Numerical modelling development for capillary barrier investigation considering unsaturated soil–geotextile interface has been studied and evaluated in recent years. Most engineering constructions involving geomaterials and geotextiles application, such as reinforced walls, slopes, embankments, and roads, require understanding the hydraulic performance of those systems for design purposes (capillary barrier, drainage, filtration, etc.). Considering that the hydraulic behavior of those materials is directly dependent on their saturated–unsaturated state over time, unsaturated principles should be applied for their long-term evaluation. This paper presents a 1D (one-dimensional) numerical analysis of an unsaturated system composed of soil and gravel layers separated by a geotextile in a column laterally impermeable (2.0 m). A non-woven geotextile was applied considering different soil types from the literature, such as silty sand, sandy, compacted residual silty, bimodal, and compacted residual sandy soils. A SEEP/W finite element numerical model was developed to perform transient analyses through the system to evaluate its hydraulic performance in terms of capillary barrier formation considering different geomaterials combinations in different hydraulic conditions. A significant influence of geotextile hydraulic conductivity and water flow rate were verified on the capillary barrier effect. Also noticed were the different height and duration of capillary barrier formation for different soil profiles. A design chart-table was proposed to evaluate soil–geotextile performance in terms of capillary barrier for new geotechnical designs. Finally, it could be inferred that fine-grained soils demonstrated to develop higher and longer water column (positive pore pressure) compared to coarse-grained soils, independently of their initial suction.
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The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article. Some of the data analysed during this study is properly cited in the manuscript and referenced in the References section.
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The authors thank the financial support by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).
This research was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001, the Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).
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Castro, G.B., Siacara, A.T., Nardelli, A. et al. Numerical Analysis of Infiltration in One-Dimensional Unsaturated Soil–Geotextile Column. Geotech Geol Eng 40, 4121–4144 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-022-02144-3