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Stabilisation of excavated slopes in strain softening materials with piles

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Title: Stabilisation of excavated slopes in strain softening materials with piles
Authors: Summersgill, F
Kontoe, S
Potts, DM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The use of a row of discrete vertical piles is an established method, successfully used to remediate failure of existing slopes and to stabilise potentially unstable slopes created by widening transport corridors. This paper challenges the assumptions made in current design procedures for these piles, which treat the pile only as an additional force or moment and simplify soil–pile interaction. Two-dimensional plane-strain finite-element analyses were performed to simulate the excavation of a slope in a stiff clay and the interaction of vertical piles within the slope. A non-local strain-softening model was employed for the stiff clay to reduce the mesh dependency of the solution. An extensive parametric study was performed to systematically examine the impact of pile position, dimensions (length and diameter) and time of pile construction on the stability of a cutting in London Clay, which was chosen as a representative strain-softening material. A variety of different failure mechanisms were identified, depending on pile location, dimensions and time of construction. The variability of the pile and slope interaction that was modelled suggests that an oversimplification during design could miss the critical failure mechanism or provide a conservative stabilisation solution. Given the prevalence of stiff clay slopes in the UK, increased capacity requirements of transport infrastructure and the age of slopes in this material, an informed and more realistic design of stabilisation piles will become increasingly necessary.
Issue Date: Jul-2018
Date of Acceptance: 24-Aug-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/50492
DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.17.P.096
ISSN: 0016-8505
Publisher: Thomas Telford
Start Page: 626
End Page: 639
Journal / Book Title: Géotechnique
Volume: 68
Issue: 7
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Author(s). Published with permission by the ICE under the CC-BY license. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Geotechnical Consulting Group
Geotechnical Consulting Group
Funder's Grant Number: GCG Chair
Keywords: Science & Technology
Engineering, Geological
piles & piling
soil stabilisation
0905 Civil Engineering
0907 Environmental Engineering
0914 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy
Geological & Geomatics Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://doi.org/10.1680/jgeot.17.P.096
Online Publication Date: 2018-06-13
Appears in Collections:Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering