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Zdravkovic, L., Potts, D. M. & St John, H. D. (2005). Géotechnique 55, No.

7, 497–513

Modelling of a 3D excavation in finite element analysis


L . Z D R AV KOV I C * , D. M . P OT T S * a n d H . D. S T J O H N †

This paper investigates a number of issues related to the Cet exposé étudie plusieurs questions liées à la modélisa-
modelling of a retaining structure used to support an tion d’une structure de soutènement utilisée pour soute-
excavation in 3D finite element analyses. In particular, nir une excavation dans les analyses d’éléments finis en
the effects of wall stiffness in different coordinate direc- 3D. Nous examinons plus particulièrement les effets de la
tions and the rotational fixity in the corner of the excava- rigidité du mur dans diverses directions coordonnées et
tion are examined. Both square and rectangular la fixité rotationnelle dans l’angle de l’excavation. Des
excavations are analysed and compared with the equiva- excavations carrées et rectangulaires sont analysées et
lent axisymmetric and plane strain analyses, normally comparées avec les analyses de déformations axisymétri-
used as approximations for modelling purposes. The ques et planes équivalentes normalement utilisées comme
chosen geometry, construction sequence and soil condi- approximations à des fins de modélisation. La géométrie,
tions are based on a proposed deep excavation at Moor- la séquence de construction et les conditions de sol
gate in London (next to the Moor House development), choisies sont basées sur une excavation profonde proposée
which will form part of an underground station for the à Moorgate à Londres (près du développement de Moor
Crossrail project. The objective of the study is to provide House), qui fera partie d’une station souterraine du
a detailed assessment of wall and ground movements and projet Crossrail. L’objectif de cette étude est de donner
structural forces in the wall in the light of different une évaluation détaillée des mouvements du mur et du
modelling assumptions. The study has wider application sol ainsi que des forces structurales dans le mur à la
to a variety of projects that include the development of lumière de différentes hypothèses de modélisation. Cette
infrastructure, the construction of deep basement car étude peut s’appliquer plus largement à une variété de
parks and buried structures, and the effect that these projets qui incluent le développement infrastructural et
have on the surrounding areas. la construction de parkings en sous-sol et de structures
enterrées ; elle pourra s’appliquer aussi à l’effet que ces
KEYWORDS: deep excavation; numerical modelling and analy- structures ont sur les zones environnantes.
sis; retaining walls

INTRODUCTION analyses (Ou et al., 1996; Ou & Shiau, 1998; Moormann &
The construction of tunnels and station boxes in urban areas, Katzenbach, 2002). These analyses have gone further in
such as London, requires a detailed assessment of the effects modelling the soil as an elasto-plastic material, but the
that such construction might have on existing structures. retaining walls are still assumed to be isotropic elastic.
Sometimes, if there is enough information about previous In reality, however, a concrete retaining wall, for example,
similar undertakings, it is possible to make this assessment is not an isotropic solid. Whether it is a diaphragm wall, a
on the basis of experience. However, if this is not the case, contiguous wall, a secant pile wall, or even a sheet pile wall,
then it is necessary to use numerical techniques to make the it has continuous vertical elements (e.g. diaphragm panels,
necessary predictions. piles), but is discontinuous in the horizontal direction, along
Current design practice suggests that, in a general rectan- the sides of the excavation; see Fig. 2. Consequently, it
gular excavation, plane strain two-dimensional (2D) analysis cannot sustain any significant out-of-plane bending, and also
should be applied to assess the wall and ground movements the horizontal axial stiffness of the wall is much smaller
in the centre of the excavation (along its longer side), than the stiffness of the solid concrete, as a consequence of
whereas an axisymmetric analysis should be applied to joints between the vertical elements. The assumption of
assess conditions in the corner and the shorter side of the isotropic stiffness (i.e. the same stiffness in all coordinate
excavation (see Fig. 1). To date, full three-dimensional (3D) directions) therefore introduces a significant limitation to
analyses have rarely been carried out because of time and any analysis. An axisymmetric analysis with isotropic wall
cost constraints. stiffness predicts small wall and ground movements and
St John (1975) compared the predictions of ground move- shows that the support is provided by hoop stresses, rather
ments for plane strain, axisymmetric and square excavations than bending resistance along the vertical direction as would
modelled assuming a uniform linear-elastic soil and no wall, be the case for a circular shaft sunk using traditional
in an attempt to explain the variation of surface ground techniques (Cabarkapa et al., 2003). Even for a truly circular
movements measured at the Houses of Parliament in Lon- shaft constructed with an in situ retaining wall this assump-
don. A number of recent publications describe the 3D tion is unrealistic, as the behaviour of the wall will be
modelling of deep strutted excavations in a variety of soil dominated by the compression of the joints between the
conditions and compare the results with those from 2D elements of the wall (e.g. panels or piles). Consequently, if
realistic predictions of wall and ground movements and
structural forces are to be achieved when modelling either
Manuscript received 3 September 2004; revised manuscript axisymmetric or full 3D excavations, it is necessary to
accepted 3 June 2005.
Discussion on this paper closes on 1 March 2006, for further
reduce the out-of-plane wall stiffness (both axial and bend-
details see p. ii. ing) to an appropriate value.
* Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial This paper first investigates the effects of wall stiffness in
College, London, UK. a square excavation based on the geometry and ground
† Geotechnical Consulting Group, London, UK. conditions for a proposed deep excavation on the Crossrail

319

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320 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
t CL
113·7 113·7
P1 110·0 Made ground
Cross-section for 16·5
Ä
GWT 16·5 Terrace gravel
plane strain analysis 12·5 P2
B
5 P3
D
B

23·0
Axisymmetric simulation Excavation level
P4 London clay
for the corner and short 27·5 Prop level
side of excavation P5
212·5
P6
217·5
L
222·5 P7 222·0
Fig. 1. Schematic approximation for appropriate 2D analyses 227·0
Lambeth Group
233·0 clay
1·2 m
No out-of-plane 17·5 m
bending stiffness 240·0

Thanet sand
Limited horizontal Panel
axial stiffness Joint 253·0
Chalk
(a)

