Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 81

Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

Effect of Footing Shape on Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Closely Spaced Footings on Sandy Soil

The bearing capacity of closely spaced shallow footings alters with their spacing and the shape of footing. In this study, the bearing capacity and settlement of two adjacent footings constructed on a sand layer are investigated. The effect of different footing shapes including square, circular, ring and strip on sandy soil is captured in the calculations. The investigations are carried out numerically using PLAXIS-3D software and analytically employing conventional settlement equations. For this purpose, foundations are modelled in the program with practical dimensions and various spacing ratios ranging from 1 to 5. The spacing ratio is defined as the centre-to-centre distance to the width of foundations (S/B). Overall, 24 models are analyzed; and the results are compared and discussed in detail. It can be concluded that the presence of adjacent foundation leads to the reduction in bearing capacity for round shape footings while it can increase the bearing capacity of rectangular footings in some specific distances.

Analyzing the Changing Pattern of Nigerian Vegetation Zones and Its Ecological and Socio-Economic Implications Using Spot-Vegetation Sensor

This study assesses the major ecological zones in Nigeria with the view to understanding the spatial pattern of vegetation zones and the implications on conservation within the period of sixteen (16) years. Satellite images used for this study were acquired from the SPOT-VEGETATION between 1998 and 2013. The annual NDVI images selected for this study were derived from SPOT-4 sensor and were acquired within the same season (November) in order to reduce differences in spectral reflectance due to seasonal variations. The images were sliced into five classes based on literatures and knowledge of the area (i.e. <0.16 Non-Vegetated areas; 0.16-0.22 Sahel Savannah; 0.22-0.40 Sudan Savannah, 0.40-0.47 Guinea Savannah and >0.47 Forest Zone). Classification of the 1998 and 2013 images into forested and non forested areas showed that forested area decrease from 511,691 km2 in 1998 to 478,360 km2 in 2013. Differencing change detection method was performed on 1998 and 2013 NDVI images to identify areas of ecological concern. The result shows that areas undergoing vegetation degradation covers an area of 73,062 km2 while areas witnessing some form restoration cover an area of 86,315 km2. The result also shows that there is a weak correlation between rainfall and the vegetation zones. The non-vegetated areas have a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.0088, Sahel Savannah belt 0.1988, Sudan Savannah belt -0.3343, Guinea Savannah belt 0.0328 and Forest belt 0.2635. The low correlation can be associated with the encroachment of the Sudan Savannah belt into the forest belt of South-eastern part of the country as revealed by the image analysis. The degradation of the forest vegetation is therefore responsible for the serious erosion problems witnessed in the South-east. The study recommends constant monitoring of vegetation and strict enforcement of environmental laws in the country.

An Automated Approach to the Nozzle Configuration of Polycrystalline Diamond Compact Drill Bits for Effective Cuttings Removal

Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits are extensively used in the oil and gas industry as well as the mining industry. Industry engineers continually improve upon PDC drill bit designs and hydraulic conditions. Optimized injection nozzles play a key role in improving the drilling performance and efficiency of these ever changing PDC drill bits. In the first part of this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling is performed to investigate the hydrodynamic characteristics of drilling fluid flow around the PDC drill bit. An Open-source CFD software – OpenFOAM simulates the flow around the drill bit, based on the field input data. A specifically developed console application integrates the entire CFD process including, domain extraction, meshing, and solving governing equations and post-processing. The results from the OpenFOAM solver are then compared with that of the ANSYS Fluent software. The data from both software programs agree. The second part of the paper describes the parametric study of the PDC drill bit nozzle to determine the effect of parameters such as number of nozzles, nozzle velocity, nozzle radial position and orientations on the flow field characteristics and bit washing patterns. After analyzing a series of nozzle configurations, the best configuration is identified and recommendations are made for modifying the PDC bit design.

