Civil Engineering MCQ – Soil Mechanics and Foundation

Comprehensive MCQ questions and answers in Soil Mechanics and Foundation are available to aid Civil Engineering students in their preparation for GATE exams, various technical interviews, competitive examinations, and other entrance exams. The Soil Mechanics and Foundation MCQ section is a crucial topic for both Civil Engineering and GATE aspirants.

1. What is the primary purpose of a soil test in foundation engineering?

a) To determine the color of the soil
b) To measure the depth of the soil
c) To assess the bearing capacity of the soil
d) To find the moisture content of the soil

Answer:

c) To assess the bearing capacity of the soil

Explanation:

Soil testing in foundation engineering is primarily conducted to assess the soil's bearing capacity, which is crucial for designing safe and stable foundations.

2. What does the term 'consolidation' refer to in soil mechanics?

a) The process of soil erosion
b) The settlement of soil under load over time
c) The mixing of different soil types
d) The increase in soil moisture

Answer:

b) The settlement of soil under load over time

Explanation:

Consolidation in soil mechanics refers to the process whereby soil volume decreases due to the expulsion of water under long-term static loads, leading to settlement.

3. What is the angle of repose in the context of soil mechanics?

a) The maximum slope angle at which soil remains stable
b) The angle between the water table and soil surface
c) The angle at which soil particles are arranged
d) The angle at which soil erosion begins

Answer:

a) The maximum slope angle at which soil remains stable

Explanation:

The angle of repose is the steepest angle at which a sloping surface formed of a particular loose material is stable.

4. What type of soil is most suitable for foundation construction?

a) Silt
b) Clay
c) Gravel
d) Peat

Answer:

c) Gravel

Explanation:

Gravel is considered suitable for foundation construction due to its good bearing capacity, drainage properties, and stability.

5. What property of soil is measured by the Standard Penetration Test (SPT)?

a) Soil acidity
b) Soil compaction
c) Soil permeability
d) Soil density

Answer:

d) Soil density

Explanation:

The Standard Penetration Test is commonly used to measure the density of soil, which helps in assessing its bearing capacity and suitability for foundation works.

6. What is the main purpose of a foundation in a building?

a) To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the building
b) To provide a base for the construction of walls
c) To distribute the load of the building evenly to the ground
d) To prevent water from entering the building

Answer:

c) To distribute the load of the building evenly to the ground

Explanation:

The primary purpose of a foundation is to transfer the load from the building evenly to the ground, ensuring stability and preventing uneven settlement.

7. In soil mechanics, what does 'permeability' refer to?

a) The ability of soil to retain water
b) The ability of soil to resist erosion
c) The ability of soil to support load
d) The ability of soil to allow water to pass through it

Answer:

d) The ability of soil to allow water to pass through it

Explanation:

Permeability in soil mechanics is a measure of the soil's ability to allow water (or other fluids) to pass through its pores or interstices.

8. What is the significance of Atterberg limits in soil mechanics?

a) They determine the maximum and minimum sizes of soil particles.
b) They define the different states of soil consistency.
c) They measure the angle of internal friction in soil.
d) They indicate the depth of the soil layer.

Answer:

b) They define the different states of soil consistency.

Explanation:

Atterberg limits (liquid limit, plastic limit, and shrinkage limit) are a basic measure of the critical water contents of a fine-grained soil, determining its state from liquid to plastic to solid.

9. What is the main challenge in building foundations on expansive clay soils?

a) Low bearing capacity
b) High permeability
c) Excessive shrinkage and swelling with moisture changes
d) High erosion rates

Answer:

c) Excessive shrinkage and swelling with moisture changes

Explanation:

Expansive clays pose a challenge in foundation engineering due to their significant volume changes (shrinkage and swelling) with moisture content variations, leading to potential structural damage.

10. What role does geotextile play in foundation engineering?

a) It is used as a decorative element in landscaping.
b) It enhances the aesthetic appeal of exposed soil surfaces.
c) It strengthens the soil and improves its drainage properties.
d) It acts as a barrier to prevent plant growth.

Answer:

c) It strengthens the soil and improves its drainage properties.

Explanation:

Geotextiles are permeable fabrics used in foundation engineering to reinforce soil, improve its stability, and enhance drainage, thereby reducing the risk of foundation problems.

