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Citation:

Farrell ER, O'Kelly BC and Osorio-Salas JP, 2012. VACUUM CONSOLIDATION IN PEAT.
Invited Presentation (Continuing Professional Development Lecture), Geotechnical Society of
Ireland, Institution of Engineers of Ireland (Engineers Ireland), Dublin, Ireland, 09th
February 2012, Geotechnical Society of Engineers Ireland, 65 pp

VACUUMCONSOLIDATIONINPEAT
EricRFarrellAGLConsultingandTrinityCollege
BrendanOKelly,TrinityCollege,Dublin
and
JuanPabloOsorioSalasUniversidadde
Antioquia,Colombia,formerlyTrinityCollege
http://www.engineersireland.ie/EngineersIreland/media/SiteMedia/groups/societies/geotechnical/VacuumConsolidation-in-Peat.pdf?ext=.pdf
For webcast of presentation, go to Engineers Ireland website http://www.engineersireland.ie/Communications/
Webcast-Archive/2012/Vacuum-consolidation-in-peat.aspx]

StructureofPresentation
Background
Principlesofvacuum
consolidation
Currentpracticalapplications
TCD/NRAtestsite
Geotechnical/geology/hydroge
ologyoftestsite
Constructionoftestarea
Instrumentation
Benchmarkgroundmovement
readings.

Resultsfromvacuum
consolidationtest
Vacuumachieved
Settlementversustime
Practicaldifficulties

Numericalmodelling
Laboratoryparameters
Soilmodel
Comparisonoffield
performancewithpredictions

Conclusions

PRINCIPLESOFVACUUMCONSOLIDATION
Vacuumconsolidationisaconstructionmethodusedtoaccelerate
groundsettlementbyreducingtheairpressureattheground
surface.
Normallyatmosphericpressure(patm ) istakenasthebaseline
whencomputing = u.
patm isabout100kPa,andthepwp canreducedbelow
atmosphericusingvacuumpumps.Thisincreasestheeffective
stresswithoutgenerallyincreasingtheshearstresses.
VacuumconsolidationwasoriginallyproposedbyKjellman in
Swedeninthe1950s.

Background Rampartroads

Theconstructionofroadsoverpeat
bogsinthe18th &19th centuries
openedupthebogforharvesting

Theeasiestplacetoharvestwas
adjacenttotheroads,roadsended
upelevatedabovetheadjacent
ground.ThesearecalledRampart
Roads.Heightsof9mhavebeen
recorded.

Manyoftheseroadsareusedtoday,
resultinginnarrowandvery
dangerousroads.

Vacuumconsolidationmayassistin
overcomingsomeofthechallenges
inwideningtheseroads.

VACUUMCONSOLIDATION
Atmospheric pressure = 100kPa
Granular bed

Pump creates a suction of up to 80kPa


Pump
Airtight
membrane

u up to -80kPa (20kPa absolute)

PVDs

VACUUMCONSOLIDATION
Pa
Vacuum
pressure

Depth,z

zo

PVD

Porepressure
reduction

Initial
pressure
Reduced
pressure

Currentapplications
Menardvacuum

Baudrain Cofra bv

Shang,Tang&Miao
(1998)

Hayashietal,2003

TCD/NRATESTSITE

RaisedBogundermilledpeat
production,thereforesomepeat
hasbeenremoved.Siteisatedge
ofbog.
Top1m veryclayeysandyGravelf%30%
Below slightlyclayeysandyGravelf%411%
K=1.96x106 to1.15x105 m/s

Insituvanes(55mmx110mm)

Hydrogeology

Drainwithin8mofedgeoftestarea.

TCD/NRAVACUUMCONSOLIDATION
FIELDTRIAL
Table1 Simplifiedsoilprofile
Layer Depth (m) Description

Observations and properties

Blackpeat;occasionalplasticbags,gravel,
piecesofgeotextile,machineparts.

0 0.7

Manmadefill

0.7 4.0

w=561 1340%GS =1.38 1.59


LOI=87 99%h =9.57 10.56kN/m3
Pseudofibrous
eo =6.78 14.83Sr =94 100%
peat
pH=4.5 6.2VonPost=H4 H7
Cc =2.2 6.4

4.0 7.0

Glacialtill

Theclayfractionreduceswithdepth,about
30%finesintopmetre,reducingto411%.

TCD/NRAVACUUMCONSOLIDATION
FIELDTRIAL
0.85msq.
spacing

1.2msq.
spacing

Instrumentation
10No.Vibratingwire
(VW)piezomters (also
calibratedforsuction)
6No.pushinVW
settlementcells0.9m,
1.5m&2.65m
Settlementplates
Standpipes

Barometric
pressure/temp.
Raingauge
Watermeter
Airpressuregauges

Acknowledgeassistance
ofNVMIrelandLtd.

TCD/NRAVACUUMCONSOLIDATION
FIELDTRIAL

26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66
66

66
Vane 1
BH-2

62

A
26

62

25

58

58
B

54
13
50
46

6
12

11

16

17

42

18
19

30

50

46

42

34

54

14
15

38

10

5
4
7
3 8 9
2
1

Test area
Stand
pipes
Boreholes
Shear
vanes tests

21

A'
Vane 2

22

38

20

BH-1

23

34

24

30
Vane 3

26

26
26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66

Pumping system: 30th Nov 2009 23rd Jun 2010


1.5kW Centrifugal pump
38mm diameter jet pump

Pumping system: 29th Jul 2010 29th Oct 2010


2.2kW Liquid ring pump
1.5kW Centrifugal pump
38mm diameter jet pump

MONITORINGBEFOREPUMPING
PriortostartingtheTCD/NRAvacuum
consolidationfieldtrial,fourmonthsofbaseline
monitoringwereconducted.
Thevacuumconsolidationtrialwasrunfrom30th
November2009andwasterminatedon29th
October2010

Btm ofditch

FloodinginAugust2009

MONITORINGDURINGPUMPING
TheTCD/NRAvacuumpreloadingfieldtrial
commencedonthe30thNovember2009.
Theresultsfortheelevenmonthsofpumping
presentedhere.
Rain,watertable,vacuum,settlementandpore
waterpressurearepresented.

