Assessment of Index Properties and Bearing Capacities of Soils for Infrastructure Foundations in Malete, Northcentral Nigeria

  • O.O. Owoyemi
  • M. O. Awojobi


Malete is a fast growing suburb with new buildings springing up daily. There has been no documented research on the physical properties and foundation bearing capacity of the soil in this area. This research aimed at determining the suitability of this soil as infrastructure foundation. Bulk samples taken from two selected locations at varrying depths of trial pits were tested for their index and shear strength properties using standard methods. Cone penetration resistance, California bearing ratio, compaction, consolidation and permeability characteristics were also assessed. The geotechnical properties determined varied significantly with depth except for specific gravity which did not vary significantly at α 0.05 with depth. Soil samples from all pits consist mostly of poorly graded gravely sands with little fines. They contain medium to coarse grained sand fraction averagely above 85%. Penetration resistance obtained from cone pentration test ranged from 700 kN/m2 to 950 kN/m2 . The average safe bearing capacity estimated for strip footing using a factor of safety of 3 at depth of 1 m was not less than 473 kN/m2 anywhere in the study area. Samples from the two locations generally have good compaction parameters, medium to high permeability and low compressibilty. The highest bearing capacities were associated with the lateritized basement top. This implies that the safest depth to place infrastracture foundations in the area is the depth where lateritized basement rock is encountered.

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eISSN: 2756-4843