A Comparison of Three Soil Improvement Techniques to Densify Liquefaction Susceptible Sands

by Alec D. Smith, (M.ASCE), Haley & Aldrich, Inc, Cambridge, United States,
Edward B. Kinner, (M.ASCE), Haley & Aldrich, Inc, Cambridge, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Vertical and Horizontal Deformations of Foundations and Embankments


Deep soil densification programs using vibratory probe compaction, vibro-replacement and terraprobe methods have been completed on a naval submarine base to limit potential settlements associated with densification of loose fine sands, as a result of seismically-induced vibrations and/or heavy vehicular traffic. The surficial 6.1 to 9.1 m (20 to 30 ft) of saturated, very loose to medium dense fine sands (relative density, Dr = 45 to 70%) were densified to a minimum criterion (Dr = 65%) to limit settlements due to traffic vibrations and the potential for liquefaction. Using a performance specification, the field program involved constructing test areas using each improvement technique with variations of critical parameters (probe spacing, vibration duration, etc.) to demonstrate the relative effectiveness of the proposed methods. Standard Penetration tests (SPT) and cone penetration tests (CPT) were performed before and after densification in both the test areas and the final production areas to assess compliance with the design criteria. The final production areas were completed using vibratory probe compaction and vibro-replacement methods. The relative performance of the improvement techniques is compared.

Subject Headings: Soil liquefaction | Compacted soils | Soil stabilization | Penetration tests | Soil settlement | Vibration | Comparative studies | Probe instruments

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