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Geotechnical Engineering

journal homepage: www.rockgeotech.org

the inuence of creep

Brian G. Sexton a, Bryan A. McCabe a, *, Minna Karstunen b, Nallathamby Sivasithamparam c

a

College of Engineering and Informatics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

b

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

c

Computational Geomechanics Division, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Oslo, Norway

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The recently developed elasto-viscoplastic Creep-SCLAY1S model has been used in conjunction with

Received 23 February 2016 PLAXIS 2D to investigate the effectiveness of vibro-replacement in a creep-prone clay. The Creep-

Received in revised form SCLAY1S model accounts for anisotropy, bonding, and destructuration, and uses the concept of a con-

14 April 2016

stant rate of viscoplastic multiplier to calculate creep strain rate. A comparison of settlement improve-

Accepted 19 May 2016

Available online 15 July 2016

ment factors with and without creep indicates that total settlement improvement factors (primary plus

creep) are lower than their primary counterparts (primary settlement only). The lowest settlement

improvement factors arise for analyses incorporating the effect of bonding and destructuration. Exam-

Keywords:

Stone columns

ination of the variations of vertical stress with time and depth has indicated that vertical stress is

Creep transferred from the soil to the column as the soil creeps. This results in additional column yielding. In

Anisotropy addition, the radial and hoop stresses in the soil are lower for the creep case. The reduced radial stresses

Destructuration lead to additional column bulging and hence more settlement, whereas the hoop stress reductions

Finite element (FE) method appear to be a secondary effect, caused by additional plastic deformation for the creep case.

2016 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by

Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/

licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

primary settlement only (e.g. Priebe, 1995; Castro and Sagaseta,

Vibro-replacement has traditionally been considered to be an 2009; Pulko et al., 2011), and so the same n value tends to be

effective means of improving the bearing capacity and settlement applied to both primary and creep settlements in routine designs.

characteristics of mixed lls and weak soils. Vibro-replacement In addition, the majority of n values measured in the eld (McCabe

solutions can be more cost-effective, quicker to implement and et al., 2009) tend to be lumped, with no distinction between initial

less CO2-intensive than piling alternatives in certain circumstances. compression, primary consolidation settlement, and creep. The

The technique is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment length of time required to measure pure long-term creep settle-

of soft ne-grained deposits; some of these soils can comprise a ments in soft low permeability soils serves as the main impediment

signicant organic content, in which case creep settlements can in the latter case.

contribute a signicant proportion of the total settlement. While the majority of laboratory-scale testing carried out to date

The settlement reduction potential of vibro stone columns is has been informative (e.g. Black et al., 2011), it tends to be limited

typically quantied using a settlement improvement factor (n): by scale effects and a difculty in replicating realistic boundary

conditions. Additionally, Castro et al. (2013) have noted that the

n duntreated/dtreated (1) reconstituted soils used in laboratory testing are not fully repre-

sentative of natural clay behaviour, while Mesri (1973) has pointed

where duntreated and dtreated are the nal settlements of untreated out that the rate of creep is lower in reconstituted soils. There are

(i.e. no columns) and treated ground, respectively. also difculties associated with extrapolating long-term perfor-

mance in the eld from short-term laboratory tests (Mitchell and

* Corresponding author.

Kelly, 2013).

E-mail address: bryan.mccabe@nuigalway.ie (B.A. McCabe). Moorhead (2013) carried out a series of laboratory tests in

Peer review under responsibility of Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chi- one- (1D) and three-dimensional (3D) loading chambers, and is,

nese Academy of Sciences.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.05.004

1674-7755 2016 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-

NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 673

to the authors knowledge, the only researcher to date to inves- 2.2. 3D elasto-viscoplastic models

tigate the creep settlement reduction potential of vibro stone

columns in the laboratory. The tests were carried out on recon- 2.2.1. Isotropic models

stituted samples of kaolin and Belfast sleech and examined stone The commercially available isotropic SSC model (Vermeer et al.,

column behaviour for both a rigid raft and an isolated loading 1998; Vermeer and Neher, 1999) can be classied as either an

scenario. Although the laboratory data showed a signicant extended overstress model or a creep model, as dened by Yin et al.

amount of scatter, it was tentatively concluded that columns (2010). Creep models use the creep coefcient, Ca, or its isotropic

effectively reduced primary settlement at low bearing pressures equivalent, m*, as the soil viscosity input parameter. The isotropic

but were ineffective at high pressures, and had only a minor elasto-viscoplastic model developed by Yin et al. (2002) is also

inuence on reducing initial compression and creep settlements. denoted a creep model.

The ndings need to be treated with caution because the initial

conditions in the untreated and treated soil beds were different 2.2.2. Anisotropic models

in some cases. Anisotropic elasto-viscoplastic soil models have been developed

In this paper, a series of axisymmetric analyses carried out using as extensions to the EVP and SSC models, e.g. the anisotropic EVP

the PLAXIS 2D nite element (FE) program (Brinkgreve et al., 2011) model (Zhou et al., 2005) and the anisotropic creep model (ACM,

is reported with a view to assess the settlement reduction potential Leoni et al., 2008), respectively. These creep models assume that

of vibro-replacement in a structured anisotropic creep-prone clay. the viscoplastic volumetric strain rate is independent of the stress

The Bothkennar soft clay test site in Scotland, comprising an state, and consequently they predict unrealistic strain-softening

overconsolidated crust overlying two layers of lightly over- behaviour for undrained triaxial tests on isotropically consoli-

consolidated Carse clay, has been used as a representative soil dated samples (Yin et al., 2010; Sivasithamparam et al., 2013, 2015).

prole for the numerical analyses. To overcome this deciency, Yin et al. (2010) proposed a new

