Failure of a Large Circular Excavation

by R. E. Olson, L. P. Gilvin Professor of Civil Engineering; University of Texas, Austin, TX,
R. E. Heuer, Geotechnical Consultant; McHenry, IL,

Part of: From Soil Behavior Fundamentals to Innovations in Geotechnical Engineering: Honoring Roy E. Olson


A circular excavation, 117 feet (36 m) in diameter by 90 feet (27 m) deep, was designed by an experienced engineering firm and construction was performed by an experienced contractor. Nevertheless, the excavation support system suffered a complete collapse long before the maximum depth was reached. The failure is described and its causes are discussed.

Copyright holder: Previously published in Proceedings, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Third International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 2, 1993, 799-805

Subject Headings: Failure analysis | Excavation


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