The Concept of Effective Stress in Unsaturated Soils

Said Taibi, Jean Marie Fleureau, Sigit Pranowo Hadiwardoyo, Hanène Souli, António Gomes Correia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter talks about the concept of effective stress in unsaturated soils. The effective stress concepts are compared to the results of an experimental study on a compacted silty sand. The following points are examined: the behavior before failure, the influence of the capillary pressure on the maximum strength, the validity of an effective stress approach based on a simple microstructural model for unsaturated porous media to interpret the results. The results from all these tests provide a fairly broad picture of the properties of the sand, from nearly dry to nearly saturated, from the elastic to the perfectly plastic domain. The residual material exhibits original properties with the grain size distribution of a fine sand, on the one hand, and noticeable plasticity, on the other hand that results in large changes in capillary pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultiscale Geomechanics
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9781848212466
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2013


  • Capillary pressure
  • Effective stress
  • Failure
  • Microstructural model
  • Unsaturated porous media
  • Unsaturated soils


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