American Society of Civil Engineers

Earth Pressure on Retaining Walls Near Rock Faces

by Sam Frydman, (Assoc. Prof., Faculty of Civ. Engrg., Technion—Israel Inst. of Tech., Technion City, Haifa 32000, Israel) and Israel Keissar, (Res. Student, Faculty of Civ. Engrg., Technion—Israel Inst. of Techn., Technion City, Haifa 32000, Israel)

Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 113, No. 6, June 1987, pp. 586-599, (doi:

     Access full text
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The present study examines the lateral earth pressure transferred to a rigid retaining wall by granular fill confined between te wall and an adjacent rock face. The centrifuge modeling technique is used to test small models in which rotation of the wall about its base can be controlled, thus allowing observation of changes in pressure from the at-rest to the active conditions. Janssen’s silo pressure equation may be reasonably used for estimation of the at-rest pressure, using an earth pressure coefficient, K=1=sin Φ. Significant variations from the estimated pressure may occur next to the wall as a result of small variations in placement conditions. A conservative approach may be to use a decreased Φ value in calculating K. In the active condition, progressive failure in the soil results in a decreased Φ, which should be used when estimating wall pressure. These estimates may be obtained from stress characteristic solutions, or from the silo pressure equation in which a K value compatible with the values of Φ and δ (wall friction angle) is used.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Centrifuge models
Earth pressure
Lateral pressure
Retaining structures