Stabilizing Piles of Soft Cohesive Slopes: A Case History

Tarek N. Salem1, Mohsen Mashhour2, Rana Hassan3
Prof. of soil mechanics and foundations, Zagazig University, Egypt, nageeb2@yahoo.com. 2 Prof. of soil mechanics and foundations, Zagazig University, Egypt, edecon2005@yahoo.ca. 3 Teaching assistant, Zagazig University, Egypt, roony567@yahoo.com.
1

ABSTRACT
Slope stability is one of the most important problems in geotechnical engineering because failure could cause catastrophic environmental and human disasters, in addition to large economical losses due to such failure. The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of using piles in stabilizing the embankments of Al-Salam Canal in Northern Egypt. The canal left side is a formed soft clay embankment which is mainly formed from dredging and cleaning of the bottom of the nearby AlManzala lake. Sudden and progressive failures took place in the left side embankment over years for many reasons. These failures are mainly due to the nature of the soft clay forming the slope in addition to the existence of gypsum and peat pockets and thin layers within the slope in many locations. Thus, it was suggested to use a row of reinforced concrete piles to stabilize the left side embankment of the canal. Analysis of the slope stabilized by piles is performed using finite element analysis. Although the slope stabilizing piles were able to stabilize the slope to some extent, increasing the number of pile rows was not effective in increasing the safety factor in return. Another slope stabilizing technique is studied herein using lime treatment. The proposed lime treatment technique was effective in stabilizing the slope more than the slope stabilizing piles, even in the zones containing the peat layer.

KEYWORDS: Slope Stability; Piles; Soft Clay; Peat; Lime Treatment; Numerical Analysis; Slope Stabilizing Piles.

INTRODUCTION
Slope stabilizing piles are widely used to stabilize slopes. These piles are mainly subjected to lateral pressure from the horizontal movement caused by the slope sliding mass. Many techniques have been proposed in order to analyze slopes stabilized by piles like Rowe and Poulos (1979), Ito et al., (1981), Poulos (1995, 1999), Chow (1996), Bransby and Springman (1996, 1999), Lee et al. (1995), Hassiotis et al. (1997). Cai and Ugai (2000) studied the effect of stabilizing piles on the stability of a slope by three-dimensional elasto-plastic shear strength reduction finite element method. Ausilio et al. (2001) presented a kinematic approach for the stability analysis of slopes reinforced with piles. Chen and Martin (2002) examined the existence of an arching zone around landslide stabilizing pile groups for granular and fine-grained soils. Nian et al. (2008) showed that a combination of the limit analysis kinematic approach and the strength reduction technique provides a convenient and effective approach for stability analysis of slopes in anisotropic and non-homogeneous slopes. Wei and Cheng, (2009) revealed that the critical slip surface was found - 3803 -

Figure 1: Map of Al-Salam Canal Path from Google Earth.. the embankment is formed of dredged soft clay. 17 [2012]. organic materials. The newly formed critical slip surface is similar to that formed in the case of a slope without stabilizing piles. Field investigations were performed to evaluate the current slope status. only the canal cross-section was increased by cutting 3. and these two parts gradually get connected with increasing the pile spacing till a clear critical slip surface is formed. The slope height and inclination angle of the canal will remain the same after the proposed canal widening. So.750 km from the Damietta branch till reaching the Suez Canal. Al-Ashaal et al. The canal embankments extend for a length of about 89.0 m from the berm in each side in order to improve the canal water flow capacity. (1998). Due to the soft nature of the slope and the existence of organic layers such as peat. In the nineteen seventies. and gypsum pockets and even layers within the embankment slope. Thus. As a part of the strategic project of developing the Sinai Peninsula. as shown in Figure (1). There is an existing highway in the canal right side. it was realized that development and construction activities must be extended to reach Sinai Peninsula at the eastern borders of Egypt. with no apparent stability problems for being a cut slope in a relatively stiffer soil. The studied case is the left side embankment of Al-Salam canal which was originally a formed one. It should be noted that the peat layer caused most of the slope failures and the gypsum pockets even caused local failures in the slope accompanied by water piping when the water level in occasions of the nearby Al-Manazala lake happen to be higher than that in Al-Salam Canal. It was decided to extend the developed region to go beyond the Suez canal and to exploit the unique position of Suez canal in development of the region. sudden and progressive failures took place in the left side embankment.Vol. Later on. Al-Salam canal in Northern Egypt starts at the Nile river estuary from Damietta and transmits the excess Nile water into Sinai Peninsula. it was decided to widen the canal width. and . Z 3804 to be divided into two parts when the pile spacing is small. it was decided to construct Al-Salam canal to provide large areas with sufficient irrigation water to reclaim an extra 620 thousand feddans along the canal length till reaching Sinai Peninsula. Bund. The Sinai proposed development plan was based mainly on increasing the agriculture activities. along with improving the capacity and widen the highway in the canal left side. the canal left side embankment of soft soil was not stable enough to sustain such widening along with the expected highway traffic loads.

