Numerical analysis of vertical drains accelerated consolidation considering combined soil disturbance and visco-plastic behaviour

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Journal Article
Geomechanics and Engineering, 2015, 8 (2), pp. 187 - 220
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Azari Fatahi and Khabbaz.docxAccepted Manuscript Version3.03 MB
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© 2015 Techno-Press, Ltd. Soil disturbance induced by installation of mandrel driven vertical drains decreases the in situ horizontal hydraulic conductivity of the soil in the vicinity of the drains, decelerating the consolidation rate. According to available literature, several different profiles for the hydraulic conductivity variation with the radial distance from the vertical drain, influencing the excess pore water pressure dissipation rate, have been identified. In addition, it is well known that the visco-plastic properties of the soil also influence the excess pore water pressure dissipation rate and consequently the settlement rate. In this study, a numerical solution adopting an elastic visco-plastic model with nonlinear creep function incorporated in the consolidation equations has been developed to investigate the effects of disturbed zone properties on the time dependent behaviour of soft soil deposits improved with vertical drains and preloading. The employed elastic visco-plastic model is based on the framework of the modified Cam-Clay model capturing soil creep during excess pore water pressure dissipation. Besides, nonlinear variations of creep coefficient with stress and time and permeability variations during the consolidation process are considered. The predicted results have been compared with Väsby test fill measurements. According to the results, different variations of the hydraulic conductivity profile in the disturbed zone result in varying excess pore water pressure dissipation rate and consequently varying the effective vertical stresses in the soil profile. Thus, the creep coefficient and the creep strain limit are notably influenced resulting in significant changes in the predicted settlement rate.
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