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E.C. Shin Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental System Engineering, University of Incheon, Republic of Korea

ABSTRACT:In recent years, soil improvement works have been extensively implemented for the various marginal lands development projects. A great amount soils are hydraulically filled by the dredging ship and various soil improvement techniques are being used for stabilization of soft ground. Some ground modifications are required for reinforcing the soil to have enough bearing capacity and confinement to support the load carried by the existing or superstructures. The paper presents the current construction methods of sand piling including sand compaction piles, sand drains, strong sand pile , mammoth compaction pile, compaction grouting, stone column, vibro-compaction, shallow and deep dynamic compactions, vertical and horizontal vacuum consolidations, prefabricated vertical drains, and progressive trenching method. Design procedures, construction sequences, and quality control for various soil improvement methods are presented. Finally, construction case histories of soil improvement are also discussed with construction process, field performance for both sandy and clayey soils. The selection of soil improvement method is depended on geological formation of soil, soil characteristics, cost, availability of backfill material, and experience in the past.


additional confining pressure along required part of completed sand drain by means of flexible fiber sack. Sand compaction piles on reclaimed land from the sea usually have diameters varying between 0.6-0.8 m with an area replacement ratio, a s 0.3 0.5. Typical pile spacings range from 1.5 m to 2.5 m. Construction procedures of the sand compaction piles are shown in Fig.1 The steps for sand compaction pile construction are as follows: Step 1. Installing a casing pipe having an outside diamete r of 0.4 m and a wall thickness of 16 mm at a designated position on the ground with an allowabl e maximum horizontal deviation of 0.3 m . Step 2. Driving the casing pipe into the ground by the vibro-hammer with an allowable deviation of two d egrees with respect to the vertical. The vibrator us ed has the following characteristics: weight, 54 kN ( 6.1 ton); driven by a 90-kW (120 hp) motor and had a vibrating force of 443 kN (50 ton). When a localized hard spot is encountered with SPT N-values greater than 20, water jetting is used to facilitate the penetration of soil layer. If the possibility of mud to enter the casing, air pressure in the range of 294-392 kN/m2 is applied. Step 3. When the casing pipe reaches the desired depth (that is, penetrated the full depth of the soft clayeys oil which varied from 20 m to 25 m), about 2 m3of s and is filled through the upper hopper of the pipe. The casing pipe is then drawn up at the speed of 9 m/min through a distance of 3 m . Step 4. An air pressure of 588 kN/m2 is applied to the to of the sand for extrusion from the tip of the casing. Step 5. The casing pipe is redriven through a distance of 2 m under vibration to compact the sand pile. Step 6. Steps 3, 4 and 5 are continued until the sand pile is built up to the ground level. Construction procedures of sand drain are Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 outlined above. The diameters of sand drains are

In the past 40 years, various soil improvement methods such as deep chemical mixing method, construction of compacted granular columns, grouting, prefabricated vertical drains (PVD), shallow and deep dynamic compactions, vertical and horizontal vacuum consolidations, progressive trenching method (PTM), and preloading have been used for onshore or offshore land development projects. Sand compaction piles have been extensively used in Asian countries like Korea, Japan, Singapore for offshore development projects. While vibro-compaction and deep dynamic compaction methods are more frequently used in Middle Eastern countries as well as European countries. Grouting techniques are more popular in Japan and USA, and South American countries. The vertical & horizontal vacuum consolidations and PTM are mostly applied to an ultra soft clayey soil for the land reclamation project. Installation of compacted granular piles and PVD can accelerate the consolidation process of clayey soil and hence increase its shear strength. Construction of these vertical drains also increases the load bearing capacity and prevents the possible damages by earthquake. Vertical drain methods are fast and relatively inexpensive methods compared to the other deep stabilization methods. Most of soil improvement works are for the construction of airport, various storage tanks, embankment for roads, industrial complex, port and harbor facilities, and so on.

