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Embankment on Soft Soil

Soft clays are generally recent sediments laid down by rivers, sea or lakes. These deposits are
characterized by bedding and laminations, sometimes intercalated with sand or silt seams and are
usually subject to repeated desiccation and wetting near the surface. Soft soils exist in following
environments

In low land areas near sea coasts where marine sediments are often found.
In the vicinity of rivers, especially those which have been subjected to meandering.
In local depression where the runoff is restricted and the soil contains appreciable amount
of organic matter.
Soft soils are characterized by low shear strength, high compressibility and low bearing capacity.
Due to these factors, construction of road embankment on these soils poses formidable challenge.
To visualize and provide some interpretation there are several simulating software. PLAXIS is
one of them. It is Finite Element based software. We have created some model and analyzed.
Results of the analysis are given here.
Models:
Two model are created.
1. Embankment on Soft Ground
2. Embankment on Soft Ground having PVD (Prefabricated Vertical Drains)

Figure 1: Dimension of the Embankment

Figure 2: Embankment on Soft Ground

Sand Fill

CL
PVD

ML

Figure 3 : Embankment on Soft Ground having PVD (Prefabricated Vertical Drains)


Material Properties:
PLAXIS - Finite Element Code for Soil and Rock Analyses
Project description : Embankment on Soft Ground
PLAXIS 8.x
User name
: Prosoil Foundation Consultant, Bangladesh
Project name
: Embankment on Soft Ground
Date
: 1/13/2015
Output
: Soil and Interfaces Info - Mohr-Coulomb
kx
ky
Eref
gunsat
gsat
n
ID
Type
3
3
kN/m
kN/m
m/day
m/day
kN/m2
1
CL UnDrained
19
21
0.00001 0.00001 0.4
1500
2
ML UnDrained
18
20
0.001
0.001
0.4
5000
Fill
3
Drained
16
18
0.01
0.01
0.3 15000
Sand

Stage Construction:

(a) Stage 1

(b) Stage 2

(c) Stage 3

(d) Stage 4

c ef
kN/m 2
25
30

[]
0
0

30

(e) Stage 5
(f) Stage 6
Figure 4 : Construction Stages
Each stage duration is 10 days. After completing stage 6 settlement of the embankment observed for
two years (730 days).
Results:
a. Settlement:

Graph 1: Comparison of settlement of the embankment with and without PVD.


Immidiate settltment for embankment on ground with PVD is much higher than without PVD.
After 6th stage completed the settlements are:
-339.56358

-635.93281

-354.44628

-645.99845

Within a year the settlement almost stop if PVD used if we dont use PVD it will take about
6660 days.

b. Pore Water Pressure:


During Stage construction porepressure increases and during settlement pore pressure
decreases due to dissipitation of pore water.

Graph 2: Comparison of pore pressure under the embankment with and without PVD.
c. Factor of Safety:

Graph 3: Factor of Safety for Embankment with PVD

Graph 4: Factor of Safety for Embankment without PVD


At initial stage factor of safety is higher and as the height of the embankment increases factor
of safety decreases. After final stage when settlement stops the factor of safety increases.