Numerical analyses have been carried out to study the performance of GHD reinforced embankment/wall with low grade saturated soil as fill material. Influences of various parameters in embankment deformation and tensile force development in GHD have been presented. These parameters include drainage condition, spacing, length and modulus of GHD, and embankment geometry.

INTRODUCTION

In the past, marine clays have not been employed as a fill material in constructing offshore earth structures such as quay walls/embankments due to their unacceptably low drainage performance. However, such high water content and low grade marine clays are, often times, abundantly and readily available near construction sites. If such low grade soils can be utilised in constructing offshore soil structures, not only saving in cost of construction would be tremendous but also the related environmental concerns caused by their disposal problem would be resolved. Traditional reinforcing materials such as geogrids and steel reinforcements, which have only reinforcing effect, are not sufficient in themselves to drain water out of such low grade fills because of their inherent inability to drain out water. Among various techniques commonly employed to enhance the properties of low grade cohesive marine clays, use of geosynthetics is remarkable. In association with geosynthetic having high degree of drainage capacity and tensile strength, high water content cohesive soils and marine clays can be employed successfully in constructing offshore soil structures. Geosynthetic Horizontal Drain (GHD) has high level of water drainage capacity, in addition to its tensile strength. Therefore, when the fill material with low permeability is to be used in constructing reinforced soil structures such as embankments/walls, GHD can be very appropriate reinforcing/draining geomaterial. GHD is composite sheet made of synthetic materials. Typical GHD consists of core of undulated shape warped on both sides by a thin filter cover. Filter functions as a filter of soil particles, while letting the free passage of water.

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