Comparing Field Displacement History with Numerical Results to Estimate Geotechnical Parameters: Case Study of Arash-Esfandiar-Niayesh under Passing Tunnel, 2.5 Traffic Lane Tunnel, Tehran, Iran

Underground structures are of those structures that have uncertainty in design procedures. That is due to the complexity of soil condition around. Under passing tunnels are also such affected structures. Despite geotechnical site investigations, lots of uncertainties exist in soil properties due to unknown events. As results, it possibly causes conflicting settlements in numerical analysis with recorded values in the project. This paper aims to report a case study on a specific under passing tunnel constructed by New Austrian Tunnelling Method in Iran. The intended tunnel has an overburden of about 11.3m, the height of 12.2m and, the width of 14.4m with 2.5 traffic lane. The numerical modeling was developed by a 2D finite element program (PLAXIS Version 8). Comparing displacement histories at the ground surface during the entire installation of initial lining, the estimated surface settlement was about four times the field recorded one, which indicates that some local unknown events affect that value. Also, the displacement ratios were in a big difference between the numerical and field data. Consequently, running several numerical back analyses using laboratory and field tests data, the geotechnical parameters were accurately revised to match with the obtained monitoring data. Finally, it was found that usually the values of soil parameters are conservatively low-estimated up to 40 percent by typical engineering judgment. Additionally, it could be attributed to inappropriate constitutive models applied for the specific soil condition.

The Influence of the Geogrid Layers on the Bearing Capacity of Layered Soils

Many classical bearing capacity theories assume that the natural soil's layers are homogenous for determining the bearing capacity of the soil. But, in many practical projects, we encounter multi-layer soils. Geosynthetic as reinforcement materials have been extensively used in the construction of various structures. In this paper, numerical analysis of the Plate Load Test (PLT) using of ABAQUS software in double-layered soils with different thicknesses of sandy and gravelly layers reinforced with geogrid was considered. The PLT is one of the common filed methods to calculate parameters such as soil bearing capacity, the evaluation of the compressibility and the determination of the Subgrade Reaction module. In fact, the influence of the geogrid layers on the bearing capacity of the layered soils is investigated. Finally, the most appropriate mode for the distance and number of reinforcement layers is determined. Results show that using three layers of geogrid with a distance of 0.3 times the width of the loading plate has the highest efficiency in bearing capacity of double-layer (sand and gravel) soils. Also, the significant increase in bearing capacity between unreinforced and reinforced soil with three layers of geogrid is caused by the condition that the upper layer (gravel) thickness is equal to the loading plate width.

Evaluation of Shear Strength Parameters of Rudsar Sandy Soil Stabilized with Waste Rubber Chips

The use of waste rubber chips not only can be of great importance in terms of the environment, but also can be used to increase the shear strength of soils. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the variation of the internal friction angle of liquefiable sandy soil using waste rubber chips. For this purpose, the geotechnical properties of unmodified and modified soil samples by waste lining rubber chips have been evaluated and analyzed by performing the triaxial consolidated drained test. In order to prepare the laboratory specimens, the sandy soil in part of Rudsar shores in Gilan province, north of Iran with high liquefaction potential has been replaced by two percent of waste rubber chips. Samples have been compressed until reaching the two levels of density of 15.5 and 16.7 kN/m3. Also, in order to find the optimal length of chips in sandy soil, the rectangular rubber chips with the widths of 0.5 and 1 cm and the lengths of 0.5, 1, and 2 cm were used. The results showed that the addition of rubber chips to liquefiable sandy soil greatly increases the shear resistance of these soils. Also, it can be seen that decreasing the width and increasing the length-to-width ratio of rubber chips has a direct impact on the shear strength of the modified soil samples with rubber chips.

Effect of Plastic Fines on Undrained Behavior of Clayey Sands

In recent years, the occurrence of several liquefactions in sandy soils containing various values of clay content has shown that in addition to silty sands, clayey sands are also susceptible to liquefaction. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the properties of these soil compositions and their behavioral characteristics. This paper presents the effect of clay fines on the undrained shear strength of sands at various confining pressures. For this purpose, a series of unconsolidated undrained triaxial shear tests were carried out on clean sand and sand mixed with 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 percent of clay fines. It was found that the presence of clay particle in sandy specimens change the dilative behavior to contraction. The result also showed that increasing the clay fines up to 10 percent causes to increase the potential for liquefaction, and decreases it at higher values fine content. These results reveal the important role of clay particles in changing the undrained strength of the sandy soil.

