What is the compressibility of soil?

The nature of the deformation of soil under compressible loads may be elastic, plastic or compressive, or a combination of these. Elastic deformation causes lateral bulging with little change of porosity, and the material recovers fully upon removal of load. Plastic deformation is due to the lateral flow of soil under pressure with a negligible rebound after the removal of load.

Compressive deformation occurs when the particles are brought closer together by pressure causing volume change in the soil. The property of soil by virtue of which volume decrease occurs under applied pressure is termed as its compressibility.

  • Compression of soil particles and water in the voids.
  • Compression and expulsion of air in the voids.
  • Expulsion of water in the voids.

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