In a given soil, the lateral effect of overburden pressure is constant with depth, as in $p=qk$, where:

  • $p$: lateral pressure effect,
  • $q$: overburden pressure
  • $k$: soil lateral pressure coefficient.

Then, the effect of this overburden pressure on pile skin resistance will be constant or it would vary with depth? I read somewhere that it varies with depth. If the lateral effect is constant as I wrote above, why does its effect on skin friction vary with depth? Or it doesn't?


Overburden is usually the pressure left over by a previously removed top layer. Depending on the geometry removed layer and soils properties of the site it can vary along the depth.

Usually soils engineer will dig test pits and among other things verify the overburden pressure at different depths.


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