Evaluation of Effective Depth of PVD Improvement in Soft Clay Deposit: A Field Case Study

J. Chen, S.-L. Shen, Zhenyu Yin, Y.-S. Xu, S. Horpibulsuk

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.This article presents a case history of determination of effective depth of prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) under embankment loading on a very soft clay deposit in central China, near Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province. The height of the embankment was 5.3 m and construction time was about one year. The PVDs were installed to a depth of 8.5 m at a spacing of 1.5 m in a triangular pattern. Field observations and the finite element method (FEM) were employed to analyze the performance of the soft deposit during embankment construction. The influential depth of the embankment loading was evaluated based on settlement, excess pore pressure, and stress increase in subsoil, both from the observed data and FEM analysis. The effective PVD depth was determined in the following ways: (1) the depth of 5% subsoil settlement of surface settlement; (2) vertical stress increase in subsoil of 25% in-situ stress; and (3) consolidation time/PVD depth relation by FEM. Based on the analysis, the effective depth of PVDs was determined to be between 10 and 12.8 m for this field case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-430
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Georesources and Geotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • effective depth of PVD
  • field measurement
  • PVD improved soft deposit
  • soft clay
  • staged construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering


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