A simple model for the hysteretic elastic shear modulus of unsaturated soils

Jie Xu, Chao Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Considering the great importance of the elastic shear modulus G0 of unsaturated soils to the serviceability of many geo-structures in geo-energy and geo-environmental engineering, some semi-empirical models have been reported for the G0 of unsaturated soils. Existing models require at least three parameters and the calibration of the model parameters requires extensive time-consuming unsaturated soil tests. In this study, a simple semi-empirical model is proposed for the hysteretic G0 of unsaturated soils, requiring only two parameters. The constitutive variables of the mean Bishop’s stress and a bonding variable are adopted for considering the average stress between soil particles and the additional normal forces between soil particles provided by water menisci. The derived equation is applied to simulate the G0 of unsaturated silts and sands. Comparisons between the measured and calculated results demonstrate that the proposed equation is able to describe the influences of various factors on G0, including mean net stress, suction, wetting-drying, and void ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zhejiang University: Science A
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Degree of saturation
  • Elastic shear modulus
  • Modeling
  • Small strain
  • Suction
  • Unsaturated soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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