11. What is the primary function of pile foundations?

a) To support lightweight structures
b) To provide aesthetic foundations for buildings
c) To transfer load to a deeper, more stable soil layer
d) To prevent soil erosion around the structure

Answer:

c) To transfer load to a deeper, more stable soil layer

Explanation:

Pile foundations are used to transfer the load from a structure through an unstable soil layer to a deeper, more stable layer, providing greater support.

12. What does the term 'shear strength' of soil refer to?

a) The ability of soil to resist forces that cause it to slide
b) The ability of soil to expand when wet
c) The ability of soil to change its texture
d) The ability of soil to retain nutrients

Answer:

a) The ability of soil to resist forces that cause it to slide

Explanation:

Shear strength of soil is its capacity to resist shear forces, which are forces that tend to cause layers of the soil to slide relative to each other.

13. What is the main factor influencing soil compaction?

a) Soil color
b) Soil texture
c) Moisture content of the soil
d) Temperature of the soil

Answer:

c) Moisture content of the soil

Explanation:

The moisture content of the soil is a crucial factor in soil compaction. Optimum moisture content allows for maximum compaction, which is vital for foundation stability.

14. Why is it important to determine the plasticity index of soil?

a) To measure its aesthetic value
b) To understand its nutrient content
c) To assess its suitability for agriculture
d) To evaluate its behavior and usability in construction

Answer:

d) To evaluate its behavior and usability in construction

Explanation:

The plasticity index of soil is an important parameter that indicates the range of moisture content over which soil remains plastic. It helps in assessing soil behavior for construction purposes.

15. In foundation engineering, what is a mat foundation used for?

a) Supporting lightweight structures like sheds
b) Distributing the load of a building over a large area
c) Elevating buildings above flood levels
d) Providing a base for skyscrapers

Answer:

b) Distributing the load of a building over a large area

Explanation:

A mat foundation, also known as a raft foundation, is used to spread the load of a building over a large area. It's particularly useful when dealing with weak or expansive soils.

16. What does the term 'frost heave' refer to in soil mechanics?

a) The lifting of soil due to frost and ice formation
b) The erosion of soil caused by frost
c) The change in soil color due to low temperatures
d) The hardening of soil in cold weather

Answer:

a) The lifting of soil due to frost and ice formation

Explanation:

Frost heave occurs when freezing temperatures penetrate the ground, causing water to freeze and expand, which lifts and distorts the soil and any structures on it.

17. What is the purpose of a soil gradation test?

a) To determine the nutritional value of soil
b) To measure the soil's ability to retain water
c) To analyze the distribution of different-sized particles in soil
d) To assess the soil's resistance to wind erosion

Answer:

c) To analyze the distribution of different-sized particles in soil

Explanation:

A soil gradation test is performed to determine the sizes of particles present in a soil sample. This helps in understanding the soil's properties and suitability for various construction purposes.

18. What role does the water table play in foundation engineering?

a) It determines the design of the roof structure.
b) It affects the choice of construction materials.
c) It influences the type and depth of foundation required.
d) It decides the color scheme of the building.

Answer:

c) It influences the type and depth of foundation required.

Explanation:

The level of the water table is a crucial factor in foundation engineering as it affects the soil's bearing capacity and the likelihood of soil movement. It determines the appropriate foundation type and depth.

19. In soil mechanics, what is the phenomenon of 'liquefaction'?

a) The solidification of liquid soil when cooled
b) The conversion of solid soil into a liquid-like state during seismic activity
c) The process of soil gaining nutrients
d) The reaction of soil with organic compounds

Answer:

b) The conversion of solid soil into a liquid-like state during seismic activity

Explanation:

Liquefaction refers to the process where, under the stress of seismic shaking, water-saturated granular soil loses its strength and behaves like a liquid.

20. How does soil porosity affect foundation design?

a) It determines the color of the building.
b) It influences the aesthetic appeal of the foundation.
c) It affects the soil's ability to support a structure.
d) It guides the landscaping around the building.

Answer:

c) It affects the soil's ability to support a structure.

Explanation:

Soil porosity, or the volume of pores within the soil, significantly influences its load-bearing capacity. High porosity often means lower strength, impacting foundation design decisions.

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