850 km. Youssef and AlGayar. STABILIZING AL-SALAM CANAL LEFT SIDE EMBANKMENT The general configuration of the left embankment of Al-Salam canal is presented in Figure (2). The figure shows the typical left side embankment after widening the canal cross-section. from 7. Z 3805 suggest the proposed stabilizing technique including slope stabilizing piles.Vol. Therefore.25 m. displacement piles remain mainly driven piles. These tasks are employing displacement piles. Thus. because of the high salinity of Al-Manzala lake. These zones are mainly chosen due to the presence of the peat layer. Two extensive monitoring zones are chosen namely. Both solution techniques using two slope stabilizing pile rows led to safety factors of more than 1.700 to 7. Figure 2: Schematic Diagram of Al-Salam Canal Cross Section after Widening. CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) piles will not assure hindering the caving of the soft soil inside the bored pile. It should be noted that a full-scale embankment load test was performed in the first extensive monitoring zone.50. Bund. It was suggested to use a slope stabilization system that consists of two rows of reinforced concrete piles. 17 [2012]. along with minimizing the driving amplitude have successfully accomplished both tasks. and prevent caving of the soil in case of using CFA piles. The embankment stabilization using piles is initially assessed using the simplified Janbu method. The second row of piles was constructed within a thin cutoff wall constructed of bentonite slurry and cement to prevent seepage from and into the canal.750 km and from 8. Of concern at that time. 50 cm in diameter and 16 m in length. using full displacement piles will compress and consequently improve the soft soil behavior laterally. while. The head fixity provides resistance against head rotation which may decrease the bending moment along the pile length. the distance between two pile rows is 2 m. and the driving process is performed using vibratory drivers. in this study the effect of slope stabilizing piles in increasing the safety factor of the embankment is exclusively studied in this research using the finite element software Phase2. satisfying the requirements of the Egyptian Code (2001).800 to 8. On the one hand. and the center to center spacing between the piles in a single row is 1. The reinforced concrete beam has a 60×60 cm cross-section and reinforced with sixteen 16 mm diameter bars in . However. as assured from the boreholes performed along the whole embankment length. The pile reinforcement included twelve 22 mm diameter bars. (2000). followed by another assessment using the wedge method. it was decided to use steel casing in the driving to induce the displacement pile effect. Figure (3). Reinforced concrete connecting beams are constructed connecting the heads of the slope stabilizing piles and assuring the fixity conditions. Keeping the frequency of vibrations lower than the natural frequency of the soil in which the piles are being driven. while excluding the pile driving effects. was the piling construction technique. hammer driving will induce vibrations that will cause local or general failure in the embankment body.

Despite being very accurate when modeling their original problems they were calibrated for. . (Phase2. these models usually fail in modeling any other geotechnical problem for simple reasons. Piezometric lines are used to model the water level in the program. Salem (1997). and can be used to solve a wide range of slope stability and civil engineering problems. and the properties of the interface didn't significantly affect the model results because of the soft nature of the surrounding soil. the piles were modeled using structural elements with pile/soil interface. The safety factor is calculated using the Shear Strength Reduction method (SSR). 17 [2012]. The soil properties used in the slope analysis is correlated from the soil investigation reports. the large number of model parameters rendered the model much complexity increasing the chance of errors in modeling. 1966). First. Z 3806 the longitudinal direction of the canal. It should be noted that some advanced soil models have something like twenty parameters or so. NUMERICAL MODELING OF THE STABILIZED SLOPE The finite element software Phase2 is used in modeling the stabilized slope. Bund. the Seepage Cutoff Wall.Vol. and the Sand Drains. V. 1983. It should be noted that the first soft clay layer contains trace of sand which was represented by a small friction angle of 5o. Figure 3: Top View of the Stabilizing System Showing the Positions of the Two Rows of Stabilizing Piles.8). even for simpler models like the CamClay model. These properties are presented in Table (1). Lateral tie beams having the same cross-section and reinforcement were used to connect the longitudinal connecting beams laterally. The failure criterion used in the slope analysis was Mohr-Coulomb because the Mohr-Coulomb criterion better represents the soil behavior in addition to the physical meaning of its parameters (Das. The tie beams were repeated each 3. Bishop.75 m in the longitudinal direction. In addition. as shown in Figure (4). the real meaning of these parameters is not usually comprehended. to allow for accurate modeling of the presence of the seepage cutoff wall. along with the data presented in Al-Ashaal (1998). and Figure (6) which shows the soil stratification used in the analysis of the slope. In Phase2. The software is a 2-dimensional elasto-plastic finite element program for calculating stresses and displacements around underground openings.

