Three-Dimensional Finite Element Study of Arching Behavior in Slope/Drilled Shafts System

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Mechanical and Civil Engineering


Two‐dimensional slope stability analysis for a slope with a row of drilled shafts needs a mechanism to take into account the three‐dimensional effect of the soil arching due to the spaced drilled shafts on slope. To gain a better understanding of the arching mechanisms in a slope with evenly spaced drilled shafts socketed into a stable stratum (or a rock layer), the three‐dimensional finite element modelling technique was used for a comprehensive parametric study, where the nonlinear and plastic nature of the soil and the elastic behavior of the drilled shafts as well as the interface frictions were modelled. Various factors were varied in the parametric study to include (1) the rigidity of the drilled shafts as influenced by its diameter, modulus of elasticity, and total length; (2) shafts spacing and location on the slope; (3) the material properties of rock and the socket length of shaft; and (4) the soil movement and strength parameters. Evidences of soil arching and reduction in the stresses and displacements through the load transfer mechanisms due to the presence of the drilled shafts were elucidated through the finite element method (FEM) simulation results. Design charts based on regression analysis of FEM simulation results were created to obtain a numerical value of the load transfer factor for the arching mechanism provided by the drilled shafts on the slope. Observations of the arching behavior learned from the FEM simulations provide an insight into the behavior of drilled shafts stabilized slope.

Publication Title

International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics