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NOTES

Extrusion of Soft Clay Through a Retaining Wall


BENGT B. B ROMS
S~vedishGeotechr~icalZnstitrrte, Stockholrr~, Slvecletr
AND
H A R A L D B JERKE
Can. Geotech. J. Downloaded from www.nrcresearchpress.com by YORK UNIV on 11/13/14

KaCIESjiiJ. Zrtger~orsbyrK AB, Viister&s, Swerlen


Received May 29, 1972
Accepted September 12, 1972

This note describes a slide which occurred in a very soft clay during the construction of an approx-
imately 11 m high cast-in-place reinforced concrete pile wall. Clay squeezed through the openings
between three adjacent piles after the clay had been exposed for 1-3 days. An analysis indicates
that the slide was caused by excessive overburden pressures at the level of the opening in relation to the
low undrained shear strength of the clay.
Cette note decrit un glissement qui s'est produit dans une argile t r b molle durant la construction
d'un mur de souttnement de 11 m de haut constitue de pieux en bCton arm6 coult e n place. L'argile
a CtC expulsCe i travers les ouvertures laissCes entre trois pieux adjacents, 1-3 jours apres excavation.
Une ttude montre que le glissement a CtC causC par des contraintes gkostatiques au niveau des ouver-
tures excessives en regard de la faible rksistance au cisaillement non drain6 de l'argile.
For personal use only.

[Traduit par le journal]

FIG. 1. Photograph of slide area.

Can. Geotecli. J. 10, 103 (19i3)


C . l S . GEOTECII. J. VOL. 10. 1973

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NOTES 105

Introduction 7 m of soft clay, 5 . 5 m of varved soft to me-


In the evening of November 22, 1971 a dium clay and of 1 m of till. The water content
slide occurred during the construction of an of the clay which is sligl~tlyless than the fine-
anchored reinforced pile wall in a very soft clay ness number (Karlsson 1961) decreases with
in Vasteris, a town located in the central depth. (The fineness number is approximately
part of Sweden. The slide, shown in Fig. 1, equal to the liquid limit).
ruptured a water main which supplies part of
the central section of Vasterhs with water. Construction of Pile Wall
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The possible reason for the slide is discussed The pile wall was constructed of reinforced
below. cast-in-place concrete piles 1 .20 m in diameter
with 100 m m thick reinforced concrete shells
Soil Conditions between the piles. The shells were supported
A soil profile is shown in Fig. 2 as deter- by the piles which were anchored a t four levels
mined from borehole 27 and from a vane by tiebacks as illustrated in Fig. 3. The 1.2 m
boring close to the place where the slide oc- concrete piles were constructed by first
curred. The borehole location is shown in excavating the soft clay with a bucket auger
Fig. 3. The soil consists from the ground down to the underlying 1-2 m thick till layer.
surface of 1 m of fill, 2 . 5 m of dry clay crust, The till was excavated with hydraulic grab
Tieback
Recess
For personal use only.

Vaneboring 1
@

Borehole 27 )7

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0 2
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L 6 8 1 0 r n

FIG. 3. Location of boreholes and of slide area.


106 C;\W. GEOTECEI. J. VOL. 10, 1 0 7 3

down to bedrock located about 17 m below excavated in stages. After each excavation
tlie ground surface. Lining was only required stage the exposed soil surface between the
through the till except for the piles located piles with a height of 1-2 m was gunited as
close to the point where tlie slide later oc- shown in Fig. 4 so that a concrete shell with
curred. A steel lining was also used during a thickness of about 100 mm was formed
the excavation through the clay for these piles. between two adjacent piles. Each shell rested
It was observed during the excavation that in recesses along the sides of the piles as shown
clay squeezed from the sides into an unlined in Fig. 3. The piles were anchored at four
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hole. After the bottom of the excavated hole levels by steel cables which were grouted in rock
had been thoroughly cleaned steel dowels of
32 mm diameter were drilled and grouted into Description of Slide
the underlying bedrock. The piles were rein- The slide occurred after the excavation had
forced along their full length. The reinforce- reached a depth of 10.5 m below the ground
ment in the form of a steel cage was placed surface. A cross-section through the wall at
in the excavated hole before the pouring of tlie the time of the slide and the location of the
concrete. The steel lining was pulled as the The soil inside the reinforced pile wall was
hole was filled with concrete. excavated in stages. After each excavation
The soil inside the reinforced pile wall was sliding surface are shown in Fig. 5. The height
For personal use only.

