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Shape of ground surface settlement profiles

caused by excavation
Pio-Go Hsieh and Chang-Yu Ou

Abstract: There are two general types of settlement profiles induced by excavation, the spandrel type and the concave
type. Based on a regression analysis of the field observations of settlement curves with predominantly cohesive
subsurface conditions, an empirical method for predicting the spandrel and concave settlement profiles is proposed. The
proposed method is verified through several case histories. For comparison, the results obtained from other empirical
methods are also presented. The proposed method provides a fairly good prediction of ground surface settlement and
yields better prediction of angular distortion than other empirical methods for the concave- and spandrel-type
settlement profiles. Furthermore, the relationship of cantilever area and deep inward area of wall deflection is
established which can be used as the first approximation to predict the type of settlement profile.

Key words: prediction, excavation, settlement profile, spandrel, concave.

Rsum : Il existe deux types gnraux de profils daffaissement rsultant dune excavation, le type tympan et le type
concave. En partant dune analyse de rgression des observations sur le terrain des courbes daffaissement dans des
conditions de sous-sol principalement cohrent, lon propose une mthode empirique pour la prdiction de
laffaissement en forme concave ou en forme de tympan. La mthode propose est vrifie avec plusieurs histoires de
cas. Pour fin de comparaison, les rsultats obtenus avec les autres mthodes empiriques, telles que celles de Peck, de
Bowles, et de Clough et ORourke sont galement prsents. La mthode propose fournit une prdiction assez bonne
de laffaissement de la surface du terrain. La mthode propose donne aussi une meilleure prdiction de la distorsion
angulaire que les autres mthodes empiriques pour les profils daffaissement tant de forme concave que de forme de
tympan. De plus, lon tablit la relation de la superficie en encorbellement et de la superficie profonde intrieure de la
dflexion du mur qui peut tre utilise en premire approximation pour prdire le type de profil daffaissement.

Mots cls : prdiction, excavation, profil daffaissement, tympan, concave.

[Traduit par la Rdaction] Hsieh and Ou 1017

Introduction geological conditions, construction methods, and workman-

ship can be easily and reasonably predicted.
Excavation will result in a certain degree of ground move-
As shown in Fig. 1, there are two general types of settle-
ment. The distribution of the ground surface settlement must
ment profile caused by excavation: (i) spandrel type, in
be predicted prior to excavation to assess impacts to adja-
which maximum surface settlement occurs very close to the
cent buildings or public facilities. The finite element method
wall; and (ii) concave type, in which maximum surface set-
and the empirical method are two common methods of pre-
tlement occurs at a distance away from the supported wall.
dicting ground surface settlement induced by excavation. Al-
According to Ou et al. (1993), the magnitude and shape of
though the finite element method can predict wall deflection
wall deflection may result in different types of settlement
with good accuracy, prediction of settlement is not as good.
profile. If a large amount of wall deflection occurs at the
Part of the reason for this may lie in the difficulty of model-
first stage of excavation and the wall deflection is relatively
ling soil behavior and the interface behavior between the
small at the subsequent excavations or the wall has a cantile-
wall and soil, and in the selection of input soil parameters.
ver-type deflection, the spandrel type of settlement profile
Basically, the empirical method accounts for all factors con-
usually occurs. On the contrary, once a relatively small
tributing to ground settlement because it is based on the fi-
amount of wall deflection occurs at the initial stages of ex-
nal observed values. A major advantage of the empirical
cavation, compared with the amount of deflection at deeper
method is that ground settlements in a project of similar
levels, additional cantilever wall deflection, or deflection in
the upper part of the wall, is restrained by installation of
support as the excavation proceeds to deeper elevations. Lat-
Received October 16, 1997. Accepted June 16, 1998. eral wall deflection would shift to deeper elevations which
P.-G. Hsieh. Department of Construction Management, Hwa
translates to a ground settlement profile consistent with the
Hsia Junior College of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic concave settlement profile.
of China. Many researchers have proposed empirical methods for
C.-Y. Ou. Department of Construction Engineering, National predicting both types of settlement profile. Based on field
Taiwan University of Science and Technology, observations, empirical methods for predicting the concave
P.O. Box 90-130, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. and spandrel settlements are proposed. These and other em-

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Hsieh and Ou 1005

Fig. 1. Types of settlement profile. Fig. 2. Pecks (1969) method for estimating ground surface
settlement. Su, undrained shear strength; , unit weight of soils.

pirical methods are used to compute the ground surface set-

tlement profile for nine case histories.

