Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA, (DFI)

Design Approaches for Externally Supported Earth Retaining Systems - Details and Limitations
Matteo Montesi and P.E.

Deep foundation elements are often used as discrete elements in externally supported earth retaining structures such as soldier piles and lagging walls, secant/tangent pile walls, anchored walls, etc. These structures can be designed using different approaches such as conventional limit equilibrium methods, finite element/difference analyses, and soil spring (p-y) analyses which are contained in various commercially available computer programs used by engineers worldwide. Although these programs usually undergo various degree of verification and validation, users must be aware of each program's limitations and conditions in which each design approach should or should not be used. These programs may incur difficulties when non-continuous deep foundation elements are used as part of the retaining system and in cases of non-uniform geometry where closed-form solutions are not available. Design input parameters such as passive arching width, wall-to-soil friction, and p-multipliers (pm) are not always given enough attention which may result in potential design deficiencies. This paper presents the main features of various earth retaining structure design approaches and discusses their advantages/disadvantages. The paper addresses some of the limitations and difficulties that may be faced with when utilizing non-continuous discrete deep foundation elements and identifies key elements that are sources of potential deficiencies and errors. An example comparing the design outcomes using different design approaches is presented.

 article #3116; publication #1045 (AM-2018)