# Theme4 Objectives

LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Introduction
Whereas water pressure is always hydrostatic, i.e. the same in all directions, effective pressures in soil are not. Earth pressure theory considers the relationship between the horizontal effective stress and vertical effective stress in a soil mass under various stability conditions, so that,

where K

p

= earth pressure = earth pressure coefficient

Earth pressures depend on several factors, the physical properties of the soil the time-dependent nature of soil strength the interaction between the soil and the retaining structure at the interface the imposed loading Three distinct stability conditions have been defined, called Rankine states Earth pressure at rest Active earth pressure po pa Ko Ka Kp

Passive earth pressure pp

The active and passive Rankine states relate to states of failure associated with plastic equilibrium or plastic flow. The at rest state is a compression state under zero lateral strain, similar to the isotropic compression state for which K = 1, i.e. s'h = s'v. Both the active and passive cases are assumed to be perfectly plastic where yield and failure occurs simultaneously and there is no increase in the strength of the material with continued shear strain. A conceptual model of earth pressure It can be shown that under conditions of one-dimensional loading (i.e. lateral constraint, such as in the oedometer, below very large loaded areas and also in residual weathered profiles) that the ratio between the vertical and horizontal effective stresses can be represented by

where

Ko

= Rankine earth pressure coefficient for soils at rest

Conceptually the earth pressure coefficient at rest can be explained by the following thought experiment. Imagine that in pre-history a soft and compressible sediment formed at the bottom of a large lake. The sediment will be in a state of one-dimensional loading as it covers an appreciable area. At some stage a bulldozer is magically inserted into this profile so that its vertical and flat blade pushes horizontally against the soil without any disturbance, i.e. no horizontal deformation occurred during the insertion process. If a load cell was installed to measure the load on the bulldozer blade, it would register the total horizontal stress in the soil, which together with the pore pressure allows calculation of the horizontal effective stress. By utilising the buoyant unit weight of the soil the vertical effective stress can also be calculated at the level of the bulldozer. With the passing of many more millions of years the profile grows in depth due to deposition of more material and the horizontal stress on the bulldozer blade will increase according to the Ko ratio, provided that no horizontal movement of the blade is allowed. The important thing here is that the blade must remain horizontally fixed in order to mobilise the earth pressure at rest

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The experiment, can now be extended to incorporate active and passive earth pressures. When the bulldozer was introduced without allowing horizontal disturbance of the soil, the effective pressure exerted on its vertical blade was the result of the earth pressures at rest. the bulldozer blade models the confinement of the soil it has replaced in the profile. If the operator reverses the bulldozer slightly so that the blade retracts from the soil face until the face collapses, the effective horizontal pressure on the blade, when it has reached a minimum equilibrium value at "failure", would represent the Rankine active earth pressure. Conversely, if the operator drives the blade into the soil face until a maximum equilibrium is reached "failure", the effective horizontal pressure on the blade would represent the Rankine passive earth pressure. General comments Although historical evidence exists which shows that as early as in 1687 Marquis Sebastian de Pretre de Vauban, a French military engineer, formulated some guidelines for designing some earth retaining structures, it was not until 1776 that Charles Augustin Coulomb published his now famous and fundamental earth pressure theory. Since then William John Macquorn Rankine, Jean Victor Poncelot, Karl Culmann and many more have refined and contributed much toward the solution of earth pressure problems. The theories of Rankine (1857) and Coulomb (1776) (referred to as the classical earth pressure theories) considered in this coarse still remain as the fundamental approaches to analysis of most earth-supporting structures, particularly for cohesionless soils. Although experimental and field observations have shown that the failure mechanisms are not quite those assumed by the theories, the designs based on these theories give acceptable results for engineered back-fills. The theories are significantly less dependable for the more cohesive soils. The following basic assumptions apply to the earth pressure problems studied in this course, Plane strain loading conditions are assumed (strain confinement in one direction). Earth pressure at rest is by definition a one-dimensional load condition with strain confinement in both horizontal directions. The retaining structures or walls are rigid and do not settle vertically to any significant extent. A study of the stress-strain response before failure requires sophisticated constitutive modelling and numerical techniques such as finite differences and finite elements, which are beyond the scope of this course.

