Scale Effect of Plate Load Tests in Unsaturated Soils


  • Won Taek Oh
  • Sai K. Vanapalli


Unsaturated Soil, Matric Suction, Plate Load Test, Shallow Foundation, Settlement


The applied stress versus surface settlement (SVS) behavior from in-situ plate load tests (PLTs) is valuable information that can be used for the reliable design of shallow foundations. In-situ PLTs are commonly conducted on the soils that are typically in a state of unsaturated condition. However, in most cases, the influence of matric suction is not taken into account while interpreting the SVS behavior of in-situ PLTs. In addition, the sizes of plates used for load tests are generally smaller in comparison to real sizes of footings used in practice. Hence, in-situ PLT results should be interpreted taking account of not only matric suction but also the scale effects. In the present study, discussions associated with the uncertainties in interpreting the SVS behavior of PLTs taking account of matric suction and scale effect are detailed and discussed




How to Cite

Won Taek Oh, & Sai K. Vanapalli. (2013). Scale Effect of Plate Load Tests in Unsaturated Soils. GEOMATE Journal, 4(8), 585–594. Retrieved from