Research Paper

Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 357-373

First online:

Experimental and analytical investigations on bearing capacity of strip footing in reinforced sand backfills and flexible retaining wall

  • H. AhmadiAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz
  • , M. Hajialilue-BonabAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz Email author 

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This study focuses on the experimental and analytical investigations of small-scale physical model tests. For this purpose, a set of tests were conducted with and without reinforcement on the top of the backfill. The specimens were different in terms of parameters like the number of geotextile layers, the vertical distance between layers and the strip footing distance from the wall. Soil failure in the bearing capacity step and the backfill shear zones was analysed using particle image velocimetry methods. Bearing capacity of the strip footings was studied using analytical procedures. The results indicate that a reinforcing top zone of the flexible retaining structures may be more appropriate than unreinforced case. The ultimate bearing capacity and wall deflection can be significantly improved by increasing the number of reinforcement layers. When the three layers of reinforcement are used, there is an optimum vertical spacing of the layers at which the bearing capacity is the greatest (h/H = 0.12, d/H = 0.33 and u = B). The study shows that the analytical solution and the results from the experimental models are in good agreement.


Analytical investigation Bearing capacity Geotextile-reinforced backfill Physical model test PIV Retaining structure Strip footing