Effect of Base Coarse Layer on Load-Settlement Characteristics of Sandy Subgrade Using Plate Load Test

The present research has been performed to investigate the effect of base course application on load-settlement characteristics of sandy subgrade using plate load test. The main parameter investigated in this study was the subgrade reaction coefficient. The model tests were conducted in a 1.35 m long, 1 m wide, and 1 m deep steel test box of Imam Khomeini International University (IKIU Calibration Chamber). The base courses used in this research were in three different thicknesses of 15 cm, 20 cm, and 30 cm. The test results indicated that in the case of using base course over loose sandy subgrade, the values of subgrade reaction coefficient can be increased from 7  to 132 , 224 , and 396  in presence of 15 cm, 20 cm, and 30 cm base course, respectively.

Numerical Investigation on Load Bearing Capacity of Pervious Concrete Piles as an Alternative to Granular Columns

Pervious concrete combines considerable permeability with adequate strength, which makes it very beneficial in pavement construction and also in ground improvement projects. In this paper, a single pervious concrete pile subjected to vertical and lateral loading is analysed using a verified three dimensional finite element code. A parametric study was carried out in order to investigate load bearing capacity of a single unreinforced pervious concrete pile in saturated soft soil and also gain insight into the failure mechanism of this rather new soil improvement technique. The results show that concrete damaged plasticity constitutive model can perfectly simulate the highly brittle nature of the pervious concrete material and considering the computed vertical and horizontal load bearing capacities, some suggestions have been made for ground improvement projects.

Numerical Investigation on the Effects of Deep Excavation on Adjacent Pile Groups Subjected to Inclined Loading

There is a growing demand for construction of high-rise buildings and infrastructures in large cities, which sometimes require deep excavations in the vicinity of pile foundations. In this study, a two-dimensional finite element analysis is used to gain insight into the response of pile groups adjacent to deep excavations in sand. The numerical code was verified by available experimental works, and a parametric study was performed on different working load combinations, excavation depth and supporting system. The results show that the simple two-dimensional plane strain model can accurately simulate the excavation induced changes on adjacent pile groups. It was found that further excavation than pile toe level and also inclined loading on adjacent pile group can severely affect the serviceability of the foundation.

A Challenge to Acquire Serious Victims’ Locations during Acute Period of Giant Disasters

In this paper, we report how to acquire serious victims’ locations in the Acute Stage of Large-scale Disasters, in an Emergency Information Network System designed by us. The background of our concept is based on the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th, 2011. Through many experiences of national crises caused by earthquakes and tsunamis, we have established advanced communication systems and advanced disaster medical response systems. However, Japan was devastated by huge tsunamis swept a vast area of Tohoku causing a complete breakdown of all the infrastructures including telecommunications. Therefore, we noticed that we need interdisciplinary collaboration between science of disaster medicine, regional administrative sociology, satellite communication technology and systems engineering experts. Communication of emergency information was limited causing a serious delay in the initial rescue and medical operation. For the emergency rescue and medical operations, the most important thing is to identify the number of casualties, their locations and status and to dispatch doctors and rescue workers from multiple organizations. In the case of the Tohoku earthquake, the dispatching mechanism and/or decision support system did not exist to allocate the appropriate number of doctors and locate disaster victims. Even though the doctors and rescue workers from multiple government organizations have their own dedicated communication system, the systems are not interoperable.

