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Sand eddies induced by cyclic tilt of a retaining wall


The cyclic tilt of a retaining wall induces a peculiar motion in the backfill (sand), which exhibits closed trajectories (eddies). In this paper, the motion of the backfill has been optically traced and analyzed by means of particle image velocimetry, also known as digital image correlation. The results are of importance for cyclically loaded structures (e.g, piles for off-shore structures) and can also serve to test numerical simulations of large deformation.

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The authors would like to thank the students Amy Cleaves and Eleanor Shirley for carrying out some of the experiments presented in this paper. The research presented in this paper is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), project number I 547-N13.

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Correspondence to Chien-Hsun Chen.

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Chen, CH., Kolymbas, D. Sand eddies induced by cyclic tilt of a retaining wall. Acta Geotech. 11, 269–280 (2016).

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  • Cyclic loading
  • Cyclic response
  • Large deformation
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Retaining wall