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1285

Evaluating modified Cam clay parameters from


undrained triaxial compression data using
targeted optimization
James Doherty, Helen Alguire, and David Muir Wood
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Abstract: The widely used modified Cam clay soil model requires five soil parameters. In simulations of standard triaxial
tests these parameters appear in certain combinations. An efficient and practical strategy for deriving these parameters is
presented in which visual and numerical optimization techniques are used to estimate the values of these combinations in
sequence. Selecting parameters using triaxial tests with stress levels similar to those expected to be important in the ground
helps to ensure that the values are appropriate for the application and reduces the extent of the extrapolation required from
the region of stress space explored in these tests.
Key words: parameter selection, optimization, Cam clay, triaxial test, soil model.
Résumé : Le modèle de sol d’argile Cam modifié, qui est couramment utilisé, nécessite cinq paramètres du sol. Lors de
simulations d’essais triaxiaux standards, ces paramètres apparaissent sous plusieurs combinaisons. Une stratégie efficace et
pratique pour dériver ces paramètres est présentée. Cette stratégie utilise des techniques d’optimisation visuelles et
numériques pour estimer les valeurs de ces combinaisons en séquence. La sélection des paramètres à partir d’essais
triaxiaux ayant des niveaux de contraintes similaires aux niveaux importants attendus dans les sols permet de s’assurer que
les valeurs sont appropriées pour l’application voulue, et réduit l’ampleur de l’extrapolation requise en-dehors des régions
de l’espace des contraintes exploré durant les essais.
For personal use only.

Mots-clés : sélection de paramètre, optimisation, argile Cam, essai triaxial, modèle de sol.
[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Introduction ing, and it may not be certain that the optimal set of parameters
has been identified.
Most soils have a highly nonlinear stress–strain response, Numerical optimization techniques have been applied to
which is strongly dependent on recent stress history. To make ease this burden (e.g., Klisinski 1987; Muir Wood et al. 1992;
reliable predictions of field performance, the stress path Mattsson et al. 2001; Navarro et al. 2007; Calvello and Finno
method (Lambe 1967 and Lambe and Marr 1979) encourages 2004; Taborda et al. 2010). Most optimization studies in soil
engineers to derive soil parameters from laboratory data that mechanics have focused on deriving the five model parameters
follow, as closely as possible, the stress paths expected to (listed in Table 1) for the well-known modified Cam clay soil
occur in the field (Muir Wood et al. 1992). To follow the model using triaxial data. These studies have usually found
actual stress paths in standard laboratory apparatus is only that optimization techniques are unreliable for deriving soil
possible for the simplest situation; but at the very least the model parameters because numerous combinations of param-
effective stress level at which the test is conducted along with eters are able to locate the same minimum value of the objec-
some elements of the expected stress or strain paths can be tive function (Mattsson et al. 2001).
reproduced. In this paper the mathematical form of the Cam clay model
The stress path method does not immediately resolve the is used to identify parameters and parameter groups that con-
problem of evaluating soil model parameters because some (or trol its response with respect to a particular set of data from
many) of the model parameters may not be clearly identifiable undrained triaxial compression tests. In contrast to previous
from the available test data. An iterative approach is then studies, the focus here is on formulating the optimization
required in which the model parameters are changed until an problem with the aim of eliminating the possibility of nonu-
optimum match between model and laboratory data is achieved. niqueness and reducing the number of parameters to be opti-
If done manually, this iteration process can be very time consum- mized. The result is a practical two-stage method for deriving

Received 24 October 2011. Accepted 28 August 2012. Published at www.nrcresearchpress.com/cgj on 8 November 2012.
J. Doherty. School of Civil & Resource Engineering, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009,
Australia.
H. Alguire. BG&E, 484 Murray Street, Perth, WA 6000, Australia.
D. Muir Wood. Division of Civil Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK.
Corresponding author: James Doherty (e-mail: doherty@civil.uwa.edu.au).

