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Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls

ISBN: 978-1-119-37584-5
544 pages
April 2018, Wiley-Blackwell
Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls (1119375843) cover image


The first book to provide a detailed overview of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls deploy horizontal layers of closely spaced tensile inclusion in the fill material to achieve stability of a soil mass. GRS walls are more adaptable to different environmental conditions, more economical, and offer high performance in a wide range of transportation infrastructure applications. This book addresses both GRS and GMSE, with a much stronger emphasis on the former. For completeness, it begins with a review of shear strength of soils and classical earth pressure theories. It then goes on to examine the use of geosynthetics as reinforcement, and followed by the load-deformation behavior of GRS mass as a soil-geosynthetic composite, reinforcing mechanisms of GRS, and GRS walls with different types of facing. Finally, the book finishes by covering design concepts with design examples for different loading and geometric conditions, and the construction of GRS walls, including typical construction procedures and general construction guidelines.

The number of GRS walls and abutments built to date is relatively low due to lack of understanding of GRS. While failure rate of GMSE has been estimated to be around 5%, failure of GRS has been found to be practically nil, with studies suggesting many advantages, including a smaller susceptibility to long-term creep and stronger resistance to seismic loads when well-compacted granular fill is employed. Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls will serve as an excellent guide or reference for wall projects such as transportation infrastructure—including roadways, bridges, retaining walls, and earth slopes—that are in dire need of repair and replacement in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Covers both GRS and GMSE (MSE with geosynthetics as reinforcement); with much greater emphasis on GRS walls
  • Showcases reinforcing mechanisms, engineering behavior, and design concepts of GRS and includes many step-by-step design examples
  • Features information on typical construction procedures and general construction guidelines
  • Includes hundreds of line drawings and photos

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls is an important book for practicing geotechnical engineers and structural engineers, as well as for advanced students of civil, structural, and geotechnical engineering. 

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Table of Contents

1. Stresses and Shear Strength of Soils

1.1 Stress at a Point

1.1.1 Stress Vector

1.1.2 Cauchy Formula

1.1.3 Mohr Circle of Stress

1.1.4 Pole of Mohr Circle

1.2 Concept of Effective Stress

1.3 Mohr-Coulomb Failure Criterion

1.4 Shear Strength Tests

1.4.1 Direct Shear Test

1.4.2 Triaxial Test

1.4.3 Plane Strain Test

1.4.4 Vane Shear Test

1.4.5 Standard Penetration Test

1.4.6 Cone Penetration Test

1.4.7 Plate Load Test

1.5 Design Consideration

1.5.1 Shear Strength of Granular Soils

1.5.2 Shear Strength of Clays

1.5.3 Shear Strength of Silts

2. Rigid Earth Retaining Walls and Lateral Earth Pressure

2.1. At-Rest Earth Pressure

2.2. Rankine Analysis

2.2.1. Active and Passive Conditions and Graphical Solution

2.2.2. Mathematical Solution

2.2.3. Failure Planes

2.2.4. Inclined Crest and/or Inclined Surcharge

2.2.5. Influence of Submergence

2.2.6. External Loads on Wall Crest

2.2.7. Applicability of Rankine Analysis

2.3. Coulomb Analysis

2.3.1. Active Condition

2.3.2. Passive Condition

2.3.3. Influence of Submergence

2.3.4. Influence of Seepage

2.3.5. Influence of Relative Wall Movement

2.3.6. Influence of Seismic Force

2.4. Rankine Analysis versus Coulomb Analysis

2.5. Additional Topics Regarding Design of Rigid Retaining Walls

2.5.1. Common Proportions of Rigid Retaining Walls

2.5.2. Design Charts for Estimation of Active Force

2.5.3. Equivalent Fluid Density

2.5.4. Compaction-Induced Stress

2.5.5. Evaluation of Wall Stability

2.5.6. Selection of Shear Strength Parameters in Design

3. Reinforced Soil and Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls

3.1. Reinforced Soil and GRS

3.2. Field-Scale Experiments of GRS

3.2.1.”Mini Pier” Experiments (Adams et al., 2002 and 2007)