Review of existing empirical methods

Method of Bowles
Ground movements behind a supported wall will occur as Bowles (1988) proposed a method for estimating the
the result of unbalanced pressures, for example, the removal spandrel-type settlement profile induced by excavation. The
of the soil mass inside the excavation. The magnitude and steps are given as follows:
distribution of the settlement are related to many factors (1) Estimate the lateral wall deflection.
such as construction quality, ground condition, groundwater (2) Calculate the volume of lateral movement of soil mass
pressure, excavation depth, excavation geometry, excavation (Vs).
procedure, and support system. A method derived purely (3) Estimate the influence zone (D) using the method sug-
from the theoretical approach will be complex, and accurate gested by Caspe (1966) as follows:
results will be difficult to obtain. Therefore most of the ex-
isting predictive methods were obtained based on field mea- [1] D = (He + Hd) tan(45 /2)
surements rather than theoretical approaches due to the where He is the final excavation depth, and is the internal
complexity of mathematical modelling methods. Several of friction angle of the soil. For cohesive soil, Hd = B, where B
the empirical methods currently used in engineering practice is the width of the excavation; for cohesionless soil, Hd =
are presented below. 0.5B tan(45 + /2).
(4) Estimate the maximum ground surface settlement
Method of Peck (vm), assuming that the maximum surface settlement occurs
Peck (1969) summarized the field observations of ground at the wall:
surface settlement around several excavations in a graphical
form as shown in Fig. 2. This method may be suitable for [2] vm = 4Vs/D
the spandrel-type settlement profile. As indicated in the fig-
ure, the settlement curve is classified into three zones, I, II, (5) The settlement curve is assumed to be parabolic. The
and III, depending on the type of soil and workmanship. In settlement (v) at a distance from the supported wall (d) can
Fig. 2, Nb represents the stability number, and Ncb represents be expressed as
the critical stability number for basal heave. [3] v = vm (x/D)2
The case histories used in the development of the Fig. 2
are prior to 1969 and are excavations supported by sheet where Dx is the distance from the wall.
piles or soldier piles with lagging. With the use of newer de- As generally understood, ground surface settlement, in the
sign and construction technologies (e.g., use of stiff dia- absence of consolidation-induced settlement, induced by an
phragm wall), the maximum settlements are generally excavation is affected by many factors, such as excavation
smaller than those defined in Fig. 2. However, the method of depth, construction procedure, and excavation support sys-
Peck will be evaluated through several case histories pre- tem. These factors could also affect the wall deflection. It
sented later in this paper, since it is the first practical ap- seems logical that prediction of ground surface settlement is
proach to estimating the ground surface settlement induced based on the magnitude and shape of wall deflection ob-
by excavations and has been widely used. tained from the results of lateral deformation analysis.

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1006 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 35, 1998

Fig. 3. Method of Clough and ORourke (1990) for estimating Fig. 4. Proposed method for predicting spandrel settlement
ground surface settlement. profile. Each broken line represents a case history.

could be experienced behind the wall. As long as vm is

known, the settlement at various distances can be estimated.

Method of Ou et al.
Based on 10 case histories in Taipei, Taiwan, Ou et al.
(1993) observed that the vertical movements of the soil be-
hind the wall may extend to a considerable distance. The
settlement at a limited distance behind the wall is not uni-
form and increases with the excavation depth. Buildings or
According to Milligan (1983), the settlement area is ap- public facilities within this distance may be damaged. The
proximately equal to the wall deflection area for soft clay zone is therefore defined as the apparent influence range
under undrained conditions. If this is true, vm should be (AIR). The settlement outside the AIR is small, and build-
equal to 3VsD. Bowles (1988) used 4VsD instead of 3VsD, ings or public facilities are not significantly affected. Ac-
probably to better match the field observations. cording to the studies by Ou et al., the AIR is approximately
equal to the distance defined by the active zone. The upper
Method of Clough and ORourke limit is a distance equal to the wall depth (He + Hp), that is
Based on several case histories, Clough and ORourke [4] AIR = (He + Hp) tan(45 /2) (He + Hp)
(1990) suggested that the settlement profile is triangular for
an excavation in sandy soil or stiff clay. The maximum where He is the final excavation depth, and Hp is the wall
ground surface settlement will occur at the wall (i.e., penetration depth.
spandrel settlement profile). The nondimensionalized pro- Ou et al. (1993) proposed a trilinear line for predicting the
files are shown in Figs. 3a and 3b, in which the correspond- spandrel-type settlement profile, based on the average value
ing settlement influence zones are 2He and 3He. For an of the observed settlement profiles of 10 excavation histories
excavation in soft to medium clay, the maximum settlement in Taipei. The suitability of the proposed method applied to
usually occurs at some distance away from the wall. The the other ground conditions will be discussed in the follow-
trapezoidal shape of the nondimensional settlement profile ing sections.
was suggested, as shown in Fig. 3c. The settlement influence
zone is 2He. For this method, depth of excavation (He) and Establishment of a prediction method
the maximum ground surface settlement (vm) are used as the
characteristic parameters. As indicated in the study of Spandrel settlement profile
Clough and ORourke, the method is intended to provide a As described in the preceding section, Ou et al. (1993) es-
conservative envelope to the ground surface settlements that tablished a trilinear relationship between the normalized set-
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Hsieh and Ou 1007