In previous studies, Sexton and McCabe (2013, 2015) carried anisotropic elasto-viscoplastic soil model in which the volumetric

out some preliminary numerical work using a simplied single- strain rate is dependent on the stress ratio, h q/p0 (where p0 and q

layer version of the multi-layer Bothkennar prole to gauge the denote the mean effective stress and deviatoric stress,

inuence of creep on settlement improvement factors. Subse- respectively).

quently, Sexton and McCabe (2016) extended this work to a multi-

layer scenario. The commercially available soft soil creep (SSC) 2.2.3. Anisotropic models with bonding and destructuration

model was used to represent the host clay behaviour in these The Creep-SCLAY1S model (Sivasithamparam et al., 2015) is an

studies. The latter study in particular provided valuable insight anisotropic soil model that also takes account of bonding and

into the likely behaviour of stone columns in creep-prone soils destructuration. Destructuration refers to the progressive break-

and formed an important frame of reference for one using a down/degradation of bonds during straining (Leroueil et al., 1979)

more advanced constitutive model, such as the Creep-SCLAY1S and is accommodated using the concept of an intrinsic yield surface

model, which is used to model the soft clay in this paper. The proposed by Gens and Nova (1993). Other models which t in this

Creep-SCLAY1S model (Sivasithamparam et al., 2013, 2015) in- category are the AniCreep model developed by Yin et al. (2011) as

corporates anisotropy, bonding, and destructuration, each of an extension to the model developed by Yin et al. (2010), the EVP-

which can be switched off individually or in various combina- SCLAY1S model (Yin and Karstunen, 2008) which is categorised as a

tions by adjusting the input parameters. The model is not yet conventional overstress model, and the non-associated structured

commercially available, and therefore a user-dened model anisotropic creep (n-SAC) model developed by Grimstad et al.

implementation into the PLAXIS FE code was used. The hardening (2010).

soil (HS) model (Schanz et al., 1999) is used to represent the The key feature of the n-SAC model is that the time resistance

granular column material. For simplicity, any installation effects concept is introduced to the viscoplastic multiplier rather than to

have been ignored. the viscoplastic volumetric strain. Models which assume constant

contours of volumetric creep strain (e.g. SSC or ACM) yield unre-

alistic creep strains for almost all stress paths (Olsson, 2013). In

2. Modelling creep using advanced constitutive models keeping with the n-SAC model, the Creep-SCLAY1S model also uses

the concept of a constant rate of viscoplastic multiplier to calculate

2.1. Model classication creep strain rate, but the commonly used semi-logarithmic creep

coefcient, Ca, is used as the viscosity input parameter, making the

Constitutive models for describing the time-dependent behav- model attractive from a practical modelling perspective.

iour of soft soils can be classied as either empirical models,

rheological models, or general stressestrainetime models, each of 3. Formulation of the Creep-SCLAY1S model

which have been reviewed in detail by Liingaard et al. (2004).

Empirical models are generally obtained by tting mathematical/ The formulation of the Creep-SCLAY1S model (in triaxial stress

constitutive expressions to experimental data whereas rheological space) was described by Sivasithamparam et al. (2013) and it was

models tend to be used to gain a conceptual understanding of time extended to 3D for FE analyses by Sivasithamparam et al. (2015). In

effects in soil. the version used in this paper, destructuration has also been

General stressestrainetime models are capable of describing incorporated. The anisotropy and destructuration components of

the rate-dependent behaviour of soils under a variety of different the model were formulated using the constitutive equations from

loading conditions. These models tend to be formulated incre- the rate independent S-CLAY1 (Wheeler, 1997; Wheeler et al.,

mentally and so are suitable for implementation within the FE 2003) and S-CLAY1S (Koskinen et al., 2002; Karstunen et al.,

method. The majority of elasto-viscoplastic general stressestraine 2005) models, which accounted for anisotropy and both anisot-

time models are based on overstress theory (e.g. Perzyna, 1963, ropy and destructuration, respectively.

1966), either conventional overstress or extended overstress. For simplicity, the Creep-SCLAY1S model is briey explained

Extended overstress models are preferable to conventional over- here in triaxial stress space. For the extension to 3D, readers can

stress models (Yin et al., 2010). refer to Sivasithamparam et al. (2015). The total strain rate (_) is

674 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

component (_c ), i.e. cv

p0 p p0 p0 exp (6)

l* k*

_ _ e _ c (2)

q ap0 2

The rotational hardening law, describing the changing inclina- p0 eq p0 (7)

tion of the yield surface due to creep strains, takes the form shown M2 q a2 p0

as follows:

where M(q) is the stress ratio at critical state, which is a function of

h

da u a dcv ud a dcd (3) Sivasithamparam et al., 2015); and l* and k* are the modied

4 3

compression and swelling indices, respectively, and hence related

where u and ud are two additional soil constants; dcv and dcd are to the 1D compression and swelling indices (Cc and Cs).

the increments of creep volumetric and deviatoric strains, respec- In contrast to the SSC model and the ACM, which calculate the

tively; and hi denote Macaulay brackets. The constant ud controls volumetric creep strain rate according to Eq. (8), the Creep-

SCLAY1S model uses the rate of viscoplastic multiplier (L) _ (Eq. (9)):

the relative effectiveness of the deviatoric and volumetric creep

strains in determining the overall target value for a, while u con- * *

trols the absolute rate at which a approaches the target value, !l k

where a is the angle of inclination of the yield surface (Fig. 1). m* p0 eq m*

_ cv (8)

The destructuration law describing the breakdown of bonding s p0 p

caused by creep strains takes the following form:

* *

dc xc dcv xd dcd (4) !l k

m* p0 eq m* M 2 q a2K nc

_

L 0

(9)

where x and xd are two additional soil constants controlling the s p0 p M2 q h2K nc

