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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 8, Number 2, February 2015 , pages 187-220

Numerical analysis of vertical drains accelerated consolidation considering combined soil disturbance and visco-plastic behaviour
Babak Azari, Behzad Fatahi and Hadi Khabbaz

    Soil disturbance induced by installation of mandrel driven vertical drains decreases the in situ horizontal hydraulic conductivity of the soil in the vicinity of the drains, decelerating the consolidation rate. According to available literature, several different profiles for the hydraulic conductivity variation with the radial distance from the vertical drain, influencing the excess pore water pressure dissipation rate, have been identified. In addition, it is well known that the visco-plastic properties of the soil also influence the excess pore water pressure dissipation rate and consequently the settlement rate. In this study, a numerical solution adopting an elastic visco-plastic model with nonlinear creep function incorporated in the consolidation equations has been developed to investigate the effects of disturbed zone properties on the time dependent behaviour of soft soil deposits improved with vertical drains and preloading. The employed elastic visco-plastic model is based on the framework of the modified Cam-Clay model capturing soil creep during excess pore water pressure dissipation. Besides, nonlinear variations of creep coefficient with stress and time and permeability variations during the consolidation process are considered. The predicted results have been compared with Vasby test fill measurements. According to the results, different variations of the hydraulic conductivity profile in the disturbed zone result in varying excess pore water pressure dissipation rate and consequently varying the effective vertical stresses in the soil profile. Thus, the creep coefficient and the creep strain limit are notably influenced resulting in significant changes in the predicted settlement rate.
Key Words
    numerical analysis; consolidation; visco-plastic behaviour; creep; vertical drains; soil disturbance; preloading; post-construction settlement
Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

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