Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type





Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Michael E. Kalinski


Strip mining in Kentucky has left large areas of land that could potentially be used for business and housing developments. However, the mine spoils underlying these areas are prone to severe differential settlement due to a variety of factors. Mine spoil from the Gateway Business Park in Jenkins, Kentucky was used for a series of laboratory tests to develop relationships between shear wave velocity, confining stress, compaction energy, and dry unit weight to develop a method to assess settlement potential. It was found that a stress-corrected shear wave velocity of greater than 275 ft/s/psi0.25 typically indicated dry mine spoil, and less than 275 ft/s/psi0.25 typically indicated wet mine spoil. Equations were developed to predict the amount of settlement of a mine spoil profile based on the load, the mine spoil lithology, and the shear wave velocity of the mine spoil. With regards to compaction, it was found that if the mine spoil was compacted to at least 120 pcf (18.8 kN/m3), or a void ratio of 0.45 or less, the mine spoil would suffer little to no volume change when wetted. The results provided herein form the basis of a methodology for screening mine spoil sites for development based on settlement potential.