3.2.2. Unconfined Compression Experiments (Elton and Patawaran, 2005)

3.2.3. Generic Soil-Geosynthetic Composite Plane Strain Experiments (Wu et al., 2010 and 2013)

3.3. Reinforcing Mechanisms of GRS Walls

3.3.1. Mechanisms of Apparent Confining Pressure and Apparent Cohesion

3.3.2. Mechanism of Suppression of Soil Dilation

3.3.3. Mechanism of Increase in Compaction-Induced Stress

3.3.4. Other Reinforcing Mechanisms

3.4. Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls

3.4.1. Wrapped-Face GRS Wall

3.4.2. Concrete Block GRS Wall

3.4.3. Cast-in-Place Full-Height Facing GRS Wall

3.4.4. Precast Full-Height Panel Facing GRS Wall

3.4.5. Timber Facing GRS Wall

3.4.6. Other Types of GRS Walls

3.5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of GRS Walls

3.5.1. Wrapped-Face GRS Walls

3.5.2. Concrete Block GRS Walls

3.5.3. Timber Facing GRS Walls

4. Geosynthetics as Reinforcement for GRS Walls

4.1. Geosynthetics as Reinforcement

4.1.1. Geotextiles

4.1.2. Geogrids

4.1.3. Geocells

4.1.4. Geocomposites

4.1.5. Description of Geosynthetics

4.1.6. Costs

4.2. Mechanical and Hydraulic Properties of Geosynthetics

4.2.1. Load-Deformation Properties of Geosynthetics

4.2.2. Creep of Geosynthetics and Soil-Geosynthetic Composites

4.2.3. Stress Relaxation of Geosynthetics

4.2.4. Soil-Geosynthetic Interface Properties

4.2.5. Hydraulic Properties of Geosynthetics

4.3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Geosynthetics as Reinforcement

5. Design of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls

5.1. Fundamental Design Concepts

5.2. Overview of Design Methods for GRS Walls

5.3. Some Recent Advances in Design of GRS Walls

5.3.1. Required Reinforcement Stiffness and Strength

5.3.2. Evaluation of Pullout Stability

5.3.3. Lateral Movement of Wall Face

5.3.4. Required Long-Term Strength of Geosynthetic Reinforcement

5.3.5. Connection Stability of Concrete Block Facing

5.3.6. Required Reinforcement Length

5.4. The U. S. Forest Service (USFS) Design Method

5.4.1. Design Procedure: The U. S. Forest Service Method

5.4.2. Design Example: U. S. Forest Service Method

5.5. The AASHTO Allowable Stress Design (ASD) Method

5.5.1. Design Procedure: AASHTO ASD Method

5.5.2. Design Example: AASHTO ASD Method

5.6. The NCHRP Design Method for GRS Bridge Abutments

5.6.1. Design Procedure: NCHRP Method for GRS Abutments

5.6.2. Design Example: NCHRP Method for GRS Abutments

5.7. The Non-Load-Bearing (GRS-NLB) GRS Walls Design Method

5.7.1. Design Procedure: GRS-NLB Method

5.7.2. Design Examples: GRS-NLB Method

6. Construction of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls

6.1. Construction Procedure

6.1.1. Concrete Block GRS Walls

6.1.2. Wrapped-Face GRS Walls

6.1.3. Full-Height Precast Panel Facing GRS Walls

6.1.4. Timber Facing GRS Walls

6.2. General Construction Guidelines and Specifications

6.2.1. Site and Foundation Preparation

6.2.2. Geosynthetic Reinforcement and Reinforcement Placement

6.2.3. Fill Material and Fill Placement

6.2.4. Facing

6.2.5. Drainage

6.2.6. Construction Sequence

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Author Information

Jonathan T. H. Wu, PhD, is Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver, Director of the Reinforced Soil Research Center, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnology. Dr. Wu's research interest is in the use of innovative physical and numerical modeling techniques to develop design methods and construction guidelines for sustainable earthwork systems, and to solve problems associated with earth structures. 

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