0

absolute rate of destructuration and the relative effectiveness of

volumetric and deviatoric creep strains, respectively, in destroying where the additional term in Eq. (9) was added to ensure that under

the bonding. oedometric conditions, the resulting volumetric creep strain cor-

The initial amount of bonding (c0) relates the size of the natural responds to Eq. (8); aK0nc denotes the inclination of the yield ellipse

yield surface (p0 p0 ) to the size of the intrinsic yield surface (p0 p0i ), in the normally consolidated condition; and s is a reference time,

i.e. which is usually 1 day if m* is calculated using an incremental load

oedometer test with a loading duration of 1 day.

p0 p0 1 c0 p0 p0i (5) The determination of the additional model parameters required

for the Creep-SCLAY1S model is straight-forward. The anisotropy

The yield surface (normal consolidation surface, NCS) evolves

parameters, a0 (initial yield surface inclination) and ud can be

with the creep volumetric strains according to Eq. (6), with the

calculated from the critical state friction angle (f0 ) and the coef-

equivalent mean stress measure (p0 eq , Eq. (7)) dening the inter-

cient of lateral earth pressure in the normally consolidated condi-

section of the current stress surface (CSS) with the p0 axis (Fig. 1), i.e.

tion (K0nc ). The value of u should be calculated/optimised by

simulating undrained triaxial extension tests, or in their absence,

simply estimated based on compressibility (Zentar et al., 2002).

The initial amount of bonding, c0, can be calculated based on the

sensitivity, St (see Eq. (10)), and the other destructuration param-

eters (xd and x) can be calibrated using the optimisation procedure

described in Koskinen et al. (2002). The intrinsic compression and

*

creep indices, li and m*i (measured from oedometer tests on

reconstituted samples), should be used as opposed to l* and m*

(measured from oedometer tests on natural samples) when

modelling destructuration using the FE method.

c0 St 1 (10)

4. Soil prole

the UK Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) in 1987 as

a national soft clay test bed. The silty clay at Bothkennar is highly

structured with an organic content of 3e5%, depending on the

facies type (bedded, laminated, mottled and weathered) (e.g. Paul

et al., 1992), and a bulk unit weight of g 16.5 kN/m3 (e.g. Nash

et al., 1992a). The multi-layer soil prole (Table 1) adopted in this

study is based on the HS model soil prole used by Killeen and

McCabe (2014). The authors obtained the parameters from ICE

Fig. 1. Yield surfaces of the Creep-SCLAY1S model in triaxial stress space. (1992) and validated their prole against a eld load test on an

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 675

Table 1

Bothkennar material parameters.

Type Depth (m) g (kN/m3) OCR POP (kPa) K0 e0 l* li* k* m* mi* c0 (kPa) j ( ) n kx (m/d) ky (m/d)

Crust 0e1.5 18 e 15 1.5 1 0.015 0.006 0.002 0.0006 0.0002 3 0 0.2 1 104 6.9 105

Upper Carse clay 1.5e2.5 16.5 e 15 1 1.2 0.049 0.018 0.006 0.002 0.0007 1 0 0.2 1 104 6.9 105

Lower Carse clay 2.5e14.5 16.5 1.5 e 0.75 2 0.162 0.06 0.023 0.0065 0.0024 1 0 0.2 1 104 6.9 105

unreinforced rigid pad footing described by Jardine et al. (1995). The adopted soil parameters derived predominantly from the

However, creep was not considered in their study and so the results of oedometer tests have been validated by using the PLAXIS

additional creep parameters in Table 1 were calculated based on a Soil Test facility to simulate the undrained triaxial compression

Ca/Cc ( m*/l*) ratio of 0.04 (e.g. Nash et al., 1992b). The additional tests reported by Atkinson et al. (1992) (see Sexton, 2014).

anisotropy and destructuration parameters for Bothkennar clay

quoted in Table 2 have previously been calibrated by Karstunen 4.2. Scenarios

et al. (2013).

The initial stress state for the FE model has been generated using Three separate scenarios have been considered for the Creep-

a pre-overburden pressure (POP) of 15 kPa for the upper layers and SCLAY1S model analyses described in Section 6:

an overconsolidation ratio (OCR) of 1.5 for the lower Carse clay, with

s0 0 and s0 p denoting the initial effective stress and 1D pre- (1) Anisotropy and destructuration have been switched off by

consolidation stress, respectively. The in situ at-rest earth-pressure setting the relevant parameters to zero and by setting

coefcients (K0) are based on a series of spade cell, self-boring Me Mc. For these isotropic analyses, the rotational hard-

pressuremeter (SBPM), and Marchetti dilatometer tests carried ening law (Eq. (2)) is switched off and K0 will be over-

out by Nash et al. (1992a). predicted, analogous to the modied Cam-Clay (MCC) model.

The slopes of the critical state lines (CSLs) in compression (Mc) (2) Anisotropy has been switched on while destructuration is

and extension (Me) have been selected based on a series of triaxial switched off.

stress paths tests on reconstituted clay carried out by Allman and (3) Both the anisotropy and bonding/destructuration parame-

Atkinson (1992). The Mc corresponds to a critical state friction ters have been switched on. The intrinsic compression and

angle of 34 ; this high friction angle is attributable to both a high creep indices quoted in Table 1 have been used for the ana-

organic content and an abundance of silt-sized grains. Nominal lyses incorporating destructuration.

cohesion values (c0 1 kPa) have been used for numerical stability

and a dilatancy angle (j) of 0 was adopted as representative of a ISO is used hereafter to denote the isotropic response of the

lightly overconsolidated clay. The horizontal and vertical perme- Creep-SCLAY1S model with anisotropy and destructuration

abilities (kx and ky) were measured by Leroueil et al. (1992) using switched off, ANIS is used to denote the anisotropic response with

both in situ (e.g. pushed-in-place piezometers, self-boring per- destructuration switched off, and A&D denotes the response with

meameters, BAT system) and laboratory (e.g. oedometer cells, both anisotropy and bonding/destructuration switched on.

triaxial cells, radial ow cells) methods.

