Stone column effectiveness in soils with creep: a numerical study

Sexton, Brian G.
McCabe, Bryan A.
Sexton, Brian G., & McCabe, Bryan A. (2016). Stone column effectiveness in soils with creep: a numerical study. Geomechanics and Geoengineering, 11(4), 252-269. doi: 10.1080/17486025.2016.1151556
While it is well established that vibro stone columns reduce primary settlement and improve bearing capacity, their effect on creep compression has largely been overlooked to date. However, with increasing pressure to develop marginal sites underlain by soft organic soils, the effect of ground treatment on creep is an important emerging issue in geotechnical engineering. In this paper, a series of axisymmetric unit cell analyses have been carried out using the PLAXIS 2D finite element program in conjunction with the Soft Soil Creep (SSC) model. Examination of the evolution of settlement improvement factor with time has indicated that the presence of creep leads to a lower ‘total’ improvement factor than would be obtained for primary consolidation settlement alone. Separate ‘primary’ and ‘creep’ improvement factors have also been derived; the latter are much lower than the former, but are nevertheless greater than unity. Creep results in a stress transfer process; as the soil creeps, vertical stress is transferred from the soil to the stone column. The additional load carried by the column induces additional yielding and shear-plane formation in closely-spaced columns. The additional increment of stress transferred to the already yielded column reduces its efficacy.
Taylor & Francis
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland