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# Managing Geotechnical Risk Learning from the Failures

Issues related to the use of Numerical Modelling in Design of Deep Excavations in Soft Clay
Andy Pickles of GCG (Asia) Ltd.

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Content of Presentation

Describe the Method A/B Problem Comment on Cam Clay model in routine design Highlight Difficulty of modelling piles in 2D Analyses Comments on modelling of JGP

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## Simplified Soil Behaviour

Most engineers are familiar with E and Preferable to adopt Shear Modulus (G) and Bulk Modulus (K) Shear strains due to changes in shear stress are proportional to 1/G Volume strains due to changes in mean stress are proportional to 1/K Water has zero G and very high Kw For drained and undrained conditions G is the same For drained conditions K is K for soil For undrained conditions K becomes very high (i.e. is Kw)

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## Mohr Coulomb Model and Method A/B

Most analyses adopt simple Mohr Coulomb model with no dilation For undrained condition no volume change Soil particles are only affected by changes in effective stress No volume change means no change in mean effective stress (p) in soil Soil is constrained to constant p stress path Soil will fail where constant p crosses failure line Method A/B refers only to choice of strength criteria in undrained analyses using Mohr Coulomb model Method A uses c and Method B uses Cu

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Method A C, phi

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## Method A at Nicoll Highway M3 Section

Method A/B problem is not unique to Plaxis Method A was in widespread use in Singapore (and is widely adopted internationally) Method A was adopted for design of C824 Method A (and other methods) should be compared with design Cu profile Excavations at C824 were deepest ever in Singapore
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MC Upper

Soft Clay 40 m

MC Lower

EC

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## Effect of Method A on Cu Profile

Undrained Strength, cu (kN/m ) 0 0 5 10 Depth Below Ground Level (m) 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
2

Method A, Ko = 1

Method A, Ko = 0.6

Design Cu Profile

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## Method A on Net Pressure Profile Excavation for 6th Strut

Net Pressure on Wall (kN/m2) -50 14 0 50 100 150 200 250

5th Strut
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## Net Pressure +ve Pa > Pp

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Design Cu Profile

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## Effect of Method A on Wall Displacement

Method A
105 100 95 90 85 RL (m)

Method B
105 100 95 90 85 RL (m) 80 75 70 65 60 55 -0.05 0.00

80 75 70 65 60 55 -0.05

0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15

0.20

0.25

0.30

0.25 0.30

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## Effect of Method A on Bending Moments

Method A
105 100 95 90 RL (m) 85

Method B
105 100 95 90 85 RL (m) 80 75 70 65 60 55 0 1000 3000 2000 -3000 -2000 -1000 4000

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## Effect of Method A on Strut Loads

Strut Row Predicted Strut Load Using Method B 379 991 1615 1606 1446 1418 1581 1578 2383 Design Strut Load Using Method A 568 1018 1816 1635 1458 1322 2130 2632 2173 Ratio Method B to Design Strut Load 67% 97% 89% 98% 99% 107% 74% 60% 110%

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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## Mohr Coulomb and Cam Clay Type Models

For deep excavations Method A can under-estimate wall displacement and BM For shallow excavations Method A will over-estimate wall displacement and BM Method B matches the design undrained strength profile and is preferable Neither Method A or B model the real behaviour of soft clay Post collapse recommendation to use Cam Clay type models
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## Cam Clay or real Soil

FE Model Constant p

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## Actual behaviour of Singapore Marine Clay

Real behaviour of Marine Clay determined from high quality lab tests Sampling carried out using thin wall with 5 degree cutting angle Samples anisotropically re-consolidated to in situ stresses prior to testing Testing carried out undrained in extension and compression
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Real Behaviour

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## Parameters for Upper Marine Clay

Cu Peak Cu Large Strain % Change 68 kPa 52 kPa 25% reduction at Peak undrained Large Strain % Change 25 34 35% Increase

Design adopted in Singapore is 22 (NSF calcs?) To obtain correct design Cu profile with modified Cam Clay model, = 17 is required
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## Mohr Coulomb v Modified Cam Clay

Modified Cam Clay model includes features of soft clay behaviour Some natural soft clays differ from Modified Cam Clay Physically unrealistic values may be required to match undrained strength profile For managing risk care must be taken to understand implication of differences Possibly simpler to adopt Mohr Coulomb with Method B
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## Modelling Piles in 2 D Analyses

Structures constructed in deep excavations in Singapore are often founded above soft clay on piles Piles are often constructed after installation of JGP layers but before commencement of excavation Piles will be bonded to the JGP Heave of ground during excavation results in tension in piles Presence of piles will restrain heave and also restrict wall movements

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## Comments on modelling of Piles

Modelling piles in 2D analyses as walls connected to the ground can severely restrict the predicted wall movement Wall displacements will be under-predicted and wall bending moments also under-predicted If 3D modelling is not available then it may be preferable to carry out sensitivity studies without piles and with piles modelled as anchors not connected to the soil mesh For managing risk you must understand the limitations implicit in simple 2D models sensitivity analyses

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Modelling JGP

Numerical models for design typically adopt Mohr Coulomb type model E = 150MPa, Cu = 300kPa (minimum UCS is 900kPa) JGP strength is a factored value used in analyses where soil strength is unfactored How are design values justified?

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USC Results
M i n i m u m c o m p li a n t v a lu e 4 2

## E50 from UCS Tests

B a c k - a n a ly s e d E h=65M P a

Design 3 900kPa

Average 2000kPa

## Design Value 150 MPa

N u m b e r o f r e s u lt s N u m b e r o f r e s u lt s D a t a fro m c o r e s 1 2

0 0 0 . 4 0 . 8 1 . 2 1 . 6 2 2 . 4 2 . 8 3 . 2 3 U n c o n fin e d c o m p r e s s io n s tr e n g th ( M P a ) . 6 4

0 0 1 0 02 0 03 0 04 0 05 0 06 0 0 0 7 E v (M P a ) 08 0 09 0 10 0 01 01 0 02 1 0 0

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## Axial strain at failure in UCS tests on JGP Average 0.8%

1 0

N u m b e r o f r e s u lt s

0 0 0 . 2 0 . 4 0 . 6 0 . 8 1 1 . 2 1 . 4 A x ia l s t r a in a t fa ilu r e , a f ( % ) 1 . 6 1 . 8 2

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## Summary of JGP Properties

Model Cu >1000 300 500 E 500 150 70*1 >2 Fail Strain % 0.8

## UCS M-C Real

Advance Brittle? 500*2 / 200 d Non linear response *1 Analysis at 20% plastic strain *2 Peak to residual
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2*2

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Modelling of JGP

Actual mass characteristics of JGP not well understood No direct relationship between lab and field performance Parameters and model presently used for design are probably incorrect and may be unsafe JGP is probably a brittle material whereas Mohr Coulomb is elastic/perfect plastic Sensitivity analyses with high and low strength and stiffness values are essential

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Concluding Remarks

Numerical modelling has an important role in design Numerical modelling requires specialist knowledge For managing risk make sure that the limitations of the model are well understood (investigated) Do not rely on preciseness of results Sensitivity/ trends in behaviour more important Always perform sanity checks by alternative means

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End of Presentation

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