2. Rankine earth pressure theory
Rankine (1857) earth pressures at rest Unfortunately the earth pressure coefficient at rest, Ko, is not a constant soil parameter, but is dependent on the stress history (OCR) of the soil. However, Ko can be assumed constant and less than unity for normally consolidated soils, where the vertical effective stress is the major principal effective stress and is greater than the horizontal effective stress. As a soil becomes overconsolidated, the value of Ko increases gradually and can become greater than one, in which case the horizontal effective stress becomes greater than the vertical effective stress, i.e. rotation of the principle planes take place and the horizontal effective stress becomes the major principal effective stress. Estimating the earth pressure coefficient at rest Ko is a very difficult parameter to measure directly in the laboratory and requires, for example, a zero lateral strain triaxial compression test. However, many workers have proposed empirical relationships for this parameter over the years For perfectly elastic materials

where

n'

= Poisson's ratio i.t.o. effective stresses

Normally consolidated loose sands (Jaky, 1944)

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Dense compacted sands (Sherif et al., 1984)

where

rcompact rmin

= actual compacted dry density = minimum dry density (loosest state) of the sand

Normally consolidated clays (Brooker & Ireland, 1965)

Overconsolidated sand and clays (Mayne and Kulwahy (1982)

Typical values of Ko are Soil type Dense Sand Loose Sand NC Clays Lightly OC Clay Heavily OC Clay Ko 0.35 0.6 0.5 – 0.6 1.0 3.0

Rankine active earth pressures The Rankine active earth pressure is mobilised by relieving the horizontal effective stress and/or increasing the vertical effective stress in a soil until plastic equilibrium is reached, i.e. the soil mass is at impending failure with the vertical effective stress as the major principal stress. Examination of the Rankine active Mohr's circle (pole on the left) reveals failure planes developing at angles of q° with respect o the horizontal, where

From the Mohr failure envelope

So that

Careful consideration of the above equation will reveal that in the active case the soil will be in tension, supported by its cohesive strength, c', up to a depth of

However, in practice this tension can not be relied upon as the soil is likely to crack over this depth, and is therefore ignored in calculating the total active force on the wall per unit length of wall, Pa, or

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where H g

Pa

= active force on the wall, the result of effective stresses = the height of the structure in contact with the soil = unit weight of the soil with consideration of the water table = g' in saturated soil = gdry in dry soil

The force Pa is horizontal and acts at a distance from the base of the structure equal to

Rankine passive earth pressures The Rankine passive earth pressure is mobilised by increasing the horizontal effective stress and/or relieving the vertical effective stress in a soil until plastic equilibrium is reached, i.e. the soil mass is at impending failure with the horizontal effective stress as the major principal stress. Examination of the Rankine passive Mohr's circle (pole on the right) reveals failure planes developing at angles of 90-q° with respect to the horizontal, where

From the Mohr failure envelope

So that

The total passive force on the wall per unit length of wall , Pp, is

where H g

Pp

= passive force on the wall, the result of effective stresses = the height of the structure in contact with the soil = unit weight of the soil with consideration of the water table = g' in saturated soil = gdry in dry soil

The two components of the force Pp are horizontal and act at distances of H/3 and H/2 respectively from the base of the structure It apparent therefore that

Some comments on Rankin's theory Basic assumptions of the theory: The soil and the wall is of semi-infinite depth

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The soil is homogeneous and isotropic The soil is granular with no cohesion (c' = 0), this original assumption is not necessary and the above equations take into consideration the effect of cohesion. The face of the structure that is interacting with the soil is assumed to be completely smooth, so that there is no friction between the structure and the soil. In addition there may also be no adhesion between the wall and the soil. The wall is vertical, and the surface of the soil behind the wall is horizontal – the vertical and horizontal effective stresses in the soil mass are principal stresses and no shear stresses exist on vertical and horizontal planes. The wall is assumed to rotate at its base in order to develop the active and passive states. Planer failure surfaces are assumed, instead of circular or log-spiral planes. In Rankin's original derivations (stress and yield formulation) it was assumed that the whole of the semi-infinite mass profile exists simultaneously and uniformly in a state of plastic equilibrium in the active and passive cases, often represented by a criss-cross pattern (slip line field) throughout the soil mass, at angles representative of the failure plane angles, q or (90 – q). However, in reality the movement of a finite wall cannot develop plastic equilibrium in the soil mass as a whole, but rather only in a wedge of soil the size of which is dependent on the orientation of the failure planes – the remainder of the soil mass would not reach plastic equilibrium. The figures in the discussion above shows only the soil wedges in plastic equilibrium. Instead of describing the angles of the failure planes with respect to the horizontal direction, i.e. q or (90 – q), one can remember that the failure planes will always develop at angles of

