Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 357–373 | Cite as

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

Research Paper


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 


  1. 1.
    Bathurst RJ, Walters D, Vlachopoulos N, Burgess P, Allen TM (2000) Full scale testing of geosynthetic reinforced walls. ASCE special publication No. 103, Advances in transportation and geoenvironmental systems using geosynthetics, Denver, pp 201–217Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bathurst RJ, Walters DL, Hatami K, Allen TM (2001) Full scale performance testing and numerical modelling of reinforced soil retaining walls. Special Invited Lecture, International symposium on earth reinforcement, Kyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, vol 2, pp 777–799Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chen Z, Li S (1998) Evaluation of active earth pressure by the generalized method of slices. Can Geotech J 35:591–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dalton DC (1977) Fabric reinforced brick retaining wall. West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council, Internal report 5 pGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Elias V, Christopher BR (1997) Mechanically stabilized earth walls and reinforced soil slopes design and construction guidelines, federal highway administration, demonstration project 82, FHWA, Washington, DC, FHWA SA96-071Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Garg KG (1988) Earth pressure behind retaining wall with reinforced backfill. Ph.D. thesis, University of Roorkee, Roorkee, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Garg KG, Saran S (1997) Effective placement of reinforcement to reduce lateral earth pressure. Indian Geotech J 27(4):353–376Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Garg KG, Ramesh C, Chandra S, Ahmad Z (2002) Performance of instrumented wall retaining reinforced earthfill. Indian Geotech J 32(4):364–381Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ho SK, Rowe RK (1996) Effect of wall geometry on the behavior of reinforced soil walls. Geotex Geomem 14(10):521–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Janbu N (1957) Earth pressure and bearing capacity calculations by generalized procedures of slices. In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Juran I, Schlosser F (1978) Theoretical analysis of failure in reinforced earth structures. In: Proceedings of symposium on earth reinforcement. ASCE, Pittsburgh, pp 528–555Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Khan INA (1991) Study of reinforced earth wall and retaining wall with reinforced backfill. Ph.D. thesis, University of Roorkee, Roorkee, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lesniewska D, Wood DM (2009) Observations of stresses and strains in a granular material. J Eng Mech ASCE 135:9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lord JA (1969) Stresses and strains in an earth pressure problem. PhD thesis, University of CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Meyerhof GG, Hanna AM (1978) Ultimate bearing capacity of foundations on layered soil under inclined load. Can Geotech J 15:4Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mittal S, Garg KG, Saran S, Pathak AN (2001) Rigid wall retaining bottom ash backfill with geogrid reinforcement. Indian Geotech J 31(1):88–102Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mittal S, Garg KG, Saran S (2006) Analysis and design of retaining wall having reinforced cohesive frictional backfill. Geotech Geol Eng 24:499–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pinto MIM (1992) Model studies of fabric-reinforced brick-faced earth-retaining walls. Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 316 pGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pinto MIM, Cousens TW (1996) Geotextile reinforced brick faced retaining walls. Geotext Geomembr 14:449–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pinto MIM, Cousens TW (1999) Modelling a geotextile-reinforced, brick-faced soil retaining wall. Geosynth Int 6:5Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Plumey S, Muttoni A, Vulliet L, Labiouse V (2010) Analytical and numerical analyses of the load-bearing capacity of retaining walls laterally supported at both ends. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 35(9):1019–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rahardjo H, Fredlund DG (1984) General limit equilibrium method for lateral earth force. Can Geotech J 21:166–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rowe RK, Ho SK (1997) Continuous Panel Reinforced Soil Walls on Rigid Foundations. ASCE J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 123(10):912–920CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Saran S, Garg KG, Bhandari RK (1992) Retaining wall with reinforced cohesionless backfill. J Geotech Eng ASCE 118(12):1869–1888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Shinde AL, Mandal JN (2007) Behavior of reinforced soil retaining wall with limited fill zone parameter. Geotech Geol Eng 25:657–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Talwar DV (1981) Behaviour of reinforced earth in retaining structures and shallow foundation. Ph.D. thesis, University of Roorkee, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Terzaghi K (1943) Theoretical soil mechanics. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Terzaghi K, Peck RB (1948) Soil mechanics in engineering practice. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vesic AS (1963) Bearing capacity of deep foundations in sand. Highway Research Record, No. 39, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Vidal H (1966) The principle of reinforced earth. Highway Research Record, No. 282, Washington, DC, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Walsh JW (1987) Fabric reinforced brick faced earth retaining walls. Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom, p 291Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    White DJ, Take WA, Bolton MD (2001) Measuring soil deformation in geotechnical models using digital images and PIV analysis. In: Proceedings of 10th international conference on computer methods and advances in geomechanics, Tucson, Arizona, pub., Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 997–1002Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    White DJ, Take WA, Bolton MD (2003) Soil deformation measurement using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and photogrammetry. Geotechnique 53(7):619–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    White DJ, Randolph M, Thompson B (2005) An image-based deformation measurement system for the geotechnical centrifuge. Int J Phys Model Geotech 5(3):1–12Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

Personalised recommendations