Nonlinear Settlement Analysis by Finite Element

by Leonard Domaschuk, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,
Palaniappan Valliappan, Geotechnical Engr.; Acres Consulting Services, Crippen Acres, Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada; formerly, Grad. Student, Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 7, Pg. 601-614

Document Type: Journal Paper


A nonlinear constitutive equation for soil is used in conjunction with the finite element method to compute the settlement of oil storage tanks supported on clay. The nonlinearity is achieved by assigning bulk and shear moduli to each element, consistent with the soil type and the prevailing state of stress. Solutions for the bulk modulus were obtained by isotropic compression tests, as a function of void ratio and mean normal stress. Solutions for the shear modulus were obtained by constant mean normal triaxial compression tests as a function of void ratio, imposed state of stress relative to failure stress, and degree of overconsolidation. A comparison of the long-term settlement of oil storage tanks with that obtained by the finite element method showed good agreement.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Soil settlement | Storage tanks | Shear modulus | Compression tests | Triaxial tests | Nonlinear analysis | Energy storage

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