Static earth pressures on a pile supported excavation in Santiago gravel
Concrete soldier piles anchored in multiple levels are the most common method for supporting deep excavations in gravel. Their static design is based on limit equilibrium principles, although these procedures were originally developed for sheet piles or anchored walls on shallow excavations supporting medium-dense sand. The present study draws on the applicability of current design tools to model the static response of deep excavations in stiff gravels and their implications for design. For this purpose, the static response of an anchored pile system was evaluated with a detailed finite element model of a case study, and the results are compared with simplified hand-calculation procedures. The study unit was the 28 m deep excavation of the Beauchef Poniente building located in the fluvial deposits of the Mapocho River in Santiago. A plain strain model was developed in PLAXIS using the Hardening Soil constitutive model, with parameters determined from large-scale triaxial tests of local gravels, and the computed pile displacement were compared to actual displacement profiles measured with inclinometers. The analysis shows that the simplified procedures provide a reasonably good approximation to the computed earth pressures, internal forces on the piles, and stress in the anchors.
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