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Spatial variability in soils: stiffness and strength

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Geotechnical properties vary in space. Statistical parameters such as mean, deviation, and correlation length are characteristics for each sediment and formation history. The effects of spatial variability on the macro-scale mechanical properties of soils are investigated using Monte Carlo non-linear finite element simulations. Boundary conditions include 1 isotropic loading, 2 zero-lateral strain loading, 3 drained and undrained deviatoric loading, and 4 small-strain wave propagation. Emphasis is placed on identifying the effects of spatial variability on the stiffness and strength of soils, recognizing emergent phenomena, and creating the background for new geotechnical design methods that take into consideration spatial variability.The arithmetic mean of soil properties cannot be used to estimate the stiffness or strength of heterogeneous soils. Greater deviation and longer relative correlation length in the spatial distribution of soil properties yield a softer and weaker mechanical response. Load transfer concentrates along stiffer zones, leading to stress-focusing and lower K0 values. Drained loading promotes internal homogenization. Undrained deviatoric loading can cause percolation of internal weakness and shear strain localization. Spatial heterogeneity adds complexity to elastic wave propagation. Heterogeneous soil mixtures can be engineered to attain unique macroscale behavior

Georgia Tech Theses and Dissertations - School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Theses and Dissertations -

Autor: Kim, Hyunki - -


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