Sand compaction pile technique was developed by Murayama (1958) in Japan. Since then several different methods of making sand compaction piles such as sand drain, packed drain, strong sand pile, and mammoth compaction pile for different degrees of densification and site condition have been developed. Sand compaction piles are usually constructed in a soil which has an 2 undrained shear strength varying from 5kN/ m to 2 15kN/ m to provide enough confining pressure to the completed sand compaction pile. Packed drain method can be possibly applied if the existing soil has less than the required undrained shear strength because it provides

usually varying from 0.4 m to 0.5 m with a center-tocenter spacing ranging from 1.8 m to 2.5 m. Therefore, density of compacted sand in sand drain is less than that of the sand compaction pile described above. Construction sequence of strong sand pile is similar to that for a sand drain with the exception of horizontal and circular vibration of the casing pipe in Step 4. Additional compaction is also applied directly to the sand discharged out of the lower end of the casing pipe by a horizontal vibrator. The density of compacted sand in strong sand pile is much higher than that of the sand compaction pile. Strong sand pile can be constructed on reclaimed land or sea. Construction procedure of the mammoth compaction pile is similar to that in sand compaction pile outlined previously. This particular method is usually used in offshore construction as shown in Fig.2. Typical diameters and area replacement ratio range from 0.8 m to 2.0 m and as 0.5 0.8. Generally 2 to 4 mammoth compaction piles are constructed simultaneously from a large barge.

1. The slope of the sand pile deviated more than two degrees from the vertical direction. 2. The pre-estimated length of the sand pile was not achieved due to localized hard spots. 3. The casing pipe did not reach the required depth past localized hard spots due to the malfunctioning of water jet equipment. 4. Horizontal deviation of the actual sand pile location was more than 0.3 m from the designated location. 5. The sand pile was broken during the construction process. The reason for breakage are (a) malfunctioning of the lower end of the casing (shoe) and (b) careless operation of the construction equipment. 6. The level of sand inside the casing drawn on the automatic recording graph was more than 0.3 m due to the incomplete extrusion of sand from the bottom end of the casing. This was due to insufficient air pressure. 7. Automatic recording graphs were not drawn well due to malfunctioning of the recording system. 8. The gradation of the sand was not in agreement with the design requirements.

Grouting methods are categorized into : (a) permeating grouting, (b) compaction grouting, (c) hydro-fracture grouting. Among them, compaction grouting method is commonly used for ground reinforcement. Compaction grouting uses displacement to improve ground conditions. A very viscous(low-mobility), aggregate grout is pumped in several stages to form grout bulbs, which displace and densify the surrounding soils. The high degree of soil improvement can be achieved by sequencing the grouting work from primary to secondary to tertiary locations. Fig.1 Construction sequence for sand compaction pile Compaction grouting technique can be applied in the areas of karstic regions, rubble fill and poorly placed fill, loosened soil, liquefiable soils, and collapsible soils to fill the void and to compensate for ground loss during tunneling work and reinforcement. The construction process of the compaction grouting process is shown in Fig.3.

Fig.2 Construction of mammoth compaction pile Shin, et al.(1992) reported the soil improvement case history of steel mill complex in Korea A total of 23,217 sand compaction piles and 27,224 sand drains were attempted, out of which only 0.62% of the sand compaction piles and 0.36% of the sand drains were not successful. The cases for which sand pile construction was not successful were due to one or more of the following reasons:

Fig.3 Construction of compaction grouting Several geotechnical considerations must take into account to form a good quality of compaction grouting (Hayward Baker, 2005).

