Soil disturbance from pile driving in sensitive clay

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Journal titleCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Pages346361; # of pages: 16
Subjectsensitive clay; pile driving; soil tests; displacement (movement)
AbstractSoil disturbance due to the driving of two groups of 116 concrete piles each in sensitive marine clay was studied on a construction project in eastern Canada. Pore-water pressures, heave, and lateral movement of soil and piles, and tests of strength, compressibility, and consistency limits of the soil were observed prior to and up to 3 months after pile driving whereas observations of pore-water pressures were continued for an additional 5 months. Driving of the piles had little effect on the compressibility and consistency limits of the marine clay, but the in situ shear strength and cone penetration resistance were reduced by about 15 and 30%, respectively. Soil heave within the group of piles decreased linearly with depth from a maximum of 450 mm (18 in.) at the ground surface to about zero at the pile tips, and in volume amounted to approximately 55% of the soil displaced by the piles. The vertical heave outside the pile group was confined to a horizontal distance of 12 m (39 pile diameters). During pile driving, the lateral movement of previously driven piles was as much as 175 mm (7 in.). Horizontal soil movements measured by inclinometers varied up to 125 mm (5 in.). Pore-water pressures generated during piling exceeded the total overburden pressure by 35-40%. The excess pore pressures dissipated in about 8 months after the piling was completed.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number16825
NPARC number20374498
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Record identifiera36d7327-588f-43ee-9fcb-bc5e2786376c
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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