The performance of an embankment on soft ground reinforced with geosynthetics and pile walls

J. J. Zheng, B. G. Chen, Y. E. Lu, S. W. Abusharar, Jianhua Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The construction of high embankments on soft ground faces several challenges, such as potential bearing capacity failure, global slope instability, local failure, large total and/or differential settlements, and large lateral movement during both construction and post-construction periods. Horizontal geosynthetic reinforcement combined with vertical reinforcement using piles or pile walls can provide an economical and effective solution to ground improvement to support high embankments. This paper reports the results of a numerical study on the performance of embankments on soft ground with three different reinforcement conditions: (1) unreinforced, (2) reinforced with geosynthetics, (3) reinforced with both geosynthetics and pile walls. The influencing factors, such as the tensile stiffness of the geosynthetic, the number of geosynthetic layers, the elastic modulus of the pile wall, and the pile wall distance ratio, on the interaction of geosynthetic-pile wall-soil systems were investigated and the distribution and dissipation of excess pore water pressure in the soil were examined. The numerical results show that a combination of geosynthetic reinforcement and the pile walls was very effective for the improvement of soft ground. The numerical results were shown to be in good agreement with the field data observed at the end of consolidation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalGeosynthetics International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • Consolidation
  • Embankment
  • Geosynthetics
  • Mechanism
  • Numerical simulation
  • Pile wall
  • Settlement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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