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Lateral Earth Pressure Coefficient for Soil

Lateral Earth Pressure

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Lateral Earth Pressure Coefficient for Soils

See retaining walls for additional information, publications, equations, and calculations using the lateral earth pressure coefficients. The values for lateral earth pressure coefficient, k, may be expressed as the following for both Piles and Retaining Walls:



NAVFAC: 1.0 - 1.5 for a single displacement pile in compression

USACE: 1.0 - 2.0 for compression piles in sand that are not pre-bored, jetted or vibrated
               1.0 for same conditions except silt
               higher values are for displacement piles

Broms: 0.5 - 1.0 for low density to high density steel
           1.0 - 2.0 low density to high density concrete
           1.5 - 4.0 low density to high density timber

Bowles: 0.6 - 1.25. Lower values for silty sands, and higher values for other soils

Nordlund: uses charts to identify the value for lateral earth pressure coefficients, k, based on the angle of internal friction, f. Ranges from 0.25 to 1.2

Mansure & Hunter: 1.0 - 1.3 for steel pipe piles
         1.4 - 1.9 for H piles
         1.45 - 1.6 for precast concrete piles


Retaining Walls

K = (1 - sinf)/(1 + sinf) for active earth pressures

K = (1 + sinf)/(1 - sinf) for passive earth pressures

K = 1 - sinf for at-rest earth pressures

               where f = angle of internal friction of the soil (degrees)


Other soil and soil related properties are listed below:

Angle of Internal Friction
Bearing Capacity Factors
External Friction Angle
Factor of Safety
Lateral Earth Pressure Coefficients
Modulus of Vertical Subgrade Reaction
Soil Unit Weights
Young's Modulus or modulus of elasticity


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