03). Table 1: Canal Soil Properties. and susceptible to failure at any point without external loading.45 0. because several embankment failures took place in this zone.0 8 15 In which: γsat : Saturated unit weight. Bund.Vol.0. and ψ : Dilation angle.30 0.30 c (kPa) 16. ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS Analysis of the slope showed that the calculated safety factor before using any stabilizing system is found to be (1. However. c : Soil cohesion. 17 [2012]. It should be noted that these soil properties have been obtained from several field and laboratory tests.0 ν 0.40 2.0 14. It should be noted that even after using the proposed slope stabilizing system the calculated safety factor has not satisfied the minimum .45 0. ν : Poisson's ratio.0 38 45 ψ(o) 0. can be approximated as (φ-30).0 0.0 23.90 0.0 0. Soil Type Soft Silty Clay (1) Soft Silty Clay (2) Soft Silty Clay (3) Stiff Clay layer Peat layer Dense sand Gravel layer γsat (kN/m3) 17 16 17 17 11 18 19 E (MPa) 1. in which case the slope is only just stable.00 5.0 0.70 1. E : Soil Young's modulus.0 3. using the proposed stabilizing system increased the calculated safety factor into (1.0 0.25) for a loaded slope. Z 3807 Figure 4: Finite Element Model of the Stabilized Canal Embankment.0 200.0 0.45 0. except for the peat layer properties which are back calculated from the numerical analysis that gives the minimum applicable safety factor of 1.45 0.0 0.0 φ(o) 5 0.30 100.0 45.0 0. φ : Angle of internal friction.0 0.0 0.45 0.

in which the pile rows divide the sliding surface into two parts. However. Such vertical increase in soil stiffness in addition to the lateral soft clay improvement caused by using full displacement pile construction technique led to a gradual improvement in the soil properties.75 cm before using the proposed stabilizing system at the slope toe. at approximately the bed level. Wei et al. The results from the loading test performed in the extensive monitoring zone showed that the recorded total settlement at the top of the embankment was 18. and without even applying the traffic loads.20). This emphasizes that the piles have actually divided the sliding mass into two zones.30 cm took place behind and in front of the piles. installing the stabilizing pile rows in such position achieves the target of placing such piles in almost the middle of the peat layer sliding surface.30 cm. Previous research indicated that the best position for such stabilizing piles is in the middle height of the embankment. 17 [2012]. Z 3808 safety factor required by the Egyptian Code of Practice. as shown in Figure (5).30 cm before using the stabilizing piles. The numerically calculated embankment maximum horizontal displacement was 34. The relatively large values of horizontal displacement indicate the weak nature of such soft clay and peat. Bund. an additional horizontal displacement of 15. Figure 5: Colored Contour Shading of the Horizontal Displacement under Equivalent Traffic Loads. The differences between the calculated and recorded settlement values may be due to the relative increase in the soft clay layers stiffness as caused by the loading process. which comprises only about 5% reduction in that factor. (2000). presents a pre-existing sliding surface that reduces the safety factor into such low values. Youssef and Al-Gayar.. Economically. as presented in Figure (6). using a single row of stabilizing piles instead of the proposed system containing two pile rows resulted in reducing the safety factor of the slope to (1. respectively. but in return it allows for forming a new failure surface in front of the newly constructed stabilizing pile rows. almost doubling the cost to gain 5% increase in the safety factor is not feasible. In addition. The settlement due to the embankment own weight only was found to be 24. especially if both conditions did not achieve the code requirements. (2001). which equals 33. which resulted in such high lateral displacement values under normal traffic loads. after using the stabilizing system and applying the surface equivalent traffic loads. The presence of the peat layer underneath such clay slope. the calculated embankment settlement due to traffic load is found to be 23.15 cm and 14.0 cm.35 kN/m2. (2009). . Moreover. Although using the stabilizing system has blocked such type of failure. On the other hand.Vol.