No out-of-plane Fig. 3. Ground profile and construction sequence


bending stiffness
Pile
constructed and excavation carried out to a level of + 2.5m.
Limited horizontal This sequence of propping and excavation then continues
axial stiffness Joint until the final excavation level of 27.0 mOD is reached,
making the total excavation depth 40.7 m. Such a large
(b) depth of excavation is required because of the necessity for
No out-of-plane
the new tunnels to run below the existing London Under-
bending stiffness ground tunnels, and at this location they must be at 30 m
Pile depth. Although this is an exceptionally deep excavation
compared with usual excavation depths for developments in
No horizontal
axial stiffness
urban areas, it will be shown in this paper that the results
Joint from the analyses presented here can be used to assess the
(c) behaviour at shallower excavation depths.
The pore water pressure and K0 profiles adopted in the
analyses are shown in Fig. 4. The clay layers are modelled
as undrained, but the remaining layers are drained.
Fig. 2. Schematic view of different wall types: (a) diaphragm
wall; (b) secant pile wall; (c) contiguous pile wall
Soil constitutive models
The non-linear elasto-plastic Mohr–Coulomb model (Potts
route (Moorgate station), the latest tunnelling project that & Zdravkovic, 1999) is used to model all soil units, apart
aims to connect the east and west ends of London via 19 km from the made ground, which is modelled with a linear
long tunnels running beneath central London. This particular elastic Mohr–Coulomb model. The non-linearity below yield
excavation is to serve as a launching platform for the tunnel is simulated with the Jardine et al. (1986) small-strain
boring machine for one of the Crossrail tunnels and also as stiffness model. Model parameters for all soil units are
a part of a future station with escalators. Some preliminary summarised in Tables 1 and 2, and the variation of normal-
results from this study are described in Potts (2003) and ised shear (3G/p9) and bulk (K/p9) stiffness with deviatoric
Torp-Petersen et al. (2003). The effects of different moment (Ed ) and volumetric (v ) strain respectively is shown in
connections in the corner of such an excavation are also Fig. 5.
examined. Having in this way established the most appro-
priate approach for modelling a 3D excavation, the study is
then extended to the analyses of rectangular excavations, Geometry
with length, L, to width, B, ratios of 2:1 and 4:1. All the Both 2D and 3D finite element analyses are performed in
results are compared with the appropriate axisymmetric and this study, using the Imperial College Finite Element Pro-
plane strain predictions. gram (ICFEP; Potts and Zdravkovic, 1999). The results from
axisymmetric and plane strain analyses are used as a refer-
ence for comparison with those from 3D analyses. The
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSES Moorgate excavation geometry is square in plan (35 m 3
Soil conditions and construction sequence 35 m outer dimensions), and therefore only half of the
The ground conditions adopted in the analyses reflect a central cross-section is modelled in 2D analyses. The mesh
typical soil profile in central London (see Fig. 3), with the used for the 2D analyses is shown in Fig. 6; it consists of
groundwater table at the top of the London clay. Also shown 800 eight-noded quadrilateral isoparametric elements. The
in the figure is the construction sequence that is envisaged props are modelled as two-noded bar elements that can
for the site at Moorgate station. The dashed lines represent transmit only axial force, and the wall is modelled with
ground level at different stages of excavation, and the arrows either solid or beam elements (Potts & Zdravkovic, 1999).
represent props. The wall behaves as an embedded cantilever In the 3D analyses advantage is taken of a fourfold symme-
up to the excavation level of +6.5 mOD. Prop P1 is then try, and this mesh is shown in Fig. 7. The soil here is

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 321
15 113·7 15 113·7

110·0 110·0
10 10
16·5 16·5
5 5

0 0

25 25

210 210
Hydrostatic
215 215
Elevation: m

220 222·0 220 222·0

225 225

230 230

235 235
240·0 240·0
240 240
Underdrained

245 245

250 250
253·0 253·0
255 255
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 0 0·2 0·4 0·6 0·8 1·0 1·2
Pore water pressure: kPa K0
(a) (b)

Fig. 4. Soil conditions: (a) pore water pressure: (b) K0 profiles

Table 1. Soil properties

Layer Angle of shearing Cohesion, Angle of dilation, Young’s modulus, Poisson’s


resistance, 9: deg c9: kPa : deg E: kPa ratio,

Made ground 25 0 12.5 10 000 0.2


Terrace gravel 35 0 17.5 Small strains (see Table 2) 0.2
London clay 22 0 11 Small strains (see Table 2) 0.3
Lambeth clay 22 0 11 Small strains (see Table 2) 0.3
Thanet sand 32 0 16 Small strains (see Table 2) 0.2

discretised with 4500 20-noded hexahedral isoparametric the plane strain analysis the wall stiffness (in the vertical z-
elements, whereas the props are modelled using eight-noded direction) is specified as Ez ¼ 28 3 106 kPa, to simulate
membrane elements that can transmit only in-plane axial properties of concrete. In the axisymmetric analysis the same
forces. The wall is modelled with either 20-noded solid or value is specified for the axial wall stiffness (Ez ), but zero
eight-noded shell elements (Schroeder, 2002). In all the stiffness is prescribed in the circumferential direction (EŁ ),
analyses, structural elements are modelled as elastic, and the to account for a discontinuous wall in this direction.
adopted wall thickness is equivalent to a 1.2 m thick The analyses with the wall modelled with solid elements
diaphragm wall. The Young’s modulus of 3 3 106 kPa for are performed first, and the horizontal wall movements after
the props was estimated from the equivalent stiffness of the complete construction sequence (i.e. excavation to a
tubular steel pipes that would normally be used in such an depth of 40.7 m) are shown in Fig. 8. As expected, the
excavation. The elastic properties of the walls are sum- axisymmetric analysis predicts smaller movements, and for
marised in Table 3. It should be noted that full interface this case the maximum value (at 21.0 mOD) is about 70%
friction was assumed between the soil and the wall: conse- of that predicted in the plane strain analysis. The two
quently no interface elements were used in the analyses. analyses are also repeated with the wall modelled with beam
elements, placed on the excavation side of the solid elements
(see Fig. 6). The relative difference between the two wall
REFERENCE ANALYSES deflections is similar to the analyses with solid elements;
The plane strain and axisymmetric analyses that serve as however, in each of the analyses the wall deflection is larger
a reference for comparison with the 3D results are per- than when the wall is modelled with solid elements. This is
formed by modelling the retaining wall with either solid or a consequence of the lack of the beneficial action of shear
beam elements. A circular shape is inscribed in a square for stresses mobilised on the back of the wall. In the case of
the axisymmetric analysis, similar to the sketch in Fig. 1. In solid elements this shear stress acts downward at a certain

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322 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
Table 2(a). Small-strain soil properties: coefficients for elastic shear modulus

Layer A B C 3 104 : % Æ ª Ed,min 3 104 : % Ed,max : % Gmin : kPa

Terrace gravel 1104 1035 5 0.974 0.940 8.83346 0.3464 2000


London clay 1400 1270 1 1.335 0.617 8.66025 0.6928 2667
Lambeth clay 1400 1270 1 1.335 0.617 8.66025 0.6928 2667
Thanet sand 930 1120 2 1.100 0.700 3.63731 0.1645 2000

Table 2(b). Small-strain soil properties: coefficients for elastic bulk modulus

Layer R S T 3 103 : %   v,min 3 103 : % v,max : % Kmin : kPa

Terrace gravel 275 225 2 0.998 1.044 2.1 0.20 5000


London clay 686 633 1 2.069 0.420 5.0 0.15 5000
Lambeth clay 686 633 1 2.069 0.420 5.0 0.15 5000
Thanet sand 190 110 1 0.975 1.010 1.1 0.20 5000

Coefficients in Tables 2(a) and 2(b) are material constants used in the following equations to give a variation of tangent shear and bulk
stiffness with both stress and strain level:
  ª1
(  Ed
 ª ) Bƪ log10 pffiffiffi (    ª )
3G Ed C 3 Ed
¼ A þ B cos Æ log10 pffiffiffi  sin Æ log10 pffiffiffi
p9 C 3 2:303 C 3

  1
(     ) jv j (    )
S log10
K jv j T jv j
¼ R þ S cos  log10  sin  log10
p9 T 2:303 T

where Ed and v are the deviatoric and volumetric strains respectively.

2500 500
Terrace gravel
London clay &
Lambeth clay
2000 400
Thanet sand

1500 300
3G/p¢

K/p¢

1000 200

500 100

0 0

0·0001 0·001 0·01 0·1 1 0·001 0·01 0·1 1


Deviatoric strain, Ed: % Volumetric strain, åv: %
(a) (b)

Fig. 5. Non-linear stiffness used in the analyses: (a) shear stiffness; (b) bulk stiffness

distance from the neutral axis of the wall, and therefore axisymmetric analysis was varied between 0 and 1 by an
produces a clockwise moment about this axis that reduces order of magnitude (i.e. 1.0, 0.1, 0.01, etc.) was also
the anticlockwise moment generated by the horizontal stres- performed and showed that if EŁ /Ez < 0.001 there is no
ses acting on the back of the wall. When the wall is difference in predicted wall deformation between the ana-
modelled with beam elements, although its properties take lyses performed with different EŁ /Ez values. Fig. 8 also
account of the wall thickness, the actual beam elements do shows the wall deflection for the case of isotropic wall
not have thickness in the finite element mesh, and therefore stiffness (i.e. EŁ /Ez ¼ 1.0, termed ‘stiff wall’ on the figure),
there is no clockwise moment from the shear stresses on the which demonstrates that such a simulation is clearly unrea-
back of the wall, thus resulting in larger horizontal move- listic as it predicts negligible wall movements. A similar
ments. relationship between the analyses’ predictions is observed
A parametric study in which the ratio EŁ /Ez in the for the surface settlement behind the wall. This is an

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 323
17·5 m
1·2 m
113·7
Made ground

16·5 Terrace gravel

12·5

23·0
London clay
27·5

212·5

217·5

222·5

227·0
Wall:solid elements Lambeth group
233·0 clay

Wall:beam elements
z

x Thanet sand

253·0
0 100·0

Fig. 6. 2D finite element mesh

35 m

Plane of symmetry
35 m

y
x
Corner

113·7

100·0

Wall: solid elements

Wall: shell elements


z

x
253·0 0
0 100·0

Plane of symmetry

Fig. 7. 3D finite element mesh for square excavation

important aspect of any axisymmetric analysis of a retaining formed, one with an isotropic wall stiffness (i.e. Ex ¼ E y ¼
wall, because the inclusion of any significant circumferential Ez ¼ 28 3 106 kPa) and the other with an anisotropic wall
stiffness, EŁ , results in the resistance to soil pressure on the stiffness (Ex ¼ Ez ¼ 28 3 106 kPa, E y /Ez ¼ 105 ; see Fig.
back of the wall being provided by the hoop (i.e. circumfer- 7 for coordinate directions). As the chosen ratio of E y /Ez is
ential) stresses, rather than by the bending of the wall in the smaller than the minimum threshold of 103 established in
vertical plane, which is unrealistic. the axisymmetric analyses, the movements of the wall will
be the maximum possible. Because of the very low stiffness
in the y-direction, the latter analysis broadly simulates the
3D ANALYSES OF SQUARE EXCAVATION: SOLID conditions in a contiguous pile wall. The results are pre-
ELEMENT WALL sented in comparison with the equivalent plane strain and
In the first set of 3D analyses the wall is modelled using axisymmetric analyses from Fig. 8 (i.e. solid wall simula-
20-noded hexahedral solid elements. Two analyses are per- tions).

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324 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
Table 3(a). Elastic wall properties: solid elements

Wall type Ex : kPa E y : kPa Ez : kPa Poisson’s ratio:


Wall thickness: m

Plane strain 28 3 106 N/A 28 3 106 0.2 1.2


Axisymmetric 28 3 106 28 3 101 28 3 106 0.2 1.2
3D isotropic 28 3 106 28 3 106 28 3 106 0.2 1.2
3D anisotropic 28 3 106 28 3 101 28 3 106 0.2 1.2

Table 3(b). Elastic wall properties: shell elements

Wall type E: kPa


t: m Vertical axial Vertical bending Horizontal axial Horizontal bending
stiffness: %(EA) stiffness: %(EI) stiffness: %(EA) stiffness: %(EI)

Plane strain 28 3 106 0.2 1.2 100 100 N/A N/A


Axisymmetric 28 3 106 0.2 1.2 100 100 0.01 0.01
3D isotropic 28 3 106 0.2 1.2 100 100 100 100
3D anisotropic 28 3 106 0.2 1.2 100 100 20 1

A is the cross-sectional area of the wall per metre length of wall; I is the second moment of inertia of the wall per metre length of wall.

the isotropic analysis is seen to be negligible, but significant


Plane strain, solid elements
movement is seen in the anisotropic analysis. As explained
Plane strain, beam elements
earlier, this is a consequence of essentially modelling the
Axisymmetric, solid elements
wall as a continuous stiff membrane in the ground.
Axisymmetric, beam elements
Surface settlement troughs behind the wall, in the centre
Axisymmetric, stiff wall
and corner, are shown in Fig. 10. They follow a relationship
15
similar to that of the wall deflections, with the isotropic wall
having the smallest settlement in both cross-sections. It is
10 interesting to note that, although the maximum horizontal
wall movement in the centre of the excavation of an
anisotropic wall (Fig. 9(a)) is only about 13% smaller than
5 that of the plane strain analysis (thus suggesting that plane
strain may not be an unreasonable simplification), the maxi-
mum surface settlement in the same central cross-section is
0
significantly overpredicted by the plane strain analysis, being
1.6 times larger than that of the anisotropic wall analysis.
25 This clearly demonstrates the effects of a 3D geometry on
ground movements.
Elevation: m

