Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Non-linear finite element prediction of the performance of a deep excavation in Boston Blue Clay

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mohamed Rouainia, Dr Gaetano Elia, Dr Stelios Panayides



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Society of Civil Engineers, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The work investigates the behaviour of a deep excavation which forms part of a 100 m wide basement excavation located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Two different types of tied back retaining walls were used, i.e. a soldier pile tremie concrete wall and a traditional reinforced concrete diaphragm wall. The glacial marine clay (Boston Blue Clay) deposit was modelled with the Kinematic Hardening Model for Structured soils (KHSM), its reduced bubble model version (KHM) and the well-known Modified Cam Clay (MCC) model. The difference between the models is the prediction of softening with loss of structure as plastic strains occur. The values of the optimised soil parameters used in the simulations were obtained by a careful calibration of the models against a range of advanced laboratory and field tests performed at the site. Comparison of the available horizontal wall movements monitoring data with the undrained finite element predictions revealed a very satisfactory agreement when the KHM was used in conjunction with a small-strain elastic formulation. The relatively small increase in lateral wall deflection in the presence of initial structure accounted for in the KHSM confirms that the small-strain properties of the soil control the magnitude of excavation deformations. Finally, using a coupled-consolidation analysis and the KHSM, an excellent agreement between the observed and measured pore water pressures and ground movements of the excavation base was achieved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rouainia M, Elia G, Panayides S, Scott P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

Year: 2017

Volume: 143

Issue: 5

Print publication date: 01/05/2017

Online publication date: 01/02/2017

Acceptance date: 20/09/2016

Date deposited: 20/09/2016

ISSN (print): 1090-0241

ISSN (electronic): 1943-5606

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001650


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric