Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 21–29

Passive earth pressure on embedded vertical plate anchors in sand

Research Paper


Passive earth pressure on embedded anchor plates constitutes a viable resisting force for the design of underground structures. In the current practice, these forces are empirically calculated, ignoring the effects of the depth of embedment and the level of consolidation of the surrounding soil, which takes place during plate installation on the in situ stress levels. Accordingly, wide discrepancies between predicted and measured pullout capacities of these plates were reported in the literature. Numerical model was developed using finite-element technique and the constitutive law of Mohr–Coulomb to simulate the case of a retaining wall partially supported by an embedded anchor plate in sand. The results produced in this investigation showed that the passive earth pressure acting on anchor plates increases due to the increase of angle of shearing resistance and the overconsolidation ratio of sand, and it decreases due to an increase of the embedment depth of anchor. Design theories were developed for the case of embedded anchor plate in overconsolidated sand. The theories developed will satisfy the design needed in terms of allowable pullout load and/or displacement.


Cohesionless soil Critical depth Displacement Overconsolidation ratio Passive earth pressure Plate anchors Pullout capacity 

List of symbols




Depth of embedment of anchor plate


Equivalent thickness of the plate material


Young’s modulus of soil




Axial stiffness


Flexural rigidity


Location of center of gravity from the top of the anchor plate


Height of the retaining wall


Height of the anchor plate


Moment of inertia


Coefficient of passive earth pressure


Coefficient of earth pressure at rest


Coefficient of passive earth pressure for normally consolidated soil


Coefficient of passive earth pressure for overconsolidated soil




Overconsolidation ratio


Ultimate load


Strength reduction factor


Reduction factor


Weight of the plate material


Poisson’s ratio


Angle of dilatancy




Angle of shearing resistance


Rotational angle of vertical anchor plate


Angle of wall soil friction


Shear strength of soil


Principal effective stress


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Building, Civil and Environmental EngineeringConcordia UniversityMontréalCanada

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