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DOI: 10.1007/s41062-016-0049-0

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Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1

DOI 10.1007/s41062-016-0049-0

TECHNICAL PAPER

of stone columns

Seifeddine Tabchouche1 • Mekki Mellas1 • Mounir Bouassida2

Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

on a soil reinforced by a group of end-bearing stone col-

umns in terms of settlement reduction in oedometer con- The need of construction on soft soils remains a big challenge

dition. The group of stone columns has been reduced to for geotechnical engineers. Several ground improvement

equivalent concentric crowns using a finite-difference techniques were developed to render soft soils able to support

FLAC3D modeling. The obtained numerical results were a variety of constructions with suitable stability conditions.

compared to existing analytical and numerical methods for The stone columns revealed one of those techniques that

the prediction of the settlement of reinforced soil. It was were widely practiced since the 70s.

found that the prediction of the settlement by the 3D The improvement by stone columns increases the

numerical modeling of equivalent concentric crowns is less bearing capacity of weak soils, decreases their settlement,

than that obtained by the actual 3D model of group of stone and accelerates their consolidation. Hence, the prediction

columns. These results have been validated through com- of performances provided by stone columns should be

parison between numerical, analytical, and in situ mea- addressed with respect to all those benefits.

surements collected from full-scale loading tests of stone The vibro displacement technique represents a process that

column from recent case history. contributes in the improvement of properties of soft clays

upon the installation of stone columns. The laterally expanded

Keywords Soft soils Stone columns Settlement stone material increases both the Young modulus and

reduction Numerical method Loading tests undrained shear strength of soft clays as a result of the induced

horizontal consolidation favored by enhanced permeability of

stone material [15, 16]. However, the applicability of stone

columns technique can be sometimes subjected to restrictions.

As an example, after Bowles [8], granular piles are prohibited

in thick deposits of pears or highly organic silts or clays due to

& Mounir Bouassida the low degree of stiffening achieved in those soils. Wood-

mounir.bouassida@fulbrightmail.org ward [22] reported that the minimum undrained shear strength

Seifeddine Tabchouche of soft soil to be treated should equal 20 kN/m2.

tabchouche.seifeddine@gmail.com The design of foundation on soils reinforced by col-

Mekki Mellas umns, first, involves two verifications [5]:

m_mellas@yahoo.fr

– Bearing capacity To check if the allowable bearing

1

Faculty of sciences and technology, Laboratory of research in capacity of reinforced soil complies with the applied

civil engineering - LRGC, University of Biskra, BP 145, load.

07000 Biskra, Algeria – Settlement To check whether the predicted settlement

2

Université de Tunis El Manar, Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs of reinforced soil subjected to the applied load verifies

de Tunis, LR14ES03-Ingénierie Géotechnique, BP 37 Le the allowable settlement.

Belvédère, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia

123

1 Page 2 of 12 Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1

Handling both the bearing capacity and settlement ver- ratio (g) and the settlement reduction factor (b) defined,

ifications, an optimized area ratio can be determined. respectively, as follows:

Second, adopting the optimized area ratio, the study of g ¼ Ac =A ð1Þ

the behavior of foundation on reinforced soil can be tackled

by considering the acceleration of consolidation provided b ¼ Sunreinf ðpÞ=Sreinf ðpÞ: ð2Þ

by the stone columns, which play the role of vertical drains Here, Ac denotes the total cross section of stone columns all

[4]. located under the loaded foundation of area A.