Fig. 5. Proposed method for predicting concave settlement Fig. 6. Areas of the cantilever and deep inward components.

ment influence range observed by Clough and ORourke

(1990). On the other hand, line bc has a more gentle slope,
and the buildings certainly are less affected. This zone is
therefore considered as the secondary influence zone,
which approximately extends to 4He.
For economical consideration, wall depth is designed
based on the concept of free earth support (NAVFAC 1982),
in which the toe of the wall is allowed to move freely.
Therefore, the extent of the active zone behind the wall may
tlement (v/vm) and the ratio of the distance to the wall be equal to the wall depth. Based on many case studies
depth based on 10 case histories exhibiting the spandrel-type (Woo and Moh 1990), the ratio of the wall depth to the exca-
settlement profile. Considering the fact that the wall depth vation depth generally ranges from 1.6 to 2.2, depending on
might be an arbitrary parameter, this study uses the excava- soil stratigraphy. Therefore, the primary settlement influence
tion depth (He) instead of wall depth as the parameter in the zone might be the same as the extent of active zone behind
normalized settlementdistance relationship, as shown in the wall.
Fig. 4. Figure 4 shows that the settlement curves from vari-
ous excavation cases fall in a narrow band, though factors Concave settlement profile
such as soil conditions, excavation geometry, and lateral With the concave settlement profile, it is necessary to
support system are different. Based on the results of regres- know the range of influence, surface settlement at the wall,
sion analysis, a mean value of the estimate curve can be and location of maximum surface settlement to define a
derived (line adc in Fig. 4). The coefficient of correlation complete settlement profile.
is equal to 0.949. As shown in Fig. 4, a higher estimate line As studied by Ou et al. (1993) and Nicholson (1987), the
abc, which is the mean estimate plus one standard devia- distance from the wall where the maximum ground surface
tion, can also be obtained. The higher estimate curve (line settlement occurs is approximately equal to half the depth
abc) is used in the following verification. Lines ab and where the maximum lateral wall deflection occurs. For most
bc can be expressed as follows: excavation cases, the maximum lateral wall deflection oc-
curs near the excavation bottom (Ou et al. 1993). Therefore,
v= 0.636 + 1 vm
[5] the distance where the maximum ground surface settlement
occurs can be taken as half the final excavation depth (He/2).
Case histories compiled by Clough and ORourke (1990)
if d/He 2; and showed that the settlement at the wall, for soft to medium
clay, is about in the range 0.5vm to 0.7vm. It was also ob-
v = 0.171 + 0. 342 vm
d served in this study that the amount of settlement has very
He little effect on the shape of the settlement profile. In addi-

tion, case histories presented in the following sections indi-
if 2 < d/He 4; where v is the ground surface settlement for cate that settlements at the wall are about equal to 0.5vm.
the soil at a distance d from the wall. Therefore, a value of 0.5vm is adopted for establishing a
As shown in Fig. 4, line ab has a relatively steep slope, complete settlement profile.
which may induce large angular distortion on the adjacent The principle of Saint Venant (Timonshenko and Goodier
buildings if vm is significant. The safety of the buildings 1951) states that if some distribution of forces acting on a
should be checked under such circumstances. This zone is portion of the surface of a body is replaced by a different
therefore termed the primary influence zone in this paper. distribution of forces acting on the same portion of the body,
Figure 4 also reveals that this zone is approximately equal to then the effects of the two different distributions on the parts
two excavation depths (2He), which agrees with the settle- of the body sufficiently far away from the region of applica-
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Table 1. Summary of information on the case histories.

Case Type of Wall depth Excavation Excavation Observed Computed

No. Wall type construction (m) depth (m) width (m) hm/He (%) hm/He (%)a FSb
1 Diaphragm wall Top down 35.0 19.7 41.0 0.54 0.33 1.68
2 Diaphragm wall Bottom up 31.0 18.45 35.0 0.34 0.40 1.28
3 Steel concrete wall Bottom up 32.0 17.0 30.0 1.03 0.49 1.54
4 Diaphragm wall Bottom up 30.0 18.5 50.0 0.13 10.04
5 Sheet pile wall Bottom up 19.2 12.2 12.2 1.40 1.50 1.65
6 Sheet pile wall Bottom up 16.0 11.0 11.0 2.01 1.44 1.11
7 Diaphragm wall Top down 33.0 20.0 70.0 0.62 0.34 1.73
8 Secant pile wall Bottom up 21.0 9.0 40.0 0.29 6.49
9 Diaphragm wall Anchoring 13.0 8.5 20.0 0.62 14.51
Computed using the method of Clough and ORourke (1990).
Factor of safety against basal heave.

Table 2. Strut arrangements for the case histories (all values are in metres).

