• Fröhlich's concentration factor;
  • Boussinesq's solution;
  • compatibility constraints;
  • load diffusion in a halfspace;
  • uniqueness of solution;
  • integrability of the strains;
  • contact stresses;
  • elastic nonhomogeneity


The concentration factor introduced by O. K. Fröhlich is visualized as a procedure for examining the pattern of load transfer from surface loads to the interior of a geomaterial. The historical details that led to the introduction of the concentration factor are scant although it is widely used in the area of soil mechanics problems associated with tillage-induced soil compaction. The purpose of this note is to examine the concentration factor in terms of the geomechanics of an elastic continuum and to identify the precise conditions that are satisfied by the distribution of stresses and strains that accommodate the concentration factor. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.