Numerical Investigation Impact of the Spacing between Vertical Drains on the Diameter of the Influence Zone

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD candidate, Department of geotechnical engineering, Estahban Branch, Islamic Azad University, Estahban, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Department of geotechnical engineering, Estahban Branch, Islamic Azad University, Estahban, Iran

3 M.Sc. student, Department of geotechnical engineering, Estahban Branch, Islamic Azad University, Estahban, Iran


Rapid developments of industrial and urban structures and infrastructures necessitate the utilization of remote or unsuitable lands that were not considered for construction in the past. The application of surcharge and prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) is one the popular methods that is used all around the world as a result of simplicity and high efficiency. One of the issues that may occur in such reclamation projects, is the existence of sensitive infrastructures or structures in the vicinity of the treatment area. There are many variables that affect the diameter of the influence zone such as: the compressibility of weak layers, the height of clay stratums, length of the PVDs and the height of surcharge embankment and so on. In this literature the impact of spacing between PVDs was investigated using finite element modelling. Three test embankments as TS1, TS2 and TS3 were modeled and verified for the study. For TS1 (PVDs with 1.5 m spacing), TS2 (PVDs with 1.2 m spacing) and TS3 (PVDs with 1.0 m spacing) the diameters of the influence zone were 54.8, 46 and 42.3 m respectively. As the distance between the PVDs decreases, the influence zone decreases as well and becomes smaller. For the FEM simulation of only surcharge embankment in the absence of PVDs the influence zone after 400 days was 64 m in the case that only 0.65 settlement was reached. It can be seen that the inclusion of PVDs and the utilization of smaller quantities of spacing can be an effective way for the reduction of influence zones where there are concerns regarding adjacent structures or infrastructures.  


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