Table 2

Additional material parameters.

5.1. Previous numerical studies

Mc Me a0 ud u c0 xd x

1.375 1 0.5267 0.9281 50 8 0.2 9 The majority of numerical studies investigating stone column

behaviour have used 2D analysis techniques, e.g. plane strain (Gb

Fig. 2. Typical column grids encountered in practice. (a) Triangular; (b) Square; (c) Hexagonal.

676 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

Properties of granular column material. Pietraszewska and Karstunen (2009) used the MCC, S-CLAY1, and

g (kN/m3) f0 ( ) j ( ) c0 (kPa) Eoed

ref ref

E50 ref

Eur pref m kx ky S-CLAY1S models for the soil and the HS model for the column.

(MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (kPa) (m/d) (m/d) Kamrat-Pietraszewska (2011) and Sexton and McCabe (2013) were

19 45 15 1 70 70 210 100 0.3 1.7 1.7 among the rst to use a model incorporating viscous effects with an

application to stone columns.

The majority of numerical studies investigating stone column

et al., 2008) or axisymmetry (Ambily and Gandhi, 2007); 3D behaviour have declined to use interface elements at the boundary

modelling has been used by Weber et al. (2008), Kamrat- between the granular column material and the in situ soil (e.g.

Pietraszewska and Karstunen (2009), and Killeen and McCabe Ambily and Gandhi, 2007; Domingues et al., 2007a, b; Gb et al.,

(2014). In the majority of cases, either the Mohr Coulomb (MC) or 2008), consistent with eld observations that columns are tightly

HS models have been used to represent the behaviour of both the interlocked with the surrounding soil due to the lateral displace-

granular column material and the treated soil (e.g. Ellouze and ment caused by re-lowering the poker during column installation

Time (d)

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

0.0

0.5

Settlement (m)

1.0

No Creep (ISO)

No Creep (ANIS)

1.5

No Creep (A&D)

Time-settlement

Creep (ISO)

behaviour for

2.0

Creep (ANIS) the isotropic and

anisotropic cases

Creep (A&D) is almost identical

2.5

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 677

Time (d)

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

0.0

0.2

0.4

Settlement (m)

0.6 Untreated

A/Ac = 15

0.8

A/Ac = 10

1.0 A/Ac = 6

A/Ac = 3

1.2

(a)

Time (d)

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Settlement (m)

1.0

Untreated

1.2

A/Ac = 15

1.4

1.6 A/Ac = 10

1.8 A/Ac = 6

2.0 A/Ac = 3

2.2

(b)

Fig. 5. Settlement vs. log(time) plots for the isotropic case. (a) Very low creep coefcient; (b) Standard creep coefcient.

(e.g. McCabe et al., 2009). This assumption of full contact at the 5.3. Stone column material parameters

columnesoil interface is adopted in this study.

The hyperbolic elastoplastic HS model has been used to model

5.2. Axisymmetric unit cell concept the column material. The parameters have also been derived from

Killeen and McCabe (2014) (see Table 3). The model has two yield

The axisymmetric unit cell concept is used in this paper, surfaces: a shear hardening yield surface to incorporate shear

representative of the behaviour of a large grid of regularly-spaced hardening and a cap yield surface for compression hardening. The

columns subjected to a uniform load, as would be used to sup- sizes of these yield surfaces are governed by the secant (E50) and

port an embankment or a large oor slab, for example. The extent of oedometric (Eoed) moduli, respectively; the unloadereload

treatment is usually measured using the areaereplacement ratio: modulus, Eur, is used to control the elastic unloadereload behav-

iour. The model accounts for the stress dependency of soil stiffness

Ac 1 Dc 2 using the following power law:

(11)

A g s m

p

E Eref (12)

where Ac is the cross-sectional area of a single stone column; A is pref

the cross-sectional area of its unit cell; s and Dc denote the column

spacing and column diameter, respectively; and g is a constant where m is the power dictating the stress dependency of soil

depending on the column arrangement (Fig. 2). The boundary stiffness and Eref is a reference stiffness modulus corresponding to a

conditions applied to the unit cell are shown in Fig. 3. reference pressure, pref.

678 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

4.0 (2) The n values with and without creep for the anisotropic case

nPRIMARY(ISO) are denoted by nTOTAL(ANIS) and nPRIMARY(ANIS), respectively.

3.5

Direct comparison with the isotropic results enables the in-

3.0 nTOTAL(ISO) uence of anisotropy to be established.

2.5 (3) The n values with and without creep for the analyses incor-

porating anisotropy, bonding, and destructuration are

2.0

n

1.5 inuence of soil destructuration can then be examined.

1.0

The variations of radial, vertical, and hoop stress with time and

0.5 depth corresponding to scenarios (1)e(3) can be expounded.

0.0 The general analysis stages are as follows:

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

Time (d) (1) Generate initial stresses using the K0 procedure (Brinkgreve

(a) et al., 2011).

(2) Install the stone columns in undrained conditions using the

4.0

wished-in-place technique (any changes in stresses and

3.5 nPRIMARY(ANIS) state parameters due to column installation are not

accounted for). Any out-of-equilibrium stresses generated by

3.0

nTOTAL(ANIS) the wished-in-place installation are restored using a plastic

2.5 nil-step.

2.0 (3) Apply a load (pa) of 100 kPa in undrained conditions

n

1.5 cell. The plate acts as a loading platform and prevents dif-

1.0 ferential settlements at the surface between the column

and the soil.

0.5 (4) Allow a consolidation phase; settlements effectively

0.0 cease after full pore pressure dissipation for the no

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000 creep case.