The vertical wall bending moments M1 , corresponding to


210 rotation about the y-axis of the wall, at the centre of the
excavation (Fig. 11(a)) are broadly similar for all analyses,
215 because of the similarity of the curvatures of the deformed
wall. In the corner of the excavation (Fig. 11(b)) the
anisotropic wall gives bending moments M1 that are gener-
220 ally half of those predicted at the centre. This indicates, for
uniform walls, that the corners of the excavation are safe, as
the reinforcement necessary for the centre is sufficient to
225
cover the bending moments in the corner. However, the
isotropic wall, which essentially simulates a full moment
230 connection, shows the opposite trend to the other analyses.
This implies that, for a diaphragm wall for example, the
corner panels would have to be reinforced differently from
235 the central panels, which is not normally done in practice.
20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0 A further drawback in modelling the wall with an iso-
Horizontal wall displacement: m tropic stiffness is shown in Fig. 12. Fig. 12(a) shows the
distribution of the out-of-plane horizontal bending moment
Fig. 8. Comparison of wall deflections in plane strain and M2 , corresponding to rotation about the z-axis of the wall, at
axisymmetric analyses for different wall models a level of 24.0 mOD (which is the level of the maximum
vertical bending moment, M1 , in Fig. 11). The anisotropic
wall cannot transmit any moment in this direction, but the
magnitude of this moment in the isotropic wall is similar to
Wall deflections in the centre and corner of the excavation the magnitude of the moment M1 , and it also changes sign
at the end of the complete construction sequence are shown towards the corner of the excavation. In a similar way the
in Fig. 9. At the centre, modelling the wall as an isotropic horizontal axial force in an isotropic wall is more than five
solid predicts about 20% smaller maximum horizontal wall times larger than that in an anisotropic wall (Fig. 12(b)). As
movement, whereas the movement of the top of the wall is a result of the jointed nature of any wall type (as sketched
nearly three times smaller, when compared with the aniso- in Fig. 2), such high structural forces in this direction are
tropic wall analysis. At the corner, the wall movement from considered unlikely.

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 325
15 15
Plane strain
Axisymmetric
10 10
3D, anisotropic wall
3D, isotropic wall
5 5

0 0

25 25
Elevation: m

Elevation: m
210 210

215 215

220 220

225 225

230 230

235 235

20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0 20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0
Horizontal wall displacement: m Horizontal wall displacement: m
(a) (b)

Fig. 9. Horizontal wall movements in square excavation (solid element wall): (a) in centre; (b) in corner

0 3D ANALYSES OF SQUARE EXCAVATION: SHELL


Vertical movement behind wall: m

ELEMENT WALL
20·01 General
In the following study the same square excavation is
20·02
analysed, but this time with the wall modelled using shell
elements (Schroeder, 2002). One advantage of using shell
elements is their formulation in terms of structural forces,
20·03 rather than stresses, so that the magnitudes of these come as
Plane strain a direct result from the analyses. In the case of solid
20·04 Axisymmetric elements in the previous section, structural forces have to be
3D, anisotropic wall
3D, isotropic wall calculated from the stresses at element integration points,
20·05 which makes the whole process slightly cumbersome.
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
In addition to this, apart from displacement degrees of
Horizontal distance from wall: m freedom, shell elements also have rotational degrees of free-
(a) dom, which gives greater choice for modelling the moment
conditions in the corner of the excavation. In this study the
0 shell elements are modelled as elastic, but with the freedom
of having different axial and bending stiffness in the vertical
Vertical movement behind wall: m

20·01 and horizontal directions.


Five analyses are performed that, because of the properties
assigned to the shell elements, are considered to simulate
20·02
the conditions in a diaphragm wall. In analysis 1 (a1), the
shell wall is modelled as isotropic, with Ez ¼ E y ¼ 28 3
20·03 106 kPa, and the rotational degrees of freedom in the corner
are fixed (i.e. full moment connection). This scenario is
20·04 similar to that of the isotropic solid element wall in the
previous section. Analysis 2 (a2) also models the wall as
isotropic, but releases the rotational degrees of freedom in
20·05
the corner (i.e. moment-free connection). The purpose of
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 this analysis is to investigate whether just this change in
Horizontal distance from wall: m
(b)
modelling is sufficient to provide more realistic results.
Analysis 3 (a3) introduces an anisotropic shell wall (i.e.
Fig. 10. Surface settlements behind the wall in square excava- smaller axial and bending stiffness in the horizontal y-
tion (solid element wall): (a) in centre; (b) in corner direction), with fixed rotational degrees of freedom in the

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326 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
15 15

10 10
M1 M1

5 5

0 0

25 25
Elevation: m

Elevation: m
210 210

215 215

Plane strain
220 Axisymmetric 220
3D, anisotropic wall
225 3D, isotropic wall
225

230 230

235 235
22500

22000

21500

21000

2500

1000

1500
0

500

22500

22000

21500

21000

2500

1000

1500
0

500
Wall bending moment, M1: kNm/m Wall bending moment, M1: kNm/m
(a) (b)

Fig. 11. Wall bending moments in square excavation (solid element wall): (a) in centre; (b) in corner

corner. The purpose of this is to investigate whether the


Out-of-plane bending moment, M2: kNm/m

6000
3D, anisotropic wall
introduction of anisotropy, but still with full moment connec-
3D, isotropic wall tion in the corner, provides more realistic results than analy-
4500
sis (a1). Finally, analysis 4 (a4) introduces anisotropy in
both the axial and bending stiffness of the wall (the same as
3000
a3), and releases the rotational degrees of freedom in the
M2
1500
corner. This is thought to represent the most realistic model
of a diaphragm wall in a 3D excavation. Additional analysis
0 5 (a5) investigates the effect of a capping beam that is
normally constructed on the top of the wall to connect all
21500 the structural elements. This is achieved by modelling the
top 1.7 m of shell elements as isotropic and with full
Corner Centre moment connection in the corner, whereas the rest of the
23000
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 wall is anisotropic and with a moment-free connection in the
Horizontal distance along wall: m corner, as in a4.
(a) In the analyses where the shell wall is anisotropic, this is
0 achieved by assigning the shell elements a full axial and
bending stiffness in the vertical z-direction (Ez ¼ 28 3
Horizontal axial force, A2: kN/m