Case Stage
No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 Hs 2.0 3.5 7.1 10.3 13.7 16.5
Hn 2.8 4.9 8.6 11.8 15.2 17.3 19.7
2 Hs 1.0 3.7 6.2 9.5 12.5 15.5
Hn 1.6 4.3 6.9 10.15 13.2 16.2 18.45
3 Hs 3.5 6.5 8.5 11.0 14.5
Hn 4.0 7.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 17.0
4 Hs 0.0 2.5 6.5 9.0 12.5 15.25
Hn 2.5 6.5 9.0 12.5 15.25 18.5
5 Hs 2.1 4.7, 5.8 9.1
Hn 4.7 7.9 11.3 12.2
6 Hs 2.5 4.0 6.0 8.0 9.5
Hn 5.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 11.0
7 Hs 3.45 4.95 8.55 12.4 16.4
Hn 5.75 9.35 13.2 16.2 16.9 20.0
8 Hs 1.5
Hn 5.0 9.0
9 Hs 2.5 4.0 6.5 8.0
Hn 3.0 5.5 8.0 8.5
Note: Hs, strut level or anchor level; Hn, depth of excavation at each stage.

tion of the forces are essentially the same, provided that the tlement profile, the secondary influence zone is much less
two distributions of the forces have the same resultant force. steep than the primary influence zone, which certainly im-
Theoretically, different excavation and strut installation pro- plies that this zone is much less affected by excavation and
cedures (i.e., different distribution forces) will result in the strut installation procedures. The secondary influence zone
same active zone (i.e., the same resultant forces). Such dif- can thus be presumed to be sufficiently far away from the
ferent excavation and strut installation procedures should re- wall and less affected by the loading distribution from the
sult in different states of stress for the soil near the wall, point of view of Saint Venants principle. The settlement in
which may in turn yield different shapes of the settlement this region should be little affected by excavation and strut
profile (i.e., concave type and spandrel type). According to installation procedures. Therefore, the extent and magnitude
the principle, different excavation and strut installation pro- of the secondary influence zone for the two types of settle-
cedures may have little influence on the state of stresses for ment trough can be considered the same. Therefore, the set-
the soil far away from the wall and the corresponding settle- tlement is equal to 0.1vm (point b in Fig. 4) at 2He, and
ment may be the same under such circumstances. practically negligible (point c in Fig. 4) at 4He. For simplic-
With the nature of active state, the active zone may be ity, a linear relationship is assumed between each turning
reasonably regarded as the zone heavily affected by the ex- point. Case histories presented in the following section also
cavation and strut installation procedures (i.e., different dis- indicate that this assumption is reasonable. Figure 5 shows
tribution forces). The active zone defined by the Rankine the complete settlement profile used for prediction.
theory in the spandrel settlement profile is approximately
equal to the primary influence zone (2He) as stated in the Justification of settlement profiles
preceding section. With the nature of the spandrel-type set- As stated in the preceding section, the type of settlement
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Hsieh and Ou 1009

Fig. 7. Verification: case 1 (concave settlement profile). LL, liquid limit; PI, plasticity index; , drained friction angle; v, effective
overburden pressure; , water content.

profile may be related to the magnitude of the cantilever alized relationship of vm and hm for the nine case histories
component and the deep inward component. To provide a summarized in Table 1. The findings of Mana and Clough
quantitative method to justify types of settlement profile in- (1981) are also indicated in Fig. 17. As shown in the figure,
duced by excavation, the area of the deep inward component in most cases vm is equal to (0.50.75)hm, and the upper
(As) is differentiated from total wall deflection, as shown in limit is vm = hm. The magnitude of vm may be greater than
Fig. 6. The area of the cantilever component (Ac) is thus de- that of hm for the case histories having a significant soil
fined as movement (e.g., case 5).
The maximum lateral wall deflection (hm) can be ob-
[7] Ac = Max (Ac1, Ac2) tained by performing lateral deformation analysis, e.g., the
finite element method or the beam on elastic foundation
where Ac1 and Ac2 are the area of the cantilever at the com- method (Miyoshi 1977), with good accuracy and can also be
pletion of the first and final stages of excavation, respec- estimated by referring to the maximum excavation depth
tively. (He). Clough and ORourke (1990) proposed a design chart
To establish a relationship between types of settlement used to estimate hm/He in soft clay, based on the factor of
profile and shape of wall deflection, six case histories exhib- safety against basal heave (FS), type of supported wall, and
iting the concave settlement profile and three case histories vertical spacing of the strut. Table 1 also lists the computed
exhibiting the spandrel settlement profile, all of which are values of hm based on the design chart of Clough and ORourke.
constructed under prudent conditions, are used for further Note that FS is calculated using the approach suggested by
studies. Table 1 lists the basic excavation information and Terzaghi (1943), for which average undrained shear strength
Table 2 lists strut levels and the excavation sequence for all beneath the excavation bottom across the potential failure
nine case histories. The basic soil properties, such as index surface is used. The calculation procedure for FS for each
properties, water content, and strength parameters, are dis- case history is outlined later in the paper. As shown in
played in Figs. 715. Figure 16 shows the relationship of Ac Table 1, only in some cases the computed values of hm do
and As for the case histories presented in this paper, except agree well with the observed values. Other factors, such as
for case 6, for which the wall deflection at the first stage is soil condition, construction sequence, excavation width, and
not available from the literature. Figure 16 is also augmented stiffness of the strut, may also affect the magnitude of hm.
by some cases presented by Ou et al. (1993) and one case Estimation of hm solely based on the design chart of Clough
provided by Clough and ORourke (1990), as listed in and ORourke might be less accurate, but this method can be
Table 3. Figure 16 clearly indicates that the concave-type used as a first approximation.
settlement profile occurs if As 1.6Ac. Otherwise the
spandrel-type settlement profile occurs.
Prediction procedure
Maximum ground surface settlement
In general the maximum ground surface settlement (vm) Based on the previous studies, the steps for predicting
can be estimated by referring to the value of the maximum ground surface settlement behind the wall are outlined as
wall deflection (hm). Figure 17 shows the nondimension- follows:
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Fig. 8. Verification: case 2 (concave settlement profile).