β: Slope angle. Figure (7) illustrates a schematic diagram for the studied slope geometry and configurations including the followings: c: Soil cohesion ranging between 10 and 50 (kN/m2). Bund. p H β Hw Figure 7: Slope Geometry. a parametric study is performed to highlight the effect of the soil and stabilizing system parameters on the safety factors of the stabilized slope. 17 [2012].1. N: Number of piles rows.50 m thick peat layer. H: Embankment slope height. slope studied for one and two piles rows. . varying from 1 to 16 meters from the slope crest. P: Depth of 0. and stiffness. These parameters do cover most of the short term studied cases.00 m.57 to 70 degrees. The soil layer stratification. strength and mechanical properties. Other parameters included the presence of the external load.Vol. with small effective friction angles ( ' = 5o and 10o). The modeled embankment is cohesive soil containing a peat layer and followed by dense sand. For the sake of covering up the most important parameter changes. along with the concrete stabilizing pile properties such as pile length. varying from 26. varying from 0 to slope height H . varying from 3 to 10 meters. and allows for studying some long term cases in which the undrained cohesion (cu) is replaced by the effective cohesion intercept (c') and (φ) is replaced by φ'. PARAMETRIC STUDY The canal embankments extend for a great length of about 90 km. Z 3809 Figure 6: Settlement Contour Shading of the Stabilized Slope under Equivalent Traffic Loads. layer heights could be drastically changed. Hw: Height of water in the canal. diameter.

50) even for slopes height of 3. . For soft clay soil an increase of only 5o in the friction angle.00 3. Once again for purely cohesive soft soil in undrained condition. 10ο).S. and for a 10o. 17 [2012].0 m resulted in a decrease of about 27% for cu = 20 kN/m2.0 m. but the actual friction angle could be higher due to the existence of sand traces. Increasing the slope height from 3. However. although small.S. 5.) for different soil effective angles of internal friction.S.50 3. Bund.0 to 10. (H = 5 m. 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 Soil Cohesion (c) kPa Figure 8: Effect of Soil Undrained and Effective Cohesion on the F. Figure (8) shows the relation between the soil cohesion (c) and the safety factor of the slope (F. Z 3810 ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Analysis of the parametric study results is presented hereinafter showing the effect of each parameter. the slope safety factor decreased about 30% for the same slope height range. One Pile Row. Figure (9) shows the relation between the slope height and the slope safety factor for different undrained cohesion values (cu). φ = 0. but with added soil friction angle.00 0. Effect of Slope Height The relation between the slope height and the safety factor is inversely proportional.00 2. and about 24. 4. The used effective soil internal angles of friction. the increase in the safety factor ranges from 39% to 71%.0% for cu = 25 kN/m2. for medium stiff clay. Increasing the soil cohesion resulted in a noticeable increase in the safety factor for the loaded slope in the presence of the slope stabilizing piles. which is only 1. in addition to the effect of dissipation of the pore water pressure due to using displacement piles. Effect of Soil Cohesion There is no doubt that increasing the slope shear strength parameters will consequently increase the slope safety factor.50 2.50 1. Slope 2:1.0 m below the full embankment height.50.00 1.Vol. high silt content.0) m. It is also noticed from the figure that soft clay soil with slope stabilizing system didn't reach the Egyptian Code (2001) recommended value of 1. resulted in increasing the safety factor range from 20% to 36%. the safety factors began to moderately increase. the slope stabilized with piles could not reach the recommended safety factor (1.50 φ = 0o φ = 5o φ = 10o F. It should be noted that the water depth in the canal is equal (H-1.