FIG. 4. Guniting of exposed clay surface.


NOTES

E l 1L.60 m
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surface
For personal use only.

ale

FIG. 5. Section through pile wall.

of the exposed clay surface was about 2 m concrete shells. The total width of the slide
and the length of the excavation along the was 8 m. One water main located in the street,
wall was about 20 m. Just before the exposed behind the retaining wall, brooke and caused
surface was supposed to be gunited it was considerable damage. The retaining wall it-
observed that the clay surface had moved self was not damaged by the slide. Nor was
about 10 cm so that the recesses along the there any damage in the excavation by the
piles were partly covered by clay. inflowing clay mass.
The slide occurred after the clay surface
had been exposed for about 1-3 days. (It is Analysis of Slide
not completely clear exactly when the bench In an article by Broms and Bennermark
was excavated). Clay flowed into the excava- (1967) the stability of an exposed vertical
tion like toothpaste through three of the open- surface in clay has been analyzed. It was
ings formed by the piles and the overlying found that the stability of a vertical face is a
T o t a l o v e r b u r d e n pressure, k~/rn'
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For personal use only.

FIG. 6. Comparison between total overburden pressure and the undrained shear strength of soil. Legend: V
+
fall-cone test, vane test.

function of the total overburden pressure failure occurred when the ratio G,/c,, was
G, (yH) at the center of the hole and of the equal to 7.5.
average undrained shear strength, c,, of the The total overburden pressure at the center
clay as expressed by the ratio a,/c, (yH/c,,). of the exposed free clay surface in Fig. 4
Broms and Bennermark (1967) found for a was 152 kN/m2 at a depth of 9.50 m below
vertical opening with a height less than about the ground surface, the center of the exposed
one fourth the depth below the ground surface clay surface. (The height of the surface was
that the critical value of this ratio is about 6. about 2 . 0 m). An average unit weight for the
Peck (1969) has, for example, used this rela- soil of 1 .6 t/m3 has been used in the calculations.
tionship to analyze the stability of shield The undrained shear strength of the clay
driven tunnels. He concluded that the shield as measured by fall-cone tests and by field
may become unmanageable when this ratio vane tests changed with depth as can be seen
approaches 7. from Fig. 2. The shear strength of the clay
Broms and Bennermark (1968) have later varied between 30-40 kN/m2 down to a depth
analyzed an additional case where clay has of 6 m below the ground surface, between
squeezed into an excavation through an open- 20-25 kN/m2 down to - 11 m, and between
ing in a sheet pile wall driven to rock. This 30 and 40 kN/m2 below this depth. The aver-
NOTES 109

age shear strength (24 kN/m2) for the clay overburden pressure outside the wall ap-
layer between - 6 and - I 1 m corresponds proaches 5-6 r.,, a t the bottom of the excava-
t o a value of 6 . 3 on the ratio u,,/c,,. tion. An exposed vertical surface is not stable
The total overburden pressure is shown in when the overburden Dressure exceeds this
Fig. 6 as a function of the depth below the limiting value a n d clay may squeeze through
ground surface as well as the relationship even small openings in the wall.
which corresponds t o six times the undrained
shear strength of the clay. It can be seen that BROMS, B. B., and B ENNERMARK , H. 1967. Stability of
clay at vertical openings. Proc. Am. Soc. Civ. Eng. J.
Can. Geotech. J. Downloaded from www.nrcresearchpress.com by YORK UNIV on 11/13/14