Sett=1.11mfor0.85mspacing
Sett=1.09mfor1.20mspacing

Volumeofwaterextracted

umax =38.9 53.2kPafordepths0.90to2.65m.


umax =13.9kPafor4.05mdepth.

MAXIMUMSURFACESETTLEMENT1.23m
(Strainof33%)

st
Visual1

June2010

CRACKSATEDGE

Chaietal.(2005)

TIME SETTLEMENT
0.1

10

Log Time min


100

1000

10000

SETTLEMENTOFPEAT

0
0.5

12.5
kN/m2

Rateofsettlement

1.5
2
2.5
3

Primary

24hr

k;kv;kh

3.5
4
4.5

100kPa

Change in Height mm

5
5.5
6

6.5
7

creep

7.5
8

8.5

200kPa

9
9.5
10
10.5

400kPa

11
11.5
12
12.5

cv;cvh;chh

800kPa

e=Ck logt
Ck 0.25eo

14.00

12.00

10.00

10.00

8.00

20.00

6.00

30.00

Strain%

Voidratioe

0
0.00

50

100

Stress
150

200

250

40.00

4.00

50.00

2.00

60.00

0.00
1

10

100

1000

EffectivestresskPa
70.00
2.4mto3.2mOed4

CcModel

2.4mto3.2mOed4

Spreadsheet

300

Soilmodelsinvestigated
SimpleEOPCs &Cc (CR =Cc/{(1+eo)}&RR)and
vc
SoftSoilmodel(SS)Plaxis (*=Cc/{2.3(1+eo)},*)
SoftSoilCreepmodelPlaxis (*=Cc/{2.3(1+eo)},
*,*)

Stress
1010

Stress
100
100

1000

0.00
10.00

E'=100kPa
30.00
40.00

Strain%

20.00

50.00
60.00
70.00
2.4mto3.2mOed4
Spreadsheet
E'=100kPa

1.5mto2.3m

Modellingvacuumconsolidation

A
A

60
3

569
5554

30
42
4

61

8
216

315

414

513

612

110

1022

923

824

725

233

334

435

536

637

132

1038

939

840

741

245

346

447

548

649

144

1050

951

852

753

17

18

19

20

21

11

26

27

28

29

7 59
5758

2
31
43
5

POP
l*
k*
m*
g
eo
kv=kH
(m/day)
ck

POP
l*
k*
m*
g
eo
kv=kH
(m/day)
ck

Upperpeat
10
0.125
0.05
0.0065
10.45
7.42
0.3

Middlepeat
5
0.16
0.055
0.0078
10.1
13.81
0.2

Lowerpeat
11
0.16
0.04
0.009
10.06
12.05
0.01

1.8

3.44

3.44

Upperpeat
10
0.11to0.125
0.022to0.05
0.0065to
0.008
10.45
6.78 8.69
0.011to0.128

Middlepeat
5
0.14to0.16
0.03to0.055
0.0078to0.01

Lowerpeat
11
0.16to0.2
0.033to0.04
0.0065to0.009

10.1
13.43 14.5
0.0053to0.011

10.06
11.5 12.5
0.0015to0.0029

1.8

3.44

3.44

VALUESUSEDONBACK
ANALYSISWITHSSCMODEL

PARAMETERSINTERPRETEDFROM
LABORATORYOEDOMETERTESTS

Swellusingsimplesoil
model=0.161m

pwpkPa
0

10 15 20 25 30 35 40

0
0.5

Depth(m)

1
1.5

18thAugust
18thSept

Swellmeasured=0.13m

2
2.5
3
3.5
4

EquivalentE100kPaat
thisveryloweffective
stress.

CONCLUSIONS
TheTCD/NRAvacuumpreloadingfieldtrialwas
implementedandshowedthatthistechnique
canbesuccessfullyusedinpeatsoils.
ThedrainagesystemcomprisingPVDs,
horizontaldrainsandagranularbed,was
effectiveindistributingtheappliedvacuum
pressureandcollectingthedrainedwater.

Practicaldifficulties/Observations
Summerconditionsgeneralwatertablewaslowerthan
sidebarrier.
Highersuctionsachievedwithvacuumpumpbutmore
stablevalueswithliquidringpump
Porepressurereductionatedgeswasslightlylower
(2kPato8.5kPa)thanatcentre.
PWProughlyuniformwithdepth
Vacuumpressureadequatelytransmittedin0.85mand
1.2mspacings.

continued

Calcificationofpumpsasignificantissue
Freezing,tears,burstselectricalcutsaffectedthe
performance.
Airtightcovercouldbeimproved,useofwaterseal
shouldbeconsidered.
Vacuumconsolidationhadlittleeffectonthewater
tableoutsidethetestarea.
Behaviourcanbesimulatedusingstandardsoilmodels.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
NationalRoadAuthority.
TrinityCollegeDublin.
GeotechnicalTrustFund
Award(EngineersIreland).
UniversidaddeAntioquia
Bord na Mna