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Technical Paper: Arching in piled embankments: comparison of centrifuge tests and predictive methods - part 1 of 2

Ed Ellis: Lecturer, University of Plymouth; formerly University of Nottingham Raveed Aslam: Geotechnical Engineer, Faber Maunsell Ltd; formerly University of Nottingham. This paper was first published in GE’s June 2009 issue. This paper is Part 1 and Part 2 is published in the July 2009 issue of GE. Figure and equation numbers continue on to Part 2 of this paper.

Abstract

The concept of “arching” of granular soil over an area where there is partial loss of support from an underlying stratum has long been recognised in the study of soil mechanics, but notably there is not one generally accepted approach to account for this phenomenon in the design of piled embankments. This paper presents a series of centrifuge tests examining the performance of unreinforced piled embankments constructed over a soft subsoil. A large range of embankment heights are considered, and the results are compared with existing predictive methods, leading to generic conclusions. The paper is presented in two parts that are intended to be read consecutively. In the second paper, differential settlement at the surface of the embankment and the use in design of a “ground reaction” curve to characterise arching in the embankment are considered.

This has the potential to lead to a design approach that considers compatibility with other components of behaviour, such as the subsoil and tension in any geogrid reinforcement. Figure and equation numbering in the two papers is consecutive.

 

This paper is Part 1 and Part 2 is published in the July 2009 issue of GE. Figure and equation numbers continue on to Part 2 of this paper.

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