Nγ bearing capacity factor (Terzaghi's theory)


Karl von Terzaghi was the first to present a comprehensive theory for the evaluation of the ultimate bearing capacity of rough shallow foundations. This theory states that a foundation is shallow if its depth is less than or equal to its width. Later investigations, however, have suggested that foundations with a depth, measured from the ground surface, equal to 3 to 4 times their width may be defined as shallow foundations.

Terzaghi developed a method for determining bearing capacity for the general shear failure case in 1943. The equations, which take into account soil cohesion, soil friction, embedment, surcharge, and self-weight.

Related formulas


N_γNgamma bearing capacity factor (dimensionless)
ϕeffective internal angle of friction (dimensionless)
KpgK factor (obtained graphically) (dimensionless)