Gravel impact compaction piers as a method of soil improvement


  • Bahman Niroumand Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr (Iran)
  • Hamed Niroumand Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr (Iran)



Liquefaction, gravel impact compaction piers, soil improvement, soil compaction, multi-layer soil.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of gravel impact compaction piers system (GICPs) in improving a 3.5m thick loose silty sand in a multilayer coastal soil system located in Bushehr, Iran. The liquefiable sandy soil layer was layered on clay layers with moderate to very stiff consistency and below the engineering embankment layer with a thickness of 1.8 m. Implementation of gravel impact compaction piers is a new generation of aggregate piers. Gravel impact compaction piers were used to improve the liquefiable soil layers and to increase the bearing capacity and reduce subgrade settlement to withstand surface infrastructures. The process of making gravel impact compaction piers in a triangular or square-patterned grid was created using three types of special mandrels and feeding and compacting the gravels in the cavity in several stages without removing the soil from the cavities. The experience gained in this case study showed that artificial liquefiable was created immediately after the construction of these piers in a limited area and the soil became unstable. After about 11-14 days, the soil stabilized rapidly. The results of the standard penetration test in the matrix soil around the piers showed that the amount of (N1)60 in compacted soils was in the range of 21-30 and on average 15 times the amount of (1-3) in the initial soil. Also, the relative density of the initial soil was increased from 25% to 75% after soil improvement. Accordingly, by relying merely on the compaction properties of the piers and without relying on other primary soil remediation factors, such as piers drainage and soil texture change, the safety factor of the improved soil is 1.7-1.95 times the minimum required according to the two risk levels in the design.

Author Biography

Hamed Niroumand, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr (Iran)


Hamed Niroumand was born on October 30, 1984. He is an assistant professor at university. His main fields of research are geotechnical engineering, deep foundation, numerical analysis, sustainable development, earth architecture, earth buildings, green buildings , sustainable architecture, and nanotechnology in geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics. He is a project manager and professional engineer in various geotechnical and earth architecture projects. In the year 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, he got various awards such as four medals and international awards for his inventions and researches and the 1st rank of research section at the national Iranian young inventor and researcher festival 2012 and the 1st rank of research section at the national Iranian youth festival 2012 and 2013. He got the best researcher award in Ministry of Road and Urban Development (MRUD) in 2016. He was the chairman and head director of the international/national conferences of civil engineering near to 20 cases that held in various countries. He chaired sessions in several international/national conferences and festivals in various countries. He presented various research papers in many conferences around the world. He published around 180 papers in journals and conferences. He has published 35 books in USA (Elsevier), Germany and Iran. He is editoral team and reviewer in scientific journals. He has invented around 20 inventions that are patent/patent pending at this moment. He received many awards for his researches.




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How to Cite

Niroumand, B., & Niroumand, H. (2022). Gravel impact compaction piers as a method of soil improvement. Revista De La Construcción. Journal of Construction, 21(3), 539–554.

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