50 1. When the slope angle increased from gentle slope of about 27o to very steep slope of about 70o. 30.0 and 35. Increasing the depth of the peat layer within the slope resulted in a consistent reduction in the safety factor until the peat layer depth reached the slope toe. Effect of Depth of the Peat Layer The existence of the peat layer controls the shape of the failure surface.00 0. .S. This may be attributed to the formation of a passive soil block which resists occurrence of the failure surface through the peat layer in this case. 20. the slope safety factor decreased by only 11. The piles had almost no effect on the sliding mass in such case. Effect of Slope Angle The slope angle has a small effect on the slope safety factor for cohesive slopes. Z 3.00 2. and the relatively large sliding surface that usually took place in cohesive soils. The failure surface passes through the peat layer because it is the weakest layer in the whole slope's soil profile. One Pile Row.0 kPa. This may be due to the effect of cohesion between soil particles. 40 kPa).00 1. 17 [2012].50 2 4 6 8 10 12 Slope Height (H) m Figure 9: Effect of Slope Height on F.70%.Vol.50 cu = 15kPa cu = 20kPa cu = 25kPa cu = 30kPa cu = 35kPa cu = 40kPa 3811 3. failure took place due to the weight of the soil wedge which is increased with the increase of the peat layer depth.50 F. In all cases. cu = 20. cu = 15. Figure (10) presents the relation between the depth of the peat layer and the slope safety factor for undrained cohesion. which in turn needs higher driving forces to overcome the cohesion forces. 35. Existence of the peat layer within in the first meter of the slope resulted in a noticeably low safety factor value because the failure occurred in the zone of the sloped upper loaded fill behind the piles row. and the failure is planar in at the level in which the peat layer exists. the slope remains stable even for steep slopes. 2. Bund.S. (Slope 2:1. 25. The safety factor of the slope is almost constant when the peat layer is kept under the slope toe.

and as a result of the peat layer position which controls the failure surface shape. Z 2.00 0 5 10 15 20 Location of The Peat Layer (m) Figure 10: Location of the Peat Layer Versus F.25 1. cu = 20.50 F.Vol. cu = 20 kPa). By using only one pile row of stabilizing piles. 17 [2012].75 1.S.50 3812 2. 3. Bund.00 F.00 0. 1. One Pile Row.50 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 Soil Cohesion (cu) kPa Figure 11: Undrained Soil Cohesion Versus F.S. assuring that the gained increase in the safety factors are not proportional to the additional cost of using the second row. Effect of Water Level in the Canal Figure (12) presents the effect of the water level in the waterway along the embankment. The location of the peat layer defines the shape of the failure surface and the location of the stabilizing piles at the berm led to dividing the failure wedge into two distinctive bodies.00 2. This pressure is equal .50 one piles row two piles rows 3.50 1. The horizontal distance between the two pile rows is 2 m. (H = 5 m.S. (H = 5 m. 35 kPa). The figure shows that using a second row of slope stabilizing piles does not result in a noticeable increase in the safety factors. a single pile row blocks the failed mass in front of the piles and local failure zone could be created behind the pile row due to the external loading on the slope. The presence of water in the canal provides additional lateral resisting pressure.S. If an additional pile row is positioned next to the first one.25 cu = 20 kPa cu = 35 kPa 2.00 1. only the beginning of the maximum stressed zone created after installing the first row is shifted into the second one. 2. Effect of Number of Pile Rows Figure (11) shows the relation between the soil undrained cohesion and the safety factor considering the effect of one and two rows of stabilizing piles.50 1.

