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A study into the behaviour of the formation level of an excavation under different unloading patterns in soft deposits

Li, Y., Chen, X., Divall, S. & Zhang, X. (2017). A study into the behaviour of the formation level of an excavation under different unloading patterns in soft deposits. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 10(19), article number 437. doi: 10.1007/s12517-017-3227-2


The construction of basements in urban areas is often associated with the possible damage to existing structures and services. The varying construction processes inevitably lead to different stress unloading patterns and therefore the dissipation of these excess pore-water pressures may lead to non-standard deformation profiles. The three main types of basement construction processes are layered excavation (LE), basin excavation (BE) and island excavation (IE). The effect of the various unloading patterns has been investigated by a three dimensional (3D) effective stress analysis method using the developed computer program 3DBCPE4.0. An excavation of length 50 m, width 50 m and depth 9 m in a certain homogenous and isotropic saturated soft soil was modelled. This included a diaphragm wall of 800-mm thickness embedded 18 m deep into the soft soil. The different excavation deformation profiles under different excavation patterns were related to the different unloading process, the exposure time of excavation face and the dissipation of negative excess pore-water pressures. The most favourable process for controlling the horizontal deformation of a retaining wall or the heave deformation of the formation level is suggested. The ground water potentials within the formation level are also presented.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at via
Publisher Keywords: Excavation pattern; Finite element method (FEM); Negative excess pore-water pressure; Ground water potential
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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