Numerical Analysis of the Effect of Geocell Reinforcement above Buried Pipes on Surface Settlement and Vertical Pressure

Dynamic traffic loads cause deformation of underground pipes, resulting in vehicle discomfort. This makes it necessary to reinforce the layers of soil above underground pipes. In this study, the subbase layer was reinforced. Finite element software (PLAXIS 3D) was used to in the simulation, which includes geocell reinforcement, vehicle loading, soil layers and Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipe. Geocell reinforcement was modeled using a geogrid element, which was defined as a slender structure element that has the ability to withstand axial stresses but not to resist bending. Geogrids cannot withstand compression but they can withstand tensile forces. Comparisons have been made between the numerical models and experimental works, and a good agreement was obtained. Using the mathematical model, the performance of three different pipes of diameter 600 mm, 800 mm, and 1000 mm, and three different vehicular speeds of 20 km/h, 40 km/h, and 60 km/h, was examined to determine their impact on surface settlement and vertical pressure at the pipe crown for two cases: with and without geocell reinforcement. The results showed that, for a pipe diameter of 600 mm under geocell reinforcement, surface settlement decreases by 94 % when the speed of the vehicle is 20 km/h and by 98% when the speed of the vehicle is 60 km/h. Vertical pressure decreases by 81 % when the diameter of the pipe is 600 mm, while the value decreases to 58 % for a pipe with diameter 1000 mm. The results show that geocell reinforcement causes a significant and positive reduction in surface settlement and vertical stress above the pipe crown, leading to an increase in pipe safety.

A Resource Survey of Lateritic Soils and Impact Evaluation toward Community Members Living Nearby the Excavation Pits

The objectives of the research are to find the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil and to predict the impact on community members who live nearby the excavation pits in the area of Amphur Pak Thor, Ratchaburi Province in the western area of Thailand. The research was conducted by collecting soil samples from four excavation pits for basic engineering properties, testing and collecting questionnaire data from 120 community members who live nearby the excavation pits, and applying statistical analysis. The results found that the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil can be classified into silt soil type which is cohesionless as the loess or collapsible soil which is not suitable to be used for a pavement structure for commuting highway because it could lead to structural and functional failure in the long run. In terms of opinion from community members toward the impact, the highest impact was on the dust from excavation activities. The prediction from the logistic regression in terms of impact on community members was at 84.32 which can be adapted and applied onto other areas with the same context as a guideline for risk prevention and risk communication since it could impact the infrastructures and also impact the health of community members.

An Improved Single Point Closure Model Based on Dissipation Anisotropy for Geophysical Turbulent Flows

This paper is a continuation of the work carried out by various turbulence modelers in Oceanography on the topic of oceanic turbulent mixing. It evaluates the evolution of ocean water temperature and salinity by the appropriate modeling of turbulent mixing utilizing proper prescription of eddy viscosity. Many modelers in past have suggested including terms like shear, buoyancy and vorticity to be the parameters that decide the slow pressure strain correlation. We add to it the fact that dissipation anisotropy also modifies the correlation through eddy viscosity parameterization. This recalibrates the established correlation constants slightly and gives improved results. This anisotropization of dissipation implies that the critical Richardson’s number increases much beyond unity (to 1.66) to accommodate enhanced mixing, as is seen in reality. The model is run for a couple of test cases in the General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM) and the results are presented here.

Optimal Mitigation of Slopes by Probabilistic Methods

A probabilistic formulation to assess the slopes safety under the hazard of strong storms is presented and illustrated through a slope in Mexico. The formulation is based on the classical safety factor (SF) used in practice to appraise the slope stability, but it is introduced the treatment of uncertainties, and the slope failure probability is calculated as the probability that SF<1. As the main hazard is the rainfall on the area, statistics of rainfall intensity and duration are considered and modeled with an exponential distribution. The expected life-cycle cost is assessed by considering a monetary value on the slope failure consequences. Alternative mitigation measures are simulated, and the formulation is used to get the measures driving to the optimal one (minimum life-cycle costs). For the example, the optimal mitigation measure is the reduction on the slope inclination angle.

