Annex F


Standard penetration test (SPT)

F.1 Examples of correlations between blow counts and density indices

(1) Examples of correlations of blow counts and density indices are given below.

(2) The relationship between the blow count (N60), density index ID = (emax – e)/(emax – emin) and the effective total (initial) stress σ'v0(kPa × 10–2) in a given sand can be represented by the expression:

The parameters a and b in normally consolidated sands are nearly constant for 0,35 < ID < 0,85 and 0,5 < σ'v0 < 2,5, in kPa × 10–2. (see Skempton 1986, Table 8)

(3) For normally consolidated natural sand deposits, the correlation shown in Table F.1 has been established between the normalised blow count (N1)60 and ID.

Table F.1 — Correlation between the normalised blow count (N1)60 and the density index ID
  Very loose Loose Medium Dense Very dense
(N1)60 0—3 3—8 8—25 25—42 42—58
ID 0 % — 15 % 15 % — 35 % 35 % — 65 % 65 % — 85 % 85 % — 100%

(4) For fine sands, the N-values should be reduced in the ratio 55:60 and for coarse sands increased in the ratio 65:60.

(5) The resistance of sand to deformation is greater the longer the period of consolidation. This "ageing" effect is reflected in higher blow counts, and appears to cause an increase in the parameter a.

Typical results for normally consolidated fine sands are given in Table F.2.

Table F.2 — Effect of ageing in normally consolidated fine sands
  Age years (N1)60/ID2
Laboratory tests
Recent fills
Natural deposits

(6) Over-consolidation increases the coefficient b by the factor:


K0 and K0NC are the in-situ stress ratios between horizontal and vertical effective stresses for the over-consolidated and normally-consolidated sand respectively.

(7) All the above mentioned correlations have been established for predominantly silica sands. Their use in more crushable and compressible sands, such as calcareous sands or even silica sands containing a non-negligible amount of fines, may lead to an underestimation of ID.

NOTE These examples were published by Skempton (1986). For additional information and examples, sec X.3.3.

F.2 Examples of deriving values for the effective angle of shearing resistance

(1)Table F.3 is an example that can be used to derive values of the effective angle of shearing resistance of silica sands, (φ'), from the density index (ID). The values of φ'are also influenced by the angularity of the particles and the stress level (see Table F.3).

Table F.3 — Correlation between the density index (ID) and the effective angle of shearing resistance of silica sands, (φ'), in degrees
Density index
Fine Medium Coarse
% Uniform Well-graded Uniform Well-graded Uniform Well-graded
40 34 36 36 38 38 41
60 36 38 38 41 41 43
80 39 41 41 43 43 44
100 42 43 43 44 44 46

NOTE This example was published by the US Army Corps of Engineers (1993). For additional information and examples, see X.3.3.

F.3 Example of a method to calculate the settlement of spread foundations

(1) This is an example of an empirical direct method for the calculation of settlements in granular soil of spread foundations,

(2) The settlement for stresses below the over consolidation pressure is assumed to be 1/3 of that corresponding to the normally consolidated sand. The immediate settlement, si, in mm, of a square footing of width B, in m, for an over consolidated sand, if q' ≥ σ'p, is then given by:


is maximum previous overburden pressure, in kPa;
is average effective foundation pressure, in kPa;
is af/B0,7;
is the foundation subgrade compressibility, Δsiq', in mm/kPa.

If q' ≤ σp then the equation becomes:

And for normally consolidated sands:

(3) Through a regression analysis of settlement records, the value of Icc is obtained through the expression:


is the average SPT blow count over the depth of influence.

The standard error of af varies from about 1,5 for greater than 25 to 1,8 for less than about 10.

(4) The N-values for this particular empirical method should not be corrected for the overburden pressure. No mention is made of the energy ratio (Er)corresponding to the N-values. The effect of the water table is supposed to be already reflected in the measured blow count, but the correction N' = 15 + 0,5 × (N – 15) for submerged fine or silty sands should be applied for N > 15.

In cases involving gravels or sandy gravels, the SPT blow count should be increased by a factor of about 1,25.

(5) The value of N is given by the arithmetic mean of the measured N-values over the depth of influence, z1 = B0,75, within which 75 % of the settlement takes place for cases where N increases or is constant with depth. Where N shows a consistent decrease with depth, the depth of influence is taken as 25 or the bottom of the soft layer whichever is the lesser.

(6) A correction factor fs for the length-to-width ratio (L/B)of the foundation

should be applied. The value of fs tends to 1,56 as L/B tends to infinity. No depth (D) correction factor has to be applied for D/B < 3.

(7) Foundations in sands and gravels exhibit time-dependent settlements. A correction factor, ft should be applied to the immediate settlement given by:

ft = (1 + R3 + Rtlg t/3)


is the correction factor for time t ≥ 3 years;
is the time-dependent factor for the settlement that takes place during the first 3 years after construction; and Rt is the time-dependent factor for the settlement that takes place each log cycle of time after 3 years.

(8) For static loads, conservative values of R3 and Rt are 0,3 and 0,2 respectively. Thus at t = 30 years, ft = 1,5. For fluctuating loads (tall chimneys, bridges, silos, turbines etc.), values of R3 and Rt are 0,7 and 0,8 respectively so that at t = 30 years, ft = 2,5.

NOTE This example was published by Burland and Burbridge (1985). For additional information and examples, see X.3.3.

Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design — Part 2: Ground investigation and testing