Time (d)

(b)

7. Computational results and discussion

4.0

3.0 nTOTAL(A&D)

Settlement versus time plots in logarithmic scale for the un-

2.5 treated creep and no creep cases for the three different sce-

2.0 narios are presented in Fig. 4. The timeesettlement behaviour for

n

1.5

the case for 1D loading if the anisotropy parameters are derived

1.0 based on the K0 state. The end-of-primary (EOP) consolidation

0.5 times for the no creep and creep cases are approximately 15,000

days (w40 years) and 40,000 days (w100 years), respectively. The

0.0 EOP consolidation times are shorter and settlements are lower for

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000 *

the case with bonding and destructuration (since li l* and

Time (d)

m*i m*).

(c) The timeesettlement behaviour for the treated case (at different

reciprocal areaereplacement ratios, A/Ac) is compared to that of the

Fig. 6. Evolution of n with time at A/Ac 6. (a) ISO; (b) ANIS; (c) A&D.

untreated case in Fig. 5a and b for the no creep and creep cases,

respectively; these plots pertain to the isotropic case. It is evident

6. Axisymmetric 2D modelling that the granular columns signicantly accelerate the consolidation

process; the consolidation time reduces with increasing stone

The impact of creep on stone column settlement performance is replacement. The ndings are consistent with those reported by

examined by performing two sets of analyses: one set using the Kok Shien (2013), who also modelled stone columns using the

standard soil properties in Table 1 and the other using very low axisymmetric unit cell concept, albeit using a different soil model

creep coefcients (m* 1% of the standard value), in effect elimi- and soil prole. Settlementelog(time) plots for the anisotropy and

nating most of the creep effects. It is not possible to use m* 0 as it anisotropy and destructuration cases are not presented here

would result in division by zero. because the patterns are relatively consistent with the isotropic

These two sets of analyses (referred to subsequently as creep case; settlement differences will be reected in the relevant n

and no creep) are carried out with a view to deriving settlement values.

improvement factors (n values) for the three separate scenarios laid

out in Section 4.2: 7.2. Evolution of settlement improvement factor with time

(1) The n values with and without creep for the isotropic case are The evolution of n with time for the creep and no creep cases

denoted by nTOTAL(ISO) and nPRIMARY(ISO), respectively. is plotted in Fig. 6 for the different scenarios; A/Ac 6 is chosen for

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 679

12

11 nPRIMARY(ISO)

10 nPRIMARY(ANIS)

9 nPRIMARY(A&D)

8

Priebe's n2 (1995)

nPRIMARY

7

Castro & Sagaseta (2009)

6

Pulko et al. (2011)

5

1

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

A/Ac

(a)

9

nTOTAL(ISO)

8

nTOTAL(ANIS)

7

6 nTOTAL(A&D)

nTOTAL

1

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

A/Ac

(b)

5.0

nCREEP(ISO)

4.5

nCREEP(ANIS)

4.0

3.5 nCREEP(A&D)

nCREEP

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

A/Ac

(c)

Fig. 7. (a) Comparison of nPRIMARY values; (b) Comparison of nTOTAL values; (c) Comparison of nCREEP values.

680 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

6.0 for the analyses incorporating bonding and destructuration. For the

isotropic analyses, K0 is overpredicted (see Section 4.2), resulting in

5.0 larger horizontal soil stresses which provide more resistance

against column bulging. This results in lower settlements for the

4.0 treated case, and since the settlements of untreated soil for the

nTOTAL1

3.0

nPRIMARY(ANIS).

For the analyses incorporating bonding and destructuration

2.0 *

(li l* and m*i m*), the ratio of column stiffness to soil stiffness is

1.0 y = 0.6225x lower and slightly lower n values would be expected. However, the

R = 0.9974 n values in Fig. 7a and b are still much lower than those expected

0.0 because n is not very sensitive to soil stiffness (and hence the ratio

0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 of column stiffness to soil stiffness) above a threshold value. The

nPRIMARY 1 lower n values can be explained as follows:

(a)

(1) Increased settlement leads to a reduction in the bonding

4.0

parameter, c.

3.5 (2) Creep (i.e. more settlement) leads to additional bond

3.0 degradation (for both the untreated and treated cases), and

hence a larger reduction in c.

2.5

nTOTAL1

2.0 extent than they do for the creep case (and hence they

1.5 curtail the amount by which c is reduced).

y = 0.6168x

0.5 R = 0.9948 design will depend on the initial amount of bonding, c0, which is

0.0 dictated by the soil sensitivity, St (see Eq. (9)).

0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 Analytical predictions obtained using Priebe (1995), Castro and

Sagaseta (2009), and Pulko et al. (2011) are superimposed with

nPRIMARY 1

the nPRIMARY values in Fig. 7a for comparison. The n values predicted

(b) by Castro and Sagaseta (2009) and Pulko et al. (2011) fall between

3.0 the nPRIMARY(ISO) and nPRIMARY(ANIS) for 4 < A/Ac < 15.

Creep settlement improvement factors for the different sce-

2.5 narios are compared in Fig. 7c. These creep settlement improve-

ment factors have been derived based on the slopes of the

2.0 settlementelog(time) plots after EOP:

nTOTAL1

1.5 .

nCREEP m*untreated m*treated (13)

1.0

y = 0.7691x where m*untreated and m*treated denote the slopes of the untreated and

0.5 R = 0.9968 treated settlementelog(time) plots, respectively. For each scenario

0.0 considered, these nCREEP values are lower than the corresponding

0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 nPRIMARY values. However, given that the nCREEP values are greater

nPRIMARY1 than 1, the columns have a positive impact on reducing long-term

creep settlements. The nTOTAL values in Fig. 7b are effectively a

(c) weighted average of the nPRIMARY and nCREEP values, dependent on

Fig. 8. (nTOTAL 1) vs. (nPRIMARY 1) plots. (a) ISO; (b) ANIS; (c) A&D.