with respect to the major principal plane, irrespective of being active or passive. It turns out that the amount of deformation (how far the wall or bulldozer blade has to move) required to fully develop the Rankine states, differs for the active and passive states. To mobilise the passive state requires much more movement than the active state. The reason for this is that in the active case the horizontal effective stress is the minor principal effective stress and remains such as its value decreases to the failure or active state; in the passive case the horizontal effective stress starts out as the minor principal effective stress, but then increases and by the time that failure is reached (passive case) it has become the major principal effective stress. In the passive case, therefore, the earth pressure (horizontal effective stress) has a much longer stress path to develop than in the active case. The values of lateral strain required to mobilise the active and passive states depend on the value of Ko and on the particular stress path followed to failure, which is highly dependent on the construction technique. The earth pressure equations above use effective (or drained) soil parameters, i.e. c' and f', as well as g' or gdry, and give effective earth pressures (s'h). If the total pressure and force on a retaining structure is required, then the effects of the water table and water pressures have to be taken into consideration separately. The presence of a water table has two effects: Effective vertical stresses are reduced below the water table so earth pressures (effective horizontal stresses) are also reduced The hydrostatic pore pressure below the water table causes horizontal water thrust on the retaining structure in addition to the effective earth pressure. There may be some cases where undrained loading, especially in the passive direction, may generate positive pore pressures and where the short term stability of the soil will be more critical than the long term fully drained stability. For such cases an undrained analysis may be performed using c = cu and f = fu = 0, resulting in Ko = Ka = Kp = 1, and

Again in the active case the cohesion suggests that the soil is able to support itself in tension up to a depth of zo – this benefit is ignored due to the possibility of tension cracks developing.

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3. Rankine theory extended
The previous discussion covered Rankine earth pressure theory in its most basic form for the assumptions stated. The following section discusses adaptations of the basic theory and equations to account for various special circumstances often encountered in practice. When considering these cases it is often prudent to break down the pressure components on retaining structures into familiar geometric pressure distributions. The area (for unit length of wall) and centroid of such a pressure distribution give respectively its force component and point of application of this force on the structure. Constant additional surcharge load on the retained soil The surcharge load results in a uniform increase of earth pressure on the retaining structure so that Active earth pressure

where the additional force due to the surcharge load acts at mid height (H/2) of the structure Passive earth pressure

where the additional force due to the surcharge load acts at mid height (H/2) of the structure In other words an extra rectangular pressure block of [H by q.K] is added in both cases. Multi layered profiles If the retained soil consists of, for example two layers with differing strength parameters then The top most layer is first analysed in the normal fashion The total weight of the top layer is then applied as a surcharge load to the second and the second layer analysed with z = 0 at its own surface. The combined weights of the above layers is then similarly applied as surcharge loads on consecutive layers until the final layer is analysed. Water table effects If the retained soil is either saturated or dry, the analysis is straight forward. If, however, a water table is present at some depth behind the wall, the effects on the change in unit weight of the soil and the pore pressure distribution behind the wall have to be taken into account. The material above the water table is analysed in the normal way using gdry or gsat as unit weight (1) The weight of the top layer is then added as surcharge on the saturated layer (2) at the location of the water table. In analysing the saturated layer the unit weight has to be changed to g' (3) and z is taken as zero at the level of the water table. Lastly the pore pressure distribution behind the wall is added (4) Sloping soil surface

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With a sloping ground surface, at an angle of b, the vertical and horizontal stresses are no longer principal stresses, in other words shear stresses develop on the horizontal and vertical planes. To solve the stresses using a Mohr circle it is assumed that the earth pressures, pa & pp, act in a direction parallel to the sloping ground surface – i.e. at an angle of b. The Mohr's circle is constructed as follows: The vertical effective stress is reduced to its two components, normal (s'zN) and tangent (s'zF) to the ground surface, representing the normal and shear stresses acting on a plane at b° in the soil.