Can. Geotech. J. 49: 1285–1292 (2012) doi:10.1139/t2012-088 Published by NRC Research Press
1286 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 49, 2012

Table 1. Description of modified Cam clay input parameters. Fig. 1. The optimization process.

Parameter Value
␭ Slope of the isotropic normal compression line
␬ Slope of the unload reload line
M Slope of the critical state line in p= : q plane
␮ Poisson’s ratio
v Reference specific volume
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Optimization
parameter groups, which can then be related to actual input
parameters.

The general optimization process


Optimization problems require the search for the mini-
mum value of an “objective function”, I, that measures the
overall difference between numerically generated model
data and measured test data. The difference between a given
set of model and test data is expressed as a single scalar
value, I. A large value of I indicates a large difference
between the model and test data, whereas a value of zero
indicates a perfect match. The general optimization process
is illustrated in Fig. 1.
There are a number of rational methods for comparing
model and test data and computing the value of the objective
For personal use only.

function I. In this paper, the method described in detail by


Mattsson et al. (2001) has been used: the objective function is
formed by summing the minimum distance of each test data
point from a straight-line fit between the two nearest model
data points (dmin), as shown in Fig. 2. assumption about the shape of the yield locus (Muir Wood
The eventual value of the objective function I can be ex- 1990). The end result is the same. The elliptical yield locus is
pressed as
p0 M 2 ⫹ η2

共兺d 兲
n [2] ⫽
w p M2
[1] I⫽ j
min
n j⫽1
where ␩ ⫽ q/p=. The proportions of the elliptical yield locus
where n is the number of experimental data points and w is a imply a locus of ultimate states (critical state line, CSL) with
weighting factor that assigns the relative importance of the slope ⌴ in the p= : q effective stress plane where, for triaxial
particular data set (or even data point). In this paper, a weight- conditions
ing factor of unity has been assumed. Test data points have
1 
only been included if the distance from the particular test point [3] p ⫽ (σ ⫹ 2σr)
to model data point i ⫹ 1 is greater than the distance to model 3 a
data points i and i – 1. This ensures that I does not increase if
the model data extend further than the test data, or vice versa. and
Where the optimization is performed using data with mixed
dimensionality (such as the stress–strain response) the data are [4] q ⫽ σa ⫺ σr
also made nondimensional to allow for comparison between
data of different dimensions (e.g., stresses and strains) as
described in Mattsson et al. (2001). and σa and σr are the axial and radial effective stresses,
respectively. The yield locus passes through the origin of the
Modified Cam clay soil model p= : q stress plane and cuts the p= axis at p= ⫽ p0. The CSL
The modified Cam clay soil model (Roscoe and Burland intersects the yield surface at p= ⫽ p0/2.
1968) is well known and widely used in soil mechanics, and is In the semi-logarithmic compression plane (ln p= : v (or e,
typically presented as a function of five parameters listed in where e is the void ratio and specific volume v ⫽ e ⫹ 1)), ␭
Table 1. defines the slope of normal compression lines (NCL), while ␬
The equations for compliance and stiffness relations be- defines the slope of unload reload lines. Thus ␬/␭ is a measure
tween stress and strain increments can be developed from an of the ratio of elastic to total volume changes during normal
assumption about the way in which energy is dissipated during compression. The elastic bulk modulus K is primarily depen-
shearing (Roscoe and Burland 1968), or alternatively from an dent on mean effective stress p= and is given by

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Doherty et al. 1287

j
Fig. 2. Evaluation of dmin: (a) over entire curve and (b) at each test data point.

(a) (b)
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vp  κ* ⫽
κ
For personal use only.