Fig. 9. Verification: case 3 (concave settlement profile).

(1) Predict the maximum lateral wall deflection (hm) by If the lateral deformation analysis is not performed, a
performing lateral deformation analysis, e.g., finite element crude approximation, such as that obtained using the design
methods or beam on elastic foundation methods. chart of Clough and ORourke (1990), may be used. Thus
(2) Determine the type of settlement profile by calculating the type of settlement profile cannot be determined prior to
the cantilever area and deep inward area of predicted wall excavation. However, based on field observations and finite
deflection and referring to Fig. 16. element studies (e.g., Finno and Harahap 1991), the type of
(3) Estimate the maximum ground surface settlement settlement profile emerges at the initial stages of excavation,
(vm) using the vmhm relationship (Fig. 17). at which point the adjacent buildings are not in the critical
(4) Calculate the surface settlement at various distances condition. Therefore, ground surface settlement at the final
behind the wall according to Figs. 4 or 5. stage, which is critical, can be iteratively estimated follow-

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Fig. 10. Verification: case 4 (concave settlement profile).

Fig. 11. Verification: case 5 (concave settlement profile).

ing the result of field observation at each stage. ground surface settlement (vm) used in the computation co-
mes directly from the field observation.
Case studies Case 1 (Ou et al. 1998) is located near the center of the
Taipei basin. The soil conditions consist mainly of silty clay.
Concave settlement profile As Table 1 shows, the calculated factor of safety against
Six case histories (cases 16) exhibiting the concave set- basal heave (FS) is 1.68, assuming that the failure surface is
tlement profile are used for verification. The results using limited by 33.5 or 37.5 m of sandy soil and that the failure
the method of Clough and ORourke (1990), i.e., trapezoid surface is across homogeneous soft clay with average un-
shape of the settlement profile, are also shown in the figures. drained shear strength Su = 80 kPa. Settlements obtained
Although vm can be estimated from the methods presented from field observations, using the computation based on
in the preceding section, for comparison, the maximum Fig. 5, and using the method proposed by Clough and

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1012 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 35, 1998

Fig. 12. Verification: case 6 (concave settlement profile).

Fig. 13. Verification: case 7 (spandrel settlement profile).

ORourke (1990) are shown in Fig. 7, which indicates that good agreement with the field observations. The method of
the settlement profile computed based on Fig. 5 is in good Clough and ORourke (1990) neglects the settlement in the
agreement with the field observations. Settlement computed secondary influence zone, but provides a better estimate of
using the method of Clough and ORourke generally gives a the settlement profile for most of the soil.
good estimate of the settlement envelope. However, it ne- Case 3 is a case history described by Miyoshi (1977). The
glects the settlement in the secondary influence zone. soil beneath the bottom of the excavation is mainly com-
Case 2 is also located in the Taipei basin. The ground con- posed of soft clay (MHCH according to the Unified Soil
dition is mainly composed of silty clay overlying clayey silt. Classification System). The calculated FS is 1.54, assuming
The calculated FS is 1.28, assuming that the failure surface that the failure surface with Su = 73.6 kPa is limited by 37 m
is limited by 31 m of gravel material and that the failure sur- of dense sand. Figure 9 shows that both methods slightly un-
face is across a homogeneous soft clay with average Su = derestimate the settlement for part of the soil in the primary
55 kPa. Figure 8 shows that the proposed method yields influence zone. However, the method proposed in this paper
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Hsieh and Ou 1013

Fig. 14. Verification: case 8 (spandrel settlement profile).