The coordinate A(s'zN ; s'zF) can now be plotted together with the failure envelopes as a function of c' and f'. Two possible Mohr's circles can now be fitted tangent to the failure envelopes through the coordinate A. One lies mostly to the left of A (Active Case) and the other mostly to the right of A (Passive Case). These Mohr's circles can then be used to solve for the earth pressures and failure planes via the pole method, remembering that the earth pressures act parallel to the ground surface. For the case when c' = 0 the following equations apply, Active Case

Passive Case

It is important to note that Rankin's theory can not be applied when f' = b, since both Ka and Kp reduce to 1 in this case.

4. Coulomb earth pressure theory
Whereas Rankine considered the internal stress distributions and plastic equilibrium in actively or passively failing soil masses, Coulomb (1776), before him, used rigid block sliding and static equilibrium to solve earth pressure problems, where the internal stresses and strains are of no concern. The earth pressure or force on the retaining structure is calculated from considering the equilibrium of forces on a wedge of soil at the point of sliding (limiting equilibrium), either up or down on a trial failure plane. The method, therefore, requires an iterative procedure in selecting trial failure planes and finding the most critical earth pressure – maximum active or minimum passive.

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With this theory it is possible to have frictional and adhesive interaction between the retaining structure and the soil, using d as the wall-soil friction angle and cw as the wall-soil adhesion. The Coulomb solutions can simply be found by assuming a trial failure plane and considering static force equilibrium (including weight forces) on the mobilised soil wedges using the correct shear strengths on the slip planes, i.e. f' and c' on soil to soil sliding surfaces d and cw on soil to structure sliding surfaces Earth pressure by definition should be horizontal, however in the Coulomb derivation that follows, the solution to the equations give the total "effective" force on the wall, including two components, Pn, the force component normal to the wall, and, Pntand, the force component parallel to the wall. With rough walls the failure surfaces become curved rather than straight lines. However, in Coulomb's theory the failure surfaces are still assumed to be linear the error only becomes significant for the passive case where d > f'/3. For a horizontal ground surface, and a vertical smooth wall (d = 0), both the Coulomb and Rankine theories give exactly the same results. Some standard solutions have been found (only one iteration required), these are Coulomb Active earth pressures For a cohesionless soil or backfill

where

a d f'

= the angle of the wall with respect to the horizontal = the wall soil friction angle = the effective friction angle of the soil

Although not given by Coulombs theory the earth pressure force is assumed to act at H/3 from the base of the wall. For a cohesive backfill and adhesive wall Since these conditions allow negative normal stresses especially in the upper part of the soil profile, it is assumed that the soil will crack here to a depth of zo.

The failure plane will then stretch from the base of the retaining structure to the depth of the crack zone. It has become custom, to write the earth pressure equations with cohesion and adhesion in a generalised form, so that

becomes

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with

where

Kac

= active earth pressure coefficient introduced to model the effects of soil cohesion and wall adhesion.

Coulomb Passive earth pressures For a cohesionless soil or backfill

where d f'

a

= the angle of the wall with respect to the horizontal = the wall soil friction angle = the effective friction angle of the soil

Although not given by Coulombs theory the earth pressure force is assumed to act at H/3 from the base of the wall. For a cohesive backfill and adhesive wall As with the active earth pressures the generalised form of the earth pressure equation is,

where

Kpc

= active earth pressure coefficient introduced to model the effects of soil cohesion and wall adhesion.

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Design charts and tables Caquot and Kerisel (1948) determined earth pressure coefficients assuming curved failure surfaces in the shape of log-spirals for a horizontal ground surface and for vertical walls. However the Caquot and Kerisel earth pressure coefficients give only the horizontal components (true earth pressure forces) of the total effective force on the wall. The fictional component or shear stress being ptand (remember these are for vertical walls only). Thus the total effective stress on the wall may be found as p/cosd at an angle of (90-d) to the wall. Remember Coulomb's earth pressure coefficients above give the total effective pressure directly. Maximum values of wall friction and wall adhesion are given below as recommended in BS 8002 of 1987. Rankine Active case Soil Type Granular Overconsolidated Clay Rankine Passivr case Wall material Timber, steel or precast concrete Cast in-situ concrete Maximum cw/c' Maximum d/f' Granular Overconsolidated Clay 1/2 1/2 ½ 2/3 2/3 0.7 Maximum d/f' 2/3 1/2 to 2/3 Maximum cw/c' 0 1/2 to 1