[5] K⫽ [8]
v
κ

The model requires a pragmatic assumption to be made It is therefore futile to attempt to derive all five Cam clay
concerning the elastic shear stiffness. A constant value of parameters (listed in Table 1) as the model itself is nonunique
shear modulus G is often adequate but implies unconstrained when expressed with these five parameters. Reducing the
variation of Poisson’s ratio (potentially reaching the extremes number of Cam clay parameters from the five in Tables 1 to 4
of –1 or ⫹0.5 for high G or high K, respectively). On the other (i.e., M, ␭*, ␬*, and ␮) is the first step in establishing an
hand a constant value of Poisson’s ratio implies an elastic efficient approach for deriving model parameters from triaxial
shear modulus that also varies with p= and this can lead to data. The next step is to consider the data provided by a triaxial
thermodynamic violations in cyclic tests (Zytynski et al. compression test and identify the parameters and parameter
1978). We have, however, chosen to use a constant Poisson’s groups that govern Cam clay’s response.
ratio (␮), such that
Modified Cam clay response in undrained
3(1 ⫺ 2µ) vp 
3(1 ⫺ 2µ) p  triaxial compression
[6] G⫽ ⫽
2(1 ⫹ µ) κ 2(1 ⫹ µ) κⴱ Results from the shearing stage of undrained triaxial tests
are typically presented in terms of the effective stress path
The fifth soil parameter is a reference value of specific followed in the p= : q plane, together with the stress–strain
volume v in the semi-logarithmic compression plane, usually response, showing the variation of distortional stress q with
defined as the value on the isotropic normal compression line distortional strain ␧q, as shown in Fig. 3, where
(or alternatively on the CSL) for p= ⫽ 1 kPa (but in practice
2
this definition depends on how initial conditions in a model are [9] εq ⫽ (ε ⫺ 2εr)
established). 3 a
The elastic (␬) and plastic (␭) compression indices always
appear in the Cam clay stiffness and compliance relationships and ␧a is the axial strain and ␧r is the radial strain. For
together with specific volume as ␬/v and ␭/v. Therefore, the undrained compression tests, distortional and axial strains are
values of ␬ and ␭ cannot be determined without assigning a identical (i.e., ␧q ⫽ ␧a).
value for v. This implies that the three Cam clay parameters, ␬, For an initially normally compressed sample, with initial
␭, and v, can in fact be replaced by two parameters, ␭* and ␬*, stress state lying on the current yield locus, Cam clay tells us
where that the effective stress path in undrained triaxial compression
(Fig. 3a) is
λ
[7] λ* ⫽

共 兲
v 1⫺(κ∗/λ∗)
p M 2 ⫹ η2
[10] 

and pi M2

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1288 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 49, 2012

Table 2. Cam clay parameters for triaxial stress space. b. If the aim is to obtain the best overall fit to the stress
path, ␬*/␭* can be determined using numerical opti-
Parameter or mization (as illustrated in the following section).
parameter
group Description Function The second stage of the parameter selection process in-
volves the undrained stress–strain response (Fig. 3b). We can
M Slope of the critical Control the p=:q stress path
generate an expression for the undrained stiffness of Cam clay
state line in p=:q
plane
␬*/␭* Ratio of plastic to total Control the p=:q stress path δq p
[11] ⫽ 3α ∗
volumetric δεq κ
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兵( 其
compressibility (M 2 ⫺ η2)[M 2 ⫹ η2(1 ⫺ 2Λ)]
␬* Elastic compression With stress path fixed, these ⫻
index ⫽ ␬/v parameters control stress– M ⫺ η2)[M 2 ⫹ η2(1 ⫺ 2Λ)] ⫹ 12αΛη2
2

strain response
␮ Poisson’s ratio With stress path fixed, these where ␣ ⫽ G/K (⫽ 3(1 – 2␮)/2(1 ⫹ ␮)) and Λ ⫽ 1 ⫺ ␬*/␭*.
parameters control stress– The expression is rather cumbersome but inspection reveals
strain response that this incremental stiffness (which can be integrated numer-
ically to define the complete stress–strain response) is a func-
tion of M, ␬*/␭*, and the mean effective stress p=, together
Table 3. Initial consolidation stresses.
with ␬* and ␮. It can be checked that the initial slope of the
Test ID pi (kPa) qi (kPa) stress–strain relationship for ␩ ⫽ 0 is 3G and that the stiffness
tends to zero as ␩ approaches the critical state value M.
Test 1 94 7 Having chosen values of M and the ratio ␬*/␭* from the
Test 2 248 6 p= : q data in the first stage of the parameter selection process,
Test 3 477 45 the effective stress path is fixed. This leaves the remaining
parameters ␬* and ␮ (in eq. [11]) to be defined using data from
For personal use only.

