Estimation of Lateral Forces on Retaining Walls Adjacent to Layered Embankments in Saturated and non-Saturated Conditions

Document Type : Research Article


Water and Hydraulic Structures Department, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Khuzestan, Iran


Investigation of development behavior and the dimensions of the embankments behind retaining walls explains the effect of the movement of the wall and its destructing effect. Majority of the natural embankments are layered and are usually in saturated condition. Hence, this research investigates the failure wedge caused by the wall’s rotation around the heel. Physical measurements were performed in order to provide data to use the graphical approach of calculation of lateral pressure of layered embankments in both saturated and non-saturated conditions. Thus, 4 layering models were tested including: 1) two layered (upper layer: clay, bottom layer: sand), 2) two layered (upper layer: sand, bottom layer: clay), 3) three layered (upper layer: sand, middle layer: clay, bottom layer: sand) and 4) a for layered model (upper layer: clay, first middle layer: sand, second middle layer: clay, bottom layer: sand). Elevation of layers in each layering model were determined to be equal. Results indicated that using common theoretical methods will result in a conservative design for walls which increases the construction costs. Absence of the failure wedge at wall toe as well as the 32.75% and 29.25% difference between experimental results to theoretical results of Rankin and Sirnivasa methods are other evidence for the conservative design of walls using common methods.


Main Subjects

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