Using numerical codes, the prediction of long-term Sunreinf and Sreinf denote the settlement of the foundation

settlement, especially when reinforcement by floating col- on unreinforced soil and reinforced soil, respectively,

umns is decided, of unreinforced compressible layers is subjected to the same allowable surcharge load p.

crucial [7]. Several methods for predicting the settlements of a

In this paper, the prediction of settlement of a founda- reinforced foundation by stone columns have been devel-

tion resting on a soil reinforced by a group of end-bearing oped [4].

stone columns in oedometer condition is investigated. The The study of behavior of stone columns, with focus on

oedometer condition fairly applies for foundations having settlement prediction, has been investigated by several

dimensions (width and length) quite greater than the researchers in the literature, Balaam and Booker [2].

thickness of compressible layer(s). Barksdale and Bachus [3] carried out a series of scaled

The statement of the problem is presented with focus on laboratory tests conducted on an isolated stone column in

numerical modeling, the design parameters of reinforced undrained conditions from which the load-settlement

soil by columns, and enriched literature review from recent response was analyzed. This experimental investigation

contributions. evidenced that the bearing capacity and the settlement

First, the numerical modeling using FLAC 3D code of behavior of a single stone column are significantly influ-

soil reinforced by end-bearing stone columns at constant enced by the type of applied load and the support provided

area ratio are presented: the unit cell model (UCM) as by the surrounding soil.

reference case, the group of stone columns (GSC), and the Wehr [21] performed a finite-element analysis in plane

equivalent concentric crowns (ECC) with boundary con- strain condition to simulate the observed behavior from

ditions. Obtained results are presented and compared. The laboratory tests of loaded footing on soil reinforced by a

predictions made by the FLAC 3D code of settlement of a group of columns. The author suggested that beyond a

large tank diameter in oedometer condition are compared depth equals 1.5 the diameter of the footing, the expansion

to results obtained by existing methods of design. Their behavior of columns is noticed. Beneath that critical depth,

interpretation and synthesis are addressed in details. In central columns behave in punching failure, whilst edge

particular, due to their simple numerical implementation, columns behave in buckling failure.

compared to actual group of stone columns, it is aimed to Serridge [20] conducted a series of field trial of partially

quantify the efficiency of annular concentric approach, in penetrating dry bottom-feed vibro stone columns support-

oedometer condition, for the prediction of settlement of ing shallow narrow footings. The author investigated the

reinforced soil. behavior and the settlement performance of vibro stone

Second, the Algiers harbor case history is presented, columns installed within a deep soft clay deposit. In this

from which the recorded data are used for the validation of study, focus was made on the response of sensitive soft

numerical predictions by FLAC 3D code. clay to the method of installation of stone columns.

The effectiveness of two 3D modeling of column-rein- Killeen and McCabe [17] conducted a finite-element

forced foundation (CRF) is discussed by comparing analysis on small groups of stone columns loaded by pad

numerical predictions with measurements recorded from a and strip footings. Authors have studied the influence of the

full-scale load test carried out in the framework of Algiers column stiffness and strength on the settlement behavior of

harbor case history. small loaded areas.

Castro [9] proposed an approximated solution to predict

the settlement of rigid footings resting on soft soil improved

Statement of the problem by a group of stone columns. The proposed analytical solu-

tion converts the group of stone columns to equivalent single

The settlement of a reinforced soil by stone columns occurs column with the same cross-sectional area. The author aims

when the foundation is subjected to its final loading. The to convert the problem to be axially symmetric.

study of the behavior of foundations on a soil reinforced by McCabe and Killeen [19] studied the behavior of small

columns is carried out using two parameters, i.e., the area groups of stone columns. Authors indicate that the mode of

123

Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1 Page 3 of 12 1

by the column spacing and length rather than the number of g = 20% that was adopted after the method of design of

columns. Authors also discussed the influence of a critical column-reinforced foundations proposed by Bouassida and

length on the settlement performance of a CRF. Carter [5]. This reinforcement is kept constant, while the

Consider the effect of stone column installation by lat- number of stone columns (modeled by a stone crown) and

eral expansion, Ellouze et al. [12] reported that an the area of loaded foundation are varied. The settlement of

improvement in the Young’s modulus of the initial soil reinforced soil is, first, predicted by the unit cell model

takes place due to the horizontal consolidation owed to the (UCM) and, then, by the group of stone columns modeling.

