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# Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Engineering

Professor Delwyn G. Fredlund University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK, Canada

GeoFrontiers 2005, Austin, Texas

**Geo-Institute, ASCE
**

January 23-26, 2005

**• Karl Terzaghi elevated Soil
**

Mechanics from an Art to a Science Effective Stress, (σ – uw), for describing mechanical behavior of saturated soils Chapter 14 “Capillary Forces” (Also Chapter 15) Biot (1941) addressed consolidation of unsaturated soils Concepts from Agriculture (Baver, 1940)

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John Wiley & Sons, 1943

Unsaturated Soil Mechanics Problems Described in “Theoretical Soil Mechanics” by K. Terzaghi (1943)

Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Engineering • • • • • • • • Introduction Challenges to Implementation Description of the Stress State Fundamental Constitutive Relations Role of the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve Use of SWCC in the Constitutive Relations Solution of a Series of PDEs Modeling Unsaturated Soils Problems .

seepage. through use of “direct” and “indirect” characterization of unsaturated soil property functions • To describe the Challenges Faced and the Solutions Generated in moving towards the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics . shear strength and volume change).Objectives • To illustrate the progression from theories and formulations to practical engineering protocols for solving a variety of unsaturated soil mechanics problems (e..g.

Gradual Emergence of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • 1950s: Independent measurement of pore-air and pore-water pressure through use of high air entry ceramic disks • 1960s: Laboratory testing of unsaturated soils • 1970s: Constitutive relations proposed and tested for uniqueness for unsaturated soils • 1980s: Solving formulations for classic Boundary Value Problems • 1990s: Establishing procedures for determination of unsaturated soil property functions • 2000+: Implementation into routine engineering practice .

Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #1: – To discover appropriate Stress State Variables for describing the physical behavior of unsaturated soils • Solution #1: ? .

high matric suctions) • Solution #2: ? ..Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #2: To develop devices that could measure a wide range of negative pore-water pressures (i.e.

Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #3: – To develop (and test for uniqueness) constitutive relations suitable for describing unsaturated soil behavior • Solution #3: ? .

.. nonlinear functions) • Solution #4: ? .Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #4: – To overcome the excessive costs associated with the determination (i.e. measurement) of unsaturated soil properties (i.e.

Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #5: – To solve nonlinear partial differential equations for unsaturated soils without having convergence difficulties during the iterative solution process • Solution #5: ? .

Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #6: – To promote and teach unsaturated soil mechanics at universities and in engineering practice • Solution #6: ? .

Water filling the voids .Local vertical zones of unsaturated soils Regional distribution of unsaturated soils SATURATED SOIL GROUNDWATER TABLE .Air in a dissolved state .

1000. 10.Zones of Unsaturation Defined by a Soil-Water Characteristic Curve.000 Inflection point Residual zone Soil suction (kPa) .000 100.000 1000. w Transition zone Air entry value Boundary effect zone Residual condition 1.0 10. 100.1 Gravimetric water content. SWCC (%) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0.

Unsaturated Soil REV as a Four Phase System REV = Representative Elemental Volume Air Contractile skin Soil particles -Two Phases that deform and come to rest under a stress gradient (SOLIDS) -Soil structure -Contractile skin Water -Two phases that continuously flow under a stress gradient (FLUIDS) -Water -Air .

Townsend and Rice.000 kPa Water-molecule distribution across the air-water interface (modified from Kyklema. 1991. 1991) Surface tension = 75 mN/m. Equivalent stress = 140.Structure and Stresses in the Contractile Skin Air thickness of the contractile skin t90/10 Water Liquid water density B PN Hyperbolic Tangent Function Water vapor density Thickness: 1.5 to 2 water molecules or about 5°A (Israelachvili. 2000) .

uw) τyx (σy .ua) .uw) (σx .uw) τzx (σz .ua) τyz τxz τxy τzy (ua .ua) (ua .Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #1: – To discover appropriate Stress State Variables for describing the physical behavior of unsaturated soils • Solution #1: – Designation of independent Stress State Variables based on multiphase continuum mechanics principles (ua .

uw) τzx (σz .ua) Derivation of the Stress State is based on the superposition of equilibrium stress fields for a multiphase continuum .uw) (σx .Definition of stress state at a point in an unsaturated soil (ua .ua) (ua .uw) (σy .ua) • Defines the stress state at a point in a continuum • State variables are independent of soil properties τyx τyz τxz τxy τzy (ua .

