A new method for estimating the earth pressures on retaining walls has been developed. It is an extension of Coulomb's earth pressure theory for non cohesive materials that can follow a non-linear strength criterion. This was previously done by the authors (Serrano et al, 2007) for some basic assumptions that have now been extended. The method is valid for materials that may have either a linear or non-linear strength criterion (parabolic or Hoek-Brown), a non-horizontal surface and an earth-wall friction angle. The method considers the material dilatancy. Moreover, the failure surface does not need to be plane, as in previously developed methods, but its shape is obtained as a result of the calculus, by applying Euler's variational method that obtains the extremal force.

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