# Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXX, Dec. 1910 John Howell Griffith Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

In 1910, John H. Griffith argued that static methods for analyzing pile foundations were superior to dynamic methods. What is the key difference between static and dynamic analysis?

• Static analysis focuses on forces at equilibrium, while dynamic analysis considers forces involved in motion.
• Static analysis considers forces involved in motion, while dynamic analysis focuses on forces at equilibrium.
• Static analysis is a more complex method than dynamic analysis.
• Static and dynamic analysis are essentially the same.

Correct Answer: Static analysis focuses on forces at equilibrium, while dynamic analysis considers forces involved in motion.

Correct Answer Explanation: Static analysis focuses on the forces acting on a system when it is at rest, while dynamic analysis examines the forces that cause motion. Griffith’s paper emphasized the benefits of static analysis for pile foundations, as it provided a more comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the ultimate load.

Griffith’s work critically examined the Rankine theory, highlighting its limitations. What is a key limitation of the Rankine theory?

• It neglects the effect of friction on the vertical projections of the pile.
• It assumes a constant coefficient of friction.
• It overestimates the ultimate load capacity of piles.
• All of the above.

Correct Answer: All of the above.

Correct Answer Explanation: The Rankine theory is a simplification that neglects important factors like friction on the pile’s vertical projections, assumes a constant coefficient of friction, and does not fully capture the complex behavior of soils. Griffith argued that while it has some utility for analyzing multiple-pile systems, it requires refinement to be truly accurate.

Griffith proposed an elastic theory for pile foundations. What does the elastic theory emphasize?

• The importance of strain in determining lateral earth pressure.
• The need for experimental data to validate theoretical models.
• The limitations of the Rankine theory.
• The importance of dynamic analysis.

Correct Answer: The importance of strain in determining lateral earth pressure.

Correct Answer Explanation: Griffith argued that strain, the deformation of a material under stress, is crucial in determining the lateral earth pressure exerted on a pile. His elastic theory emphasized the use of Boussinesq’s research to understand how soil behaves under pressure, suggesting that soils can be treated as elastic bodies under certain conditions.

Griffith’s paper highlighted the phenomenon of dilatancy. What is dilatancy?

• The change in volume of a granular material due to a change in its shape.
• The ability of soil to resist deformation.
• The amount of water a soil can hold.
• The force required to initiate sliding between two surfaces.

Correct Answer: The change in volume of a granular material due to a change in its shape.

Correct Answer Explanation: Dilatancy is a unique property of granular materials, such as sand and gravel, where the volume changes when subjected to shear stress, or a force that causes deformation. Griffith recognized that dilatancy plays a significant role in understanding the load-bearing capacity of piles in granular soils.

Griffith’s work emphasized the importance of experimental data to validate theoretical models. Where were some of the key experiments conducted that informed his work?

• Annapolis, Maryland
• Louisiana
• Islais Creek, San Francisco Bay
• All of the above

Correct Answer: All of the above.

Correct Answer Explanation: Griffith relied on data from various experiments, including those conducted at Annapolis, Maryland, where piles were driven in different soil conditions; Louisiana, where the load-bearing capacity of a specific pile foundation was tested; and Islais Creek, where mud samples were analyzed to understand its properties. These experiments provided valuable insights and data points to support his theoretical arguments.

What was the maximum test load in pounds that a pile driven 60 ft. in mud and 6 ft. in sand sustained at Annapolis?

• 34,000 lb
• 168,700 lb
• 133,610 lb
• 67,120 lb

Correct Answer Explanation: The Annapolis tests involved piles driven to various depths in different soil conditions, with the maximum test load reaching 168,700 lb. This data helped validate Griffith’s theoretical calculations, which showed that the actual ultimate load was close to his predicted values.

How deep was the pile driven in the Louisiana pile experiment?

• 6 ft.
• 12 ft.
• 29.5 ft.
• 61 ft.

Correct Answer Explanation: The Louisiana pile experiment involved a pile driven to a depth of 29.5 ft. This pile successfully sustained a load of 29.9 tons without settlement, demonstrating the importance of accurate load calculations and the significance of soil conditions in pile foundation design.