direction • Stress Tensors form the basis for a Science because we live in a 3-D Cartesian coordinate world ⎡(σx− ua) ⎢ τ ⎢ xy ⎢ τ xz ⎣ ⎡(ua − uw) ⎢ ⎢ 0 ⎢ 0 ⎣ τ yz (σz−ua )⎥ ⎦ 0 0 ⎤ ⎥ (ua− uw) 0 ⎥ (ua− uw)⎥ 0 ⎦ (σy−ua) τ yx τzx ⎤ ⎥ τzy ⎥ Matric Suction Stress Tensor .direction Y .direction Z .State Variable Stage (Unsaturated Soils) Net Total Stress Tensor X .

δij = Kroneker delta or substitution tensor. σ *ij = Bishop’s soil skeleton stress (Jommi 2000) S = degree of saturation Above proposed equations are constitutive relations .Variations in Stress State Description σ’ = (σ – ua) + χ (ua – uw) σ’ = effective stress χ = parameter related to saturation σ *ij = σij – [S uw + (1 – S) ua ] δ ij σij = total stress tensor.

high matric suctions) • Solution #2: .To develop devices that can measure a wide range of negative pore-water pressures (i.e.New instrumentation such as the high suction tensiometers and indirect thermal conductivity suction sensors provide viable techniques for the laboratory and the field ..Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #2: .

Monitoring for Verification Purposes • Measurements of movement: same as for saturated soils • Measurement of water content: TDR Technology • Measurement of matric suction: – Direct measurement techniques • Low range tensiometers (< 90 kPa) • High range direct tensiometers (< 1200 kPa) – Presently primarily for laboratory use – Indirect measurement techniques • Thermal conductivity sensors .

Dielectric constant varies with the water content of the soil TDR ThetaProbe.K. ML2x manufactured by AT Delta Devices.Monitoring of Water Content Measures the dielectric constant for the soil around the rods. . U.

Monitoring of Matric Suction Measures the thermal conductivity of a standard ceramic that varies in water content with the applied matric suction .

0 T 1-3 T 2-8 T 3-11 T 4-14 Matric suction (kPa) Matric Suction (kPa) 175.0 0.3 m below 200.In Situ Matric Suction measurements using Thermal Conductivity sensorsVersus1.0 Frost T 4-14 T 5-16 T 5-16 T 1-3 T 2-8 25.0 150.0 -to m to 1.0 125.0 15-Sep-00 Equalization 5-Oct-00 25-Oct-00 14-Nov-00 Time (Days) T 3-11 4-Dec-00 24-Dec-00 Time (Days) .0 50.0 100.0 1.0 75.3mDepth Range roadway Matric Suction at Time 1.

2004) Pore air pressure control Top cap O .ring 5 – bar high air-entry ceramic disk Water in the compartment is pre-pressurized to destroy cavitation nuclei .Direct.ring Coarse corundum disk Filter paper Silicone rubber grommet Rubber membrane Latex rubber. to seal the rubber membrane and grommet Mini suction probe Specimen O . high suction sensor used to measure suctions greater than one atmosphere on the side of a triaxial specimen (Meilani.

uw) .Constitutive relations for saturated soils needed to be extended to embrace the effect of changing degrees of saturation tr al s rm no .Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #3: – To develop (and test for uniqueness) constitutive relations suitable for describing unsaturated soil behavior Void ratio e am at • Solution #3: .u a) t (σ Ne ess Matric suction (ua .

Unsaturated Soil Mechanics might be referred to as NONLINEAR SOIL MECHANICS! . water content changes • Other topics in soil mechanics: – Heat flow (Freeze-Thaw and Evaporation) – Air flow – Contaminant transport Each constitutive relationship requires a nonlinear soil property function.Fundamental Constitutive Relations for Unsaturated Soils • Constitutive Behaviors in Classic Soil Mechanics: – Seepage – Shear strength – Volume-mass changes: Void ratio. therefore.

the flow law is nonlinear and subject to hysteresis . y-. h dh vx = − k wx dx dh v y = −k wy dy dh vz = − k wz dz Darcy’s law (1856) for flow in the x-.Water Seepage Constitutive Relations uw h = +Y ρwg Driving potential for water flow is hydraulic head. kw is a function of matric suction. therefore. and z-direction Coefficient of permeability.

