Analysis of Matric Suction Effects Induced by Tree Roots on Rail Track Subgrade

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Conference Proceedings: CORE2008 Conference on Railway Engineering, 2008, pp. 599 - 610
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This study investigates the eflects of vegetation on soil matric suction and ground deformation. This paper highlights the inter-related parameters contributing to the development of a conceptual evapo-transpiration and root water uptake equilibrium model that is then incorporated in a comprehensive numerical model. The developed numerical model based on the finite element analysis (ABAQUS) considers fully coupled flowdeformation behaviour of soil. The model formulation is based on the effective stress approach developed for unsaturated soils. Based on the proposed model, the distribution of the matric suction proflle adjacent to the tree has been numerically anaiysed. To validate the model, an array of field measurements conducted at Miram site in Victoria, Australia have been compared with the numerical predictions. Then behaviour of a single tree on improving soil behaviour underneath rail tracks has been described. II is found that root water uptake and associated matric suction stabilise the soft soil beneath railway lines and a pattern of trees grown systematically along rail corridors may olter a cost eltective and environmentally attractive solution for the soft ground improvement in the long-term.
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