21000 106 kPa), whereas in the horizontal y-direction the axial


A1 stiffness is 20% of the vertical value, and the bending
22000 M1
stiffness is only a nominal 1% of the vertical value. The
horizontal axial stiffness is estimated on the basis that the
23000 joints between the panels of a typical diaphragm wall may
A2 M2
close by an assumed 1 mm, taking the axial shortening of
24000 A2
z y each panel at maximum excavation depth from an isotropic
x analysis, and reducing the stiffness so that the total short-
25000
ening (panel shortening plus gap closure) would be produced
Corner Centre under the same load conditions. Although this clearly under-
26000
estimates the movements where the axial loads are lower,
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 short of modelling each panel individually, it is a reasonable
Horizontal distance along wall: m
(b)
approximation.
Figures 13–16 compare the predictions of wall and
Fig. 12. Horizontal axis of wall in square excavation (solid ground movements, as well as the structural forces in the
element wall): (a) bending moment; (b) axial force wall, for the five analyses described above.

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 327
15 15

Isotropic wall - (a1)


10 10 Isotropic wall - (a2)
Anisotropic wall - (a3)
Anisotropic wall - (a4)
5 5
Anisotropic wall
1 capping beam - (a5)
0 0

25 25
Elevation: m

Elevation: m
210 210

215 215

220 220

225 225

230 230

235 235
20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0 20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0
Horizontal wall movement: m Horizontal wall movement: m
(a) (b)

Fig. 13. Effect of modelling assumptions in square excavation on horizontal wall movements (shell element wall): (a) in
centre; (b) in corner

0 Movements
Vertical movement behind wall: m

20·005 Figure 13 shows the horizontal wall movements in the


20·010 centre and corner of the excavation. In the centre, the
isotropic shell wall with the full moment connection (a1)
20·015
results in the smallest deflection, as expected from the
20·020 similar analyses with the solid element wall in Fig. 9(a).
20·025 Comparison with this figure also shows that the shell wall
20·030 predicts slightly larger horizontal movements than the solid
element wall, which was explained earlier as a consequence
20·035
of the zero thickness of the shell wall in the finite element
20·040 mesh. A similar result will be seen when comparing surface
20·045 settlement behind the wall for these two analyses (Figs 10
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 and 14).
Horizontal distance from wall: m The remaining four analyses predict almost identical
(a) maximum horizontal wall displacement. It appears that the
0
release of the full moment connection in the corner of the
isotropic wall (a2) is sufficient to give a reasonable predic-
Vertical movement behind wall: m

20·005
tion of wall deflection in the centre of the excavation, and in
20·010 particular the maximum value. The addition of the capping
20·015 beam (a5) only restricts the movement of the top part of the
20·020
wall; it doesn’t affect the rest of it. All analyses, apart from
a1, also predict almost identical maximum horizontal wall
20·025 displacement to that of the anisotropic solid element wall in
Isotropic wall - (a1)
20·030 Isotropic wall - (a2) Fig. 9(a). Although the conditions in the corner for this
Anisotropic wall - (a3)
20·035 Anisotropic wall - (a4)
analysis are similar to those of no moment connection, this
20·040
Anisotropic wall wall also has negligible horizontal axial stiffness (compared
1 capping beam - (a5)
with the shell element wall for which this stiffness is 20%
20·045 of the vertical axial stiffness). This difference in the magni-
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 tude of the horizontal axial stiffness in shell and solid
Horizontal distance from wall: m
element wall analyses does not appear to affect the maxi-
(b)
mum wall deformation in the centre. However, wall move-
Fig. 14. Effect of modelling assumptions in square excavation on ments in the corner of the excavation (Fig. 13(b)) are all
surface settlements behind wall (shell element wall): (a) in negligibly small compared with that of the anisotropic solid
centre; (b) in corner element wall in Fig. 9(b). This appears to be the conse-

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328 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
15 15

10 10
M1 M1

5 5

0 0

25 25

Elevation: m
Elevation: m

210 210

215 215
Isotropic wall - (a1)
Isotropic wall - (a2)
220 220
Anisotropic wall - (a3)
Anisotropic wall - (a4)
225 Anisotropic wall 225
1 capping beam - (a5)

230 230

235 235

22500

22000

21500

21000

2500

1000

1500

2000
0

500
22500

22000

21500

21000

2500

1000

1500

2000
0

500

Wall bending moment, M1: kNm/m Wall bending moment, M1: kNm/m
(a) (b)

Fig. 15. Effect of modelling assumptions in square excavation on wall bending moments (shell element wall): (a) in centre;
(b) in corner

10000
corner. However, the maximum value is only about 6%
Isotropic wall - (a1) smaller than in the (a4) wall. Consequently, not taking the
Isotropic wall - (a2)
8000 capping beam into account gives a slightly conservative
Bending moment, M2: kNm

Anisotropic wall - (a3)


M2 prediction of wall and ground movements, which justifies its
Anisotropic wall - (a4)
6000 Anisotropic wall
omission in other analyses. The presence of the capping
(at 224 mOD)

1 capping beam - (a5)


4000 beam does not appear to influence the surface settlement in
the corner of the excavation.
2000

0
Structural forces
22000 Figure 15 presents the bending moments M1 in the centre
24000
Corner Centre and corner of the excavation. Whereas all five analyses give
similar predictions in the centre of the wall (Fig. 15(a)), the
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
Distance along wall from centre to corner: m picture is quite different in the corner (Fig. 15(b)). Analyses
(a4) and (a5), apart from the top part of the wall, give almost
Fig. 16. Effect of modelling assumptions in square excavation on identical bending moment diagrams, whose magnitude is
out-of-plane bending moment; shell element wall almost half of that in the centre. This result is also similar to
that of the anisotropic solid element wall in Fig. 11(b).
Analysis (a2) gives smaller bending moments, but of the
quence of both isotropic and anisotropic shell walls having a same sign as the previous two analyses. This again demon-
larger axial force, due to larger stiffness, in the horizontal y- strates that, although the wall is isotropic, the moment-free
direction. connection in the corner is sufficient to give a more realistic
Similar conclusions can be drawn for the surface settle- prediction of the bending moment M1 . In analysis (a3),
ments behind the wall in Fig. 14, in the centre and corner of although the wall has appropriate anisotropic properties (the
the excavation. Again, it is of interest to note that the same as in the (a4) analysis), the full moment connection in
maximum surface settlement behind the isotropic wall (a2) the corner causes a change of sign of the bending moment
is on average only about 12% smaller than that of the M1 , similar to that in (a1). These are comparable to the
anisotropic wall (a4), which is considered as the most isotropic solid element wall analysis in Fig. 11(b).
appropriate model of the wall. For practical purposes this Figure 16 shows the distribution of the out-of-plane
would normally be considered acceptable. The inclusion of moment M2 along the horizontal y-axis, at 24 mOD, which
the capping beam (a5) reduces significantly the settlement is the same level as in the solid element wall analyses. All
immediately behind the wall in the central section, because three of the anisotropic shell walls (a3, a4 and a5) show that
it is modelled as an isotropic element, with the same vertical a negligible M2 moment is transmitted in this direction. Both
and horizontal stiffness and full moment connection in the of the isotropic shell walls (a1 and a2) transmit a significant