the relative percentages of primary/creep settlement. In general,

larger differences between nPRIMARY and nTOTAL would be observed

in situations where nPRIMARY is larger to begin with. This occurs

illustrative purposes. In all cases, the predicted n values are less because the nPRIMARY values are much greater than the nCREEP values

than unity initially because the settlement of treated ground occurs and so a larger effect would be seen in the weighted average.

more rapidly than that of untreated ground; however, these n The relative differences between the nTOTAL and nPRIMARY values

values are of no practical signicance. Regardless of the scenario, for each scenario are investigated in Fig. 8 by plotting (nTOTAL 1)

the steady-state nTOTAL values after EOP are less than the corre- against (nPRIMARY 1) at different values of A/Ac; for an untreated

sponding nPRIMARY values; this holds at all values of A/Ac and is soil, both nTOTAL and nPRIMARY will be equal to 1. Each data point in

consistent with the ndings of Sexton and McCabe (2013, 2015, Fig. 8 corresponds to a nPRIMARY value and a nTOTAL value at a single

2016): when creep is present, settlement improvement factors value of A/Ac. Best-t lines have been added to each gure, along

are lower. with their corresponding coefcients of determination (R2). The

relationship takes the following form:

7.3. Comparison of settlement improvement factors

nTOTAL 1 bnPRIMARY 1 (14)

The nPRIMARY and nTOTAL values (after EOP) for the different

scenarios are presented in Fig. 7a and b, respectively. At all values of where b is the slope of the line. For the isotropic and anisotropic

A/Ac, the highest n values arise for the isotropic case and the lowest cases, the b values are almost identical, suggesting that the relative

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 681

400

300 Column

'yy (kPa)

200

Soil

100

50 A/Ac=3 (Creep) at C

0

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

Time (d)

Fig. 9. Variation of vertical stress (s0 yy ) with time at mid-depth for the isotropic case.

70

60

50

'xx (kPa)

40

30

20

A/Ac=3 (Creep) at S

10

0

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

Time (d)

(a)

60

50

A/Ac=3 (No Creep) at S

40

'zz (kPa)

30

20

A/Ac=3 (Creep) at S

10

0

0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000

Time (d)

(b)

Fig. 10. Variations of (a) radial stress (s0 xx ) and (b) hoop stress (s0 zz ) in the soil with time at mid-depth.

682 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

0 0

1 1

2 2

3 3

4 4

5 5

6 6

Depth (m)

Depth (m)

7 7

A/Ac = 3 Untreated A/Ac = 3 Untreated

8 8

9 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

ISO ISO

13 13

ANIS ANIS

14 14

A&D A&D

15 15

0 50 100 150 200 0 50 100 150 200

'yy (kPa) 'yy (kPa)

(a) (b)

Fig. 11. Proles of vertical stress in the soil for A/Ac 3. (a) No creep; (b) Creep.

0 0

1 1

2 2

3 3

4 4

5 5

6 6

Depth (m)

Depth (m)

7 7

8 8

9 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

ISO ISO

13 13

ANIS ANIS

14 14

A&D A&D

15 15

0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100

'xx (kPa) 'xx (kPa)

(a) (b)

Fig. 12. Proles of radial stress in the soil for A/Ac 3. (a) No creep; (b) Creep.

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 683

the creep case, these stresses continue to reduce after EOP, with

s0 zz reducing to a greater extent than s0 xx . The reduction in s0 xx

means that the lateral support imparted onto the column by the soil

diminishes due to creep. This leads to additional column bulging,

more settlement, and ultimately, a lower load-carrying capacity.

The s0 xx and s0 zz reductions will be discussed in more detail in

Sections 7.5.2 and 7.5.3.

the soil for A/Ac 3 (with and without creep) are compared after

100 years (after EOP for the untreated case) to highlight the effect of

the different features (e.g. anisotropy, bonding and destructura-

tion). The stress and strain proles have been obtained at the same

radius from the column centre as a vertical plane through point S in

Fig. 3.

The vertical stress proles in the soil for A/Ac 3 are plotted in

Fig. 11 for the different scenarios without and with creep, respec-

tively. The stress proles for the untreated case are also included on

the gure to provide a frame of reference for comparison between

the creep and no creep cases. The Updated Mesh option (e.g.

McMeeking and Rice, 1975) has been used for these analyses and so

the nal ground surface will be lower when there is more settle-

ment, e.g. for the analyses incorporating creep.

For each scenario, the columns reduce the vertical stress carried

by the soil over the full column length in comparison with the

untreated case. For the creep case (Fig. 11b), the stress reductions

are larger and increase with depth. These are illustrated using ar-

rows and markers for visual purposes. The surplus stress unloaded

from the soil is transferred to the column, as discussed in Section

7.4. The stress transfer (i.e. the stress reduction in the soil) is the

smallest for the analyses incorporating destructuration (Fig. 11b)

because of the lower creep coefcient (i.e. m*i m*).

The corresponding radial stress proles in the soil for A/Ac 3

are presented in Fig. 12; reference lines (with no physical signi-

Fig. 13. Total shear strains for A/Ac 3 (isotropic case). (a) No creep; (b) Creep. cance) have been included on this gure for ease of comparison

between the creep and no creep cases. The stress proles for the

untreated case have not been included on these gures for the sake

values of nTOTAL and nPRIMARY are rather independent of anisotropy. of clarity; the radial stresses in the soil for the untreated case are

For the case incorporating anisotropy and bonding/destructuration, almost equivalent to those in the soil for the no creep case

the value of b is higher because (i) the nPRIMARY(A&D) values are (Fig. 12a), apart from the isotropic case, for which the untreated

lower to begin with and (ii) m*i m* so the weighted effect of creep radial stresses are overpredicted. For the creep case (Fig. 12b), the

is less visible. radial stresses in the soil are lower than those for the no creep case

(Fig. 12a).