1. The in-situ vertical stress in the treatment stratum must be sufficient to enable the grout to displace the soil horizontally. In this case, the grout injection pres sure should be carefully selected to prevent the uncontrolled heave of the ground surface. 2. The grout injection rate should be show enough to allow pore pressure dissipation. Pore pressure dissipation should also be considered in hole spacing and sequencing. 3. Sequencing of grout injection is also important. If the soil is not near saturation, compaction grouting can usually be effective in most silts and sands. 4. The loss of the shear strength of soil during remolding for the case of saturated, fine-grained soils, and sensitive clays should be avoided. 5. The great amount of soil displacement could be occurred in weaker soil strata. Exhumed grout bulbs confirm that compaction grouting focuses improvement where it is most needed. 6. Collapsible soils can usually be treated effectively with the addition of water during drilling prior to compaction grout injection. 7. Stratified soils, particularly thinly stratified soils, can be caused for difficult or reduced improvement capability. 8. In case of compensation grouting, rate of tunnel advance and tunneling method must be considered to avoid a void space in the grouted area. The adequate range of grain-size distribution for various soils for compaction grouting is shown in Fig.4.

Quality control of compaction grouting can be achieved by following the procedural inspection and documentation of the work activity, testing to ensure proper mix design/injection rates, and verification of ground improvement where applicable. Ground improvement can be assessed by in-situ test like standard penetration test (SPT), cone penetration test (CPT), and geophysical methods. Data recording system for monitoring the important grouting parameters can be used on sensitive projects to have a good quality control.

Compacted stone columns are stiffer than the surrounding soil which replaced. Because the stone column is cohesionless, its stiffness depends upon the lateral support given by the soil around it. If that support is inadequate, the stone column fails by bulging. Compacted stone column method is normally used the soil which has an 2 undrained shear strength varying from 15kN/ m to 2 45kN/ m to provide enough confining pressure to the completed stone column. Densification of the soil with stone columns is accomplished by either top-feed or the bottom-feed method. The stability of a soil-stone column composite system also depends on whether skin friction develops between the column and the soil surrounding it. Soft compressible soils undergo much lower settlements when they are stiffened by stone column. Bulging of the stone column under the applied load causes horizontal compression of the soil between columns which provides additional confinement for the stone. An equilibrium is eventually reached resulting in reducing probable settlement, increasing the shear strength of soil and hence the bearing capacity, and mitigate the potential for liquefaction when compared to unreinforced soil.. The two primary construction methods of compacted stone column are practiced : (a) wet, top feed method, replacement and displacement method, (b) dry, bottom feed method, displacement method. In the first method, that is, replacement and displacement method, jetting water is used to remove soft material, stabilize the probe hole, and ensure that the stone backfill reaches the tip of the vibrator. This is the most commonly used and most cost-efficient of the deep vibratory methods. However, handling of the spoil generated by the process may make this method more difficult to use on confined sites or in environmentally sensitive areas. The latter method, that is, dry and bottom feed method uses the same vibrator probes as standard compacted stone columns, but with the addition of a hopper and supply tube to feed the stone backfill directly to the tip of the vibrator. Bottom feed displacement method is a completely dry operation where the vibrator remains in the ground during the construction process. The elimination of flushing water in turn eliminates the generation of spoil, extending the range of sites that can be treated. up to a depth of 24 m and is not inhibited by the presence of groundwater. The construction process of compacted stone column is shown in Fig.5.

Fig.4 Adequate range of grain-size distribution for compaction grouting. There are several advantages of compaction grouting such as pinpoint treatment, fast installation, and wide range of application. This technique can be effectively applicable in a variety of soil conditions. It can be performed in very tight access and low headroom conditions. Compaction grouting is non-hazardous and yields no waste spoil disposal. There is no connection needed to the footing or column. This method is used in the manner of non-destructive way and adaptable to existing foundations. There is no necessary to removal and replacement or piling, so it is cost effective ground reinforcement technique and minimized the surface environment.

