Saturated unit weight

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Saturated unit weight (γsat) is the saturated weight of soil per unit volume. A saturated soil has a degree of saturation (S) equal to 100%. The saturated unit weight is usually expressed as kN/m3.


The following equation can be used to determine the saturated unit weight of a soil or solid bulk cargo, where the degree of saturation = 1:



γsat = saturated unit weight (kN/m3),
g = acceleration due to gravity (~9.81 m/s2),
ρst = specific gravity or particle density (t/m3 or g/cm3) and
e = void ratio.

Typical Values[edit]

Typical values of unit weight for soils are shown below[1].

Soil Type Saturated Unit Weight, γsat (kN/m3) Dry Unit Weight, γd (kN/m3)
Gravel 20-22 15-17
Sand 18-20 13-16
Silt 18-20 14-18
Clay 1622 14-21


  1. Budhu, M. (2011). Soil mechanics and foundations, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley.

See Also[edit]

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