Differences between compaction and consolidation process of Soil mass

Hello friends in this post I have discribed about the differents between compaction and consolidation. Compaction and consolidation both are process of removing void from soil mass. But they possess different process of removing void from soil mass. 

What is void?

Void is the space between the grains of the soil mass which may be either air or water.

The Differences between compaction and consolidation process of soil mass are described below:-

Different between compaction and consolidation 1
Different between compaction and consolidation 1


  • Compaction is an artificial process where a mechanical load or pressure be exerted on ground to compress the soil mass for the purpose of removing void from soil mass.
  • Rapid and mechanical dynamic loads are applied by rolling, tamping and for small interval of time to compress soil mass.
  • In this process, volume of soil mass is reduced by extracting air void from saturated and dry soil.
  • Compaction of soil is mainly used for sandy soil.
  • Compaction is done to improve soil properties like unit weight of soil, and density of soil.
  • It occurs in partially saturated cohesive as well as cohesion less soil mass.


  • Consolidation is a natural process which is caused by steady and static load or pressure exerted on soil mass to remove void in it.
  • Soil consolidation occurred after long interval of time.
  • In this process, pore water is extracted from the saturated soil as void in soil mass.
  • It is specially occurred in clayey soil.
  • It is occurred mainly below the structure like building, dam, bridge etc. whose foundation transfer their load directly to the soil.
  • It occurs in fully saturated cohesive soil mass only.

Further, we have seen constructing road, where we see base and sub base are spreaded (Gravel, soil etc.) and then it is compressed by the help of roller to not let the soil for further settlement while running vehicle or traffic on it. This is called compaction of soil.

Again when we constructed a structure like dam or other heavy structure then there will exert static load and pressure by their foundation due to which the soil mass below it gradually lose its void and volume of soil mass decreased and become dry. This is called consolidation of soil.

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