Geometrical assessment of internal instability potential of granular soils based on grading entropy

Publication Name

Acta Geotechnica


Internal instability of a soil is closely related to its particle size distribution (PSD) that occurs when its coarser particles cannot protect the finer particles from erosion, thereby inducing permanent changes in its original PSD. This study proposes a new criterion based on grading entropy theory for prompt assessment of internal stability. PSD is discretized into several fractions to extract particle grading information through statistical analysis. Two normalized variables: base entropy (h) and entropy increment (Δ h) are determined directly from the PSD curve, and the principle of maximum entropy is used to obtain a semi-ellipse within plane formed by h and Δ h, wherein a PSD can be simply expressed as a point. A clear boundary between stable and unstable soils is visualized at maximum Δ h line, which is used to correctly evaluate a large published experimental dataset and its performance is compared with the existing criteria.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore



Link to publisher version (DOI)