presence of stone columns. Then, prior to the final loading Then, the load-settlement curves are predicted using

due to the construction of oil tank, the averaged improve- different reinforcement configurations where the number of

ment in Young’s modulus of loose silt sand can attain by stone columns and equivalent concentric stone crowns is

30% around each stone column over a horizontal distance increased.

of about 1.5 times its diameter. The predictions obtained by the reinforcement using the

In the following, focus is made on numerical settlement concentric crowns are compared to the one predicted by the

predictions by the FLAC 3D code in oedometer condition actual group of columns modelings.

and their assessment with data collected from the very

recent Algiers harbor stone columns project. Unit cell model (UCM)

The improvement in Young’s modulus of the initial soil

due to the installation of stone columns is not considered. According to Bouassida [4], the UCM is built from the

distribution of a group of columns installed in a regular

pattern. Geometrically, the UCM is a reproducible volume

Investigated 3D numerical modeling which includes a single column with a circular cross sec-

tion surrounded by a given volume of the initial soil. In

Three modeling in oedometer condition of soil reinforced case the columns are installed in squared pattern, the

by stone columns is investigated by performing a three- periodic volume of UCM corresponds to a parallelepiped

dimensional explicit finite-difference method (FDM), cylinder. The axisymmetric condition is, then, adopted by

incorporated in Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua an equivalent unit cell with circular cross section. The area

(FLAC). Those numerical models are considered for the ratio is written as follows:

study of the behavior of loose sandy silt layer reinforced by 4a2

a group of end-bearing stone columns subjected to an oil g¼ : ð3Þ

D2eq

tank uniform load of 120 kPa having large diameter. The

properties of the initial soil and constitutive material of The diameter of unit cell model, Deq, is expressed as a

end-bearing column are taken from a real stone column function of the axis-to-axis spacing between columns ‘‘Sp’’,

project built at Zarzis terminal (Tunisia). The column’s ‘‘a’’ denotes the stone column’s radius, [1].

diameter is equal to 1.2 m and length of Hc = 7 m. As Figure 1 shows the considered UCM with zero hori-

reported by Bouassida and Hazzar [7], the related data of zontal displacement at the lateral border as required in

this case history are given in Table 1. oedometer condition.

Under the central axis of the loaded foundation, it is

Table 1 Geotechnical parameters of the stone columns reinforced obvious to assume that horizontal displacement within the

foundation described by the Mohr–Coulomb model reinforced soil layer(s) is almost zero, in particular when

Parameter Unit Soft soil Stone column end-bearing columns are designed. Consequently, in the

central zone of loaded foundation, the settlement is quasi

ch kN/m3 17 18 uniform as usually assumed in the design of column-rein-

u Degree 0 42 forced foundations [4].

C kPa 25 0 The study of the behavior of the UCM is undertaken

E kPa 3600 36,000 using the FLAC 3D code by assuming the elastic perfectly

v – 0.33 0.33 plastic Mohr–Coulomb model for the initial soil. This

G MPa 1.35 13.53 model is still current to describe approximately the

K MPa 3.53 35.29 behavior of granular soils (sands), cohesive soils (clay and

Dc m – 1.2 silt soils), and rocks. In very recent numerical investiga-

ch unit weight, u friction angle, C cohesion, E Young’s modulus, m tions conducted by the FLAC 3D code, the Mohr–Coulomb

Poisson’s ratio, G shear modulus, K bulk modulus, Dc stone column behavior model revealed satisfactory when predicting the

diameter

123

1 Page 4 of 12 Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1

and the analytical variational approach [6] appears identi-

cal. In turn, the French method [13] led to lower prediction

of the settlement of reinforced soil. Indeed, by this method,

the oedometer Young modulus of the initial soil is adopted

which provides more settlement reduction.

It is worth mentioning that Chow’s method [11] predicts

the lowest settlement, because it assumes the composite

ground deforms in one-dimensional compression condition,

i.e., horizontal deformation is zero, and therefore, the

oedometer Young modulus is both used for the initial soil

and column material.

