Limit analysis of reinforced embankments on soft soil

Colin Smith , Alireza Tatari

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Previous research into the stability of reinforced embankments founded on soft soil has presented limited studies based on a narrow range of assumed failure mechanisms. In this paper comprehensive parametric studies of reinforced and unreinforced embankments were conducted using the general purpose computational limit analysis approach Discontinuity layout optimisation (DLO). Comparisons with previous Limit Equilibrium and FE results in the literature showed good agreement, with the DLO analysis generally able to determine more critical failure mechanisms. Simplified, summary design envelopes are presented that allow critical heights and reinforcement strengths to be rapidly determined based on soft soil strength and depth, and show how the balance between soft soil strength and reinforcement strength combines to affect overall stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-514
Number of pages10
JournalGeotextiles and Geomembranes
Issue number4
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


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