The friction angle, may have a big effect on the horizontal shear resistance of the stone reinforced soil. Modulus 2 values in the range of 40 to 70 MN/ m . Settlement and stability calculations were also performed using effective stress parameters of the soil (Goughnour, 1983 ; Priebe, 1976 ). Design values of 20 to 30 tons per column are typical for columns in soft to stiff clays (Mitchell, 1981). Both limit analysis (Hughes and Withers, 1974) and experience (Thorburn, 1975) indicate that the allowable vertical stress, on a single column can be expressed by
= N SC c u /F.S

Fig.5 Construction process of compacted stone column A blanket of sand or a semi-rigid mat of reinforced earth is usually placed above the stone column-reinforced soil. This mat facilitates transfer of superimposed loads to the stone columns by arching over the in-situ soil. With time, as the surrounding clay consolidates, further load transfer takes place from the native soil to the stone columns by negative friction resulting in additional reduction in soil settlement (Munfakh et. al. 1984). The critical depth (which does not contribute of bearing capacity) of stone column is usually about four column diameters (Mattes and Poulos, 1969). Design of stone column-soil structure is subject to the several parameters such as column diameter, spacing, stone size, internal soil friction angle, undrained shear strength, degree of saturation, and permeation. The diameter of stone column is depended on the desired level of improvement, the method of installation, the stone size and the strength of the in-situ soil. The column diameters range from 0.5 to 1.2 m. Square or rectangular grid patterns with center to center column spacing of 1.5 to 3.6 m are used. It is a function of the desired improvement, construction process, and the sensitivity of the existing soil. Angle of internal friction of the stone is depended on the size and shape of the stone, the installation process and the infiltration of the native soil between stone particles. Greenwood (1970) assumed an angle of internal friction of 35 degrees for evaluation of stone column horizontal resistance. High values of 40 to 45 degrees have been used, based on the results of direct shear tests performed in the field on constructed columns (Munfakh et. al. 1984.

Where cu is the undrained shear strength of the soft ground and F.S is the factor of safety. A value of 3 is recommended for the F.S. Mitchell (1981) recommends using an N SC of 25 for vibro-replacement stone columns. Barksdale and Bachus (1983) propose a range for cu between 18 to 22, depending on the stiffness of the soil. Brauns (1978) compared the results of a number of analytical approaches for determining ultimate capacity of stone columns which is reproduced by Greenwood and Kirsch (1984) as shown in Fig.6. Estimated settlement of stone column treated group as a function of soil strength and column spacing is shown in Fig.7. To theses estimated should be added any anticipated settlements contributed by the underlying strata. The installation of stone columns led to a reduction in settlement to about 30 to 40% of the values to be expected on unimproved ground.

Fig.7 Effect of stone column on anticipated foundation settlement (Greenwood, 1970)

Fig.6 Ultimate bearing capacity of stone columns (Greenwood and Kirsch, 1984)

Fig.8 shows that the soil improvement factor with the area replacement ratio and the internal stone friction angle.

The degree of soil improvement is proportional to the angle of stone friction in the stone column and reverse to the area replacement ratio. Fig.8 shows these relationships. Quality control of compacted stone columns can be proceed by means of the stone column location, resistance level as measured by amp meter (Vibrator draws more current in denser soils), quality and quantity of stone added friction angle and diameter of completed stone columns. Several field tests can be done for quality assurance such as, SPT, CPT, DMT(Dilatometer Test), load test, and shear wave velocity test with respect to the depth of stone column.

The quality control and quality assurance of this technique is somewhat similar to the case of compacted stone column. Fig.11 shows the degree of soil compaction with respect to the site surface area per compaction probe in sandy soils.

This technique was developed in Germany in the 1930s and has been practiced in the United States since 1940s. Vibroflotation also knows as Vibro-compaction is used to densify clean, cohesionless soils. The performance of this techniques in loose granular soil is excellent. However, it is marginal to good for silty sand and mine granular spoils. The action of the vibrator, usually accompanied by water jetting, reduces the inter-granular forces between the soil particles, allowing them to move into a denser configuration, typically achieving a relative density of 70 to 85 percent. Compaction is achieved above and below the water table. Fig.9 shows the process of soil densification by vibroflotation method. The vibroflot with a diameter of 350 to 450mm is lowered into the ground with the help of water jetting at the bottom of the vibroflot. Granular material is poured into the top of the hole. The vibrating unit is lowering with a rate of 1 to 2 m per minute and gradually raised in about 0.3m lift per minute and held vibrating for about 30 seconds at a time.