7.4. Variations of vertical, radial, and hoop stress with time The magnitudes of the radial stress reductions are relatively

consistent for the three scenarios considered, although there are

For the no creep case, the stresses on the soil and column are signicant stress oscillations for the creep case. These oscillations

constant after EOP. For the creep case, vertical stress is transferred are caused by shear-plane formation in the column (due to addi-

from the soil to the column as the soil creeps. This is illustrated in tional yielding, e.g. Fig. 13, illustrated for the isotropic case) and

Fig. 9 by plotting the variations of vertical stress (s0 yy ) with time for extend much deeper for the anisotropic case than for the isotropic

A/Ac 3 (for the isotropic case) at points C and S (mid-depth of the case. For the isotropic case, the horizontal stresses in the soil are

lower Carse clay layer) in Fig. 3. The spacing represented by A/Ac 3 overpredicted and so additional resistance is provided against

has been selected for presentation purposes because the stress lateral column bulging; this inhibits the formation of shear-planes

transfer is most pronounced at close spacings, although the same in the column. The magnitudes of the shear-planes are similar for

trend holds for the range 3 < A/Ac < 15 considered. The additional the anisotropy and destructuration case, despite the lower creep

stress transferred to the already yielded column results in addi- coefcient (m*i m*); for this scenario, columns do not have the

tional yielding, and hence lower n values for the creep case. same benecial effect on c, as discussed in Section 7.3.

The corresponding variations of radial (s0 xx ) and hoop (s0 zz ) The shear-plane formations can also be identied by examining

stress in the soil with time are plotted in Fig. 10a and b, respectively. proles of radial strain (xx) in the soil with depth (Fig. 14). For the

For the no creep case, both s0 xx and s0 zz are constant after EOP. For creep case, there is a sharp decrease of radial strain at the base of

684 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

0 0

1 1

2 2

3 3

4 4

5 5

6 6

Depth (m)

Depth (m)

7 7

8 8

9 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

ISO ISO

13 13

ANIS ANIS

14 14

A&D A&D

15 15

-0.10 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 -0.10 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00

xx xx

(a) (b)

Fig. 14. Proles of radial strain in the soil for A/Ac 3. (a) No creep; (b) Creep.

0 0

1 1

2 2

3 3

4 4

5 5

6 6

Depth (m)

Depth (m)

7 7

8 8

9 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

Floating 13 Floating 13

14 14

End-bearing End-bearing

15 15

-0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00

xx xx

(a) (b)

Fig. 15. Proles of radial strain in the soil for A/Ac 3 (isotropic case): oating vs. end-bearing columns. (a) No creep; (b) Creep.

B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688 685

0 0

1 1

2 2

3 3

4 4

5 5

6 6

Depth (m)

Depth (m)

7 7

8 8

9 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

ISO ISO

13 13

ANIS ANIS

14 14

A&D A&D

15 15

0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100

'zz (kPa) 'zz (kPa)

(a) (b)

Fig. 16. Proles of hoop stress in the soil for A/Ac 3. (a) No creep; (b) Creep.

the unit cell (Fig. 14b); this explains the jump in the radial stress isotropic case (additional plastic deformation and shear

prole at the base in Fig. 12b. Additional analyses have shown that plane formation lead to a larger hoop stress reduction, e.g.

these jumps also occur at the base of oating columns; oating Fig. 14b). The hoop stress prole for the analyses incorpo-

columns punch into the underlying soil and so there is also a rating anisotropy and bonding/destructuration is approxi-

sudden lateral/radial strain reduction. This is illustrated in Fig. 15 mately parallel to that for the anisotropic case, although the

for the isotropic case. hoop stress reduction is lower (less plastic deformation

because m*i m*, e.g. Fig. 14b).

The corresponding distributions of hoop stress in the soil with 8. Conclusions and recommendations for future research

depth for A/Ac 3 are presented in Fig. 16. The plots are presented

in a similar format to those for radial stress. The hoop stresses are A series of axisymmetric analyses has been carried out in

equal to the radial stresses for the untreated case. The following conjunction with the elasto-viscoplastic Creep-SCLAY1S model to

points are relevant: assess the effectiveness of stone columns in soft creep-prone soils.

The columns were wished-in-place and hence installation effects

(1) The hoop stresses in the soil are lower than the radial have not been accounted for. Three different scenarios have been

stresses (comparing Fig. 16 with Fig. 12) and hence lower considered: (i) isotropy, (ii) anisotropy, and (iii) anisotropy and

than the corresponding hoop stresses in the soil for the un- bonding/destructuration. The main ndings are as follows:

treated case.

(2) The hoop stress reductions for the no creep case are more (1) For all three scenarios, incorporating creep leads to lower

prominent in the regions where the strains are the largest, total settlement improvement factors, i.e. lower than pri-

e.g. at the depth of the maximum column bulging (which can mary settlement improvement factors. The total settlement

be approximated from Figs. 13 and 14 as being between 3 m improvement factors are effectively a weighted average of

and 4 m below ground level). The hoop stress reductions are primary and creep settlement improvement factors; the

caused by plastic deformation which leads to the dissipation latter are much lower than the former but are, nevertheless,

of energy; there is more plastic deformation at the bulging greater than unity. If creep constitutes a signicant propor-

depth than that at the base. tion of total settlement, lower settlement improvement

(3) The hoop stress reductions are larger for the creep case factors for creep settlements should be used in design.

