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Numerical Analysis of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Rammed Aggregate Pier-Supported Embankments

Researcher(s)

Principal investigators:

Co-principal investigator:

Project status

Completed

Start date: 09/01/02
End date: 08/01/03

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Sponsor(s):

About the research

Abstract: This research investigates the behaviors of embankments supported by short aggregate piers combined with the geosynthetic reinforcement. The investigation was carried out using a two-dimensional, plane-strain, finite element model. The geosynthetic reinforcement was modeled as a "geotextile" member, which solely carried tensile force. A range of pier-soil stiffness ratios and center-to-center spacings between piers were considered in this analysis. A comparison of short aggregate piers with other piling structures was made. Based on the input parameters used in this study, it is concluded that the use of geosynthetic reinforcement in embankments supported by short aggregate piers provides limited benefit as compared with those supported by concrete piles. It is also shown that the use of geosynthetic reinforcement is more effective when both the pier-soil stiffness ratio and the tensile modulus of the geosynthetic are increased.