Fig.10 Treated and untreated soil profiles for granular soil

Fig.11 Soil treatment requirements for densification


Fig.9 Construction of the vibro-compaction process. The 100-HP unit are normally used in the vibroflot. The weight of a vibroflot is about 20kN and induced the maximum centrifugal forces of 160kN. The vibration amplitude can be up to 25mm with the operating frequencies of 30 to 50HZ. The use of vibroflotation method on granular fills increases bearing capacity and hence reduces foundation size. It can be reduced the foundation settlement and mitigated the liquefaction potential during earthquake The configuration of treated and untreated soil profiles for sandy ground is shown in Fig.10. The important parameters related to this technique are the type of soils in the ground and its gradation as well as relative density.

Deep dynamic compaction is the dropping of heavy dead weights on the ground surface to densify soils at depth. The degree of soil compaction involves a number of blows and the weight of hammer, drop height, the spacing of drop spot, and types of soil to be compacted. This method is used to reduce the probable foundation settlements and also reduce seismic subsidence. It can be used in the area of garbage dumps, mine spoils, and collapsible soils. The typical weight of hammer, dead weight which normally consisted with thin metal plates, ranges from 10 to 30 tons and its drop heights of 15 to 30 m. Impact grids are normally in of 2.1 x 2.1 m to 6.0 x 6.0 m. Important geotechnical engineering parameters for deep dynamic compaction are such as soil conditions, groundwater level, relative density of soil, degree of saturation, and permeability of soil to be compacted. The coarse granular soils such as gravel and sand(PI=0) are excellent material to be compacted and applied energy of 2025ton/m3 is normally required. The compaction efficiency of fine grained soil like silty soil(0 PI 8) is moderated to good and applied energy of 25-35ton/m3 is normally required. For cohesive soil which has a plasticity index greater than 8, the deep dynamic compaction method is not applicable.

The maximum depth of improvement by this method can be estimated as D = 1/2 (WH)0.5 Where D is the maximum depth of influence in meter, W is a falling weight in metric tons, and H is the drop height in meter. The compaction area should be 30-45 m away from any structures and sensitivity of vibration must be evaluated. The number of blows per per area is depended on the type of soil and depth of improvement required. The tamping is normally executed in square pattern and 243overages of an area is required. Meanwhile the pore water pressure is checked by utilizing the piezometer. The standard penetration tests in the deep dynamic compacted area for Incheon International Airport(IIA) in Korea is shown in Fig.12. The depth of soil improvement is about 5.0 6.0 m

(b) Ground condition after tamping Fig.13 Equipment and ground condition of heavy hydraulic hammer compaction for IIA site The number of blow per one spot was 20 blows with the drop height of 1.5 m. The spacing of tamping was 2.1 m and the pore water pressure was measured during the tamping period. Comparison of soil improvement effects is tabulated in Table 1. Table 1. Comparison of soil improvement effects In-situ test PreAfter investigation tamping SPT N value 16 24 42 44 DCPT N d value 36 43 59 99 Degree of compaction 84 86 94 97 (%) Void ratio 0.719 0.765 0.526 0.572


Fig.12 SPT results for IIA site. Dynamic compaction quality control can be made by measuring the crater depth, surface elevation monitoring, pore water pressure, SPT, CPT, geophysical monitoring. The shallow dynamic or heavy hydraulic hammer compaction method was adopted in the area where the height of the hydraulic fill was 2.0 6.1 m. The diameter of rammer in this compaction equipment is 1.5 m and its weight are 10 metric ton for runway and taxiway area and 7 metric ton for the rest of area (Fig.13).