(Fig. 16b) because there is more plastic deformation (2) The ratios of total to primary settlement improvement

throughout the full depth of the prole. A larger hoop stress factors are almost identical for the isotropic and aniso-

reduction occurs for the anisotropic case than for the tropic cases, suggesting the effectiveness of stone columns at

686 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

smaller ratio is observed for the case incorporating anisot- coefcient

ropy and bonding/destructuration because (i) the primary c0 effective cohesion

settlement improvement factors for this scenario are lower Dc column diameter

to begin with and (ii) the intrinsic creep index is less than E50 secant/triaxial modulus

the creep index for natural clay (m*i m*) so the effect of Eoed oedometric modulus

creep on the weighted average is less visible. Eur unloadereload modulus

(3) For the creep case, vertical stress is transferred from the e0 initial void ratio

creeping soil to the granular column. The additional vertical K0 coefcient of lateral earth pressure at rest

stress transferred to the already yielded column causes K0nc coefcient of lateral earth pressure in the normally

additional yielding and explains why total settlement consolidated condition

improvement factors are lower than their primary g constant dependent on column arrangement (square,

counterparts. triangular, or hexagonal)

(4) The actual n values (both primary and total) are lower for k, kx, ky permeability, horizontal permeability, vertical

the analyses incorporating bonding and destructuration. The permeability

extent to which destructuration should be accounted for in M, Mc, Me slope of CSL, slope of CSL in compression, slope of CSL

design will depend on the initial sensitivity of the clay; in in extension

highly sensitive clays, destructuration will be a greater M(q) stress ratio at critical state

consideration. m power dictating the stress dependency of soil

(5) In addition to the vertical stress transfer process, the radial stiffness (HS model)

and hoop stresses in the soil also reduce for the creep case. n settlement improvement factor, n duntreated/dtreated

The radial stress reduction results in additional column nTOTAL Total settlement improvement factor (i.e.

bulging and a lower load-carrying capacity. The hoop stress primary creep)

reduction is more of a secondary effect, caused by additional nCREEP Creep settlement improvement factor

plastic deformation (and hence energy dissipation) for the nPRIMARY Primary settlement improvement factor

creep case. n2 Priebes (1995) settlement improvement factor

(6) The simulations ignored any installation effects, which p, p0 mean principal total stress, mean principal effective

inevitably are signicant (e.g. Castro and Karstunen, 2010; stress

Castro et al., 2014). Hence for future work, it is recom- pa applied load/load level

mended to complement the present study with analyses that pp preconsolidation stress/pressure (3D)

account for installation effects for a more complete under- pref reference pressure

standing of how the stone columns behave in soft sensitive q deviatoric stress

creep-prone soils. Rc column radius

St sensitivity

s column spacing

Conict of interest a0, a initial yield surface inclination, yield surface

inclination

We wish to conrm that there are no known conicts of interest g bulk unit weight

associated with this publication and there has been no signicant d settlement

nancial support for this work that could have inuenced its xx radial strain

outcome. q Lode angle

k, k* swelling indices

l, l* compression indices

Acknowledgements li, li intrinsic compression indices

m, m* creep coefcients/indices

The authors would like to acknowledge the funding provided by n Poissons ratio

the Irish Research Council (IRC) for the research into stone column x rate of destructuration

behaviour in creep-prone soils. The development of the soil model xd effectiveness of shear and volumetric strains in

used herein was carried out as part of CREEP (Creep of Geo- destroying the bonding

materials, PIAP-GA-2011-286397) project supported by the Euro- s0 0 initial effective stress/pressure (1D)

pean Community through the programme Marie Curie Industry- s0 p preconsolidation stress/pressure (1D)

Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) under the 7th s0 xx , s0 yy , s0 zz effective radial, vertical (axial), and hoop (tangential)

Framework Programme. The support from the BIG (Better Interac- stresses

tion in Geotechnics) project from the Swedish Transport Adminis- f0 friction angle

tration is also gratefully acknowledged. u rate of yield surface rotation

ud effectiveness of shear and volumetric strains in

Notation rotating the yield surface

c0 initial amount of bonding

The following symbols are used in this paper: j dilatancy angle

A cross-sectional area of soil unit treated with granular _

L rate of viscoplastic multiplier

material

Ac cross-sectional area of granular column

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688 B.G. Sexton et al. / Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8 (2016) 672e688

Brian G. Sexton graduated with a BE in Civil Engineering Minna Karstunen is Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at

from National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway in Chalmers University of Technology, a Fellow of the Institution

October 2010 and then a PhD in Civil Engineering, also at of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sciences

NUI Galway, in October 2014. He is currently working as a and Arts in Gothenburg. After her PhD research at the Uni-

Geotechnical Engineer with AGL Consulting in Dublin, versity of Wales Swansea, she had academic appointments in

Ireland on a wide range of design projects. His research e.g. University of Glasgow and Strathclyde. Minnas research

interests include ground improvement techniques, nu- combines Applied Mechanics with Geotechnics, motivated by

merical modelling, soft soil behaviour, and retaining wall the societys need to design, construct and maintain infra-

design. Brian represented Ireland at the 25th European structure and buildings on/with materials with geological

Young Geotechnical Engineers Conference in Sibiu, origin, in the most safe, economic and sustainable way.

Romania, in June 2016. Minnas eld of expertise is constitutive and numerical

modelling of geomaterials, and she has coordinated

numerous EC funded projects related to her research eld.

researcher in the eld of Computational Geomechanics at

Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Norway. He received

his BSc Eng. (Hons) in Civil Engineering from University of

Bryan A. McCabe completed both his Bachelors Degree in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 2004, MEng in Earthquake Engi-

Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering and PhD in neering from University of Tokyo, Japan in 2007, and PhD in

Geotechnical Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, Computational Geomechanics from University of Strath-

Ireland. Bryan has been a lecturer in Civil Engineering clyde, Scotland in 2012. He was a Marie-Curie Research

since 2001, with the exception of a one-year secondment Fellow at PLAXIS (The Netherlands), National Autonomous

to Keller Ground Engineering, Coventry, UK. Bryan is University of Mexico (Mexico) and Chalmers University of

currently Head of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. His Technology (Sweden). His main research interests cover

research interests include piling, ground improvement, development of constitutive models for natural soils and

tunnelling and the Irish pyrite problem. their numerical implementation into nite element codes.

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