E-06 0.E-04 1.1 1 10 Drying Wetting Drying Drying Wetting Wetting Soil suction (kPa) Soil suction (kPa) .E-01 1.Shape of the water permeability function for glass beads tested by Mualem (1976 ) Coefficient of permeability (m/s) 1.E-05 1.E-02 1.E-03 1.

The SWCC for the glass beads showing hysteresis during drying and wetting 100 Degree of saturation.1 1 Drying Drying Wetting Wetting 10 Soil suction (kPa) Soil suction (kPa) Hysteresis in the SWCC produces hysteresis in the Permeability function . % 80 60 40 20 0 0.

kPa-1 8 4 2 0 Water storage function is the slope of the SWCC.Water Storage in an Unsaturated Soil Water content. Required for transient seepage analyses 0.1 1. % 40 30 20 10 0 0. SWCC Also has a hysteretic effect Soil suction. kPa .0 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1E+6 Soil suction.1 1.0 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1E+6 Soil-Water Characteristic Curve. kPa Water storage modulus.

therefore.Air Flow Constitutive Relations du a v ax = −k ax dx Driving potential for air flow is Pore-air pressure. y-. ua v ay = − k ay du a dy Fick’s law for flow in the x-. the flow law is nonlinear and subject to hysteresis du a v az = −k az dz Observation: Soil properties for unsaturated soils become nonlinear functions and are hysteretic in character . and z-direction Coefficient of permeability. ka is a function of matric suction.

1978 τ = c + (σ n − ua ) tan φ + (ua − u w ) f1 ' ' f1 = function showing the rate of increase in shear strength with matric suction . Morgenstern and Widger.Shear Strength Constitutive Relations τ = c + (σ n − ua ) tan φ + (ua − uw ) tan φ ' ' b Linear form of the extended MohrCoulomb shear strength equation Fredlund.

Morgenstern and Widger. (σ . 1978) Shear strength versus suction is nonlinear and affected by hysteresis (ua-uw) Shear strength. τ Air entry value φ’ c’ Net normal stress.ua) .Extended Mohr-Coulomb failure surface (Fredlund.

τ (kPa) 1000 10000 Suction.ua)f = 72. S (%) AEV = 60 kPa 0 kPa.5 Multistage direct shear test results on compacted glacial till (Gan et al.6 kPa c’ = 10 kPa 400 300 100 200 Matric suction. e = 0.514 OPTIMUM INITIAL WATER CONTENT SPECIMEN Soil-Water Characteristic Curve for glacial till 10 100 Shear strength.ua)f tan φ’= 34..100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 Degree of Saturation. 1988) . e =0. (ua-uw) (kPa) 500 φ’ = 25. (kPa) 100000 1000000 250 200 150 100 50 0 0 (σf .517 25 kPa.6 kPa AEV = 60 kPa (σf .

**Reference compression curves for a Saturated Soil
**

Elasto-plastic form

Yield stress

Void ratio

e

Cc ≈ 0 . 434 C c ln( 10 ) Cs κ = ≈ 0 . 434 C s ln( 10 )

Specific volume

v = (1+e)

λ =

Cs

**Preconsolidation pressure Classic soil mechanics form
**

Cc

p0 Ln(p) Effective mean stress Effective mean stress

σ0

Log(σ)

Effective vertical stress Effective vertical stress

**Volume–Mass Constitutive Surfaces for Regina Clay Preconsolidated at 200 kPa (Pham, 2004)
**

Void ratio, e

2.5

2

Yield Yield

2.5

2

Void ratio

1.5

1

0.5

1

0.5 0 0. 01 . 1 Lo 0 g 1 0 so 10 0 0. il s 0. 01 10 0 So uc 1 1 10 10 0 00 tio il s 10 ) n 10 0000 0 10 0 (k (kPa 10 0 uc 1 00 06 Pa e ss tr 00 1e + an s tio ) 0 t me ess ne n Lo g al str ot

