Cam clay
4.7a Prediction of soil behavior from MCCM

Week 12: Module 4 Critical state soil mechanics 
4.7b Prediction of soil behavior from MCCM
4.8 Strain from MCCM
4.9 State boundary surface 
4.10 CSSM problems
4.11 Summary of Module 4
Closure of Advanced Soil Mechanics Course

Books and references

1. Das, B. M., Advanced Soil Mechanics, Taylor and Francis, 2nd Edition, 1997
2. Parry, R. H. G., Mohr Circles, Stress Paths and Geotechnics, CRC Press, 2004.
3. Budhu, M., Soil Mechanics., Soil Mechanics and Foundations, 3rd Edition, Wiley 2010
4. Holtz, R. D., and Kovacs, W. D., An Introduction of Geotechnical Engineering, Prentice Hall, 1981.
5. Wood, D.M., Soil Behavior and Critical State Soil Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
6. Schofield, A. and Wroth, P., Critical State Soil Mechanics, McGrawhill, 1968.
7. Atkinson, J.H. and Bransby, P.L, The Mechanics of Soils: An introduction to critical soil mechanics, University Series in Civil Engineering, I A Books, 2013.
8. Atkinson J.H, An introduction to the Mechanics of soils and Foundation, McGraw- Hill Co., 1993.
9. Potts, D.M. and Zdravkovic, L., Finite Element Analysis in Geotechnical Engineering: Theory, Thomas Telford, USA, 1999.
10. Yu, M-H and Li J-C., Computational Plasticity, Zhejiang University Press, Springer, 2012.

Instructor bio

Prof. Sreedeep S.

IIT Guwahati
The SME is a Professor in the Geotechnical Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati since 2006. Since then he has taught the course Advanced Soil Mechanics multiple times till date. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.Tech. degrees from IIT Bombay and B. Tech. degree from Calicut University. His research interests include behavioural studies of unsaturated geomaterials, hazardous waste management, utilization of waste materials and bio-geotechnology. He has published around 100 peer reviewed journals and several conference/seminar proceedings. He was a recipient of the Shamsher Prakash Research Award for Geotechnical Engineering in 2014. He is a member of ASCE, ASTM, IACMAG, IGS and TC 106 of ISSMGE. He is a reviewer for several national and international journals.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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