the stress–strain response (noting that in this process changing


Table 4. Optimum model parameters.
␬* involves changing ␭* to preserve the fixed ratio ␬*/␭*
Test ID M ␬*/␭* ␮ ␬* ␭* established in matching the p= : q data).
For isotropically consolidated samples, the initial slope of
Test 1 1.00 0.181 0.1 0.015 128 0.083 58 the stress–strain curve is 3G. By deducing this slope from the
Test 2 1.00 0.181 0.1 0.033 409 0.184 583 test data, G can be determined and eq. [6] can then be used to
Test 3 1.00 0.181 0.1 0.052 935 0.292 456 fix the ratio ␬*/␮ so that the model data match the initial stress
strain response. ␮ is then the only free parameter and can be
varied (while maintaining the known values of ␬*/␮, ␬*/␭*,
and M) to achieve the best match. For anisotropically consol-
This expression applies whether or not the sample is ini- idated samples a measure of G is not available, so both ␬* and
tially isotropically compressed (␩i ⫽ qi/pi ⫽ 0) and shows that ␮ must be varied (while maintaining the known values of
the stress path is controlled by M and the ratio ␬*/␭*. We ␬*/␭* and M).
suppose that it is our intention to use the model to describe The second stage of a parameter selection procedure can
prefailure behaviour of the clay. It is therefore reasonable to now be defined. That is, from the ␧q : q stress–strain data:
select a value of the “limiting” stress ratio M(qf/pf) by inspect- 1. Determine ␬* and ␮ (while maintaining M and ␬*/␭* from
ing the effective stress path (together with the stress–strain stage 1);
response, pre-peak). a. For a test on an initially isotropically compressed sam-
Equation [10] implies that we can extract the ratio ␬*/␭*, ple, calculate the initial slope of the ␧q : q curve and
but not their individual values, from the effective stress path. determine the initial elastic shear modulus G; vary
It also implies that the stress path is independent of (the Poisson’s ratio to obtain the best possible match to the
remaining parameter) ␮. ␧q : q curve using the optimization process illustrated
The first stage of a parameter selection procedure can now in Fig. 1 (note that each value of ␮ implies a corre-
be defined. That is, from the normally consolidated p= : q sponding value of ␬* from eq. [6] and each value of ␬*
stress path data: implies a corresponding value of ␭* from the known
1. Estimate M by inspecting the p= : q stress path by inter- ratio of ␬*/␭*);
preting the peak ratio as (or being close to) to the ultimate b. For a test on an initially anisotropically compressed sample;
(critical state) strength (i.e., set the maximum stress ratio i. choose a range of values for ␮; and
q/p= ⫽ M). ii. use numerical optimization to determine ␬* for each
2. Determine the ratio ␬*/␭*; value of ␮ and select the values of ␮ and ␬* that
a. If the aim is to obtain the best estimate of the stresses give the smallest value of I.
at failure, pf and qf can be estimated by direct inspec- Having completed both stages of the optimization process, M,
tion of the p= : q stress path. ␬*/␭* can then be deter- ␬*/␭*, ␬*, and ␮ are defined. With ␬*/␭* and ␬* known, the value
mined directly using eq. [10]. of ␭* is defined. This completely defines the response of Cam clay.

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Doherty et al. 1289

Fig. 3. Schematic results for a normally consolidated sample subjected to undrained traixial compression: (a) p= : q stress path; (b) ␧q : q
stress–strain response.

