Analysis of Embankment Stresses and Deformations

by Ray W. Clough,
Richard J. Woodward, III,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 4, Pg. 529-549

Document Type: Journal Paper


The finite element method is applied to the evaluation of embankment stresses and deformations. Construction sequence plays an important part in the deformations developed in earth embankments, and an incremental construction version of the finite element method in described which accurately accounts for this effect. Calculations demonstrate the influence of basic parameter such as material properties, size, geometry on the stresses and deformations developed In embankments, and the effect of foundation flexibility on the embankment. Because the earth used in embankments is not an ideal elastic material, the finite element program was modified to take into account more realistic stress-strain relationships. The soil constitutive relations were expressed in terms of the bulk modulus and the deformation modulus, and it was assumed that only the deformation modulus would vary with strain. Results of an analysis of Otter Brook Dam, using nonlinear properties defined by tests of the dam material, were found to be in good agreement with field observations of deformations in this structure.

Subject Headings: Material properties | Finite element method | Stress analysis | Soil modulus | Construction methods | Soil deformation | Deformation (mechanics) | Stress strain relations

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