What was the ultimate test load in pounds calculated for the Louisiana pile?

• 38,000 lb
• 67,120 lb
• 133,610 lb
• 168,700 lb

Correct Answer Explanation: Griffith’s calculations, based on his proposed elastic theory, yielded an ultimate test load of 67,120 lb for the Louisiana pile. This value was closely aligned with the actual performance of the pile, further supporting his argument for the accuracy of his approach.

In the Islais Creek mud sample, what was the weight per cubic foot of the mud sample?

• 34 lb
• 105 lb
• 162 lb
• 67,120 lb

Correct Answer Explanation: The mud sample taken from Islais Creek, with a water content of 34%, weighed 105 lb per cubic foot. This information highlighted the high water content of mud and its relative incompressibility, which is a crucial factor in determining the behavior of pile foundations in such soil conditions.

How many groups of piles were driven at Chelsea Docks?

• 1
• 2
• 4
• 16

Correct Answer Explanation: At Chelsea Docks, four groups of four piles each were driven to a depth of 50 ft. These piles were then subjected to loading tests using concrete blocks, allowing researchers to observe the time-dependent behavior of piles in mud and measure the gradual subsidence over time.

What was the total subsidence observed in one of the groups of piles at Chelsea Docks under a load of 34.6 tons?

• 1 1/2 inches
• 2 inches
• 3 inches
• 12 inches

Correct Answer Explanation: Under a load of 34.6 tons, the group of piles at Chelsea Docks experienced a total subsidence of 3 inches over a period of 51 days. This data demonstrated the importance of considering the time-dependent behavior of piles in mud, as settlement can occur gradually over time, even under relatively stable loads.

What is the term for the shape of the pressure distribution around a pile?

• Conoid of pressure
• Arch effect
• Modulus of elasticity
• Angle of repose

Correct Answer Explanation: The pressure distribution around a pile, often likened to a cone, is referred to as the “conoid of pressure.” This shape is influenced by factors like soil properties, pile geometry, and the applied load. Understanding the conoid of pressure is crucial for accurately predicting the load-bearing capacity of piles.

What is the term for the distribution of load in a material such as soil that forms arch-like structures to support the weight above?

• Conoid of pressure
• Arch effect
• Modulus of elasticity
• Angle of repose

Correct Answer Explanation: When soil forms arch-like structures to distribute the load, it is referred to as the “arch effect.” This phenomenon is particularly important in granular soils, where the particles can arrange themselves to create a stable structure capable of carrying significant weight. Understanding the arch effect is essential for designing pile foundations that can effectively transfer loads to the surrounding soil.

What is the term for the ratio of the force required to initiate sliding between two surfaces to the force pressing them together?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Modulus of elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: The “coefficient of friction” represents the ratio of the force needed to start sliding between two surfaces to the force pressing them together. This value is crucial in understanding the resistance to movement between a pile and the surrounding soil, and it plays a significant role in calculating the ultimate load capacity of the pile foundation.

What is the term for the angle at which a material will start to slide down a slope due to its own weight?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Modulus of elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: The “angle of repose” is the angle at which a material, like sand or gravel, will begin to slide down a slope under the influence of gravity. This angle is determined by the internal friction between the particles and is a key factor in understanding the stability of soil slopes and their interaction with pile foundations.

What is the term for the upward force exerted by a fluid on an object submerged in it?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Buoyancy

Correct Answer Explanation: “Buoyancy” refers to the upward force that a fluid exerts on a submerged object. This force is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object, and it can significantly influence the load-bearing capacity of pile foundations, especially when they are submerged in water or other fluids.

What is the term for the pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to its weight?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Hydrostatic pressure

Correct Answer Explanation: “Hydrostatic pressure” is the pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to its weight. This pressure increases with depth and can significantly influence the behavior of pile foundations, particularly when they are submerged in water or other fluids.

What is the term for a measure of a material’s stiffness or resistance to deformation?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Modulus of elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: The “modulus of elasticity” is a measure of a material’s stiffness, or its resistance to deformation under stress. This value is important for understanding the behavior of soils under pressure and for predicting how piles will interact with the surrounding soil.