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 329
M2 moment (with a magnitude similar to that of the M1 .
(a) stage 1: excavation to +6 5 mOD (i.e. top of London
bending moment), which is unrealistic for any wall that is clay), at which the wall acts as an embedded cantilever
discontinuous in the y-direction. The only difference between (b) stage 2: excavation to 7.5 mOD (i.e. depth of
the two is that, whereas in wall (a1) the bending moment excavation 21.2 m, which is a more usual depth for
M2 switches sign in the corner owing to the full moment developments in London), at which stage the wall is
connection (similar to the isotropic solid element wall in propped at three levels (props P1 to P3)
Fig. 12(a)), the corner moment in the wall (a2) goes to zero (c) stage 3: full excavation to 27 mOD (i.e. 40.7 m
because of the moment-free connection. excavation depth), with all seven propping levels.

3D ANALYSES OF RECTANGULAR EXCAVATIONS Movements


General The horizontal wall movements in the centre of the long
In the remainder of this study further analyses are and short wall sides, together with those from the square,
performed to investigate the behaviour of rectangular exca- axisymmetric and plane strain analyses, are shown in Fig.
vations. Two geometries are considered, one with a width, B, 18. The movements in all three stages are bounded by the
to length, L, ratio of 1:2, and the other with B:L ¼ 1:4. The axisymmetric prediction on the lower side, and the plane
width B is kept the same as in the square excavation, strain prediction on the upper side. In this, the maximum
whereas the length L is changed accordingly. Because of movements of the short side of the wall and that of the
symmetry only a quarter of the geometry is analysed; see square excavation are grouped towards the axisymmetric
Fig. 17. The depth of the excavation and the construction value, whereas those of the long side are grouped towards
sequence, as well as the soil profile and material properties, the plane strain value. The maximum deflection of the long
are the same as in the previous analyses. The wall is side of the wall, for the first two stages of excavation, is
represented with shell elements, with the most appropriate smaller than the deflection of the wall in plane strain
wall model that resulted from the square analyses. This was conditions by 8% and 3% for L/B ¼ 2 and 4 respectively.
considered to be analysis (a4), and consequently in the This difference increases with depth of excavation, but at
rectangular analyses the same anisotropic properties are stage 3 it is still only 12% and 5% for L/B ¼ 2 and 4
assigned to the wall. However, whereas in (a4) it was respectively. In all stages the maximum movement of the
possible to release the rotational degrees of freedom of the long side of the wall is for L/B ¼ 4, followed by L/B ¼ 2
shell elements in the corner (because it was on the boundary and then L/B ¼ 1 (i.e. square excavation). However, the
of the mesh; see Fig. 7), this is not possible in the analysis excavation depth appears to have a greater effect on the
of rectangular excavations, and consequently this corner has maximum movement of the short side of the wall, which
a full moment connection. This is not considered to be a does not show a clear pattern of deformation dependence on
serious drawback in the rectangular analyses, as the results plan geometry.
from (a3) for the square excavation, which has the same Comparing the maximum horizontal movements from
wall model, showed that the effect of the full moment each analysis at the three stages it can be seen that, in the
connection is only in predicting a high, and of opposite sign, first 20 m of excavation (stages 1 and 2), although the
bending moment M1 in the corner of the excavation (see position of the maximum deflection moves down with
Fig. 15(b)). Consequently, this bending moment will not be excavation and propping, its magnitude increases only mar-
presented for these analyses. ginally (by less than 10%). However, with further excavation
In the following, the results from the two rectangular the magnitude of the maximum deflection increases dramati-
analyses are compared with the square and appropriate plane cally, such that after another 20 m of excavation (stage 3) it
strain and axisymmetric analyses (i.e. in which the wall was is 70% higher than in stage 2.
modelled using beam elements; see Fig. 8), in order to The horizontal wall movements in the corner of the
assess at which B/L ratio the plane strain conditions are met excavation are very small, and similar to those presented in
along the longer side of the wall. Also, the results are Fig. 13(b): consequently they are not shown here.
compared at three different stages of excavation, in order to The settlement troughs in the central sections behind the
assess whether these conditions are met at earlier stages of short and long sides of the walls in the rectangular excava-
excavation. The stages considered are the following (see tions, together with the plane strain, axisymmetric and
Fig. 3): square predictions, are shown in Fig. 19 for all three stages

Plane of symmetry

100·0

113·7

233·0 z
y

x
253·0 0
0 400·0
Plane of symmetry

Fig. 17. 3D finite element mesh for rectangular excavation

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330 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
15 15 15

10 10 10

5 5 5
L/B 5 2, shortside
0 L/B 5 2, long side 0 0
Axisymmetric
25 Plane strain 25 25
Elevation: m

Elevation: m

Elevation: m
L/B 5 4, short side
L/B 5 4, long side
210 Square 210 210

215 215 215

220 220 220

225 225 225

230 230 230

235 235 235


20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0 20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0 20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0
Horizontal wall movement: m Horizontal wall movement: m Horizontal wall movement: m
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 18. Comparison of wall movements at different stages of excavation (shell element wall): (a) stage 1; (b) stage 2; (c) stage 3