Determining G-γ Degradation Curve in Cohesive Soils by Dilatometer and in situ Seismic Tests

This article discusses the possibility of using dilatometer tests (DMT) together with in situ seismic tests (MASW) in order to get the shape of G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils (clay, silty clay, silt, clayey silt and sandy silt). MASW test provides the small soil stiffness (Go from vs) at very small strains and DMT provides the stiffness of the soil at ‘work strains’ (MDMT). At different test locations, dilatometer shear stiffness of the soil has been determined by the theory of elasticity. Dilatometer shear stiffness has been compared with the theoretical G-g degradation curve in order to determine the typical range of shear deformation for different types of cohesive soil. The analysis also includes factors that influence the shape of the degradation curve (G-g) and dilatometer modulus (MDMT), such as the overconsolidation ratio (OCR), plasticity index (IP) and the vertical effective stress in the soil (svo'). Parametric study in this article defines the range of shear strain gDMT and GDMT/Go relation depending on the classification of a cohesive soil (clay, silty clay, clayey silt, silt and sandy silt), function of density (loose, medium dense and dense) and the stiffness of the soil (soft, medium hard and hard). The article illustrates the potential of using MASW and DMT to obtain G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils.

A Study of Combined Mechanical and Chemical Stabilisation of Fine Grained Dredge Soil of River Jhelum

After the recent devastating flood in Kashmir in 2014, dredging of the local water bodies, especially Jhelum River has become a priority for the government. Local government under the project name of 'Comprehensive Flood Management Programme' plans to undertake an increase in discharge of existing flood channels by removal of encroachments and acquisition of additional land, dredging and other works of the water bodies. The total quantity of soil to be dredged will be 16.15 lac cumecs. Dredged soil is a major component that would result from the project which requires disposal/utilization. This study analyses the effect of cement and sand on the engineering properties of soil. The tests were conducted with variable additions of sand (10%, 20% and 30%), whereas cement was added at 12%. Samples with following compositions: soil-cement (12%) and soil-sand (30%) were tested as well. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the engineering characteristics of soil, i.e., compaction, strength, and CBR characteristics. The strength characteristics of the soil were determined by unconfined compressive strength test and direct shear test. Unconfined compressive strength of the soil was tested immediately and for a curing period of seven days. CBR test was performed for unsoaked, soaked (worst condition- 4 days) and cured (4 days) samples.

Collapse Load Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Pile Group in Liquefying Soils under Lateral Loading
The ultimate load analysis of RC pile groups has assumed a lot of significance under liquefying soil conditions, especially due to post-earthquake studies of 1964 Niigata, 1995 Kobe and 2001 Bhuj earthquakes. The present study reports the results of numerical simulations on pile groups subjected to monotonically increasing lateral loads under design amounts of pile axial loading. The soil liquefaction has been considered through the non-linear p-y relationship of the soil springs, which can vary along the depth/length of the pile. This variation again is related to the liquefaction potential of the site and the magnitude of the seismic shaking. As the piles in the group can reach their extreme deflections and rotations during increased amounts of lateral loading, a precise modeling of the inelastic behavior of the pile cross-section is done, considering the complete stress-strain behavior of concrete, with and without confinement, and reinforcing steel, including the strain-hardening portion. The possibility of the inelastic buckling of the individual piles is considered in the overall collapse modes. The model is analysed using Riks analysis in finite element software to check the post buckling behavior and plastic collapse of piles. The results confirm the kinds of failure modes predicted by centrifuge test results reported by researchers on pile group, although the pile material used is significantly different from that of the simulation model. The extension of the present work promises an important contribution to the design codes for pile groups in liquefying soils.
Experimental Determination of Shear Strength Properties of Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregates Using Direct Shear and Triaxial Tests