The UCM was also adopted to predict the consolidation

of soft soil reinforced by stone column. Guetif and

Bouassida [14] and Castro and Sagaseta [10] used different

constitutive laws for the constituents of reinforced soil to

predict the evolution of settlement due to horizontal con-

solidation as the stone column behaves like vertical drains.

Fig. 1 Numerical FLAC3D modeling of adopted UCM

equivalent numerical modeling of soil reinforced by a

group of end-bearing stone columns. The 3D finite-differ-

ence analysis has been carried out by the FLAC 3D code to

behavior of loose silt soil reinforced by stone column, Klai analyze the variation of settlement reduction factor b ver-

et al. [18] and Bouassida [4]. sus the applied load using different configurations of stone

The numerical FLAC 3D model, sketched in Fig. 1, columns in triangular pattern. Figure 3 displays the three

comprises 672 finite-difference zones and 735 grid points numerical 3D modeling 1a, 2a, and 3a performed by FLAC

(at cycle 6609). 3D code.

The settlements of unreinforced soil and reinforced soil The same area ratio adopted for the UCM is considered:

were predicted, by different methods, as a function of the g = 20%; the stone columns of diameter Dc = 1.2 m are

applied surcharge load at the surface of UCM. Figure 2 installed along an average depth of Hc = 7 m in a trian-

displays the variation of settlements as a function of the gular pattern with an axis-to-axis spacing of 2.06 m

applied load. (Fig. 3). The characteristics of generated meshes for the

three numerical FLAC3D modeling are summarized in

Working Load (kPa) Table 2.

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

0 Figure 4 shows the settlement reduction predicted by the

Chow and French methods which adopt the UCM and the

three modeling performed by FLAC 3D code and Bouas-

2

sida et al. [6] method which adopt the 3D modeling of soil

reinforced a group of stone columns.

Settlement (cm)

g = 20% provides a settlement reduction in the range of

4

3.5–3.9 times, this relatively significant reduction of set-

tlement is affected by the oedometer condition as consid-

ered by the studied three numerical FLAC 3D modeling.

6

The predicted settlement reduction by the numerical

Chow's method (1996) modeling of soil reinforced by a group of 7, 19, and 37

French method - CFMS (2011)

Bouassida et al. (2003) stone columns appears almost identical with negligible

8 FLAC 3D - Unit Cell Model

Unreinforced soil

relative difference, of ±2.5%, of the settlement reduction

factor. Analytical predictions made by Bouassida et al. [6]

Fig. 2 Settlement predictions by the UCM method fit well with those obtained from modeling 3a

123

Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1 Page 5 of 12 1

Triangular pattern z

Sp = 2,06 m y

Dc = 1,2 m x

η = 20 %

14 m

6m 10 m

6m 14 m

10 m

7m 7m

7m

Fig. 3 Finite-difference discretization of a group of 7, 19, and 37 stone columns

Table 2 Characteristics of numerical modeling of group of stone using the reinforcement by a group of 37 columns. As

columns as implemented by the FLAC 3D code shown from the settlement predictions in Fig. 2, it is well

Modeling of group of stone FD Grid Cycle noted the significant overestimation of settlement reduction

columns zones points by the Chow’s method.

Therefore, in oedometer condition, it is concluded that

1a 1680 1575 2722

increasing the number of stone columns, as shown in

2a 4592 4215 3146

Fig. 3, for the generated 3D numerical modeling does not

3a 8960 7815 5926

significantly affect the settlement prediction of reinforced

soil up to surcharge loads of 120 kPa.

Chow's method (1996)

Settlement reduction factor

French method - CFMS (2011) The group of stone columns has been reduced to equivalent

8

Bouassida et al. (2003)

FLAC 3D - Group of 07 columns concentric crowns (ECC) using a full 3D finite-difference

FLAC 3D - Group of 19 columns

6 FLAC 3D - Group of 37 columns

FLAC3D modeling. The equivalent co-centric crowns

(ECC) modeling can be adopted, in case the reinforcing

columns are located in a regular pattern as investigated by

4

Ellouze and Bouassida (2009) and Ellouze et al. [12].

