Evaluation Behavior of Circular Footings Located on Sand Bed Reinforced with Geocell

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The rigid base proximity (such as stiff rock) under a relatively thin sand stratum and employing a 3D reinforcement (e.g. geocell) can tend to significant improvement in the bearing capacity of shallow footings. In this study, the behavior of circular footings located on unreinforced and geocell-reinforced thin sand layers was investigated. The simultaneous or individual effects of footing dimensions, sand layer thickness, and geocell reinforcement on the bearing capacity and settlement of footing were studied by conducting large-scale model tests. The influence of soil layer thickness on footing behavior was elucidated by considering optimum dimensions and location for geocell reinforcement. Based on the results, improvement in the bearing capacity and settlement reduction for both unreinforced and reinforced footing beds were observed when the sand layer thickness is lower than two times the footing width. Additionally, the effective depth of the rigid base for both cases was obtained two times of footing width. The combination of geocell-reinforcement and rigid base as lateral and vertical confinement factors led to an increase in the bearing capacity and settlement reduction at the failure point up to 45% and 53%, respectively. The test’s results were served to define new factors extending classical bearing capacity equations for footings located on thin soil at reinforced and unreinforced cases. The comparison of results with the previous investigations confirmed their good agreement.


Main Subjects

  1. Terzaghi, Theoretical Soil Mechanics, John Wiley, NY. (1943)
  2. J. Boushehrian, N. Hataf, Experimental and numerical investigation of the bearing capacity of model circular and ring footings on reinforced sand, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 21 (2003) 241-256.
  3. G. Sitharam, S. Sireesh, Model studies of embedded circular footing on geogrid-reinforced sand beds, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Ground Improvement, 8(2) (2004) 69-75.
  4. K. Basudhar, S. Saha, K. Deb, Circular footings resting on geotextile-reinforced sand bed, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 25(6) (2007) 377-384.
  5. Lovisa, S.K. Shukla, N. Sivakugan, Behaviour of prestressed geotextile-reinforced sand bed supporting a loaded circular footing, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28(1) (2010) 23-32.
  6. Alimardani Lavasan, M. Ghazavi, Behavior of closely spaced square and circular footings on reinforced sand, Soils and Foundations, 52(1) (2012) 160-167.
  7. Badakhshan, A. Noorzad, Effect of footing shape and load eccentricity on behavior of geosynthetic-reinforced sand bed, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 45(2) (2017) 58-67.
  8. Alimardani Lavasan, M. Ghazavi, T. Schanz, Analysis of interfering circular footings on reinforced soil by physical and numerical approaches considering strain-dependent stiffness, International Journal of Geomechanics, ASCE, 17(11) (2017) 04017096.
  9. K. Dash, S. Sireesh, T.G. Sitharam, Behaviour of geocell-reinforced sand beds under circular footing, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Ground Improvement, 7(3) (2003) 111-115.
  10. G. Sitharam, S. Sireesh, Behaviour of embedded footings supported on geocell reinforced foundation beds, Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM 28 (2005) 452-463.
  11. K. Pokharel, J. Han, D. Leshchinsky, R.L. Parsons, I. Halahmi, Investigation of factors influencing behavior of single geocell-reinforced bases under static loading, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28(6) (2010) 570-578.
  12. Hegde, T.G. Sitharam, Joint strength and wall deformation characteristics of a single-cell geocell subjected to uniaxial compression, International Journal of Geomechanics, ASCE, 15(5) (2015) 04014080
  13. N. Moghaddas Tafreshi, T. Shaghaghi, G. Tavakoli Mehrjardi, A.R. Dawson, M. Ghadrdan, A simplified method for predicting the settlement of circular footings on multi-layered geocell-reinforced non-cohesive soils, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 43(4) (2015) 332-344.
  14. N. Moghaddas Tafreshi, O. Khalaj, A.R. Dawson, Pilot-scale load tests of a combined multilayered geocell and rubber-reinforced foundation, Geosynthetics International, 20(3) (2013) 143-161.
  15. Shadmand, M. Ghazavi, N. Ganjian, Load-settlement characteristics of large-scale square footing on sand reinforced with opening geocell reinforcement, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 46(3) (2018) 319-326.
  16. Shadmand, M. Ghazavi, N. Ganjian, Scale effects of footings on geocell reinforced sand using large-scale tests, Civil Engineering Journal, 4(3) (2018) 497-508.
  17. Mandel, J. Salençon, Force portante d'un sol sur une assise rigide (étude théorique), Géotechnique, 22(1) (1972) 79-93.
  18. G. Meyerhof, Ultimate bearing capacity of footings on sand layer overlying clay, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 11(2) (1974) 223-229.
  19. P. Tournier, D.M. Milović, Étude expérimentale de la capacité portante d'une couche compressible d'épaisseur limitée, Géotechnique, 27(2) (1977) 111-123.
  20. M. Hanna, Experimental study on footings in layered soil, Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 107(8) (1981) 1113-1127.
  21. Siraj-Eldine, A. Bottero, Étude expérimentale de la capacité portante d'une couche de sol pulverulent d'épaisseur limitée, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 24(2) (1987) 242-251.
  22. Brown, A.J. Valsangkar, A.B. Schriver, Centrifuge modeling of surface footings on a sand layer underlain by a rigid base, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 22(2) (2004) 187.
  23. B. Cerato, A.J. Lutenegger, Bearing capacity of square and circular footings on a finite layer of granular soil underlain by a rigid base, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 132(11) (2006) 1496-1501.
  24. T. Eid, O.A. Alansari, A.M. Odeh, M.N. Nasr, H.A. Sadek, Comparative study on the behavior of square foundations resting on confined sand, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 46(4) (2009) 438-453.
  25. W. Pfeifle, B.M. DAs, Bearing capacity of surface footings on sand layer resting on a rigid rough base, Soils and Foundations, 19(1) (1979) 1-11.
  26. Ghazavi, A.H. Eghbali, A simple limit equilibrium approach for calculation of ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations on two-layered granular soils, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 26(5) (2008) 535-542.
  27. I. Bush, C.G. Jenner, R.H. Bassett, The design and construction of geocell foundation mattresses supporting embankments over soft grounds, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 9(1) (1990) 83-98.
  28. ASTM D2487, Standard practice for classification of soils for engineering purposes (Unified Soil Classification System) ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA, (2011).
  29. ASTM D7181, Method for consolidated drained triaxial compression test for soils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA, 2011).)
  30. ASTM D4885, Standard test method for determining performance strength of Geomembranes by wide strip tensile method, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA, (2011).
  31. D. Coduto, M.R. Yeung, , A.W. Kitch, Geotechnical engineering: principles and practices, New Jersy: PHI publication, (1999).
  32. K. Dash, Influence of relative density of soil on performance of geocell-reinforced sand foundations, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 22(5) (2010) 533-538.
  33. K. Dash, N.R. Krishnaswamy, K. Rajagopal, Bearing capacity of strip footings supported on geocell-reinforced sand, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 19(4) (2001) 235-256.
  34. Amar, F. Baguelin, Y. Canépa, R. Frank, Experimental study of the settlement of shallow foundations. Vertical and Horizontal Deformations of Foundations and Embankments, ASCE, 40(2) (1994) 1602-1610.
  35. Been, M.G. Jefferies, A state parameter for sands, Géotechnique, 35(2) (1985) 99-112.
  36. B. Cerato, A.J. Lutenegger, Scale effects of shallow foundation bearing capacity on granular material, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 133(10) (2007) 1192-1202.
  37. M. Hegde, T.G. Sitharam, Three-dimensional numerical analysis of geocell-reinforced soft clay beds by considering the actual geometry of geocell pockets, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 52(9) (2015) 1396-1407.
  38. Ghazavi, A. Alimardani Lavasan, Interference effect of shallow foundations constructed on sand reinforced with geosynthetics, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 26(5) (2008) 404-415.
  39. Boussinesq, Application des potentiels a l’e´tude de l’e´quilibre et du mouvement des solides e´lastiques, Albert Blanchard, Paris (in French). [Reprinted, 1969 with an introduction by A. Caquot, Gauthier-Villars, Paris.], (1885).
  40. Kusakabe, Geotechnical centrifuge technology, Taylor & Francis (Ed.1), Chapter 6: Foundations. Blackie Academic & Professional, London, (1995).
  41. L. Langhaar, Dimensional Analysis and Theory of Models, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, (1951).