Artificial lightweight aggregates have a wide range of applications in industry and engineering. Nowadays, the usage of this material in geotechnical activities, especially as backfill in retaining walls has been growing due to the specific characteristics which make it a competent alternative to the conventional geotechnical materials. In practice, a material with lower weight but higher shear strength parameters would be ideal as backfill behind retaining walls because of the important roles that these parameters play in decreasing the overall active lateral earth pressure. In this study, two types of Light Expanded Clay Aggregates (LECA) produced in the Leca factory are investigated. LECA is made in a rotary kiln by heating natural clay at different temperatures up to 1200 °C making quasi-spherical aggregates with different sizes ranged from 0 to 25 mm. The loose bulk density of these aggregates is between 300 and 700 kN/m3. The purpose of this research is to determine the stress-strain behavior, shear strength parameters, and the energy absorption of LECA materials. Direct shear tests were conducted at five normal stresses of 25, 50, 75, 100, and 200 kPa. In addition, conventional triaxial compression tests were operated at confining pressures of 50, 100, and 200 kPa to examine stress-strain behavior. The experimental results show a high internal angle of friction and even a considerable amount of nominal cohesion despite the granular structure of LECA. These desirable properties along with the intrinsic low density of these aggregates make LECA as a very proper material in geotechnical applications. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that lightweight aggregates may have high energy absorption that is excellent alternative material in seismic isolations.

Centrifuge Modeling of Monopiles Subjected to Lateral Monotonic Loading

The type of foundation commonly used today for berthing dolphins is a set of tubular steel piles with large diameters, which are known as monopiles. The design of these monopiles is based on the theories related with laterally loaded piles. One of the most common methods to analyze and design the piles subjected to lateral loads is the p-y curves. In the present study, centrifuge tests are conducted in order to obtain the p-y curves. Series of tests were designed in order to investigate the scaling laws in the centrifuge for monotonic loading. Also, two important parameters, the embedded depth L of the pile in the soil and free length e of the pile, as well as their ratios were studied via five experimental tests. Finally, the p-y curves of API are presented to be compared with the curves obtained from the tests so that the differences could be demonstrated. The results show that the p-y curves proposed by API highly overestimate the lateral load bearing capacity. It suggests that these curves need correction and modification for each site as the soil conditions change.

Impact of Interface Soil Layer on Groundwater Aquifer Behaviour

The geological environment where the groundwater is collected represents the most important element that affects the behaviour of groundwater aquifer. As groundwater is a worldwide vital resource, it requires knowing the parameters that affect this source accurately so that the conceptualized mathematical models would be acceptable to the broadest ranges. Therefore, groundwater models have recently become an effective and efficient tool to investigate groundwater aquifer behaviours. Groundwater aquifer may contain aquitards, aquicludes, or interfaces within its geological formations. Aquitards and aquicludes have geological formations that forced the modellers to include those formations within the conceptualized groundwater models, while interfaces are commonly neglected from the conceptualization process because the modellers believe that the interface has no effect on aquifer behaviour. The current research highlights the impact of an interface existing in a real unconfined groundwater aquifer called Dibdibba, located in Al-Najaf City, Iraq where it has a river called the Euphrates River that passes through the eastern part of this city. Dibdibba groundwater aquifer consists of two types of soil layers separated by an interface soil layer. A groundwater model is built for Al-Najaf City to explore the impact of this interface. Calibration process is done using PEST 'Parameter ESTimation' approach and the best Dibdibba groundwater model is obtained. When the soil interface is conceptualized, results show that the groundwater tables are significantly affected by that interface through appearing dry areas of 56.24 km² and 6.16 km² in the upper and lower layers of the aquifer, respectively. The Euphrates River will also leak water into the groundwater aquifer of 7359 m³/day. While these results are changed when the soil interface is neglected where the dry area became 0.16 km², the Euphrates River leakage became 6334 m³/day. In addition, the conceptualized models (with and without interface) reveal different responses for the change in the recharge rates applied on the aquifer through the uncertainty analysis test. The aquifer of Dibdibba in Al-Najaf City shows a slight deficit in the amount of water supplied by the current pumping scheme and also notices that the Euphrates River suffers from stresses applied to the aquifer. Ultimately, this study shows a crucial need to represent the interface soil layer in model conceptualization to be the intended and future predicted behaviours more reliable for consideration purposes.