This method was first developed in 1937, Sweden, by Kjellman. Since then it is very popular to use in soft clay to improve the ground, particularly in South East Asian Countries. Construction without soil treatment is usually impractical due to unpredictable long-term settlement. Simple surcharging as a soil consolidation method can take many years. Soil consolidation using prefabricated vertical drains (PVD or wick drains) can rapidly increase settlement rates with dissipation of water and cut construction period drastically. The prefabricated vertical drain core is made of high quality flexible polypropylene which exhibits a large water flow capacity in the longitudinal direction of the core via preformed grooves or water channels on both sides of the core. Each vertical wick drain can provide a greater vertical discharge capacity than a 15 cm diameter sand column. The prefabricated vertical wick drain core is tightly wrapped in a geotextile filter jacket of spun-bonded polypropylene which has a very high water permeability while retaining the finest of soil particles. Both the core and geotextile filter jacket have high mechanical strength, a high degree of durability in most environments, and high resistance to chemicals, micro-organisms, and bacteria. The width of drain board is 100 mm with its thickness of 3 mm. It can be installed in triangular or square pattern with an anchor plate and quantity of installation is about 40 80 m per day. Fig.14 shows the installation of PVD in a square pattern for the construction site of Incheon In-

(a) Hydraulic hammer

ternational Airport. The approximate settlement trends for various ground conditions are depicted in Fig.15. Prefabricated vertical drains are installed vertically to depths exceeding 65 m. The inclination of installed PVD should be less then 5 % and the slope of ground level is no more than 2%.The water, under pressure in excess of hydrostatic, flows through the filter fabric of the prefabricated vertical drain and into the channels of the vertical drain core where it can flow vertically out of the soil. This flow mat be either up or down to intersecting natural sand layers or to the surface where a sand drainage blanket of 50 cm thick (k=2.0 x 10-2 cm/sec) or prefabricated horizontal strip drains are provided. The water in the soil has only to travel the distance to the nearest prefabricated vertical drain to reach a free drainage path.

Fig.16 Schematic diagram of vertical vacuum consolidation method Typical layout of a vacuum-assisted prefabricated vertical drain consolidation scheme is shown in Fig.16. Construction process of the vertical vacuum consolidation is described as below. Step 1. Placing a free drainage sand blanket (60-80 cm thickness) above the saturated ground in order to provide for a working platform. Step 2. Installation of vertical drains, generally of 5 cm in equivalent diameter, as well as relief wells from the sand blanket. Step 3. Installation of closely spaced horizontal drains at the base of the sand blanket using a special laser technique to maintain them horizontal. Step 4. The horizontal drains in the longitudinal and transverse directions are linked through connections. Step 5. Excavation of trenches around the perimeter of the preload area to a depth of about 50 cm below the groundwater level and filled with an impervious Bentonite Polyacrolyte slurry for subsequent sealing of the impermeable membrane along the perimeter. Step 6. The transverse connectors are linked to the edge of the peripheral trench. They are then connected to a prefabricated module designed to withstand future pressure due to the vacuum. Step 7. Installation of the impermeable membrane on the ground surface and sealing it along the peripheral trenches. The membrane is delivered to the site folded and rolled in elements of approximately 1000m2. The membrane elements are welded together and laid in the peripheral trench where they are sealed with the Bentonite Polyacrolyte slurry. The trenches are backfilled and filled with water to improve the tight sealing between the membrane and the bentonite slurry. Step 8. Vacuum pumps are connected to the prefabricated discharge module extending from the trenches. The vacuum station consists of specifically designed high-efficiency vacuum pumps acting solely on the gas phase in conjunction with conventional vacuum pumps allowing liquid and gas suction. The vacuum consolidation technique is often combined with surcharge preloading either by placing an additional surcharge by backfilling or using water placed on the top of the impervious membrane. The major practical advantage of the vacuum consolidation is that it generates in the granular layer an apparent cohesion due to the increase of the effective stress and the granular layer pro-

Fig.14 Installation of PVD in IIA site

Fig.15 Settlement versus time with or without PVD The PVDs are usually placed in 1.0 -2.0 m interval depending on the desired consolidation time. As a result of this method of accelerating the consolidation process, unevenpost - construction settlements can be virtually eliminated.

