Abstract: Nonlinear methods for calculation of shallow foundation settlements in sand are addressed in the paper. One of them relies on the Hardening Soil Small constitutive relationship incorporated in the computer program Plaxis 2D. It has a significant drawback in the need to model the unknown strain history of the foundation soil prior to simulating the load test on a shallow foundation. This can be overcome by preloading the soil with a pressure which gives good matching between calculated and measured settlements. However, predictions of soil settlements cannot be made in such a way, because the soil strain history is not a priori known. It is shown in the paper how predictions of soil settlements can be made by Plaxis 2D by calibrating calculations against a simple direct method. A new direct method is developed along the lines of this simple method, on the basis of results of 16 load tests performed at 4 locations. The important advantage of the new method is that it properly takes into account the soil behavior at very small strains.
Keywords: shallow foundations, settlements, soil stiffness, initial shear modulus, results of load tests, new method for settlement calculation, very small strains