Fig. 15. Verification: case 9 (spandrel settlement profile).

in general gives a closer agreement with the field observa- With a foundation soil of stiff clay, the triangular-type set-
tions. The method of Clough and ORourke (1990) neglects tlement profile from the method of Clough and ORourke
the settlement in the secondary influence zone, but provides (1990) should be used, as shown in Fig. 3b. However, field
a good estimate of the settlement profile for the soil near the observation indicates that this case has the concave-type set-
wall. tlement profile. For comparison, the trapezoid shape of the
Case 4 is the New Palace Yard Park project in London settlement profile is also used. Figure 10 shows that the pro-
(Burland and Hancock 1977). The foundation soil is stiff posed method is in good agreement with the field observa-
London clay. The calculated FS is greater than 10.0, assum- tions. The method of Clough and ORourke (trapezoid
ing that the failure surface is limited either by 30 m of stiff shape) provides a good envelope of the settlement profile for
clay or 44 m of hard rock and that the failure surface is the soil near the wall but neglects the settlement in the sec-
across a homogeneous soft clay with average Su = 170 kPa. ondary influence zone.
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Table 3. Summary of information for the case histories.

Type of Wall Excavation

Casea Wall type construction depth (m) depth (m) Reference
a Continuous prepacked pile Bottom up 16.75 9.6 Moh and Associates 1982
b Diaphragm Top down 28.0 13.9 Moh and Associates 1982
c Sheet pile Bottom up 16.0 7.65 Moh and Associates 1982
d Diaphragm Bottom up 17.0 10.7 Moh and Associates 1982
e Continuous prepacked pile Berm method 28.0 12.8 Chu et al. 1991
f Sheet pile Bottom up 15.5 12.0 Karlsrud and Myrvoll 1976
Cases as given in Fig. 16.

Fig. 16. Relationship between the area of the cantilever Fig. 17. Relationship between the maximum wall deflection and
component and the area of the deep inward component of the the maximum ground surface settlement. The numbers 19 refer
deflected wall. The numbers 19 refer to the cases listed in to the cases listyed in Table 1. hm, maximum wall deflection.
Table 1, and the letters ae to the cases listed in Table 3.

Case 5 is the HDR-4 project for the Chicago subway de-

scribed by Finno et al. (1989). The subsurface soil at the site
is mainly composed of clay. The calculated FS is 1.65, as-
suming that the failure surface with Su = 47.9 kPa is limited Fig. 18. Location of two footings (F1 and F2) and differential
by 19.2 m of hard clay. As shown in Fig. 11, the wall de- settlement.
flected a considerable amount at the initial stage. Although
the top of the wall rebounded as the subsequent excavation
proceeded, a large settlement near the wall occurred. There-
fore, the settlement at a distance between the wall and the
location of maximum ground surface settlement was unusu-
ally large. The proposed method in general gives a good es-
timate of the settlement profile, and the method of Clough
and ORourke (1990) also provides a good estimate of the
settlement envelope.
Case 6 is the Olso subway excavation project (Norwegian
Geotechnical Institute 1962). The subsurface soil profile
consists mainly of soft clay. The calculated FS is 1.11, as-
suming that the failure surface with Su = 29.4 kPa is limited
by 13 m of bedrock. As shown in Fig. 12, the settlement at a
distance greater than 13 m behind the wall was unavailable.
In general, the proposed method gives a good estimate of the
settlement profile, and the method of Clough and ORourke
(1990) provides a good estimate of the settlement envelope.

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Hsieh and Ou 1015

Table 4. Comparison of angular distortion at different distances from the wall from field observations
and various methods for the case histories.

No. Method 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5
1 Measured 1/275 1/550 1/350 1/450
Clough and ORourke 0 1/7350 1/330 1/330
This study 1/265 1/440 1/440 1/440
2 Measured 1/150 1/870 1/660 1/1400
Clough and ORourke 0 1/6800 1/530 1/530
This study 1/420 1/700 1/700 1/700
3 Measured 1/40 1/250 1/200 1/180
Clough and ORourke 0 1/900 1/135 1/135
This study 1/65 1/180 1/180 1/180
4 Measured 1/350 1/1580 1/1510 1/1800
Clough and ORourke 0 1/16000 1/1200 1/1200
This study 1/960 1/1600 1/1600 1/1600
5 Measured 1/20 1/51
Clough and ORourke 0 1/152 1/60 1/60
This study 1/50 1/80 1/80 1/80
6 Measured 1/35 1/80
Clough and ORourke 0 1/154 1/70 1/70
This study 1/55 1/108 1/108 1/108
7 Measured 1/180 1/370 1/450 1/820
Clough and ORourke 1/540 1/540 1/540 1/540
Bowles 1/430 1/485 1/555 1/660
This study 1/140 1/440 1/600 1/710
8 Measured 1/300 1/575 1/3300 1/5400
Clough and ORourke 1/1040 1/1040 1/1040 1/1040
Bowles 1/1240 1/1370 1/1540 1/1750
This study 1/405 1/940 1/1225 1/1445
9 Measured 1/480 1/700 1/920 1/1100
Clough and ORourke 1/800 1/800 1/800 1/800
Bowles 1/210 1/250 1/300 1/400
This study 1/320 1/730 1/945 1/1115

