Plane Strain Consolidation by Finite Elements

by John T. Christian, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; MIT, Cambridge, MA,
Jan Willem Boehmer, Res. Engr.; MIT, Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 4, Pg. 1435-1457

Document Type: Journal Paper

Discussion: Schiffman Robert L. (See full record)
Discussion: Bucher Felix (See full record)
Closure: (See full record)


The problem of consolidation of an elastic soil under plane strain conditions is presented and a procedure for using the finite element method on such a problem is described. The resulting computer program, CONSOL, is tested by using it on one-and-two-dimensional problems whose analytical solutions have been published. The results of the CONSOL calculations agree very well with analytical results. Comparison with solutions by the diffusion equation show that the latter does not predict correct pore pressure behavior at early times but can predict correct behavior at late times if an appropriate value of cv is used. This last result can be misleading if applied to more complex geometries.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Plane strain | Consolidated soils | Elastic analysis | Soil stress | Computer analysis | Computer software

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