5. Design of earth retaining walls
Retaining wall types Gravity walls - rely principally on their own mass for stability, although some passive resistance may be developed in front of a buried toe. Mass concrete or masonry walls - un-reinforced Reinforced concrete cantilever walls Gabion walls and crib walls Embedded walls - Rely on passive earth pressures against the embedded length and/or supporting props Reinforced concrete or pile walls – embedded and/or supported by floor slabs, anchors etc. These are especially used during basement excavation. Stability of retaining walls Safety and Serviceability requirements have to be satisfied. It should be noted that in passive loading the structure could have failed its serviceability criteria well before the Rankine passive failure state is reached. Again the permissible stress or limit state philosophies may be applied. It has been shown that sufficient wall movement is necessary to mobilise plastic equilibrium in the retained soil. However retaining walls can yield in a number of ways, including pure translation rotation about the base rotation about the top (due to a support prop for example) Although not stated clearly, the equations developed above for the Rankine theory assumes rotation of the wall

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about the base. The distribution of lateral earth pressure against a wall is greatly influenced by the manner in which the wall actually yields. However, analyses are generally carried out using the Rankine equations irrespective of the deformation mechanism. With known earth pressures acting on a wall (soil and water levels should represent the most unfavourable conditions conceivable in practice – including failure of the drainage systems or weep holes), stability has to be checked with appropriate safety factors: Stability of gravity walls It should be noted that in analysing gravity walls with a heel extending into the soil behind the vertical wall, that the vertical plane from the tip of the heel to ground surface is taken as the wall face with d = 0. The following should be considered Rotational failure of the wall and soil as a unit (Fs = 1.25 to 1.5) - this takes the form of a slope stability problem. Overturning of the wall itself (Fs > 2) – the sum of the restoring moments about the toe must exceed the sum of the overturning moments there. Passive resistance in front of the wall is usually ignored because considerable rotation is required before it is fully mobilised. Bearing pressure under the toe (middle third rule) – a linear pressure distribution on the supporting soil is usually assumed so that,

where

B L R V e

= width of the wall foundation bearing on soil = length of the wall usually unit length assumed = resultant of all forces acting on the wall (V & H) = vertical component of the resultant force = eccentricity with respect to the centre of the wall's foundation, where the line of action of the resultant force (R) passes through.

The maximum bearing pressure should not exceed the allowable bearing capacity of the supporting soil. Usually the wall foundation is designed so that the resultant force, R, passes through the middle third of the foundation. The above conditions however, ignore the effect of inclined loading due to the horizontal load component – make use of bearing capacity factors to account for this. Sliding between the base of the wall and the underlying soil– if the wall was not specifically designed as an embedded element, then the passive resistance in front of the toe is generally ignored and For granular soils

where

H d

= horizontal component of the resultant force on the wall = friction angle between the wall foundation and supporting soil Maximum d/f' 2/3 1 Minimum Fs

Type of construction Precast concrete units Cast in-situ concrete Type of soil

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Loos Granular Dense Granular

2.0 – 3.0 1.5 – 2.0

For cohesive soils

where Shear strength cu < 40 kPa cu > 40 kPa Type of clay NC & LOC HOC

cb

= adhesion between foundation and soil Maximum cb/cu 1.0 0.7 Minimum Fs 2.0 – 4.0 1.5 – 2.5

Internal stability of the structure itself – the wall must be structurally capable of transmitting the earth pressures through the foundation to the supporting soil. Deformations of the soil and wall – such deformations may cause distress in adjacent structures and services Stability of embedded or cantilever walls Used mainly for temporary support during construction in excavations, the stability of these walls are entirely due to passive resistance over the embedded length. Critical failure modes are A slope instability type failure Overturning instability Structural failure of the wall element Excessive deformation For deep excavations and waterfront development additional support is provided in the form of support props in the excavation or tie back anchors. When a higher water table is maintained behind the wall than in the excavation, by pumping for example, the effects of seepage and seepage pore pressures have to be considered, usually by constructing a flow net – analyses of this type are not requires in this course. The design of these structures including sheet pile walls, strutted excavations etc and reinforced earth structures is for interest sake only.

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