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6/4/2018 Characteristics of Ground Movements Induced by Excavations

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Characteristics of Ground Movements Induced by Excavations

It is crucial for engineer to have adequate information regarding possible ground movements and identify its
characteristics to consider proper measures against such undesired movement.

Characteristics of ground movements include shape and type of ground surface settlement, influence zones of
settlement, locations of maximum settlement, magnitude of maximum settlement and relationship between
ground surface settlements and soil movements are discussed in the following sections.

Fig.1: Ground Settlement due to Excavations

Characteristics of Ground Movements Induced by Excavations


1. Shape and Type of Ground Surface Settlement
Generally, there two major types or shapes of ground surface settlement due to foundation excavation namely
concave shape and spandrel shape. The magnitude and shape of retaining wall deflection are the cause of these
two types of ground surface settlement.

If the initial stage of excavation induces greater retaining wall deflection or the retaining wall deflect similar to a
cantilever beam, then the settlement will be spandrel type and the maximum settlement will be close to the
excavation area, as it is illustrated in Figure 2.

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6/4/2018 Characteristics of Ground Movements Induced by Excavations

Fig.2: Spandrel shape ground surface settlement induced due to cantilever shape deflection of
retaining wall

However, concave type settlement will occur provided that the wall has a deep inward movement as shown in
Figure 3 and the largest settlement magnitude will be positioned at a distance from the excavation.

Fig.3: Concave shape ground surface settlement caused by deep inward movement of retaining wall

Moreover, it is demonstrated that spandrel settlement type is frequently occurred in sandy soil and stiff clay since
the deflection of retaining wall is smaller and it is like cantilever beam deflection.

However, spandrel shape settlement is mostly occurred in soft clay soil since the retaining wall would suffer from
considerable deep inward deflection. These statements are valid for normal conditions.

Furthermore, formula has been developed to anticipate the shape of settlement based on the retaining wall
deflection.

Parameter used to predict ground surface settlement are area of cantilever component deflection (Ac=max (Ac1,
Ac2)), and area of total deflection minus area of cantilever component deflection (As).

Lastly, if the As is large than 1.6Ac, then concave shape ground surface settlement will be highly likely to cure
whereas spandrel type will occur provided that As is smaller than 1.6Ac. Figure 4 illustrate the definition of
different parameters used for the prediction of shape of ground surface settlement.

Fig.4: Parameter (As, Ac1, and Ac2) are illustrated

2. Influence Zones of Settlement


Generally, the influence zone of settlement is claimed to be two to three times the depth of the excavation. It is
affected by number of factors for instance width of excavation, depth of excavation, and types of soil. Table 1
provides influence zone of settlement based on the type of soil.

Hsieh and Ou proposed a conception that the influence zone of settlement curve is composed of primary influence
zone and secondary settlement zone as illustrated in Figure 5.

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6/4/2018 Characteristics of Ground Movements Induced by Excavations

As it may be observed from the figure, the curve steeper in primary influence zone which means buildings will be
affected greatly whereas the curve is gentler in the secondary influence zone and hence the affect on the structure
will be smaller.

It is possible that the influence zone of settlement exceeds primary and secondary settlement zone, but it is so
small that its influence on the structure can be neglected.

The evaluation of influence zone of settlement range is considerably significant to evaluate the extent of damage
that adjacent structures might suffer due to deep excavations.

Fig.5: Distribution of influence zone settlement curve

Table-1: Influence zone of settlement based on the type of soil

Types of soil Induced Influence zone of settlement

Sandy soil Two times excavation depth

Stiff to very stiff clay Three times excavation depth

Soft or medium soft clay Two times the depth of excavation

3. Location of Maximum Settlement


In previous sections, spandrel shape and concave shape settlement which are two major type of settlement
induced by excavation were discussed.

When the former type occurs, the maximum settlement will be close to the retaining wall. However, the retaining
wall is reported to occur at a distance of 1.5 times the height of retaining wall in the case concave settlement.

Nonetheless, it is practically measured that maximum settlement distance from the retaining wall, in the case of
concave settlement shape, is equal to the primary influence zone divided by three. The primary influence zone is
explained in the influence zone of settlement in the above section.

4. Magnitude of Maximum Settlement


Several attempts have been made to evaluate the magnitude of maximum settlement for example clough and
O’Routke set a relationship between maximum settlement and excavation depth in different types of soil to
estimate.

This method does not provide accurate outcome because the excavation depth is not the only factor that affect the
settlement. Moreover, (Mana and Clough, and Ou et. el.) established a relationship to compute the maximum
settlement magnitude.

They have derived a relationship between maximum retaining wall deformation and maximum ground settlement
because factors that influence maximum retaining wall deformation are the same as those affecting magnitude of
maximum settlement induced by excavation.

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Figure 6 show the relationship between maximum retaining wall settlement and magnitude of the maximum
settlement for different types of soil with upper limit for sandy soil and lower limit for clay soil.

So, the maximum deformation of retaining wall caused by excavation can be evaluated using finite element
method or beam on elastic foundation method. Finally, the maximum deformation of retaining wall will be used to
compute maximum settlement magnitude with the help of the figure.

Fig.6: Relationship between maximum ground surface settlement and lateral deformation of retaining
wall

©2017 The Constructor

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