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SOIL IMPROVEMENT

ON SOFT GROUND
BY : NUR HAMIZZAH
CONTENT
1. SITE INVESTIGATION ON SOFT SOIL
2. PRECAUTION MEASURES TO DESIGN
3. OVERVIEW SOIL PARAMETER TO USE
4. UNDERSTANDING SETTLEMENT
5. EMBANKMENT DESIGN OF COMPRESSIBLE SOIL
6. MONITORING SETTLEMENT
SITE INVESTIGATION ON SOFT SOIL
“Unfortunately, soils are made by
nature and not by man, and the
products of nature are always
complex”
- Karl Von Terzaghi, 1936 -
WHAT IS SOFT SOIL?
• Soft soils problematic – can produce large settlement over a long
period span
• Terms :
• Alluvial – River sediments
• Marine – Marine sediments
• Lacustrine – Lake sediment
• Peat/Organic – Bio Sediment
SITE INVESTIGATION
• SI nowadays has become contracting exercise and we tend to forget that SI
is INVESTIGATION
• It is an iterative process
• For information to be reliable, adhere to procedure is very important
• SI is the most procedure oriented operation within Civil Engineering
Discipline
• This is due to the variability of the soil formation million years ago
• Accuracy and correct procedure is a vital important
• Site investigation should be an integral part of construction process.
Unfortunately it is often seen as a necessary nuisance (a process which
must be gone through by designer if he/she is to avoid being though
incompetent)
CONCLUSION
• Site investigation is a complex process. Inadequate investigation can
lead to very large construction cost overruns
• Site investigation must be carried out in systematic way, using
techniques that are relevant, reliable and cost effective
• Soft soil is a complex element matrix. To obtain an accurate
parameters is almost impossible, thus reliability are more appropriate
PRECAUTIONS MEASURES TO DESIGN
FAILURES CATEGORIES
Cases of Failure due to Design and Construction in Malaysia (Reference: G&P)

Category Design Only Construction only Both Design & Construction

Number of Cases 25 8 22
Percentage (%) 45 15 40

Mode of Failure
Mode of Failure due to Settlement Design Only Damage due Differential
Number of Cases 18 37
Percentage (%) 33 67
• Site investigation – process which by geological, geotechnical and
other relevant information which might affect the construction
performance and is carried out by specialist in field of soil mechanics
• Specialist in the mechanical behavior are normally civil engineers in
geotechnical education.
• Geologist with an interest in the relevance of geology to civil
engineering or building construction are called engineering geologist
GEOTECHNICAL PROBLEM IN SOFT SOIL
• There are two main problem in geotechnical engineering, namely
settlement and stability
• Many practicing engineers tend to forget about importance of
settlement
OVERVIEW PARAMETER TO USE
DESIGN CONSIDERATION AND PARAMETERS

• The project design and performance – required stability, and the


allowable deformation of treated ground under static and dynamic
loading
• The subsurface condition-suitability of different ground improvement
methods and the required depth and the areal extent of treatment
• Site constraint – effect the construction schedule and construction
budget
• Availability of experienced or specialty contractors in the area will be
a design consideration
STRENGTH PARAMETER

Total stress (б) Effective Stress (б’)


• Use undrained shear strength of the cohesive • Use drained shear strength
soil • C’ can obtained from triaxial compression test
• Cu can be obtained by vane shear test and
unconfined compression test • C’ and Ф’
• Cu = c ; Ф = 0 • Location of water table is significant in
considering the analysis
• Groundwater does not have an effect in the • Shear strength is higher for soft/very soft
use of total stress parameter saturated plastic soils and results higher
• Provide lower allowable bearing capacity for bearing capacity
soft or very soft plastic soil
• Effective stress analysis will provide lower
• This is due to load from foundation that will bearing capacity for very stiff or hard
consolidate the plastic soil leading to an saturated plastic soils
increase of plastic soils which will results to
an increase of shear strength as time passes
UNDERSTANDING SETTLEMENT
• Settlement – deformation of soil due to its compressibility behavior
that can cause damage to structure
• Areas with most soils will have more foundation settlement than dry
areas
• Void is squeezed out from the soil, the structure will shift according to
the empty spaces the water left. The more void, the more shift
Settlement
S = Se + So + Sc

Immediate Primary Secondary


Settlement, Se Consolidation, So Consolidation, Sc

• Immediate Settlement – Occurs immediately after construction (granular soils)


• Primary Consolidation – Volume change due to gradual dissipation of pore pressure induced by
external loading and consequently expulsion of water from soil mass (Inorganic Clays)
• Secondary Consolidation – Occurs at constant effective stress with volume due to rearrangement
of particles (organic soils)
Immediate Settlement Consolidation Settlement
Primary Consolidation Secondary Consolidation

• Takes place as the load is • Is the most significant • Quicker result of primary
applied or within a time period and potentially harmful consolidation
about 7 days compare to secondary • Occurs immediately after
• Sand consolidation primary and takes far less
• Merely caused by the weight of time to complete
structures