Residual value

Net t

Void ratio

1.5

**Volume–Mass Constitutive Surfaces for Regina Clay Preconsolidated at 200 kPa (Pham, 2004)
**

Water content, w

SWCC

0.8 Gravimetric water content 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0

0 .0 1 .1 Lo 0 gs 1 oil 10 su 100 0 ct i on 100 0 (kP 1000 000 a) 100 e+06 1

Yield

Yield

0.8 0.6 Air entry value 0.5 0.4 0.3 Gravimetric water content 0.7

**Residual value Residual value
**

1 0.1 0.0 1

0.2 0.1 0

So

il s

uc tio n

10 00 0

10 00

10 0

10

Log

) (kPa tress ean s net m

ss l stre ta Net to

S 1.75 0. 1 Lo 0 g 1 0 so 10 0 0.Volume–Mass Constitutive Surfaces for Regina Clay Preconsolidated at 200 kPa (Pham.75 0.25 Air entry value 1. 01 10 00 uc 1 1 0 10 1 tio 0 10 So n 10 0000 0 10 Pa ) 0 (k 0 il s 10 ss (k 10 e +0 6 00 Pa e 00 1 n str uc ) 0 ss mea tio et l stre og n L n t tota Ne Degree of saturation (S) .25 Degree of saturation (S) 1 0.5 0. 2004) Degree of saturation. 01 . il s 0.25 1 Residual value 0.5 0.25 0 0.

62375 0.25 0.53125 0.25 0.05 Lo 0. 1 0 0.3 AEV 0.43875 0. 1 0 0.3925 0.3 0.5775 Void ratio (e) 1 1. S 1.67 0.67 0.3 0.15 SWCC 0. 10 0 il s 0.5 Lo g 1 0.05 0. 10 0 0.62375 0.2 0.25 . 01 10 00 1 1 10 10 000 10 Pa ) 10 000 0 10 0 (k s (k 10 00 10 1e +0 6 Pa tre s 00 an s ) 0 me ne t Lo g D g eo sa ra n e re f tu tio 1 G vim tric w te co te t ra e a r n n Volume–Mass Constitutive Surfaces for Beaver Creek Sand (Pham.2 0. 01 . 01 . 01 .34625 0.25 D g eo sa ra n e re f tu tio 0.3 so 10 0 il s 0.53125 0.75 0.5775 Void ratio (e) 0.3925 0. 01 0 0 1 0 uc 1 1 10 tio 10 00 10 ) n 10 0000 0 10 (kPa 0 (k 00 10 e +0 6 100 e ss Pa 1 n str 00 ) mea ne t Lo g Degree of saturation.34625 0.485 0.43875 0.25 0 1 0.G vim tric w te co te t ra e a r n n 0.485 0.25 0.75 0.15 Basic volume-mass equation S e = w Gs Void ratio. 1 0 g 1 0 so 0. e 0. 2004) Water content.1 0 0.1 0. w 0. 01 00 1 uc 10 1 10 0000 ti o 10 n( 10 0 00 0 10 0 kP 0 (kPa ) 00 a) 10 1e +0 6 10 0 tre ss 00 ean s et m Lo g n Lo g so il su cti on 0 0.5 0. 1 .

10 0 il s 0.05 Air entry value 0.2 0.3 G vim tric w te co te t ra e a r n n 0. 1 g 0 1 so 0. 2004) Water content.15 0.Volume–Mass Constitutive Surfaces for Beaver Creek Sand (Pham. w 0.3 0.1 0. 01 10 00 uc 1 1 So 0 10 tio 1 000 10 n il s 10 000 0 Pa ) 10 0 (k ss (k 0 e +0 6 10 00 1 Pa uc stre 00 1 ean ) 0 m tio ess ne t n Lo g al str ot Net t G vim tric w te co te t ra e a r n n .25 0. 0 0.2 0.25 SWCC Residual value 0.05 1 Lo 0.15 0.1 0 0.

.Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #4: – To overcome the excessive costs associated with the determination (i. measurement) of unsaturated soil properties (i.Indirect.0 1E-1 1E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 Predicted from grain-size Experimental Suction (kPa) . nonlinear functions) • Solution #4: . estimation procedures have been developed to obtain unsaturated soil property functions based on SoilWater Characteristic Curves Water content 40 30 20 10 0.e.e..

Role and Measurement of the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve.Water permeability ..1 1 10 100 1000 Air Entry Value Specimen 1 Specimen 2 Specimen 3 .SWCC has been successfully used to estimate all unsaturated soil property functions Gravimetric water content (%) 20 16 12 8 4 0 0.Air permeability . SWCC define the relationship between the amount of water in a soil and soil suction (i. matric suction and total suction) .Incremental elasticity Sand Residual Value Soil suction (kPa) * ASTM Standard D6836-02 (2003) .Shear strength .Thermal flow . SWCC -Soil-Water Characteristic Curves.e.