Application of Artificial Neural Network in Assessing Fill Slope Stability

This paper details the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of slope stability whereby quick and convenient solutions can be obtained using the developed tool. The AI tool used in this study is the artificial neural network (ANN), while the slope stability analysis methods are the finite element limit analysis methods. The developed tool allows for the prompt prediction of the safety factors of fill slopes and their corresponding probability of failure (depending on the degree of variation of the soil parameters), which can give the practicing engineer a reasonable basis in their decision making. In fact, the successful use of the Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) algorithm shows that slope stability analysis is no longer confined to the conventional methods of modeling, which at times may be tedious and repetitive during the preliminary design stage where the focus is more on cost saving options rather than detailed design. Therefore, similar ANN-based tools can be further developed to assist engineers in this aspect.

3D Numerical Analysis of Stone Columns Reinforced with Horizontal and Vertical Geosynthetic Materials

Improvement and reinforcement of soils with poor strength and engineering properties for constructing low height structures or structures such as liquid storage tanks, bridge columns, and heavy structures have necessitated applying particular techniques. Stone columns are among the well-known methods applied in such soils. This method provides an economically justified way for improving engineering properties of soft clay and loose sandy soils. Stone column implementation in these soils increases their bearing capacity and reduces the settlement of foundation build on them. In the present study, the finite difference based FLAC3D software was used to investigate the performance and effect of soil reinforcement through stone columns without lining and those with geosynthetic lining with different levels of stiffness in horizontal and vertical modes in clayey soils. The results showed that soil improvement using stone columns with lining in vertical and horizontal modes results in improvement of bearing capacity and foundation settlement.

Circular Raft Footings Strengthened by Stone Columns under Dynamic Harmonic Loads
Stone column technique has been successfully employed to improve the load-settlement characteristics of foundations. A series of finite element numerical analyses of harmonic dynamic loading have been conducted on strengthened raft footing to study the effects of single and group stone columns on settlement of circular footings. The settlement of circular raft footing that improved by single and group of stone columns are studied under harmonic dynamic loading. This loading is caused by heavy machinery foundations. A detailed numerical investigation on behavior of single column and group of stone columns is carried out by varying parameters like weight of machinery, loading frequency and period. The result implies that presence of single and group of stone columns enhanced dynamic behavior of the footing so that the maximum and residual settlement of footing significantly decreased. 
Experimental Investigation on the Efficiency of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Post and Beam System in Protecting Lifelines
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is a cellular geosynthetic material that can be used to protect lifelines (e.g. pipelines, electricity cables, etc.) below ground. Post and beam system is the most recent configuration of EPS blocks which can be implemented for this purpose. It provides a void space atop lifelines which allows settlement of the loading surface with imposing no pressure on the lifelines system. This paper investigates the efficiency of the configuration of post-beam system subjected to static loading. To evaluate the soil surface settlement, beam deformation and transferred pressure over the beam, laboratory tests using two different densities for EPS blocks are conducted. The effect of geogrid-reinforcing the cover soil on system response is also investigated. The experimental results show favorable performance of EPS post and beam configuration in protecting underground lifelines. 
Determination of Small Shear Modulus of Clayey Sand Using Bender Element Test

In this article, the results of a series of carefully conducted laboratory test program were represented to determine the small strain shear modulus of sand mixed with a range of kaolinite including zero to 30%. This was experimentally achieved using a triaxial cell equipped with bender element. Results indicate that small shear modulus tends to increase, while clay content decreases and effective confining pressure increases. The exponent of stress in the power model regression analysis was not sensitive to the amount of clay content for all sand clay mixtures, while coefficient A was directly affected by change in clay content.

Methodology: A Review in Modelling and Predictability of Embankment in Soft Ground

Transportation network development in the developing country is in rapid pace. The majority of the network belongs to railway and expressway which passes through diverse topography, landform and geological conditions despite the avoidance principle during route selection. Construction of such networks demand many low to high embankment which required improvement in the foundation soil. This paper is mainly focused on the various advanced ground improvement techniques used to improve the soft soil, modelling approach and its predictability for embankments construction. The ground improvement techniques can be broadly classified in to three groups i.e. densification group, drainage and consolidation group and reinforcement group which are discussed with some case studies.  Various methods were used in modelling of the embankments from simple 1-dimensional to complex 3-dimensional model using variety of constitutive models. However, the reliability of the predictions is not found systematically improved with the level of sophistication.  And sometimes the predictions are deviated more than 60% to the monitored value besides using same level of erudition. This deviation is found mainly due to the selection of constitutive model, assumptions made during different stages, deviation in the selection of model parameters and simplification during physical modelling of the ground condition. This deviation can be reduced by using optimization process, optimization tools and sensitivity analysis of the model parameters which will guide to select the appropriate model parameters.

