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Stability Analysis of Embankments Founded on Clay: a comparison between LEM & 2D/3D FEM
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Rapid constructed embankments founded on soft deposits have a negative influence on the short term stability. Many engineering constructions such as road and railway embankments are often constructed on soft clay deposits. In stability analysis calculation of safety factor (SF), as the primary design criteria can be evaluated through different numerous methods such as limit equilibrium method (LEM) and finite element method (FEM). It is of particular interest to determine/estimate appropriate stability of the specified embankment which is highly dependent on the analysis method used. Therefore, it is a challenge for geotechnical engineers to judge which analysis method can simulate better the reality.

 The aim of this thesis is to increase understanding applicability of the three applied programs; Plaxis2D, Plaxis3D and Slope/W in simulating and stability analysis/estimation of embankments founded on clay deposits.

 The work has involved analysis and comparison of the stability through estimate of the SF and the critical failure surfaces obtained through 2D and 3D programs. Four case configurations were studied for the stability analysis. In each case variation in plastic parameters of clay (φ-c) or load geometry, was the scenario to make the comparison analysis. Moreover, application FEM3D offers an attractive alternative to traditional approaches to the problem (especially for LEM).

 The main conclusions from this study are the following:

 (1)   Concerning the three applied programs, FEM3D has the minimum SF sensitivity to change in plastic parameters of clay deposit.

(2)   For embankments founded on clay deposit, the 3D failure surfaces are easily found via the FEM3D analysis program, which is closer to reality, while failure results of 2D analysis programs can never occur in reality.

(3)   Using 2D analysis method instead of 3D, to investigate the stability of 3D embankment model tend to give higher SF results up to 14% for embankments  founded on undrained clay deposit.

(4)   The failure surfaces in 3D analysis are likely to be shallower than in the corresponding 2D model.

(5)   Results from the 3D analysis through hand calculation and program calculation do not correspond with each other for embankment founded on soft clay deposit. The first reason is rooted in limitation of the hand formula. The formula is suitable for embankment founded on one layer deposit (soil); however an embankment founded on 3 layers of deposit (soil) was analyzed in this study. The second reason is related to applied method of calculation. 3D hand calculation formula is based on method of slices however; analysis method in program calculation is based on FEM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 56 p.
Series
Examensarbete Jord- och bergmekanik, ISSN 1652-599X ; 14/02
Keyword [en]
Stability Analysis, Embankments, Clay, LEM, 2D/3D FEM
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141940OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-141940DiVA: diva2:699076
Subject / course
Soil and Rock Mechanics
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-02-27 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2014-02-27Bibliographically approved

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