u , exceeds 6c,, a t the level of the opening of Soil Mech. Found. Div. 93, No. SMI, pp. 71-94.
the wall. -1968. Stability of cohesive soils behind vertical
openings in a sheet pile wall. Proc. 3rd. Budapest
Conclusions Conf. Soil Mech. Found. Eng., Oct. 15-18, pp.
404409.
It has been concluded that the described KARLSSON, R. 1961. Suggested improvement in the liquid
failure was primarily caused by a n excessive limit test with reference to flow properties of re-
overburden pressure at the level of the opening molded clays. Proc. 5th. Int. Conf. Soil Mech.
in relation to the undrained shear strength of Found. Eng., Paris. 1, pp. 171-184.
the soil. Caution should thus be exercised P ECK , R. B. 1969. Deep excavations and tunneling in
soft ground. Proc. 7th. Int. Conf. Soil Mech.
when cast-in-place reinforced pile walls are Found. Eng., Mexico, State-of-the-Art Volume,
constructed in very soft clays and the total pp. 225-290.

Sedimentation in Glenmore Reservoir, Calgary, Alberta


For personal use only.

Departrne~rt of Itrdialz Affairs and Norther12 Developtnent, Wlritel~orse,Yrtko~l


E. K. YAREMKO
Waler Resortrces Divisiolr, Alberln Depnr~ttretrtof [Ire E~rvirorr~rre~r~,
Edtnotrlotr, Alberla
AND
C. R. NEILL
Researcl~ Corttlcil of Alberta, Edrrorr~otr,Alber~n
Received September 20, 1972
Accepted September 22, 1972

Glenmore D a m on the Elbow River in the City of Calgary was constructed in 1932 in connection
with Calgary's water supply. Various surveys have been conducted over the years to record the
progress of sedimentation in the 23 000 acre-foot (28.4 :: 106 m3) reservoir. It is estimated that in
the 36 year period to 1968, nearly 10% of the original full-supply capacity was lost due to silting.
The average composition of deposits is estimated as 35y0 sand, 50% silt and 15% clay sizes.
The quantity of accumulated deposits checks reasonably with estimates of sediment load in the
Elbow River, which rises in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains approximately 65 miles
(105 km) southwest of Calgary. An apparent average sediment yield of approximately 240 tons per
square mile per year (84 tonnes/kmZ/year) from this 470-square-mile (1217-km2) basin is compared
with yield data from other points in Western Canada and the northwestern United States.
Le barrage Glenmore sur la riviere Elbow dans la ville de Calgary a CtC construit en 1932 comme
element du systeme d'adduction d'eau de Calgary. Des campagnes de contrble ont eu lieu a differentes
epoques pour etudier le progres de la sedimentation dans ce reservoir de 23 000 acre-pieds (28.4 X
106 m3). On estime que, durant la periode de 36 ans allant jusqu'en 1968, environ 10% de la capacitt
utile initiale du reservoir ont CtC perdus par envasement. La composition moyenne des dkpbts est
estimee A 35% de sable, 50% de silt et 15% d'argile.
La quantite de dCpBts accumulCe correspond assez bien aux estimations du transport solide dans
la riviere Elbow qui prend sa source sur le versant est des montagnes Rocheuses a environ 65 milks
(105 km) au sud ouest de Calgary. Un apport de sediments moyen d'environ 240 tonnes par milk
carre par annee (84 tonnes mttriques/kmz/annee) pour ce bassin versant de 470 milles (1217 kmz) carre
est compart aux apports observes en d'autres regions de l'ouest du Canada et du nord ouest des
Etats Unis. [Traduit par le journal]

'Formerly with Research Council of Alberta.


Ca~iadin~
Geotecl~nicnl
l Journal, 10, 109 (19i3)