Maximum soil bearing capacity of different types of soil

The load of structure is coming on the soil. So we need to know the bearing capacity of the soil. Bearing capacity of soil is used to indicate the maximum load per unit area which is determined by a) Method of loading or b) Method of dropping weight. Dividing the ultimate soil bearing capacity by a safety factor we get the maximum safe bearing capacity of soil which is used to design foundations.


Below are the maximum soil bearing capacity of different types of soil:

Type of soil Maximum safe bearing capacity kg/m2


  1. Soft, wet clay or muddy clay — 5,000
  2. Soft clay — 10,000
  3. Fine, loose and dry sand — 10,000
  4. Black cotton soil — 15,000
  5. Moist clay and sand clay Mixture — 15,000
  6. Loose gravel — 25,000
  7. Medium clay — 25,000
  8. Medium, compact and dry sand — 25,000
  9. Compact clay — 45,000
  10. Compact sand — 45,000
  11. Compact gravel — 45,000
  12. Soft rocks — 45,000
  13. Laminated rock such as sand stone &
    Lime stone — 165,000
  14. Hard rocks such as granite, diorite, trap– 330,000

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