The role of geosynthetics in reducing the fluidisation potential of soft subgrade under cyclic loading

Publication Name

Geotextiles and Geomembranes


The instability of railway tracks including mud pumping, ballast degradation, and differential settlement on weak subgrade soils occurs due to cyclic stress from heavy haul trains. Although geotextiles are currently being used as a separator in railway and highway embankments, their ability to prevent the migration of fine particles and reduce cyclic pore pressure has to be investigated under adverse hydraulic conditions to prevent substructure failures. This study primarily focuses on using geosynthetics to mitigate the migration of fine particles and the accumulation of excess pore pressure (EPP) due to mud pumping (subgrade fluidisation) using dynamic filtration apparatus. The role that geosynthetics play in controlling and preventing mud pumping is analysed by assessing the development of EPP, the change in particle size distribution and the water content of subgrade soil. Using 3 types of geotextiles, the potential for fluidisation is assessed by analysing the time-dependent excess pore pressure gradient (EPPG) inside the subgrade. The experimental results are then used to evaluate the performance of selected geotextiles under heavy haul loading.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)