American Society of Civil Engineers

Response of Saturated/Unsaturated Gravelly Sand to Tidal Fluctuations

by Shinji Sassa, (Research Engineer, Port and Airport Research Institute, Japan), Fengying Li, (Graduate student, Graduate School of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan), and Hideo Sekiguchi, (Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan)
Section: Stress-Strain Behavior and Residual Strains Obtained from Cyclic Loading, pp. 174-186, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Geomechanics: Testing, Modeling, and Simulation
Abstract: This study was motivated by a recent case history of the formation and collapse of cavities in unsaturated granular backfill behind a seawall. It aims at developing a framework to assess the role of suction in the performance of granular soils subjected to complex hydro-environmental loading such as tides and waves. For this purpose, an elastoplastic constitutive model for unsaturated soil was incorporated into a coupled stress-flow analysis procedure using the finite element method. Predictions were made of suction and moisture changes in a beach of gravelly sand due to tidal fluctuations over a period of one month. It is shown that the predicted performance compares favorably with the performance of field measurements obtained by the Himeji office, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Japan.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Sand, soil type
Saturated soils
Soil suction
Tidal currents
Unsaturated soils
Water levels