1 1 10 100 1000 Specimen 1 Specimen 2 Specimen 3 Residual = 120 kPa Residual = 62 kPa Soil suction (kPa) .Measured drying and wetting curves on processed silt (Pham. 2002) Gravimetric water content (%) 25 AEV = 10 kPa 20 WEV = 4.5 kPa 15 10 5 0 0.

Tempe.Pressure Plate Apparatus to Measure Void Ratio and Water Content While Applying Total Stress and Matric Suction Manufactured by GCTS. AZ Air supply High air entry disk .

Fifteen bar Pressure Plate equipment manufactured by GCTS. U.S.A. • • • • • • • Wide range of applied suctions Applies total stresses Measures water and total volume change Measure diffused air Test individual specimens Null-type initial suction Drying and wetting modes .

Gravimetric water content (%) 20 16 12 8 4 0 0.van Guenuchten (1980) Asymmetry Variable Wetting 10 100 1000 Soil suction (kPa) w (ψ ) = C (ψ ) × {ln[ e + (ψ ws a f ) n f ]} m f Rate of desaturation Correction Factor C (ψ ) = 1 − ln(1 + ψ Air entry value ψr) ψr) ψ = Soil suction Fredlund and Xing (1994) ln[1 + (1000000 .1 1 Drying Specimen 1 Specimen 2 Specimen 3 Equations to Best-Fit SWCC Data Numerous equations have been proposed: -Brooks & Corey (1964) .

Hysteresis in the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve • Hysteretic SWCC Models will eventually be available for geotechnical usage • Presently.50 Log cycle .60 Log cycle Values • Average: 0.15 to 0.35 to 0.35 Log cycle • Average: 0.25 Log cycle Estimation – Loam soils: 0. the Geotechnical Engineer must decide which curve to use: – Select wetting curve or drying curve based on process being simulated • Hysteresis loop shift at point of inflection: – Sands: 0.

4 0. θw 0.3 III-W III-D IV&V-D I&II-D III-W III-D IV&V-D I&II-D IV&V-W IV&V-W III-W III-D IV&V-D I&II-D 0.2 0.1 0. 2004) Section B Section M Section T Volumetric water content.0 IV&V-W 1 10 1 10 Soil suction (kPa) 1 10 Suctions with Tensiometers Water content with TDR .Model measurements of water content and matric suction showing the SWCC relationship from water contents and matric suctions during wetting and drying simulations (Tami et al.

Approaches that can be used to obtain the Soil–Water Characteristic curves Determination of Soil-Water Characteristic Curves. SWCC Laboratory measurement of water content versus suction SWCC predictions from grain size distribution Numerous models SWCC predictions from grain size & Atterberg limits Parameters for numerous models Dataset “mining” for typical SWCC Pressure plate < 1500 kPa Vacuum desiccators > 1500 kPa Soils with similar grain size or soil classification Decreasing accuracy .

1 1 10 100 Experimental Fit .0001 0.1997 1 10 100 1000 10000 1E+5 1E+6 Suction (kPa) .001 0.Soil-Water Characteristic Curve computed from a Grain Size Distribution Curve Percent passing (%) 100 80 60 40 20 0 40 0.curve Particle size (mm) Water content Predicted from grain-size Experimental 30 20 10 0.01 0.0 0.1 Fredlund et al.

MUST have an indication of the SWCC • Unsaturated soil property functions render the solution of a problem nonlinear .Incorporation of SWCC into the Constitutive Relations for Unsaturated Soils • Unsaturated soil property functions rely on the saturated soil properties PLUS the soil-water characteristic curve. SWCC • Therefore.

Seepage Constitutive Relations in Terms of SWCC References for the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve van Genuchten (1980) Brooks & Cory (1964) Permeability Models kr = kw/ksat Burdine (1953) 1 − (αψ ) n − 2 [1 + (αψ ) n ]− m kr (ψ ) = [1 + (αψ ) n ]2n m =1− 2 n kr (ψ ) = (αψ ) −2 − 3λ Mualem (1976) {1 − (αψ )n −1[1 + (αψ )n ]− m}2 kr (ψ ) = [1 + (αψ )n ]0.5 m = 1− 1 n .

