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Keywords:

  • long-term consolidation;
  • soft sensitive clay;
  • anomalous pore water pressure;
  • elasto-viscoplasticity;
  • soil structural degradation;
  • FEMs;
  • time increments

SUMMARY

The phenomenon of excess pore water pressure increase or stagnation and continuing large ground deformation in soft sensitive clay following the completion of construction of embankment is simulated for a case study at Saint Alban, Quebec, Canada. The present model employs an updated Lagrangian finite element framework and is combined with an automatic time increment selection scheme. The simulation based on an elasto-viscoplastic constitutive model considers soil-structure degradation effect. It is shown that without consideration for the microstructural degradation effect, it is not possible to reproduce the field responses of soft sensitive clay even during the construction of the embankment. When the soil-structure degradation effect is considered, the present model can offer reasonably accurate prediction for the consolidation behavior of soft sensitive clay, including the so-called anomalous pore water pressure generation and continuing large deformation even after the end of construction, which has been posing numerous uncertainties on the long-term performance of earth structures. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.