Load-Settlement Characteristics of Stone Column Reinforced Soft Marine Clay Deposit: Combined Field and Numerical Studies

Publication Name

Sustainability (Switzerland)


Foundations supporting infrastructure built on soft and compressible marine soil are unlikely to sustain due to possibility of undrained shear failure or excessive settlement of the supporting soil. This necessitates the importance of implementing an adequate ground improvement strategy. Among different techniques, soft soil reinforcing by the installation of stone columns is one of the most successful methods in terms of long-term stability of foundations. To investigate the load-settlement characteristics of such reinforced soil, a group of closely spaced stone columns was constructed at a location along the eastern coast of Australia. The site geology revealed thick layers of soft, compressible marine clay deposit. These stone columns were loaded by constructing earthen embankment and the resulting load-settlement characteristics were measured by an array of sensors. A two-dimensional plane strain analysis was performed using finite element modeling simulations. Comparison of numerical results with the field data demonstrated accuracy of the numerical model. Additional studies were carried out to investigate the efficiency of the model. This paper integrates the new findings from the full-scale field study and advanced numerical simulations while drawing pertinent conclusions.

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



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