Research Articles | Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics

Modification of Schmertmann-Hartman-Brown method to estimate immediate (elastic) settlement of shallow foundations

Mustafa Aytekin



One of the methods intensively employed in many practical projects to estimate the immediate (elastic) settlement of shallow foundations is the Schmertmann-Hartman-Brown method (1978). In the method, two approaches are given as a function of type of the shallow foundation either a square/circular (axisymmetric condition) or a strip (plain strain condition) foundation. Thus, two sets of equations are provided to estimate the settlements for these types of shallow foundations. If a shallow foundation has a shape of rectangular, some approximations are suggested in the technical literature to estimate the elastic settlement of rectangular based shallow foundations. These approximations are tedious and time consuming. In this study, the Schmertmann – Hartman – Brown method (1978) is modified and only one set of equations used for any type (square, circular, rectangular, and strip) of shallow foundations is introduced. The modified method estimates the immediate settlement as precise as the original form of the method that is more complicated. Also, some hypothetical cases are considered to figure out the effect of width and length/width ratios of foundations on elastic settlement.


Schmertmann-Hartman-Brown method; elastic (immediate) settlement; strain influence method; shallow foundations

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