of excavation. Similar to the wall deflections, the axisym- deflected walls in all the analyses, the bending moments are
metric prediction provides a lower bound, and the plane very similar at all three stages of excavation, with the plane
strain prediction an upper bound to the results. Even for L/B strain prediction being an upper bound for all results.
¼ 4, the maximum surface settlement behind the long side The out-of-plane bending moment M2 along the horizontal
of the wall at the end of excavation (stage 3) is about 10% axis of either the short or long side of the wall is always
smaller than that of the plane strain prediction, whereas for negligible (similar to that shown in Fig. 16 for anisotropic
L/B ¼ 2 it is some 30% smaller. The L/B ¼ 4 prediction on walls) and, for brevity, it is not shown here.
the long side appears to be closer to the plane strain
prediction at shallower depths of excavation.
Contrary to the wall deflections in Fig. 18, the changes in THE EFFECT OF WALL DEPTH
the maximum surface settlement with depth of excavation At the beginning of this study it was recognised that the
are more pronounced. For each analysis the maximum settle- excavation at Moorgate station was exceptionally deep, with
ment at stage 2 is about 35% larger than that in stage 1, a significant number of props. This poses the question as to
whereas in stage 3 it is about 70% larger than in stage 2. whether the results presented so far in this paper can be
Surface settlements in the corner of the excavation are used to assess the behaviour of a wall and the surrounding
shown in Fig. 20, for all three stages. Note that for clarity soil at smaller excavation depths (and therefore shallower
the plane strain prediction for stage 3 is not presented, as its walls), which are more common in building construction in
magnitude is higher than the adopted scale. These settle- urban areas. For this purpose, an additional analysis is
ments also increase with depth of excavation, but for shallow performed with the L/B ¼ 2 rectangular geometry, in which
depths (stage 2) the maximum settlements are close to the the maximum excavation depth is 21.2 m (7.5 mOD), and
axisymmetric prediction. However, the shapes of settlement the depth of the wall is only another 7 m below the maxi-
troughs, especially in the first 10 m from the wall, are mum excavation depth (14.5 mOD). The excavation stages
different from the axisymmetric prediction, as the corner of up to this level are the same as in the previous analyses, and
the excavation does not appear to be affected by the the wall is propped by props P1 to P3 (see Fig. 3). The
propping system in the same way as the centre of the embedded depth of this wall is similar to that of the wall in
excavation (Fig. 19), or plane strain and axisymmetric the deep excavation.
geometries. The results from this analysis are compared with those of
Figure 21 shows the contours of ground surface settle- stage 2 for the analysis with the same L/B ¼ 2 ratio but
ments at the end of excavation (i.e. stage 3) for the 3D with the deep wall, as this stage has the same excavation
analyses with L/B ¼ 1, 2 and 4. The L/B ratio has a depth of 21.2 m. Fig. 23 compares horizontal wall move-
significant effect on the displacements adjacent to the long ments in the central sections of the excavation, and shows
side of the excavation, but it has a much smaller effect on that the longer embedment depth of the wall reduces the
the short side. In addition, as noted above for the wall horizontal movement mainly below the excavation level, the
movements, whereas there is a clear dependence of surface effect being larger on the short side of the rectangular
settlements behind the long side of the wall on plan geome- excavation. However, this reduction is a maximum of 10%.
try (i.e. L/B ¼ 4 is the maximum, followed by L/B ¼ 2 and Surface settlements in both the central and corner sections
then L/B ¼ 1) for any excavation depth, this pattern is not of the wall are compared in Fig. 24. These show negligible
so clear for surface settlements behind the short side of the differences (less than 5%) between the shallow and deep
wall. wall excavations. In a similar way, the bending moments M1
are very close in the two analyses, as shown in Fig. 25.
Consequently, the embedment depth of the wall does not
Bending moments appear to have a significant effect on the behaviour of the
Bending moments M1 in the centre of both short and long wall and the surrounding soil, and the results from the
sides of the wall are shown in Fig. 22, for all three stages of analysis of a deep wall can be used to assess the behaviour
excavation. Again, because of the similar curvatures of the of shallow excavations retained by shallower walls.

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 331
0·005 0·005
0

Vertical movement behind wall: m


Vertical movement behind wall: m

20·005 0
20·010
20·015 20·005

20·020
L/B 5 2, short side
20·010 L/B 5 2, short side
20·025 L/B 5 2, long side L/B 5 2, long side
Axisymmetric Axisymmetric
20·030 Plane strain 20·015 Plane strain
20·035 L/B 5 4, short side L/B 5 4, short side
L/B 5 4, long side L/B 5 4, long side
20·040 Square 20·020 Square
20·045
20·050 20·025
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Horizontal distance from wall: m Horizontal distance from wall: m
(a) (a)
0·005 0·005

Vertical movement behind wall: m


0
Vertical movement behind wall: m

0
20·005
20·010
20·005
20·015
20·020
20·010
20·025
20·030 20·015
20·035
20·040 20·020
20·045
20·050 20·025
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Horizontal distance from wall: m Horizontal distance from wall: m
(b) (b)
0·005 0·005
Vertical movement behind wall: m

0
Vertical movement behind wall: m

0
20·005
20·010
20·005
20·015
20·020
20·010
20·025
20·030 20·015
20·035
20·040 20·020
20·045
20·050 20·025
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Horizontal distance from wall: m Horizontal distance from wall: m
(c) (c)

Fig. 19. Comparison of surface settlements in the centre at Fig. 20. Comparison of surface settlements in corner at differ-
different stages of excavation (shell element wall): (a) stage 1; ent stages of excavation (shell element wall): (a) stage 1; (b)
(b) stage 2; (c) stage 3 stage 2; (c) stage 3

CONCLUSIONS finite element mesh and therefore cannot develop the


The objective of this paper is to investigate possible ways beneficial reducing moment generated by the down-
of modelling a retaining wall in square and rectangular ward-acting shear stresses on the back of the wall
excavations, and provide guidance for the most appropriate (Fig. 8).
approach to be used in any 3D finite element analysis. The (b) Any retaining wall is unlikely to be a continuous
paper also shows how the 3D predictions compare with membrane along its perimeter, as it is made from a
those obtained from equivalent plane strain and axisym- number of vertical elements (diaphragms or piles) that
metric analyses, and gives guidance for practical use of are not fully connected in this direction. Therefore, to
these results. obtain realistic results in axisymmetric and 3D
The following main conclusions can be drawn from the analyses, the axial and bending stiffness of the wall
study. along its perimeter must be reduced.
(c) In practice, the realistic conditions in the corner of the
excavation are such that the full moment is not
Modelling of the wall transmitted. In the analysis, this can be achieved either
(a) The retaining wall can be modelled in finite element by modelling a wall with anisotropic solid elements, or
analysis using either solid or beam/shell elements. The with anisotropic shell elements that have released
latter type of element predicts larger wall and ground rotational degrees of freedom in the corner of the
movements because they do not have a thickness in the excavation.

