Most of Iraqi soil is classified as Quaternary deposits, especially in the Mesopotamian plain and tributaries of the River Tigris. Soil varies from north to south of Iraq. These differences in soil affected the process to select the suitable type of foundation. This research is to study the effect of bearing capacity on shallow foundations in different regions of Iraq. Seventy nine samples were collected from 23 boreholes at three different locations (Mosul at the North, Baghdad at the middle and Basrah at the south of Iraq). The samples were collected at varying depth between 1 to 24 m. They were subjected to the following testes: Atterberg limits, sieve and hydrometers, consolidation, direct shear, unconfined compression and the filed (SPT test). The values of the bearing capacity parameters ( and c) were obtained from the above tests. The results obtained were used in the application of the general equation of the bearing capacity. Then, the model of a building was designed (two floors, with mat foundation type) using STAAD Pro software. The average values of bearing capacity in each region were applied in the program (Mosul = 177 KPa, Baghdad = 125 KPa and Basrah = 84 KPa). In addition, the worst bearing capacity values were also used for the three regions (Mosul = 77 KPa, Baghdad = 68 KPa and Basrah = 24 KPa). The results obtained from the average and worst bearing capacity indicated that for Mosul, we could use shallow foundation (spread and mat used if there was basement) for different areas and for buildings with many stories. For Baghdad region, shallow foundation was more suitable for building not higher than five stories. Finally, for Basrah region, shallow foundations were an appropriate selection, but for most areas deep foundation was the right choice.
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