Spandrel settlement profile marily from the case histories with sheetpiles or soldier piles
Three case histories are used to verify the proposed with lagging. The method of Bowles (1988) gives a good es-
method and the methods proposed by Clough and ORourke timation for vm, but overestimates the settlement behind the
(1990), Bowles (1988), and Peck (1969). The higher esti- wall. The method of Clough and ORourke (1990) provides
mate of settlement in Fig. 4 is used for computing the settle- a good estimate of the settlement profile envelope. The pro-
ment profile. To compare the shape of the settlement profile, posed method gives a good agreement with the field obser-
the same magnitude of maximum ground surface settlement vation.
(vm), obtained directly from field observations, is adopted Case 8 is the Bell Common Tunnel in England, as de-
in the proposed method and in the method of Clough and scribed by Tedd et al. (1984). The subsurface soil is mainly
ORourke. Bowles has his own approach for estimating vm. London clay. The calculated FS is 6.49, assuming that the
For the method of Peck, the boundary curve between zones I failure surface extends as deep as 0.7B, i.e., 28.0 m, in
and II (i.e., 1% curve) is used for computation. which the average Su = 150 kPa. As shown in Fig. 14, the
Case 7 is the Far-East Enterprise Center project in Taipei. method of Bowles (1988) underestimates the maximum
The ground conditions are as shown in Fig. 13. The calcu- ground surface settlement (vm) but overestimates the settle-
lated FS is 1.73, assuming that the failure surface with Su = ment for the ground surface at a distance greater than 5 m
76.5 kPa is limited by 32 m of gravel material. As shown in behind the wall. The settlements from the 1% curve of Peck
Fig. 13, the top of the wall had a relatively large displace- (1969) are very different from the field observations because
ment at the initial stage of excavation. Although the wall a stiff wall was used. The method of Clough and ORourke
had a deep-seated type of displacement, the settlement curve (1990) gives a good settlement profile envelope. Although
became of the spandrel type. Comparing the observed settle- the proposed method also overestimates the ground surface
ment profile with the methods described above, the 1% settlement at a distance greater than 4 m, it gives a closer es-
curve of Peck (1969) greatly overestimates the settlement. timate when compared with the other methods.
This may be because the method of Peck was derived pri- Case 9 is the Neasden Underpass in north London (Sills et