Seepage Constitutive Relations in Terms of SWCC References for the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve Fedlund and Xing (1994) Campbell (1974) Permeability Models kr = kw/ksat Child and Collis – George (1950) kr = ln(ψ ) b ∫ b θ (e y ) − θ (ψ ) ey θ ' (e y )dy θ ' (e y )dy ln(ψ aev ) ∫ θ (e y ) − θ s e y ψ − 2− b kr = ( ) ψ aev 2 b = Ln (1000000) θ (ψ) = Soil water content y = Dummy variable of integration representing the logarithm of integration .

E-05 1.Burdine Vapor Kv Fredlund and Xing Overall Kw + Kv Campbell 0.E-10 1.E-04 1.E-11 1.E-14 1.E-06 1.E-13 1.E-08 1.E-15 1.E-12 1.E-16 1.Usage of several functions to predict permeability functions from the SWCC for a particular soil and a suggested lower limit for the permeability function 1.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1E+06 Soil suction (kPa) .E-07 1.E-17 Coefficient of permeability (m/s) Experimental data Van Genuchten .Mualem Brooks and Corey Van Genuchten .E-09 1.

(1996) Θn θ −θr = θs −θr SWCC τ = c ' + (σ Shear strength n − u a ) tan φ '+ψ Θ n tan φ ' Matric suction Angle of internal friction Intercept of the MohrCoulomb failure envelope on the shear stress axis Net normal stress on the failure plane .Shear Strength Constitutive Equation Written in Terms of SWCC Vanapalli et al.

Stress Analysis (for Shear Strength Problems) Constitutive Relations in Terms of SWCC Fredlund et al. (1996) θ Θd = SWCC θs κ τ = c'+(σ n − u a ) tan φ '+ψ (Θ d ) tan φ ' Shear strength Intercept of the MohrCoulomb failure envelope on the shear stress axis net normal stress on the failure plane Matric suction Angle of internal friction Fitting parameter used for obtaining a best-fit between the measured and predicted value .

Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #5: – To solve nonlinear partial differential equations for unsaturated soils without having convergence difficulties during the iterative solution process • Solution #5: – Adaptive mesh (grid) generation techniques in computer technology facilitates convergence 50 40 30 20 10 0 90 100 110 120 130 140 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 .

for seepage Displacement . must be derived Boundary Boundary Value Must be Supplied Utilize general purpose PDE Solvers to solve partial differential equations for saturated-unsaturated soil system . PDE.Solving a Boundary Value Problem Typical Boundary Conditions Flux Force Head .for stress Boundary Boundary Boundary Element for which a Partial Differential Equation.

bearing capacity and earth pressure • Stress-Deformation volume change and distortion – Incremental elasticity – Elasto-plastic models . PSEs. for Soil Mechanics Partial Differential Equations. PDEs • All classic areas of soil mechanics can be viewed in terms of the solution of a Partial Differential Equation • Water flow through porous soils (Saturated or Unsaturated) • Air flow through unsaturated soils • Stress analysis for slope stability.Problem Solving Environments.

Partial Differential Equation for SaturatedUnsaturated Water Flow Analysis Head variable to be solved ∂k ∂h ∂ h ∂k ∂h ∂h w ∂ h w + ky + + k = − m2 γ w 2 2 ∂x ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂y ∂t 2 w x w x 2 w y Water coefficient of permeability (function of soil suction) Water storage (function of soil suction) Time .

Partial Differential Equation for Unsaturated Air Flow Analysis Pore-air pressure (primary variable to be solved) ∂ 2 u a ∂k a ⎛ ∂u a ⎞ ∂k a ⎛ ∂u a ∂ 2ua ⎜ + + ka ka ⎜ ⎟+ 2 2 ∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎠ ∂y ⎜ ∂y ∂y ∂x ⎝ ⎞ ⎛ e w ⎞ ω a g ∂u a ⎟ = −⎜ S a − u a m2 ⎟ ⎟ ⎝1+ e ⎠ RT ∂t ⎠ Air coefficient of permeability (function of soil suction) Air storage and compressibility (function of soil suction) Time .