(H = 5 m.0 m. Bund. and length on the slope safety factors has been also studied.0 m or higher.0 m in the dense sand layer. additional costs due to larger pile diameters and higher pile material quality did not cause any additional safety benefits. the piles should be . Again. the sliding surface is defined by the existence of the peat layer and the piles resist the sliding mass by the lateral earth pressure and the developed resisting pressure decreased with decreasing the pile length. 1. cu = 20. At cu = 20 kPa.0 m is found to have nearly no effect on the slope safety factor as long as the pile tip is embedded at least 1.50 0 1 2 3 4 5 Water Level (D) m Figure 12: Effect of Water Level on the F.0 m up to 17.50 for stiffer soils. Pile length less than 9.0 m up to 17. additional methods must be implemented to stabilize the slope if any construction activities will require sudden emptying of the canal. 17 [2012]. Thus. also changing the Young's modulus of the pile material which is reinforced concrete. For larger and smaller pile diameters. Generally. Although the safety factor didn't reach the required value of 1. 2. Larger diameter piles and higher concrete quality with large values of Young's modulus did not also affect the overall stability of the embankment slope. This may be attributed to the large stiffness ratio (more than 11000 times) between the piles and the surrounding soft soils.50 F. For soft soils having undrained cohesion values of cu = 20 kPa or less. the water pressure triangle is suddenly removed while the embankment slope is still being fully saturated. the embankment is not safe in the case of rapid drawdown.0 m are also studied.00 0.S. Consequently. One Pile Row). the slope safety factor reached 1. the slope will actually remain in stable condition.00 cu = 20 kPa cu = 30 kPa 1. The most critical case is considered the rapid drawdown case in which a sudden emptying of the water from the waterway took place. For higher undrained cohesion value at cu = 30 kPa and to ensure that the slope safety factor will reach the recommended value (1. Thus. Thus.Vol.50 even if the water depth in the canal is 4. The piles provided full resisting pressure against the embankment driving mass after which the pile length no longer affects the slope safety factor. the slope safety factor didn't change also for higher or lower values for Young's modulus. the slope safety factor will not reach the recommended value of 1. stabilizing piles of different lengths starting with 6. and thus having the highest possible unit weight.50). Dense sand layers are encountered at different depths along Al-Salam canal embankment. stiffness. the slope safety factor seems to be unchanged. the water depth in the canal shouldn't be less than 2. For higher value of undrained soil cohesion. Increasing the pile length L from 9.37 in the case of rapid drawdown. and failure is not predicted in such case. Effect of the Stabilizing Pile Properties The effect of the stabilizing piles properties on the slope such as pile diameter. Z 3813 to (γw × z) where (γw ) is the water unit weight and (z) is the selected water depth in the waterway.S.0 m resulted in slight decrease in the slope safety factor. 30 kPa.

Broms (2003) .H2O. After this initial chemical reaction.0 m. Assuming full interaction between the columns and the surrounding unstabilized soil. Bund. Depending on the column diameter.2.0 m.0 to 5. Broms. The lime reaction with the surrounding soft soil is presented in Figure (13). with a length of about 9. 17 [2012]. The shear strength used in designing columns is based on estimating the shear strength after 28 days of installation. Broms (2003).Vol. For these reasons stabilizing the slopes with chemical treatment such as lime columns is proposed herein to stabilize the left side embankment of Al-Salam canal. This reaction causes an increase in the soil shear strength over long time periods ranging from 2. Rao (2006). the columns should be overlapped with a distance not less than 7 cm to ensure that the piles act as continuous wall which will increase the slope safety factor and reduce the lateral displacement. In the pozzolanic reaction Calcium ions (Ca++) from the stabilizer continue to react with SiO2 and Al2O3 in the clay for a long time and forms CaO.50 .0 hours. Just after the installation of columns and within a very short period of time ranging between 0. in addition water evaporation that takes place due to the high slaking temperature cause reduction in the soil water content and thus relatively increase its stiffness and strength properties. During this time ion exchange takes place causing an increase in the plastic limit and decrease in the plasticity index rendering the soil stiffer consistency. Broms (2004). This method is widely used in Finland. the unslaked lime absorbs the ground water from the surrounding soil. (2003). and zones of local failure could be formed behind or in front of the piles reducing the safety factors even after constructing the stabilizing system.50. Z 3814 extended below the sliding surface with sufficient distance to avoid mobilizing the sliding mass. In the direction parallel to the waterway. Piles are very rigid elements with respect to the surrounding soft soils. with center to center spacing of 2.5 d. Sweden and Japan due to the existence of peat layers and soft soils in wide areas.SiO2. installed by the dry method. The lime begins to react with the surrounding clay minerals forming higher strength crystals. Lime columns increase the soil shear strength with time. the undrained shear strength of the stabilized soil media is taken equal 100 kPa. LIME TREATMENT OF THE CANAL LEFT SIDE EMBANKMENT Results of the current study shows that stabilizing soft clay slopes containing peat layer with reinforced concrete piles seems to be ineffective in raising the slope safety factor to the recommended value of 1. The slope safety factor also decreased when the pile tip does not end within the sand layer. as presented in Figure (14).80 m diameter.0 years. The method depends on mixing the in-situ soil with lime to stabilize the soft and organic soils. and causing the clay to gain strength. This may be due to the fixity provided by relatively higher lateral sand resistance. Adding cement to lime columns is usually recommended in the zones with high organic contents and peat layers. the center to center spacing is chosen to be 2 m which is equivalent to 2. an action governed the increase in the soil shear strength called the Pozzalnic reaction takes place. the proposed stabilizing system consists of seven rows of lime columns of 0. where d is the column diameter and placed in the active zone of the embankment as shown in Figure (14). In Al-Salam canal embankment case.