1998 NRC Canada

1016 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 35, 1998

al. 1977). The subsurface soil is London clay. The calculated (3) The reliability of the proposed method depends upon
FS is 14.5, assuming that the failure surface extends as deep the accuracy of the estimated value of maximum lateral wall
as 0.7B, i.e., 14.0 m, in which the average Su = 170 kPa. As movement and maximum ground surface settlement. The
shown in Fig. 15, the deflection was like that of a cantilever maximum wall deflection can be obtained using numerical
wall through the end of excavation. Therefore, the spandrel methods. In general, the maximum ground surface settle-
settlement profile would be expected for this case. ment, vm, is 0.5hm to 0.75hm. For very soft clay, vm may
The computed settlements using the empirical methods be larger than hm because there may be plastic flow in the
described above are shown in Fig. 15, which clearly indi- soil around the excavation.
cates that both the 1% curve of Peck (1969) and the method (4) Types of settlement profiles induced by excavation can
of Bowles (1988) greatly overestimate the settlement. The be justified based on the relationship of cantilever area and
settlement computed from the method of Clough and deep inward area of wall deflection. However, this relation-
ORourke (1990) envelops the measured settlement. The ship requires more field data for further enhancement and
proposed method again yields a very good agreement with verification.
the field observations. (5) Based on studies of nine case histories, for the con-
Since angular distortion is normally related to damage to cave and spandrel settlement profiles the proposed method
structures, the angular distortions calculated from observed yields better prediction of angular distortion than the other
settlements are thus compared with those computed using empirical methods, such as those of Clough and ORourke
the proposed method and the other empirical methods. As and Bowles.
shown in Fig. 18, the angular distortion between two foot-
ings is defined as 12/L12, in which 12 and L12 denote the
differential settlement and distance, respectively. Table 4 References
gives the results calculated for L12 = 5.0 m at various dis- Bowles, J.E. 1988. Foundation analysis and design. 4th ed.
tances (d1) away from the wall and indicates that for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
concave settlement profiles (cases 16), the proposed Burland, J.B., and Hancock, R.J.R. 1977. Underground car park at
method yields better prediction of angular distortion than the the house of commons: geotechnical aspects. Structural Engi-
method of Clough and ORourke (1990). For the spandrel neer, 55: 87100.
settlement profiles (cases 79), the proposed method also Caspe, M.S. 1966. Surface settlement adjacent to braced open cuts.
yields better prediction of angular distortion than the meth- Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, ASCE,
ods of Clough and ORourke and Bowles. 92(SM4): 5159.
Chu, Y.G., Kuo, H.S., and Chen, D.L. 1991. Wall deflection and
ground surface settlement induced by excavation. In Proceed-
Conclusions ings of the 4th National Geotechnical Conference, Hawlin, Tai-
The deflection of a supported wall during excavation can Clough, G.W., and ORourke, T.D. 1990. Construction-induced
usually be predicted using the finite element method with movements of in situ walls. In Proceedings, Design and Perfor-
good accuracy. However, prediction of the ground surface mance of Earth Retaining Structures, ASCE Special Conference,
settlement induced by excavation is not as good as that of Ithaca, New York, pp. 439470.
the wall deflection. Under such circumstances the empirical Finno, R.J., and Harahap, I.S. 1991. Finite element analyses of
methods sometimes give a good prediction of ground sur- HDR-4 excavation. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering,
face settlement. In this paper, a method for estimating the ASCE, 117(10): 15901609.
ground surface settlement for both spandrel and concave set- Finno, R.J., Atmatzidis, D.K., and Perkins, S.B. 1989. Observed
tlement profiles is proposed, given the deflected shape of the performance of a deep excavation in clay. Journal of the Geo-
wall. The proposed method is evaluated through several case technical Engineering Division, ASCE, 115(GT8): 10451064.
histories with predominantly cohesive subsurface conditions Karlsrud, K., and Myrvoll, F. 1976. Performance of a strutted exca-
in various areas. The following conclusions are made on the vation in quick clay. In Proceedings of the 6th European Confer-
basis of the work presented herein. ence on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Vienna,
(1) For the concave settlement profile, the method of Vol. 1, pp. 157164.
Clough and ORourke (1990) gives a good estimate of the Mana, A.I., and Clough, G.W. 1981. Prediction of movements for
braced cut in clay. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Di-
settlement envelope, but it neglects the settlement in the sec-
vision, ASCE, 107(GT8): 759777.
ondary influence zone. The proposed method gives good
Milligan, G.W.E. 1983. Soil deformation near anchored sheet-pile
agreements with the field observations for the case histories
walls. Gotechnique, 33(1): 4155.
presented in this paper. The proposed method is suitable for Miyoshi, M. 1977. Mechanical behavior of temporary braced wall.
both soft clay and stiff clay. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Soil Me-
(2) For the spandrel settlement profile, the 1% curve of chanics and Foundation Engineering, Tokyo, Vol. 2, No. 2/60,
Peck (1969) greatly overestimates the settlement. The pp. 655658.
method of Bowles (1988) underestimates the angular distor- Moh and Associates. 1982. Report on instrumentation monitoring
tion of the buildings and overestimates the magnitude of the of five deep excavations in the Taipei City. Taipei Mass Rapid
settlement. The method of Clough and ORourke also gives Transit Bureau, Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 1149.
a good estimate of the settlement profile. The proposed NAVFAC. 1982. Design manual: foundations and earth structures.
method provides a fairly good prediction of ground surface NAVFAC DM 7.2, U.S. Department of the Navy, Washington,
settlement and is suitable for soft clay and stiff clay. D.C.

1998 NRC Canada

Hsieh and Ou 1017

Nicholson, D.P. 1987. The design and performance of the retaining List of symbols
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Ac cantilever area
ted excavation, Oslo Subway, Vaterland 1. Norwegian Ac1, Ac2 cantilever area at completion of the first and final
Geotechnical Institute, Technical Report 6. stages of excavation, respectively
Ou, C.Y., Hsieh, P.G., and Chiou, D.C. 1993. Characteristics of As deep inward area
ground surface settlement during excavation. Canadian AIR apparent influence range
Geotechnical Journal, 30(5):758767. B excavation width
Ou, C.Y., Liao, J.T., and Lin, H.D. 1998. Performance of D settlement influence zone
diaphragm wall constructed using top-down method. Journal Dx distance from the wall
of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, d distance from the supported wall
124 (9): 987808. d1 distance from the supported wall
Peck, R.B. 1969. Deep excavation and tunneling in soft ground. In FS factor of safety against basal heave
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chanics and Foundation Engineering, State-of-the-Art-Volume, Hp wall penetration depth
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Sills, G.C., Burland, J.B., and Czechowski, M.K. 1977. Behavior L12 distance between two footings
of an anchored diaphragm wall in stiff clay. In Proceedings of Nb stability number
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Tedd, P., Chard, B.M., Charles, J.A., and Symons, I.F. 1984. Be- Vs volume of lateral movement of soil mass
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hm maximum wall deflection
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12 differential settlement between two footings
ed. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. internal friction angle
Woo, S.M., and Moh, Z.C. 1990. Geotechnical characteristics of drained friction angle
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pp. 5165. water content

1998 NRC Canada