Major advantage of this geometrical transformation con-

2 sists in carrying numerical computations in axisymmetric

condition that is timeless consuming than 3D modeling.

0 Equaling between the area of columns, located at equal

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

distance from the axis of loaded foundation, and the area of

Applied load (kPa) ECC, then the equivalent thickness of ECC, eCr, is calcu-

Fig. 4 Estimation of settlement reduction factors lated from Eq (4):

123

1 Page 6 of 12 Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1

Fig. 5 Finite-difference

discretizations generated using

the FLAC 3D code-A zoomed

view: a group of stone columns;

b equivalent concentric stone

crowns

eCrðiÞ ¼ ðNðiÞ Ac Þ=ð2p Sp Þ: ð4Þ obtained by the three modeling 1a, 2a, and 3a of a

group of stone columns. From Fig. 6, when the

Sp spacing between columns. N(i) number of columns applied load is equal to or greater than 100 kPa,

located on the circumference of the crown i. Modeling 1a (7 stone columns) overestimates the

Figure 5 illustrates the finite-difference discretization of settlement of reinforced soil by 14.6–15% compared

group of stone columns and its equivalent concentric to predictions by Modeling 2a and 3a (19 and 37 stone

crowns as generated by the FLAC 3D code. columns). The difference in predictions by Modeling

Table 2 presents the characteristics of three numerical 2a and 3a remains insignificant (less than 5%).

modeling implemented by the FLAC 3D code when the

group of stone columns is adopted.

Table 3 Characteristics of numerical modeling of equivalent con-

Table 3 presents the characteristics of three numerical centric crowns as implemented by the FLAC 3D code

modeling implemented by the FLAC 3D code when

Modeling of equivalent concentric FD Grid Cycle

adopting the ECC. crowns zones points

The interpretation of numerical predictions by the FLAC

3D code is given below. 1b 3136 3375 5644

2b 4928 5295 6237

(a) Group of stone columns (GSC)

3b 8512 9135 8560

Figure 6 compares between the settlement predictions

123

Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1 Page 7 of 12 1

0 20 40

Load (kPa)

60 80 100 120 140

a Load (kPa)

0 20 40 60 80 100 120

0

0

Unreinforced soil

group of 07 columns

2

2 1 concentric crown

Settlement (cm)

Settlement (cm)

4

6

6 8

group of 37 columns 10

8 group of 07 columns

group of 19 columns

12

of 7, 19, and 37 stone columns b Load (kPa)

0 20 40 60 80 100 120

(b) Equivalent concentric crowns (ECC) 0

Unreinforced soil

Figure 7 compares between the settlement predic- group of 19 columns

tions when adopting the three ECC modeling. From 2 2 concentric crowns

Fig. 7, the predictions of settlement of reinforced

soil are quasi similar by Modeling 2b and 3b (2 and 3 4

Settlement (cm)

modeling 2a (1 ECC) significantly overestimates the 6

From Fig. 7, it is also noted the settlement prediction 8

by the 2 and 3 ECC modeling. 10

First, it is worth noted that the GSC represents the 12

more realistic modeling as the columns are usually

installed in regular pattern to cover the completely c Load (kPa)

loaded area. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120

0

Unreinforced soil

Load (kPa) group of 37 columns

2 3 concentric crowns

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

0

4

Settlement (cm)

2

6

4

Settlement (cm)

6

10

8

12

10 1 concenrtric crown

Fig. 8 a Variation of applied load versus settlement using a group of

2 concenrtric crown

3 concenrtric crown

07 stone columns and ECC. b Variation of applied load versus

12 settlement using a group of 19 stone columns and two ECC.

c Variation of applied load versus settlement using a group of 37

Fig. 7 Soil behavior of columns reinforced foundation with 1, 2, and stone columns and three ECC

3 equivalent concentric crowns (ECC)

123

1 Page 8 of 12 Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1

The predictions of settlement using the three ECC Algiers harbor case history—full-scale load tests

modeling and respective GSC modeling are com- on a column-reinforced foundation

pared from Fig. 8a–c.

