Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

John D. Rice


This research intends to develop a testing apparatus to measure the critical gradient in sandy soils. The designed apparatus will be used in subsequent studies to develop a relationship between critical hydraulic gradient, soil properties and the inclination of the exit face.

This study evaluates several design modification to assess the effects of the modifications, and develop a design that most closely models the field mechanism of piping initiation. The design is initiated from a conceptual design and is executed into the first version. This design is called the Alpha Version. The next version, or more precisely, the Beta Version, corrects the inadequacies of the Alpha Version. Further modification would result in the Final Version.