(a) (b)
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Fig. 4. Laboratory test data on reconstituted kaolin clay: (a) stress path; (b) stress–strain response.
For personal use only.

(a) (b)

If values of the five parameters in Table 1 are required (for and ␧q : q stress–strain responses during the undrained com-
example in using most commercial versions of Cam clay), then pression stage. Also shown are the data used in the optimiza-
any values of ␭, ␬, and v satisfying eqs. [7] and [8] for the tion study, which were truncated near the peak q values and
known values of ␭* and ␬* can be used. Usually the value of filtered to remove noise by averaging each data point with the
v will be known at the start of the triaxial test and correspond- five surrounding points. Every fifth data point was then in-
ing values of ␭ and ␬ can be easily found (eqs. [7] and [8]). cluded in the filtered data.
For soil samples from the same geological unit, it is rea-
Example application sonable to carry out a numerical analysis using a single set of
The process outlined above was applied to derive parame- soil model parameters (M, ␭, ␬, and ␮), with the initial specific
ters using data from three undrained triaxial compression tests volume (v) allowed to vary with stress level (or depth in a
on reconstituted kaolin clay. Table 3 presents the initial con- finite element model) to provide the best match to the stress–
solidation stresses. Figure 4 shows the raw p= : q stress paths strain response. Therefore, in the following optimization

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1290 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 49, 2012

study, values of M and ␬*/␭* will be selected to give the best Fig. 5. Values of ␬*/␭* sampled during optimization for each test
overall (or average) match to the three stress paths (i.e., these and all tests combined.
values will be constant with depth). The values of ␬* will then
be determined separately for each test. This is because ␬* is
expected to increase with increasing stress level (or depth), as
␬ is somewhat constant but v decreases.

p= : q data
Following step 1, the slope of the CSL was estimated for
each test based on direct inspection of the p= : q stress paths
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and ␧q : q response. An average was then taken, giving M ⫽


1.00. This CSL is plotted (through the origin of the effective
stress plane) in Fig. 4a. With M assigned, the numerical
optimization approach outline above was used to find the
optimal value of ␬*/␭*. The optimization function fminbd
from the commercially available MATLAB Optimization
Toolbox was used. fminbd is based on the golden search
section method and uses parabolic interpolation to find the
minimum to a nonlinear function of a single bounded variable
(MathWorks 2010). During the optimization process lower
and upper bounds of ␬*/␭* were specified as 0.5 and 0.05,
respectively (which are fairly extreme ratios of ␬*/␭*).
The “combined” data in Fig. 5 show I varying with ␬*/␭*
during the optimization processes, producing ␬*/␭* ⫽ 0.181 Fig. 6. Comparison of test stress path data and optimized model
as the final optimum value for all three tests (i.e., the value of response.
␬*/␭* corresponding to the smallest value of I). For compar-
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ison purposes, optimization studies were also conducted sep-


arately for each test, with I : ␬*/␭* data also plotted in Fig. 5.
It can be seen that the optimum value for test 3 is similar to the Optimized
combined optimum (0.177), whereas test 1 is higher (0.287)
and test 2 is lower (0.051).
The stress paths computed with M ⫽ 1.00 and ␬*/␭* ⫽
0.181 are compared with the raw test data in Fig. 6. In general,
a good match is achieved.

