Mechanics of Active Earth Pressure Under Surcharge and Seismic Loading Conditions

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Engineers Australia


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Engineering




Zahid, M. , Shukla, S. K., & Habibi, D. (2010). Mechanics of active earth pressure under surcharge and seismic loading conditions. Proceedings of Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics, ACAM 6, 12 - 15 December 2010. Perth. Engineers Australia. Available here.


Estimation of active earth pressure is generally required for the design of retaining structures, which are commonly constructed in several civil engineering projects. The analysis for active earth pressure involves basic principles of mechanics. In most field situations, surcharge and seismic loadings make the active earth pressure analysis more complex by increasing the number of parameters governing the pressure on the retaining structures. This paper presents a review of the analytical works available on the active earth pressure from both cohesionless and cohesive soil backfills, in order to investigate the mechanics of active earth pressure under field conditions. Additionally, a parametric study is presented to recognise the effect of surcharge and seismic loadings on the active earth pressure. The results obtained are discussed in detail. The graphical presentations made are recommended for use in field applications as design charts.