Assessment of the elastic-viscoplastic behavior of soft soils improved with vertical drains capturing reduced shear strength of a disturbed zone

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Journal Article
International Journal of Geomechanics, 2016, 16 (1)
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© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers. Soil disturbance induced by the installation of vertical drains reduces the horizontal soil permeability and shear strength in the disturbed zone. Thus, the soil disturbance contributes to the reduced overconsolidation ratio (OCR) of the soil in the vicinity of drains, influencing soil deformation. Although a significant amount of research has been conducted on the effect of permeability variations in the smear zone, the influence of the reduced shear strength in the smear zone on the ground behavior has not been investigated. In this study, a numerical solution adopting an elastic-viscoplastic model with nonlinear creep function in combination with the consolidation equations has been developed. Moreover, the effects of shear strength variation in the disturbed zone on the time-dependent behavior of soft soil deposits improved with vertical drains and preloading have been studied. The applied elastic-viscoplastic model is based on the framework of the modified Cam-clay model, capturing soil creep during excess pore-water pressure dissipation. Furthermore, nonlinear variations of the creep coefficient with stress and time as well as the permeability variations during the consolidation process are considered. The predicted results have been compared with available field measurements. According to the results, the OCR profile of the disturbed zone influences the viscoplastic strain rate, the creep strain limit, and consequently the soil deformation.
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