What is the term for the deformation of a material under stress?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Strain

Correct Answer Explanation: “Strain” is the deformation of a material when subjected to stress. It is a measure of how much a material changes shape under load and is a crucial factor in determining the behavior of soils and the performance of pile foundations.

What is the term for the force per unit area acting on a material?

• Coefficient of friction
• Angle of repose
• Dilatancy
• Stress

Correct Answer Explanation: “Stress” refers to the force per unit area acting on a material. It is a measure of the internal forces within a material that resist deformation. Understanding the stress distribution around a pile foundation is essential for predicting its behavior and load-bearing capacity.

What is the term for a material that has the same properties in all directions?

• Isotropic
• Homogeneous
• Dilatancy
• Cohesive

Correct Answer Explanation: An “isotropic” material exhibits the same properties in all directions. This means that its behavior is independent of the direction of the applied force. While soils are often considered anisotropic, meaning their properties vary with direction, the concept of isotropy is important for understanding idealized models and simplifying calculations.

What is the term for a material that has the same composition throughout?

• Isotropic
• Homogeneous
• Dilatancy
• Cohesive

Correct Answer Explanation: A “homogeneous” material has the same composition throughout. This means that its properties are consistent throughout its volume. While soils can be heterogeneous, meaning they have varying compositions, the concept of homogeneity is important for understanding idealized models and simplifying calculations.

What is the term for a property of granular materials that causes them to expand in volume when subjected to shear stress?

• Dilatancy
• Cohesion
• Viscosity
• Modulus of Elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: “Dilatancy” is a unique property of granular materials, such as sand and gravel. When these materials are subjected to shear stress, they expand in volume. This phenomenon plays a crucial role in the behavior of soils and the performance of pile foundations, especially in granular soil conditions.

What is the term for the attractive forces between particles in a material, contributing to its resistance to deformation?

• Dilatancy
• Cohesion
• Viscosity
• Modulus of Elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: “Cohesion” refers to the attractive forces between particles in a material. These forces contribute to the material’s resistance to deformation and separation. Cohesive soils, like clay, have stronger attractive forces between particles, leading to higher resistance to shear stress. Understanding cohesion is important for predicting the behavior of soils and the performance of pile foundations.

What is the term for a fluid’s resistance to flow?

• Dilatancy
• Cohesion
• Viscosity
• Modulus of Elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: “Viscosity” is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow. It describes how easily a fluid deforms under shear stress. Viscosity is a significant factor in the behavior of fluids surrounding pile foundations, particularly when the pile is submerged in water or other fluids.

What is the term for a measure of a material’s stiffness or resistance to deformation?

• Dilatancy
• Cohesion
• Viscosity
• Modulus of Elasticity

Correct Answer Explanation: The “modulus of elasticity” is a measure of a material’s stiffness, or its resistance to deformation under stress. It is a crucial parameter for understanding the behavior of soils under pressure and for predicting how piles will interact with the surrounding soil.

What was the Goodrich experiment designed to study?

• The formation of a pressure conoid around a pile.
• The load-bearing capacity of piles in different soil conditions.
• The time-dependent behavior of piles in mud.
• The angle of repose for various granular materials.

Correct Answer: The formation of a pressure conoid around a pile.

Correct Answer Explanation: The Goodrich experiment used a box filled with sand and a model pile to study the formation of a pressure conoid around the pile. This experiment provided insights into the shape of the pressure distribution and its influence on pile behavior.

What did Leygue’s experiments demonstrate?

• The formation of curved surfaces in the soil.
• The load-bearing capacity of piles in different soil conditions.
• The time-dependent behavior of piles in mud.
• The angle of repose for various granular materials.

Correct Answer: The formation of curved surfaces in the soil.

Correct Answer Explanation: Leygue’s experiments, using stratified soil samples, studied the behavior of retaining walls and demonstrated the formation of curved surfaces in the soil. This information is relevant to understanding the behavior of soil around pile foundations and the influence of soil properties on pile performance.

What example illustrates the concept of density and its influence on lateral pressure?