• Parameters - Pre-consolidation stress (б’p) – the maximum overburden


- Young Modulus (E) and stress experienced by soil during its geologic history
Poisson’s ratio (v) - OCR = 1 (normally consolidated state)
- Normally obtained from triaxial - Coefficient of consolidation (Cv) – Rate of primary
test settlement with time
- Technically, Cv incorporated with time, thickness of
compressible layer and permeability
Guidelines to limitating values are suggested by a number of sources, but following routine limits appear to be conventionally
acceptable (Skempton and Mac Donald, 1956)
SANDS
• Isolated footings = 40mm
• Raft = 40-65mm
• Differential settlement between adjacent column = 25mm • The values obtain for settlement is prediction
values
• The value will be use for the preparation for
CLAYS construction and post construction evaluations
• Isolated footing = 65mm • Calculation of settlement are needed for
preliminary assessment at site
• Rafts = 65-100mm
• The main concern is consolidation settlement
• Differential settlement between adjacent column = 40mm
EMBANKMENT DESIGN OF COMPRESSIBLE SOIL
EMBANKMENT DESIGN
• Following issues should be considered before carrying out an embankment
design:
• Boundary of embankment
• Influence on the embankment on adjacent structures, services, slopes and
drainage
• Earliest construction start date and completion date
• Tolerance on settlement and differential settlements of the proposed
development on structures
• Rate at which embankment fill materials can be placed
• Availability of alternatives materials
• Cost analysis and implication of the ground treatment proposed
• Future maintenance (frequency and cost)
PROBLEM RELATED TO EMBANKMENT ON SOFT SOIL
• Access problem
• Excessive Settlement
• Slope Stability
• Bearing Stability
PRE-LOADING & SURCHARGING CONCEPTUAL DESIGN

• Pre-loading is to compress the subsoil prior to placing the permanent load


• This method involves the placement and removal of fill (pressure)of similar
to or greater than the permanent load
• On the other hand, surcharging is to subject the ground to higher pressure
than that during the service life in order to achieve a higher initial rate of
settlement thus reducing long term settlement
• Unlike pre-loading, a large proportion of the fill is left behind after the
surcharge has been removed
• Usually these method are used to control both total settlement and
differential settlement at the abutments to bridge/flyover and where
culverts are crossing beneath embankment
IMPORTANT DESIGN CRITERIA
• Stability should be checked with preloading or surcharge load
• Pre-loading or surcharging should be designed to chosen construction
period
• Settlement after construction should be within the range of tolerance
- 5 years = not more than 100mm
- More than 5 years = not more than 250 mm
• The option should be economical
• Proper planning of construction sequence for cost effective use of
material available
• Does not use damage to any adjoining structures
CONCLUSION
• Awareness of the project requirement in terms of serviceability criteria,
cost, site constraint and time
• Knowledge on the site and subsoil condition through proper desk study,
gathering of geological information and well planned and supervised
subsurface investigation and laboratory testing to acquire the necessary
reliable parameters for geotechnical engineer
• Proper geotechnical design to address both stability of the embankment
and control deformation
• Full time proper supervision of the construction works by qualified
personnel/engineer
• Careful and proper monitoring on the performance of the embankment
during and after construction trough instrumentation scheme
MONITORING SETTLEMENT
• Monitoring during construction is mandatory to look into the
performance of the system
• Instrumentation commonly used such as :
- Piezometer
- Extensometer
- Settlement Gauge
- Settlement Marker
- Inclinometer
• Monitoring frequency depend on the construction period. Normally 2
weeks for longer rest period and 1 week for shorter period
PIEZOMETER
• Piezometer are used to measure
pressure of a liquid or gas
• Often placed in boreholes to
monitor the pressure of depth of
groundwater
• Measures changes in groundwater
pressure at different depths.
• It is used as part of the system for
early detection of change in water
pressure that could cause ground
settlement
EXTENSOMETER
• Extensometer is the
instrument to measures
elongation of materials under
stress
• Measures settlement of the
ground at various depth for
early detection of any
disturbance or effect due to
construction activity
• The magnetic extensometer
probe is lowered down into
the casing until light or buzzer
indicates the contact with
spider magnet. Depth of
magnet is measured from the
measuring tape attached to
the probe
SETTLEMENT MARKER
• Settlement marker is used to
measure a localized settlement
or heave of roads, slopes,
embankments, utility pipes and
cables
• Monitoring of settlement marker
is carried out by levelling survey
and readings are taken at regular
intervals to check any settlement
or heave
SETTLEMENT GAUGE

• Settlement gauge consist of plate with attached measuring rods


• The plate is position at the depth at which the settlement is planned to be measured
and the plate elevation is measured by thee rods attached to the plate
INCLINOMETER
• Measures lateral movements of the
ground, retaining walls and piles for
early any disturbance or effect to
structures and property due to
construction activity
• The inclinometer is lowered down in
to the casing and at every 0.5m it
records the lateral movement. The
raw data obtained is transmitted
from the inclinometer probe to a
read out or a PDA by blue tooth
technology
COMMON ISSUE
• Instrumentation type - Selection of appropriate instrumentation
• Data Quality – poor data will never reveal the truth of engineering
• Data Management – keeping raw data is essential for future data
• Data Interpretation – screening & filtering problematic data are needed
• Data Presentation – data presentation not related with site activities is useless
• Timely Review – important to capture of distress development &
instrumentation maintenance for proper functioning
• Loss of feel – given data by someone who doesn’t know how to take care of
instrument
• Threshold limit – It is not easy to set accurate set of threshold limits for
multiple parameters controlling the behaviour
Lessons Learned from Instrumentation
• Ground variability
• Uncertainties – SI values
• Engineering judgment as an acceptable engineering practice
• Useful tools to supplement what we cannot identify at early stage design
• Instrumentation results may reveal the shortcomings or negligence in the
design of the project designer and also those by the work contractor
• Every instrumentation shall be placed at the site to answer specific
question
• Good conformance of instrument and installation procedures are
necessary for measurement of good accuracy
• Instrumentation is only tools PROVE engineering judgment.
THE END