Vacuum Consolidation is an effective means for improvement of saturated soft soils. The soil site is covered with an airtight membrane and a vacuum is created underneath it by using a dual venturi and vacuum pump. The technology can provide an equivalent pre-loading of about 4.5 m high conventional surcharge fill. Instead of increasing the effective stress in the soil mass by increasing the total stress by means of conventional mechanical surcharging, vacuum-assisted consolidation preloads the soil by reducing the pore pressure while maintaining a constant total stress.

vides a useful working platform to accelerate the surcharge backfilling process. Experience indicates that within days after vacuum pump is turned on, construction vehicles can maneuver on the top of the membrane. Yeocheon industrial complex extension project in Korea began in May 1996 and was completed in February 2002. Total area of this project was 8,485,000 m2. It is located on the South Sea about 300 km south of Seoul. The first stage of this project was reclaiming the land from the sea with the construction of earth dikes and hydraulically filling the soil by dredging ship with a capacity of 12,000 HP. The filled soil was silty clay in a slurry state. Prior to the soil improvement work, it was necessary to obtain the trafficability of subsurface soil layer for soil improvement equipment. Schematic diagram of horizontal vacuum consolidation technique was adopted by using a small barge-ship as shown in Fig.17 (Cheon 2000). The depth of soil improved in this area is about 5 m with the natural water content of 80%.
Vaccum Pump Drainage Head Pipe Membrane Sheet Ship Water Outlet

Once hard crust was made, the effectiveness of evaporation process was minimized by the presence of crust. To expedite the evaporation activity, a system of trench network was formed and later deepened for the drainage of excessive water from the vicinity of surface. This trench turned out to be also useful for draining of rain runoff (Fig.18). The adopting of PTM in soil improvement work is to gain the shear strength of ground surface with a certain thickness to support the soil improvement equipment. Youlcheon industrial complex located on the South Sea , 300 km away from Seoul, was also constructed on land reclaimed from the sea. The dike is devided in several blocks and it is filled by means of the hydraulically filling technique with utilizing the dredging ship. It has a capacity of 12,000 HP cutter suction pump dredger with dredging capacity of 1.2 mil. m3 per month. When the self-weight consolidation of soft clay progressed for about 3-4 months after completion of soil particle sedimentation, PTM was applied over the soft ground which had a water content of about 150 %. This method is also one of the soft soil improvement techniques in the upper soil layer to obtain the trafficability of deep soil improvement equipment. Perimeter trench was constructed along the earth dikes and then shallow interior trench was constructed (Geotechnical Eng. 2000). The fundamental process of PTM is shown in Figure 16. Normally, the contact pressure of soil improvement equipment is about 1 t/m2. Therefore, the required shear strength of clay for obtaining the trafficability could be 0.60 t/m2 with the corresponding water content of 70%. The natural water content on the surface ground with elapsed time is shown in Figure 17. The required natural water content of 70% was achieved 1 year after filling the dredged soft clay at the site. PTM construction procedures are categoried into three major parts: (1) construction of containment dyke and division of the area inside dyke into several blocks, (2) pumping dredged-clay material into blocks in two phases, and (3) removal of extra water through the weir and leaving the fill to rest for 3.5 months and shallow-trenching with Amfirol and deepening with disc wheel and ditch cutter. When the pumping work was completed, trenching work was started at the end of 3.5 month rest period. The depth of trenching was to deepen to 50 cm from the initial 20 cm as the strength of surface layer increased with time. Different equipment combinations were used for the deepening of trench. The main equipment Amfirol, which could travel on land and water content of soil less than 150% was used at the site to form up the trench in the beginning. Once the trench was formed in shape to about 20 cm deep, then disc wheel was employed to deepen the trench to about 30 cm deep (Fig.19 a) and ditch cutter to 50cm deep (Fig.19 b). The spacing of trench constructed at the site was determined due to mainly turning radius of equipment at the end of each path travel. The surface natural water content of clay soil with the elapsed time for PTM is given in Fig. 20.