• The Goodrich experiment
• Leygue’s experiments
• The packing of balls in a box
• The Annapolis tests

Correct Answer: The packing of balls in a box

Correct Answer Explanation: The example of packing balls in a box illustrates the concept of density and its influence on lateral pressure. The closer the balls are packed, the higher the density and the greater the lateral pressure they exert on the walls of the box. This concept can be applied to understanding the lateral pressure exerted on piles by surrounding soil, as denser soil will exert greater lateral forces.

What is the focus of John H. Griffith’s 1910 paper in the Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers?

• The history of pile foundation design
• The use of dynamic analysis in pile foundation design
• The importance of experimental data in validating theoretical models
• The development of a more accurate approach to determining the ultimate load on pile foundations.

Correct Answer: The development of a more accurate approach to determining the ultimate load on pile foundations.

Correct Answer Explanation: John H. Griffith’s 1910 paper focuses on the need for a more accurate and comprehensive approach to determining the ultimate load on pile foundations. He critiques existing methods, highlighting their limitations, and proposes a new static theory based on elastic principles.

What is the main advantage of static analysis over dynamic analysis for analyzing pile foundations?

• Static analysis is easier to understand and apply.
• Static analysis is more accurate than dynamic analysis.
• Static analysis considers more factors that influence the ultimate load.
• Static analysis is more practical for real-world applications.

Correct Answer: Static analysis considers more factors that influence the ultimate load.

Correct Answer Explanation: The main advantage of static analysis for analyzing pile foundations is that it considers more factors that influence the ultimate load, such as friction on the vertical projections of the pile and the soil’s elastic properties. Dynamic analysis primarily focuses on forces involved in motion, which can be less comprehensive for understanding the behavior of pile foundations at rest.

What is the importance of dilatancy in understanding the load-bearing capacity of piles?

• Dilatancy affects the lateral pressure exerted on the pile by the surrounding soil.
• Dilatancy influences the friction between the pile and the soil.
• Dilatancy contributes to the time-dependent behavior of piles in mud.
• All of the above.

Correct Answer: All of the above.

Correct Answer Explanation: Dilatancy, the volume change in granular media under strain, plays a significant role in understanding the load-bearing capacity of piles. It affects the lateral pressure exerted on the pile by the surrounding soil, influences the friction between the pile and the soil, and contributes to the time-dependent behavior of piles in mud. This phenomenon is crucial for accurately predicting pile performance and designing reliable foundations.

What is the ultimate load on a pile foundation?

• The maximum load a pile can sustain without failure.
• The weight of the structure supported by the pile foundation.
• The amount of force required to drive the pile into the ground.
• The force exerted by the soil on the pile.

Correct Answer Explanation: The “ultimate load” on a pile foundation is the maximum load that the pile can sustain without failing. This value is critical for engineers to determine when designing foundations to ensure they can safely support the weight of the structure and any applied loads.

Why is it important to conduct experimental data to validate theoretical models for pile foundations?

• Theoretical models can be overly simplified and may not accurately reflect real-world conditions.
• Soil properties can vary widely, making it difficult to predict pile behavior with complete accuracy.
• Experimental data provides real-world evidence to support or refute theoretical predictions.
• All of the above.

Correct Answer: All of the above.

Correct Answer Explanation: Conducting experimental data is crucial to validate theoretical models for pile foundations because theoretical models can be overly simplified and may not accurately reflect real-world conditions. Soil properties can vary widely, making it difficult to predict pile behavior with complete accuracy. Experimental data provides real-world evidence to support or refute theoretical predictions, ensuring that designs are safe and effective.

What are some key takeaways from John H. Griffith’s 1910 paper on pile foundations?

• Static analysis provides a more accurate and comprehensive approach to understanding the behavior of pile foundations.
• Dilatancy is a crucial factor in determining the load-bearing capacity of piles in granular soils.
• Experimental data is essential for validating theoretical models and ensuring the reliability of pile foundation designs.
• All of the above.

Correct Answer: All of the above.

Correct Answer Explanation: John H. Griffith’s 1910 paper on pile foundations highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach that incorporates both static analysis and experimental data to understand the complex behavior of pile foundations. He emphasizes the crucial role of dilatancy in granular soils and advocates for a more accurate and precise method for determining the ultimate load on pile foundations, ensuring the safety and reliability of infrastructure projects.