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332 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN

Settlement: mm

2·5

5·0

7·5
10·0
12·5
15·0
17·5
20·0
22·5

10·0
7·5 12·5
15·0
17·5
20·0
22·5

(a)

Settlement: mm

7·5 5·0 2·5

10·0
12·5
15·0
17·5
20·0
22·5
25·0
27·5
30·0

10·0 12·5
7·5
15·0
17·5

(b)

Settlement: mm

12·5 10·0 7·5 5·0 2·5

15·0

17·5
20·0
22·5
25·0
27·5
30·0
32·5

12·5
10·0 15·0
7·5
17·5
20·0

22·5
(c)

Fig. 21. Comparison of surface settlement contours at end of excavation (shell element
wall): (a) L/B 1; (b) L/B 2; (c) L/B 4

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 333
15 15 15

10 10 10 L/B 5 2, short side


L/B 5 2, long side
Axisymmetric
5 5 5
Plane strain
L/B 5 4, short side
0 0 0 L/B 5 4, long side

25 25 25
Elevation: m

Elevation: m

Elevation: m
210 210 210

215 215 215

220 220 220

225 225 225

230 230 230

235 235 235


22500

21500

22500

21500
22000

21000

2500

22000

21000

2500
1500

1000

1500
0

500

1000

500

22500

21500
22000

21000

2500

1000

1500
0

500
Bending moment, M1: kNm Bending moment, M1: kNm Bending moment, M1: kNm/m
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 22. Comparison of wall bending moments in centre at different stages of excavation (shell element wall): (a) stage 1; (b)
stage 2; (c) stage 3

0·010
15 Deep wall: short side
Deep wall: long side
Vertical movement behind wall: m

0·005 Shallow wall: short side


Shallow wall: long side
10 0

20·005
5
20·010

20·015
0
20·020

25 20·025
Elevation: m

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Horizontal distance from wall: m
210 (a)

0·010
215
Vertical movement behind wall: m

0·005

220 0

20·005
Deep wall: short side
225
Deep wall: long side 20·010
Shallow wall: short side
20·015
230 Shallow wall: long side
20·020

235
20·025
20·10 20·08 20·06 20·04 20·02 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Horizontal wall movement for same excavation depth: m Horizontal distance from wall: m
(centre of excavation) (b)

Fig. 23. Effect of wall embedment depth on horizontal wall Fig. 24. Effect of wall embedment depth on surface settlement
movement (shell element wall) (shell element wall): (a) in centre; (b) in corner

(d ) If there is no ability in the software to account for However, the out-of-plane bending moment M2 will be
anisotropic wall properties (i.e. it has to be modelled as unrealistically high (Fig. 16).
isotropic), but if the corner of the excavation can be (e) On the other hand, if the wall can be modelled as
modelled as a moment-free connection, then predictions anisotropic, but the condition in the corner has to be
of wall deflections and surface settlements (Figs 13 and that of a full moment connection, then the only
14), as well as bending moment M1 , that are reason- unrealistic prediction will be that of the bending
able, although on the lower side, can be obtained. moment M1 in the corner of the excavation (Fig. 15(b)).

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334 ZDRAVKOVIC, POTTS AND ST JOHN
15 the results of axisymmetric than plane strain analysis
(Figs 18 and 19).
10 (h) In rectangular excavations, even for a length-to-width
ratio L/B of 4, the conditions in the centre of the longer
side of the excavation are not fully plane strain in
5
terms of wall movements and surface settlements
behind the wall, although they are at most 10% smaller
0 than plane strain predictions, even for the full depth of
excavation. For shallower depths of excavation the
Deep wall: short side difference is negligible (Figs 18 and 19). For L/B of 2
25
Deep wall: long side the influence of depth of excavation is more significant.
Elevation: m

Shallow wall: short side (i) The maximum surface settlements behind the wall in
210 Shallow wall: long side
the corner of square/rectangular excavations are on
average about 30–50% smaller than the maximum
215 values in the central sections of the excavation. At
shallower depths (around 20 m) they appear to be well
represented by the predictions of an equivalent
220
axisymmetric analysis.
( j) The effect of the embedment depth of a wall on
225 movements and structural forces in the excavations
analysed is negligible. Therefore the results from the
230
intermediate stages of an analysis of a deep excavation
can be used to assess the wall and ground movements
and structural forces at shallower depths, without
235 having to repeat the analysis with a shallower wall.
22000 21000 0 1000 2000
Bending moment: kNm/m
(centre of excavation) Although the presented study is based on a particular soil
profile and a particular excavation geometry and construction
Fig. 25. Effect of wall embedment depth on wall bending sequence, the conclusions are general in a sense that they
moment (shell element wall) result from analyses in which only the boundary conditions
on the wall and the wall properties are varied, while the soil
( f ) Taking account of the capping beam at the top of the properties, the remaining boundary conditions in the mesh
wall has negligible (reducing) effects on movements and the construction sequence are always the same. In this
and structural forces, and it is therefore reasonable to respect the ground surface settlements predicted in the
ignore it (Figs 13 to 16). analyses can be compared with the observations of well-
monitored excavations and wall systems in stiff clay, sum-
marised in Gaba et al. (2003) and reproduced in Fig. 26.
Movements and structural forces Also shown in this figure are the normalised maximum
(g) Wall movements and surface settlements behind the settlements and settlements at a distance equal to two
wall in the centre of a square excavation are closer to excavation depths away from the wall (the maximum excava-
Distance from wall/max excavation depth
0 1 2 3 4
20·2

At distance of two 1st Nat’l Bank | KP


20·1 excavation depths Bell Common | SPW
British Library Euston | SPW
0 Brittanic House | DW
fness Churchill Square | CPW
Settlement/max excavation depth: %

High stif
0·1 Columbia Center | KP
s
nes East of Falloden Way (1) | CPW
stiff
0·2 Low East of Falloden Way (2) | DW
Houston Bldgs | KP
At distance of maximum
surface settlement Lion Yard | DW
0·3 Neasden | DW
New Palace Yard | DW
0·4 Rayleigh Weir BP | BPW
Reading | DW
State Street | DW
0·5
Results from presented analyses Walthamstow (1) | CPW
Plane strain Walthamstow (2) | DW
0·6 L/B 5 4, long side YMCA | DW
L/B 5 2, long side
0·7 Average for square and short sides
Axisymmetric

0·8

Fig. 26. Ground surface settlements due to excavation in front of wall in stiff clay (from Gaba
et al., 2003) (BP: bored piles; BPW: bored pile wall; CPW: contiguous bored pile wall; DW:
diaphragm wall; KP: king post wall; SPW: secant bored pile wall)

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MODELLING OF A 3D EXCAVATION IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 335
.
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