Earth Dike

Soft Soil

Earth Dike

Sealing Cap


Fig.17 Schematic diagram of horizontal vacuum consolidation method


Progressive Trenching Method(PTM) is executed prior to any deep soil improvement work for strengthening the surface of dredged clay fill layer by making a system of trench network. The dredged-extremely soft clay fill layer at the site had excessive water soon after pumping activity. The success of this improvement method depends on the effective removal of excessive water from the layer. Heat energy of sun was one of main sources for surface water removal from the dredged-clay fill layer by the action of evaporation and eventually made the hard crust at the surface.

Evaporation Crust Crust

Seepage Infiltration

Self-Consolidation Drainage

Dredged-Clay Fill (M arine Clay)

Drainage Trench

Original Subsoil (M arine Clay)

O riginal Subsoil (Sand)

Fig.18 Schematic diagram of working mechanism of PTM


Soil improvement techniques have been practiced since in the early 1960s with the exception of soil stabilization. The primitive soil reinforced works were also practiced in the pre-history period. In this paper, only recent development of deep soil improvement methods are mostly introduced. Chemical soil stabilization and geosynthetics reinforcement technology, slope reinforcement techniques such as soil nailing and micro-piles are not discussed. Several case histories of deep soil improvement methods are also described with a specific construction and design critera. It is found out that any marginal land can be possibly used for the foundation soil of the structures as long as the water table is not so high. In the early period of the soil improvement techniques, the soil and rocks are the major sources for the ground reinforcement. While the recent soil improvement technologies are being used more artifical synthetics materials in soil. The advanced new soil improvement technologies are being developed with cost effective and environmentally sound methods for the future generation. (a) Amfirol + Disc Wheel

Bachus, R. C., and Barksdale, R. D. (1984). The behavior of foundations supported by clay stabilized by stone column, Eighth European Conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Helsinki, 199-204. Cheon, B. S. (2000). Field pilot test of horizontal vacuum consolidation. Geotechnical Engineering, Korean Geotechnical Society, Vol. 16, No. 6, 57-59. Geotechnical Engineering (2000). Progressive trenching method. Korean Geotechnical Society, Vol. 16, No. 6, 66-68. Greenwood, D. A. (1970). Mechanical improvement of Soil below ground surface, Ground engineering, June, 11-22. Goughnour, R. R. (1983), Settlement of vertically loaded stone columns in soft ground, Eighth European Conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Helsinki, 235-240. Hughes, J.M.O. and Withers A. J. (1974), Reinforcing of soft cohesive soils with stone columns, Ground engineering, Vol.7, No.3, May, 42-49. Munfakh, G. A. (1984). Soil reinforcement by stone columns varied case applications, International conference on in-situ soil and rock reinforcement, Paris, 157162. Mattes, N. S. and Poulos, H. G. (1969). Settlement of a single compressible pile, Journal of soil mechanics and foundations division, ASCE, SMI, January. Fig.20 Surface water content of clay with elapsed time for PTM Mitchell, J. K. (1981), State-of-the-art Report on soil improvement, Tenth International Conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Stockholm.

(b) Amfirol + Ditch Cutter Fig.19 Soil improvement work by PTM

Priebe, H. (1976), Abschatzung des Setzungsverhaltens eins durch Stopfuerdichtung verbessertan Baugrundes, Die Bautechnick, H. S. Shin, B. W., Shin, E. C., Kim, S. W., Yeo, B. C., and Dass, R. (1993). Case history of soil improvement for a large-scale land reclamation. Proceedings, 3rd Intal Conf. On Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, St. Louis, MO., Vol. II, 955-960. Shin, E. C., Shin, B. W., and Das, B. M. (1992). Site improvement for a steel mill complex, Specialty conference on grouting, Soil improvement, and geosynthetics. ASCE, GSP No. 30, Vol.2, 816-828.