Muhammad Rehan Hakro, Aneel Kumar, Zaheer Ahmed Almani, Agha Faisal Habib, Muhammad Auchar Zardari

Numerical Modelling of Shallow Foundations on Expansive Shale: A Case Study of Jamshoro, Pakistan

Abstract This study analyzes expansive soil swelling under the shallow foundation using the Plaxis 2D FEM software. Under the impact of changing water conditions, expansive soil undergoes obvious volumetric changes, which often cause differential movements of the shallow foundations resting on it, which may lead to structural damage if no special precautions had been taken during the design process. In previous studies, the swelling of soil was simulated in Plaxis by applying the swelling potential with a positive volumetric strain, without considering water level changes, which proved to be not practical. This study demonstrates the time-dependent deformation (swelling) in expansive soil using the Plaxis 2D user-defined Swelling Rock Model in different soil and parametric conditions. The geotechnical properties of expansive shale were determined in the laboratory and by field testing, using parameters of the collected soil as input for the numerical model. Swelling of soil increased due to the increase of water level and decreased with the load. The heave was minimum in the center of the foundation (20 mm), attaining the maximum value at the corner (16 cm). The increase in the modulus of elasticity does not have much effect on soil swelling compared to soil settlement. The effect of matric suction-related changes on the swelling of soil due to the rise of the water table is not significant compared to the inherent soil swelling behaviour.


Keywords swelling; expansive soil; shale; Finite Element Method; PLAXIS 2D; swelling rock model

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