This substantial book is presented in 10 chapters and eight appendices, and is supplemented by >0.5 GB of downloadable computer files, including some compressed files, grouped into six folders. The authors must have been frustrated as they tried to extract actual values from reference book figures, because they include in the downloadable material Microsoft Excel files of data and graphs that they used to produce the figures in the book. Also contained in the downloadable material are laboratory test data, case-history data, programs, calibrations, source code, executable code and software verification files.
Chapter 1, Introduction (34 pp., 8% of the text), presents the critical state approach as a comparison of soil behaviour as a function of density; basically, ‘dense soils are strong and dilatant, loose soils weak and compressible’. A framework is needed to determine how a particular soil will behave from its current state (expressed as void ratio or density) based on its critical friction angle (a soil property). Most of Chapter 1 is descriptions of nine liquefaction case studies and a summary of lessons gained from them.
Chapter 2, Dilatancy and the state parameter (65 pp., 15% of the text), describes the framework for soil behaviour and the state parameter approach. Dilatancy is the tendency of soils to change volume while being sheared. Two definitions of dilation are in use: an absolute definition (the change in volumetric strain incurred since the initial condition) and a rate definition (the ratio of rate of volume change with rate of shear strain increase). The two definitions are related mathematically, of course, with the absolute being the integral of the rate definition.
The discussion of critical state provides useful insight by pointing out that traditional geotechnical practice uses soil density to differentiate a single geological material as if it were different materials, each …