several studies showed that failures in bending are more probable. Broms (2004) stated that Lahtinen and Vepsäläinen (1983) have back calculated an average modulus of elasticity of 15 to 25 MPa for lime columns. cu. 17 [2012]. where E50 is the lime column modulus of elasticity at qu/2. (after Broms. Bund. The main properties of the lime columns that were used in the slope analysis are summarized in Table (2). the ratio E50/cu.col could be assumed equal 75 for lime. which means that the strength of the embankment might be overestimated. Charbit (2009) mentioned that the Swedish code of practice assumed that the columns and the surrounding soil are considered composite material. and the columns are assumed to fail in shear. Z 3815 Figure 13: Reaction of Unslaked Lime with Clay. . 2004).Vol. However. Figure 14: FEM Mesh of the Distribution and Position of Lime Columns.col is the undrained shear strength of the columns and qu is the unconfined compressive strength. For laboratory samples.

after Lime Treatment Figure (16) represents the lateral displacement of the embankment improved with lime columns.66. 17 [2012]. Hansbo and Torstensson. The maximum horizontal displacement is found to be 6. This may be attributed to the cracks and fissures that took place after lime treatment in lime columns which could affect the test results. However. Bund. 1977a. 1979. reported that the lime columns could function as vertical drains and succeeded in reducing . Table 2: The Lime Treatment Columns Properties.45 cu.80 m 9. 1983. The calculated maximum settlement under traffic loaded slope stabilized with piles is equal to 23. Broms (2003) mentioned that "Broms and Boman. The Columns Properties Diameter (d) Length (L) Spacing between Columns The Unit Weight (γc) Modulus of Elasticity (E) Poisson's Ratio (ν) Shear Strength Parameter Value 0. special industrial safety measures should be considered for the workers when installing lime columns.50. In addition. for the embankment stabilized with seven columns.25. Leminen and Rathmayer. 1979. Z 3816 Modeling the left side embankment stabilized with lime was performed by the same finite element program Phase2.Vol. and Soyez et al.80 cm when lime columns are used. the lime is available and relatively cheap material in Egypt. Bengtsson and Holm. Large differences can be expected between the permeabilities determined from laboratory samples and those obtained from field tests. while the slope safety factor for the embankment stabilized with reinforced concrete stabilizing piles was only 1. 1984.30 cm of the embankment stabilized with piles. Although the lime columns take relatively long time to increase the soil shear strength. based on field tests.. The slope safety factor exceeded the recommended value of 1. but it is an effective method to treat the soft clay and organic soil with relatively lower costs compared to the reinforced concrete piles.col =100 kN/m2 Figure 15: Colored Contour Shading of the Lime Treated Embankment Settlement. as shown in Figure (15).00 m 18 kN/m3 7500 kN/m2 0. Broms (2004). The calculated slope safety factor after soil improvement using lime columns is equal to 1. The permeability increases normally with lime treatment.0 m 2.90 cm compared with 14.30 cm. whereas this calculated settlement value is reduced to 8.

after Lime Treatment. The rapid drawdown case could be avoided by reducing the water level in the waterway over a longer period of time allowing for synchronized reduction of the water level in the waterway with consequent reduction of the water in the side slopes. In such case.00 m. the slope is found to be unsafe. the slope safety factor is found to be (1. A critical case would arise when the rapid drawdown takes place in the canal. 17 [2012]. kcol is the columns permeability and ksoil is the permeability of the unstabilized soil. . It is recommended to use a permeability ratio (kcol/ksoil) equal to 40 in designing the columns. Thus. By analyzing this case with the finite element program. The values of the settlement and horizontal displacement under the equivalent traffic loads seemed to be unchanged. To ensure that the slope is safe and reaches about 1. For constructing any projects in the future which could require emptying the canal. Z 3817 the stabilized soil consolidation time". In such case. the pore water pressure should be observed during and after the column installation. This is an additional stabilizing effect added to the chemical lime treatment reaction. A decision should be taken about replacing one of the columns at the berm with a cutoff wall to block the two-way seepage from the waterway into the lake and vice versa through the embankment. long-term analysis should be carried out on the soil and accordingly. because the water pressure on the slope shares in resisting the slope disturbing forces. The seepage cutoff wall could function as an environmental barrier in such case.4*10-7 cm/sec. The permeability of the seepage cutoff wall was chosen to be about 1. The environmental impact of the lime treatment should be carefully assessed in such condition especially the pH value of the groundwater in the embankment and the nearby water in the canal. the water level in the canal beside the embankment shouldn't be less than about 2. where. a decision should be taken to choose other methods to stabilize the slope or to satisfy with the lime treatment columns as stabilizing system. based on permeability tests that were performed by the Soil Mechanics Laboratory of Cairo University (2000). Figure 16: Colored Contour Shading of the Embankment Horizontal Displacement. the process of the slope widening will not require emptying the waterway.Vol. Broms (2004). and the slope is still saturated with water.63) which is slightly lower than the case of no seepage cutoff wall is used. Bund.50 as a safety factor.