␧q : q data
As ␬* is related to the specific volume, a unique value is not
expected for all tests because they were conducted at different
mean effective stress levels. Therefore, the optimum value for
␬* was determined separately for each test. The optimization
function fminbd was used again to find the optimum value of
␬* for seven different values of ␮ ranging from 0.3 to – 0.9.
Figure 7 plots the value of the objective function (I) against the
value of ␬* sampled by fminbd throughout the optimization
process for each of the seven values of ␮ and for each test. The
optimal values are: test 1, ␬* ⫽ 0.019 and ␮ ⫽ – 0.1; and test
3, ␬* ⫽ 0.068 and ␮ ⫽ – 0.3. There is no clear minimum for
test 2, as the objective function continues to decrease with ing the shape of the yield locus through the ratio of the mean
decreasing ␮. At the lower limit of ␮ ⫽ – 0.9, ␬* ⫽ 0.082 for effective stresses in isotropic compression and at the critical state
this test. It has to be deduced that this test is somehow (requiring an extra parameter: the ratio is 2 for the Cam clay
“defective” in its alignment with the predictive capabilities of model) eq. [2] would probably remove the dominating influ-
Cam clay; the stress–strain curve in Fig. 4b shows a rather ence of the elastic/plastic ratio (␬*/␭*).
different shape at higher values of q than the other two tests. A further implication of a negative Poisson’s ratio is that it
Poisson’s ratio may range between 0.5 (infinite volumetric will result in a negative ratio of changes of horizontal and
stiffness) and –1 (infinite shear stiffness). The negative value of ␮ vertical effective stress (a sort of incremental value of K0 at
implies a very high G/K ratio. This indicates that the modified rest earth pressure) for elastic one-dimensional unloading or
Cam clay model predicts large plastic shear strains and requires a reloading, which might be seen as unacceptable in practice. It
very high elastic shear modulus to compensate. This occurs was therefore considered reasonable to limit the minimum
because the parameters that control the plastic volumetric and value of Poisson’s ratio to 0.1. With ␮ ⫽ 0.1, the optimal
shear stiffness also control the elastic volumetric stiffness when values for ␬* were: test 1, 0.015; test 2, 0.033; and test 3,
␬*/␭* has a fixed value. Introducing additional freedom in defin- 0.053. The optimum set of parameters that completely define

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Doherty et al. 1291

Fig. 7. Values of ␬* sampled during optimization for various Fig. 8. Comparison of stress–strain test data with optimized model
values of ␮: (a) test 1, (b) test 2, and (c) test 3. response.

(a)

Optimized
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(b)
the model response is presented in Table 4 (with ␭* calculated
from ␬*/␭* and ␬*). Figure 8 shows a comparison of the raw
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data and the model data using these parameters.


In general there is a very good match between the test and
model data for tests 1 and 3, recalling that the aim is to
describe the prefailure response of the soil without making any
attempt to describe any observed subsequent strain softening.
This approach (and the soil model) is therefore more suitable
to serviceability limit state design than to ultimate limit design.
The match to test 2 is relatively poor, as previously noted; the
deviant shape for this test is evident in Fig. 8.
To apply these results in a numerical model, the five Cam clay
parameters in Table 1 would normally be required. It has been
noted that any values of ␭, ␬, and v could be used that satisfy
the known values of ␬* and ␭*. If values of ␭ and ␬ do not
vary with depth, this would simply require reducing v with
depth (or with increasing stress level) to match the decreasing
(c) ␬* and ␭*.
Conclusion
Deriving constitutive model parameters from triaxial compres-
sion data is of significant practical importance as triaxial data are
the most commonly available test data for many practical prob-
lems. A practical strategy for evaluating modified Cam clay
parameters from undrained triaxial compression data using a
combination of numerical optimization and direct inspection has
been developed. This strategy used the governing equations of the
modified Cam clay soil model to identify groups of parameters
that control the behaviour at a given point in a given data space.
Of the five traditional modified Cam clay input parameters,
only the slope of the CSL (M) has a clear and immediate
physical definition in the data space offered by an undrained
triaxial compression test: it alone can be defined by direct
inspection. Three of the remaining four input parameters (i.e.,
␭, ␬, and v) can be expressed in terms of two composite
parameters: namely, ␬* and ␭*. The remaining parameter (␮)
is independent. The ratio of ␬*/␭* can be evaluated rapidly

