Numerical analysis under seismic loads of soils improvement with floating stone columns


NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.88, no.2, pp.891-917, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 88 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-017-2897-0
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.891-917
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


Geotechnical Engineering has developed many methods for soil improvement so far. One of these methods is the stone column method. The structure of a stone column generally refers to partial change of suitable subsurface ground through a vertical column, poor stone layers which are completely pressed. In general terms, to improve bearing capacity of problematic soft and loose soil is implemented for the resolution of many problems such as consolidation and grounding problems, to ensure filling and splitting slope stability and liquefaction that results from a dynamic load such as earthquake. In this study, stone columns method is preferred as an improvement method, and especially load transfer mechanisms and bearing capacity of floating stone column are focused. The soil model, 32 m in width and 8 m in depth, used in this study is made through Plaxis 2D finite element program. The clay having 5 degrees internal friction angle with different cohesion coefficients (c 10, c 15, c 20 kN/m(2)) are used in models. In addition, stone columns used for soil improvement are modeled at different internal friction angles (phi 35 degrees, phi 40 degrees, phi 45 degrees) and in different s/D ranges (s/D 2, s/D 3), stone column depths (B, 2B, 3B) and diameters (D 600 mm, D 800 mm, D 1000 mm). In the study, maximum acceleration (a(max) = 1.785 m/s(2)) was used in order to determine the seismic coefficient used. In these soil models, as maximum acceleration, maximum east-west directional acceleration value of Van Muradiye earthquake that took place in October 23, 2011 was used. As a result, it was determined that the stone column increased the bearing capacity of the soil. In addition, it is observed that the bearing capacity of soft clay soil which has been improved through stone column with both static and earthquake load effect increases as a result of increase in the diameter and depth of the stone column and decreases as a result of the increase in the ranges of stone column. In the conducted study, the bearing capacity of the soil models, which were improved with stone column without earthquake force effect, was calculated as 1.01-3.5 times more on the average, compared to the bearing capacity of the soil models without stone column. On the other hand, the bearing capacity of the soil models with stone columns, which are under the effect of earthquake force, was calculated as 1.02-3.7 times more compared to the bearing capacity of the soil models without stone column.