Stabilizing Berm Design for Temporary Walls in Clay

by G. Wayne Clough, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.,
Gordon M. Denby, Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 75-90

Document Type: Journal Paper


In construction of a wide excavation in clay, it is common practice to leave a sloping earth berm against the wall. The design of such a berm involves consideration of its effectiveness in reducing movements of the wall system and the retained ground. Results of field data and finite element studies are presented which for the first time quantify the effect of berm size in limiting movements. Useful nondimensional design charts are shown which allow quick evaluation of berm effectiveness. The results demonstrate that the influence of berm size on movements is strongly a function of the stability number of the excavation. At high stability numbers the berm effectiveness is greatly reduced because of the deep seated movements under the berm.

Subject Headings: Field tests | Berms | Walls | Clays | Soil stabilization | Excavation | Construction management | Ground motion

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