A large water treatment plant is to be built on soft deltaic deposits. Precompression has been selected as the method for achieving the required ground improvement. An instrumented preload test has been carried out to obtain reliable information on precompression performance. Distributions of displacements throughout the foundation depth, obtained using sliding micrometer extensometers, have proved extremely useful for identifying the mechanisms of behaviour controlling ground deformation. The magnitudes of displacements are largely dependent on the overconsolidation state of the soil. As primary consolidation settlements take place rather quickly, they can be largely controlled by applying a preload over a limited period. The main design criterion therefore concerns secondary settlements. Laboratory and field data indicate clearly that overconsolidating the soil, even in moderate amounts, significantly reduces the secondary compression rate. The performance of an unloading stage in the preload test provides crucial information in this regard. Therefore applying a preload surcharge larger than the final structure load is quite effective in controlling the magnitude of subsequent secondary settlements. The information collected during the site investigation and in the preload test provides the basis for the development of a ground deformation model that can be used for computing settlement histories. The model is used as a design tool for the final proposal of the precompression treatment required for the various structures of the plant

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Published on 01/01/2000

DOI: 10.1680/geot.2000.50.6.645
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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