Local ground conditions of Algiers Harbor area

Figure 8a shows that quasi-identical predictions of the

settlement of reinforced soil are obtained by adopting

In the framework of the Algiers Harbor extension project,

either the modeling using a group of seven columns or the

the consolidation of the quays and creation of new docks

respective one ECC modeling. The maximum difference of

were recently launched at the end of 2015. After the

settlement prediction between the two modeling equals

Algerian seismic standards RPA 2003, Algiers City

0.49 cm that is negligible for predicting the settlement

belongs to zone 1 that is classified with high potential

under surcharge load of 120 kPa.

seismic risk. Furthermore, the soil profile of Algiers Harbor

In turn, Fig. 8b, c clearly shows that when the number of

comprises an intermediate sand layer that might be sub-

stone columns increases, as well as for the number of

jected to the liquefaction phenomena. Hence, a ground

respective ECC, the difference between the settlement

improvement solution of existing soil layers was decided to

predictions also increases, especially when the surcharge

mitigate the liquefaction risk and to reduce settlements of

load exceeds 80 kPa. Furthermore, an opposite trend is

compressible soil layers.

marked for the difference between the two settlement

The investigation of underground conditions at the site

predictions, i.e., the two ECC modeling provides lower

of project showed the ability in using the improvement by

settlement than that obtained by a group of 19 columns.

the deep vibro-techniques. After Fig. 9, the grain size

Figure 8 shows that Modeling 3b (three ECC) predicts

distribution of the soil layers matches well with the known

less settlement than that obtained by Modeling 3a (37 stone

recommendations in regard to the limits of applications of

columns) especially when the applied load is beyond or equal

deep vibro-techniques.

to 100 kPa. Such prediction is explained by the fact that the

The soil profile illustrated in Fig. 10 shows a 1-m-thick

ECC, as continuous walls having much higher stiffness than

clay layer sandwiched between silt clayey sand and fine

that of soft soil, provides much better confining effect within

sand layers. Several undisturbed samples were extracted

the surrounding soil in particular in the central part of the

within the soil profile at various depths and then subjected

loaded foundation. Hence, the settlement prediction by the

to laboratory tests.

group of columns, which provides lesser confining effect, is

higher than that predicted by the 3 ECC modeling.

Fig. 9 Grain size distribution Clay Silt Fine Sand Coarse Sand Gravel Cobbles

curves of the different layers in 100 100

Algiers harbor region

90 90

Percentage passing [by weight] (%)

80 80

70 70

limits of application for stone columns technique

60 60

50 50

40 40

30 Depth 3,50m-3,95m

30

Depth 5,85m-6,30m

20 Depth 9,45m-9,90m 20

Depth 11,50m-12,10m

Depth 12,10m-12,55m

10 Depth 14,55m-15m 10

Depth 18,20m-18,65m

0 0

0,001 0,01 0,1 1 10 100

Particle size (mm)

123

Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1 Page 9 of 12 1

axis-to-axis spacing equals to 1.8 m. The area ratio of this

trial test is 100%. The length of the installed stone columns

was 7.5 m. About the properties of sand layers and marl

stone layer underneath, the installed stone columns are of

end-bearing type.

The plot tests included the installation of 28 stone

columns, a single column is loaded. The column subjected

to the loading test is located at the center of area where the

28 SCs were installed. The full-scale loading test consisted

of incremental applied load with measurement of settle-

ment using three sensors. As such, the loaded stone column

surrounded by the 27 installed stone columns is assumed to

behave in oedometer condition due to the confinement

provided by those columns.