Partial Differential Equation for SaturatedUnsaturated Stress-Deformation Analysis ∂ ⎡ ∂u ∂v ⎤ ∂ ⎡ ⎛ ∂u ∂v ⎞⎤ + D12 ⎥ + ⎢ D44 ⎜ ⎢ D11 ⎜ ∂y + ∂x ⎟⎥ = 0 ⎟ ∂x ⎣ ∂x ∂y ⎦ ∂y ⎣ ⎝ ⎠⎦ X– ⎛ ∂u ∂v ⎞ ⎤ ∂ ⎡ ∂ ⎡ ∂u ∂v ⎤ + D11 ⎥ + γ t = 0 ⎢ D44 ⎜ + ⎟ ⎥ + ⎢ D12 ∂x ⎣ ∂x ∂y ⎦ ⎝ ∂y ∂x ⎠ ⎦ ∂y ⎣ D11. D12. D44 = Combination of E and µ which are function of soil suction and net total stresses Stress-deformation analyses have a degrees of freedom in each of the Cartesian coordinate directions Y– .

Yeh. 2000) • Mesh is dynamically upgraded during the solution based on error estimates • AGR becomes extremely important when solving the nonlinear PDEs associated with Unsaturated Soil Mechanics .Convergence of Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations • Convergence is the single most pressing problem facing modelers • Most successful solutions have involved Adaptive Grid Refinement methods. AGR (Oden. 1989.

Two-dimensional seepage analysis through an earthfill dam with a clay core. Optimized mesh for saturatedunsaturated seepage analysis Equipotential lines .

Problem illustrating the solution of a 3-dimensional. automatically generated finite element mesh Modeling of a waste tailings pond . saturated-unsaturated seepage PDE Optimized.

Stress analysis PDE combined with the Dynamic Programming procedure to compute the factor of safety DP Ge ne ra te d Critic a l S lip S urfa ce 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 20 FOS = 1.3 Shape and location of the slip surface are a part of the solution DP Search Bounda ry Finite Ele me nt S he a r S tre ss 40 Dista nce 60 80 .

Prediction of Heave or Collapse of a Soil • Requires the solution of a saturated-unsaturated seepage model and a stress-deformation model Coupled Uncoupled Pseudo-coupled Saturated-Unsaturated Seepage Model Computes changes in matric suction Saturated-Unsaturated Stress-Deformation Model Computes deformations .

q Flexible cover Depth. m 1 2 Flux = 0 C L Flux = 0 Constant suction = 400 kPa 3 0 3 6 9 12 Distance from centre of cover or slab. m .Scenario of Edge Lift for a Flexible Impervious Cover Boundary conditions and initial conditions must be specified both seepage and stress-deformation SVFlux 0 Infiltration.

m 0 1 Can have one optimized Adaptive Mesh generated for seepage model and another for the stress-deformation model Concrete slab C L 2 3 0 3 6 9 12 Distance from center.SVFlux and SVSolid Depth. m .

Matric Suction at Ground Surface after One Day of Infiltration for Various Infiltration Rates Distance under slab Matric suction. kPa 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 2 4 6 8 C L Initial q = 10 mm/day Specified zero suction q = 20 q = 30 q = 40 q = 50 q = 60 10 12 Distance from centre of cover. m SVFlux .

m SVSolid .(mm) 20 15 10 5 0 0 C L q = 60 mm/day q = 50 q = 40 q = 30 q = 10 q = 20 2 4 6 8 10 12 Distance from centre of cover.Vertical Displacements at Ground Surface after One Day of Infiltration Distance under slab 25 specified zero suction Heave.

Challenges to the Implementation of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics • Challenge #6: – To promote implementation of unsaturated soil mechanics into engineering practice • Solution #6: .Educational materials and visualization tools have been produced to better teach and understand unsaturated soil mechanics .

Concluding Remarks • Unsaturated Soil Mechanics needs to be first understood from the standpoint of the Constitutive equations describing soil behavior • Constitutive Equations can be written in terms of the SWCC for the soil which are then known as Unsaturated Soil Property Functions. USPF • Direct and Indirect procedures are available for the assessment of the SWCC • It is always possible to obtain an estimate of the required Unsaturated Soil Property Functions for geotechnical engineering applications .

Karl Terzaghi deserves credit not only for the fundamentals of saturated soil behavior but also for the fundamentals of unsaturated soil behavior Geo-Institute. 2005 Thank You . Texas January 23-26. Austin.