Consolidation of clay under vacuum combined surcharged loads
Much of Australian coastal areas contain soft soils and marine deposits. Stabilization of soft formation soils by applying a surcharge load alone is often time-consuming. The installation of prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) can significantly decrease the preloading duration by reducing the drainage path length. When a higher load is necessitated to achieve the desired rate of settlement and the cost of surcharge is also significant, the application of vacuum pressure with reduced surcharge loading can be employed. In this method, an external negative load is applied to the soil surface in the form of vacuum pressure through a sealed membrane system. The analytical and numerical analyses incorporating the authors' solution for both Darcian and non-Dracian flow are proposed to predict the excess pore pressures, lateral and vertical displacements and selected case histories were analysed and presented.
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