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1292 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 49, 2012

using numerical optimization for p= : q data as a first stage of Klisinski, M. 1987. Optimisation program for identification of con-
the model calibration process. Having chosen values of M and stitutive parameters. Structural Research Series no. 8707. Depart-
␬*/␭*, the effective stress path is fixed and the parameters ␬* ment of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering,
and ␮ can be defined using data from the stress–strain re- University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
sponse. For isotropic tests, a measurement of the initial elastic Lambe, T.W. 1967. Stress path method. Proceedings of the ASCE,
shear modulus in principle allows ␬* to be expressed as a 93(SM6): 309 –331.
function of ␮, or vice versa (though initial bedding errors may Lambe, T.W., and Marr, W.A. 1979. Stress path method: second
make accurate determination of stiffness difficult). The cali- edition. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, ASCE,
bration process is completed through optimization of the sin- 105(6): 727–738.
gle variable, either ␮ or ␬*. For anisotropic tests, a MathWorks. 2010. Optimization Toolbox. Available from www.math
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measurement of the elastic shear modulus is not possible, and works.com/help/toolbox/optim/ [accessed 10 June 2010].
both ␬* and ␮ must be determined numerically. With the ratio
Mattsson, H., Klisinski, M., and Axelsson, K. 2001. Optimization
␬*/␭* and the value of ␬* known, ␭* can easily be found.
routing for identification of model parameters in soil plasticity.
Our aim has been to present a practical method for deriving
International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in
the optimum parameters for the modified Cam clay soil model
based on undrained triaxial compression data. For soil samples Geomechanics, 25(5): 435– 472. doi:10.1002/nag.137.
from the same geological unit, it would be reasonable to carry Muir Wood, D. 1990. Soil behaviour and critical state soil mechanics.
out a numerical analysis using a single set of soil model Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
parameters (M, ␭, ␬, and ␮), with the initial specific volume Muir Wood, D., Mackenzie, N.L., and Chan, A.H.C. 1992. Selection
(v) allowed to vary with stress level (or depth in a finite of parameters for numerical predictions. In Predictive Soil
element model) to provide the best match to the stress–strain Mechanics: Proceedings of the Wroth Memorial Symposium.
response. Thomas Telford, London. pp. 496 –512.
Application of the optimization process to data from three Navarro, V., Candel, M., Barenca, A., Yustres, A., and Garcia, B.
triaxial compression tests showed that the optimum value for 2007. Optimisation procedure for choosing Cam-clay parameters.
Poisson’s ratio was negative. While this is acceptable from a Computers and Geotechnics, 34(6): 524 –531. doi:10.1016/j.
elastoplastic point of view, it is probably physically unacceptable compgeo.2007.01.007.
For personal use only.

in the unload–reload region. This indicates that there is too strong Roscoe, K.H., and Burland, J.B. 1968. On the generalized
a link between the elastic and plastic responses in the Cam clay stress–strain behaviour of ‘wet’ clay. In Engineering plasticity.
formulation, but also highlights the power of optimization as a Edited by J. Heyman and F.A. Leckie. Cambridge University
soil modelling tool. Not only can optimization techniques be used Press, Cambridge, UK. pp. 535– 609.
to identify an optimal set of model parameters, but they can be Taborda, D., Pedro, A., Coelho, P.A.L.F., and Antunes, D. 2010. Impact
used to scrutinise the formulation of the models themselves and of input data on soil model calibration using Genetic Algorithms. In
therefore play an important role in improving the formulation of Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering. Edited by T. Benz
existing models as well as potentially leading to the development and S. Nordal. Taylor & Francis Group, London.
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Zytynski, M., Randolph, M.F., Nova, R., and Wroth, C.P. 1978. On
Acknowledgement modelling the unloading-reloading behaviour of soils. Interna-
tional Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geome-
David Muir Wood is supported by the Scottish Funding chanics, 2(1): 87–93. doi:10.1002/nag.1610020107.
Council through the Northern Research Partnership.

References
Calvello, M., and Finno, R.J. 2004. Selecting parameters to optimize
in model calibration by inverse analysis. Computers and Geotech-
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Published by NRC Research Press