and Springman. REFERENCES [1] Al-Ashaal. "Stabilizing Embankment Made of and Founded Over Weak Soil Using Piles: A Case History". A. Vol.. 3. . Design and Construction of Lime and Lime/Cement Columns". Vol. (2004). M. "The Strength of Soils as Engineering Materials".155-184. and field tests should be performed in order to have a better view for stabilizing the soft soil with lime columns and to determine the different columns characteristics.591–611. the piles are not that effective as a stabilizing system. Computers and Geotechnics. Soil Mechanics and Foundations. Japanese Geotechnical Society Vol. S. but further parametric study. 24. No. B. A. [9] Cairo University. 4. pp.A. "Lime and lime/cement columns (Ch 8) . (2003). E. if necessary it could be performed over a relatively long period of time to allow for the water level and saturation of the slopes to be reduced with time. Vol. 16. No. B.P. (2000).4.Ground Improvement". [2] Ausilio. Z 3818 CONCLUSION Based on the analysis made by the finite element program (Phase2). E. laboratory. Second Edition. Conte. and Ugai. A. However.73-84. 28. "Stability Analysis of Slopes Reinforced with Piles".For the very soft and soft clay slopes including peat layers through their profiles. (1966). Soils and foundations. (1999). M. Spon Press.For soft clay containing organic layers. [4] Bransby. and Dente G.. "Numerical Analysis of the stability of a slope reinforced with piles". "Mix Design Report of the Two Mixes of the Cut-off Wall in the Two Extensive Monitoring Zones". (1996). H. Geotechnique.50. Sixth Rankine Lecture. [3] Bishop.. F. "Lectures in Deep Soil Stabilization. chemical soil treatment such as lime columns is considered an effective way to increase the slope safety factor and to increase the shear strength parameters in the failed region. the following conclusions could be obtained: 1. 40. Bund. [5] Bransby.. Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm.. Vol. [8] Cai. Feasibility study should also be performed in such case.Rapid drawdown of the water inside the waterway is not recommended to avoid slope failures as it was considered the most critical case when the canal is empty and the soil is saturated. Soil Mechanics Laboratory. and Haggag. F. 2. B.9. F. 2. (1998). K.. 19. Computers and Geotechnics. (2000).89-130. pp.. pp. Journal of the Egyptian Geotechnical Society. "3-D Finite Element Modeling of Pile Groups Adjacent to Surcharge Loads". No. and Springman. A. A.Vol. pp.. 17 [2012].. edited by Moseley M.. 1... and Kirsch K. (2001). Vol.Using two pile rows of stabilizing piles have not resulted in increasing the slope safety factor to the target value of 1. pp. [7] Broms. B. W.301-324. Sweden. S. [6] Broms.. Computers and Geotechnics. Abdel-Motaleb. "Selection of Load-Transfer Functions for Passive Lateral Loading of Pile Groups".

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. Z 3820 [27] Wei. 17 [2012].. S. "Technical Report of the Loading Embankment Results Performed at the Left Side Embankment of Al-Salam Canal from km 7. A. pp. M.700 to km 7. and Li.. L. M.M. W. Cheng. Vol. Al-Mansoura University. [28] Youssef.750".B. (2009). Bund.Vol. Computers and Geotechnics. (2000). EJGE . "Three-Dimensional Slope Failure Analysis by the Strength Reduction and Limit Equilibrium Methods". Faculty of Engineering.70–80.. Y. and Al-Gayar. © 2012.. 36.