Load-settlement curves drawn from those loading tests

represent the best indicator to assess the predictions by the

FLAC 3D code to simulate the real behavior of CRF. The

unit cell model was, first, investigated by the finite-differ-

ence method implemented by the FLAC 3D code. The soil

layers and column material have been modeled by the

Mohr–Coulomb constitutive law with the properties sum-

marized in Table 4.

Figure 12a–c shows the respective numerical predic-

tions by the FLAC 3D code compared to measured load-

settlement data. It should be noted that the two numerical

modeling do not consider the improvement of mechanical

characteristics of the initial soil due to the installation of

stone columns.

Fig. 10 Typical ground cross section of Algiers harbor area In a second attempt, the simulation of numerical mod-

eling that comprises 28 installed stone columns with loaded

Full-scale loading tests on soil reinforced by stone central stone column has been studied (Fig. 12b). Two

columns numerical models generated by the FLAC 3D code have

been tested to predict the load-settlement curve. Fig-

A series of full-scale load tests was undertaken to capture ure 12b, c shows that the real behavior of loaded single

the behavior of soil layers reinforced by stone columns. stone column belonging to a group of stone columns is

Figure 11 displays: (a) the excavation at the top side of much better predicted than the behavior of an isolated

installed stone columns confirms a diameter of 84 cm; column.

after installation

123

1 Page 10 of 12 Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1

Table 4 Geotechnical

Parameters Unit Soil 1 Soil 2 Soil 3 Soil 4 Stone columns

parameters of soil layers at

Algiers harbor region c kN/m2 16.68 16 17.66 15.20 21

u Degree 32 0 32 15.04 40

C kPa 0 4.325 0 298 0

Pressure meter modulus EM MPa 10.27 13.39 44.1 62.9 60

v – 0.27 0.27 0.27 0.30 0.33

Constitutive model – Mohr

Dc m – – – – 0.84

(a)

(b) (c)

Fig. 12 Load vs settlement of the full loaded stone column: a FDM—isolated SC; b FDM—group of SC; c predicted vs measured settlement of

the loaded stone column

The two FLAC 3D well illustrates the importance of the concentric crowns. As seen from this figure, the two gen-

group effect on the settlement reduction that results from erated FLAC 3D numerical modelings (GSC and ECC)

the installation of a group of stone columns. predict similar results up to uniform load of 120 kPa. In

Figure 13 shows the settlement predictions obtained this range of applied load, it is agreed that the ECC mod-

from the 3D group of stone columns and the equivalent eling is favored because of its simplest numerical handling

123

Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. (2017)2:1 Page 11 of 12 1

0 50 100 150 200 settlement by Bouassida et al. [6]’s linear elastic

0 0 method fits well with predicted results by the GSC

modeling 3a.

-1 -1

• By comparing 3D settlement predictions, a good

agreement has been shown between the reduced

Settlement (mm)

-2 -2

equivalent concentric stone crowns and the group of

-3 -3 vibro-replacement end-bearing stone columns. Indeed,

the maximum relative error of 9, 27, and 20% has been

-4 -4

registered in the case of 7, 19, and 37 stone columns

-5 -5 equivalent to 1, 2, and 3 concentric stone crowns,

Group of stone columns

respectively.

-6 Equivalent Concentric crown -6 • From the Algiers harbor case history, the measurements

Full loading test

-7 -7

of settlement during the full-scale load test conducted

0 50 100 150 200 on soil reinforced by stone columns permitted the

validation of predicted settlement by the three equiv-

Fig. 13 Settlement predictions of the full loaded stone column—

GSC vs ECC alent concentric crown FLAC 3D modeling.

about that required by the GSC modeling. However, for all Acknowledgements The authors would like to appreciate Professor

applied loads, the predictions made by the GSC modeling Ali Bouafia (University of Blida, Algeria) for his kind support in

fit well with full-scale load test measurements from the providing the data of stone columns project at Algiers Harbor.

Algiers harbor case history.

References

Summary and conclusions

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123

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