Sorry to invade your forum
I am a structural engineer and have seen an interesting phenomenon a handful of times in the last few years. On a residential foundation, I observed a vertical crack – say ½” in constant width. The sites are flat but located in a Triassic Basin with a lot of plastic clays (Durham area of NC). All things indicate the footing has broken and translated longitudinally (or laterally in some cases) without settlement or rotation. The differential backfill is minimal. My go-to Geotech says no way. I don’t believe him. Can the soils shrink (or swell) in a manner to cause footing translation? All the foundations were part of a crawlspace or garage stem walls.
What are y’all’s thoughts?