Effect of Fines on Liquefaction Susceptibility of Sandy Soil

Investigation of liquefaction susceptibility of materials that have been used in embankments, slopes, dams, and foundations is very essential. Many catastrophic geo-hazards such as flow slides, declination of foundations, and damage to earth structure are associated with static liquefaction that may occur during abrupt shearing of these materials. Many artificial backfill materials are mixtures of sand with fines and other composition. In order to provide some clarifications and evaluations on the role of fines in static liquefaction behaviour of sand sandy soils, the effect of fines on the liquefaction susceptibility of sand was experimentally examined in the present work over a range of fines content, relative density, and initial confining pressure. The results of an experimental study on various sand-fines mixtures are presented. Undrained static triaxial compression tests were conducted on saturated Perth sand containing 5% bentonite at three different relative densities (10, 50, and 90%), and saturated Perth sand containing both 5% bentonite and slag (2%, 4%, and 6%) at single relative density 10%. Undrained static triaxial tests were performed at three different initial confining pressures (100, 150, and 200 kPa). The brittleness index was used to quantify the liquefaction potential of sand-bentonite-slag mixtures. The results demonstrated that the liquefaction susceptibility of sand-5% bentonite mixture was more than liquefaction susceptibility of clean sandy soil. However, liquefaction potential decreased when both of two fines (bentonite and slag) were used. Liquefaction susceptibility of all mixtures decreased with increasing relative density and initial confining pressure.  

Effect of Fill Material Density under Structures on Ground Motion Characteristics Due to Earthquake

Due to limited areas and excessive cost of land for projects, backfilling process has become necessary. Also, backfilling will be done to overcome the un-leveling depths or raising levels of site construction, especially near the sea region. Therefore, backfilling soil materials used under the foundation of structures should be investigated regarding its effect on ground motion characteristics, especially at regions subjected to earthquakes. In this research, 60-meter thickness of sandy fill material was used above a fixed 240-meter of natural clayey soil underlying by rock formation to predict the modified ground motion characteristics effect at the foundation level. Comparison between the effect of using three different situations of fill material compaction on the recorded earthquake is studied, i.e. peak ground acceleration, time history, and spectra acceleration values. The three different densities of the compacted fill material used in the study were very loose, medium dense and very dense sand deposits, respectively. Shake computer program was used to perform this study. Strong earthquake records, with Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) of 0.35 g, were used in the analysis. It was found that, higher compaction of fill material thickness has a significant effect on eliminating the earthquake ground motion properties at surface layer of fill material, near foundation level. It is recommended to consider the fill material characteristics in the design of foundations subjected to seismic motions. Future studies should be analyzed for different fill and natural soil deposits for different seismic conditions.

Prediction of in situ Permeability for Limestone Rock Using Rock Quality Designation Index

Geotechnical study for evaluating soil or rock permeability is a highly important parameter. Permeability values for rock formations are more difficult for determination than soil formation as it is an effect of the rock quality and its fracture values. In this research, the prediction of in situ permeability of limestone rock formations was predicted. The limestone rock permeability was evaluated using Lugeon tests (in-situ packer permeability). Different sites which spread all over the Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia were chosen to conduct our study of predicting the in-situ permeability of limestone rock. Correlations were deducted between the values of in-situ permeability of the limestone rock with the value of the rock quality designation (RQD) calculated during the execution of the boreholes of the study areas. The study was performed for different ranges of RQD values measured during drilling of the sites boreholes. The developed correlations are recommended for the onsite determination of the in-situ permeability of limestone rock only. For the other sedimentary formations of rock, more studies are needed for predicting the actual correlations related to each type.

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