You are on page 1of 7

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112 DOI 10.1007/s40098-012-0004-8

TECHNICAL NOTE

 

Analysis of Arching in Soil-Passive State

Rupa Sunil Dalvi Prabhakar Jagannath Pise

Received: 22 June 2010 / Accepted: 2 September 2011 / Published online: 16 May 2012 Indian Geotechnical Society 2012

Abstract Arching involves stress transfer from yielding part of a soil to unyielding part of soil. Many authors considered arching action for active earth pressure. In this paper arching action is considered for passive earth pres- sure in noncohesive backfill. The backfill is assumed to move upward in a form of catenary arch due to arching. The value of h w (the angle of major principal plane) is calculated for soil-wall friction angle and soil friction angle. An expression for passive lateral stress ratio has been derived considering these angles. An illustrative example has been solved to show the effect on earth pressure distribution on retaining wall considering arching for different wall friction angles and soil friction angles. The applicability of proposed formulation is compared with model test results.

K

p

K

w

Passive earth pressure coefficient r 1 /r 3 K at wall due to catenary arch

  • V Vertical force from soil weight Coordinates of catenary Angle of major principal plane to the horizontal

x, y

h (thita)

  • d (delta)

  • l (mue)

r 1 , r 3 (sigma) r r

av

h

s

/ (phi)

c (gama)

Soil-wall friction angle

Wall friction coefficient Major and minor principal stresses Average vertical stress Horizontal stress Shear strength Angle of shearing resistance of soil of soil

Soil unit weight

Keywords Arching Passive earth pressure Sandy soil Wall friction Retaining wall

List of symbols

a

Mathematical coefficient in equation for

B

catenary Breadth of soil between the two vertical

H

rough walls Height of wall

K

Ratio of horizontal to vertical stress r h /rv

R. S. Dalvi (&) Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Pune 411005, India e-mail: rsd.civil@coep.ac.in

P. J. Pise Department of Civil Engineering, IIT, Kharagpur, India e-mail: pjpise@vsnl.net

Introduction

Arching involves stress transfer from the yielding part of soil to the unyielding part of soil. It is first described by Terzaghi in 1943 [4]. It depends on shear strength of soil and extent of yielding of soil. Many researchers have studied active earth pressure against rigid retaining wall considering arching effect. Janssen [2] proposed differential equation for pres- sure in the silos. He has provided theoretical basis for understanding the effect of arching. Spangler and Handy [12] and Wang [10] suggested procedures to estimate non linear pressure distribution of active earth pressure on the back of the wall based on Janssen theory [2]. Many experi- mental results [5, 6] show that lateral earth pressure behind the retaining wall depends on the mode of wall movement or rotation of the wall at the top or bottom and the pressure distribution is non linear. This non-linearity is attributed due to arching effect by Handy [7].

123

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112

107

Review of Previous Work

Handy [7] considered two stages of arching for active earth pressure when the back of the wall is rough. He assumed the shape of arch as catenary. According to him, stage I arching is due to change of directions of principal stresses. Con- sidering Stage I arching, earth pressure estimated is more than predicted by classical theory. As the wall movement is continuous semi arch is formed between the wall and the boundary of the slip surfaces separating mobile and immobile soil mass. Due to this minor principal stress becomes horizontal. This is termed by him as second stage of arching. The second stage of arching reduces vertical and horizontal pressure particularly near the base of the wall. Due to this effect pressure distribution becomes rounded at the base. The equation proposed by Handy [7] and Harrop- Williams [8] have some limitations. They have not con- sidered the dependence of vertical stress r v and horizontal stress r h due to soil friction angle, / and soil to wall friction angle, d. Paik and Salgado [9] have proposed an equation considering the effect of / and d on r v and r h . They compared the existing test results with the values calculated from the equation given by other authors. They have also presented design charts based on their formulation. Dalvi et al. [10] considered the effect of arching on the passive earth pressure in non cohesive soil. They have considered stage I arching for different heights of retaining wall. They have compared their results with the classical theory of Coulomb. They concluded that stage I arching estimates lateral pressure, which is always less than that predicted by classical theory.

Scope of Study

In this paper effect of arching on passive earth pressure in the noncohesive backfill is considered. The backfill is assumed to rise upward in a catenary form due to arching. The coef- ficient of passive earth pressure has been derived making suitable assumptions. The value of h w (the angle of major principal plane) is calculated from different values of d and /. The coefficient of passive earth pressure is calculated for h w . A cumulative effect on soil pressure is considered as the second stage of arching. Summation of all the vertical forces acting on the differential element is considered and equation for stage II arching was derived from it.

Proposed Method of Analysis

Assumptions

Following assumptions have been made in the analysis.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

The soil is non-cohesive, semi infinite, homogeneous, isotropic and the backfill is horizontal. The problem is a plane strain problem i.e. two- dimensional. The soil mass is bounded between two parallel, un- yielding rough vertical walls. The walls are assumed to rotate towards the soil mass creating passive case. The sliding surfaces are vertical and pass through the outer edge of the yielding wall. The soil mass moves up in a curved path which is considered as catenary arch. Wall friction angle d is less than soil friction angle /. i.e. (d \ /). The major and minor principal stresses have been considered to be constant along the length of the arch. The ratio of horizontal to vertical pressure r h to r v is constant and it is represented by

K

¼ r h =r v

Fully Developed Wall Friction

The analysis is described elsewhere [10]. However, it is given briefly below. Two parallel, rigid vertical walls retaining granular soil mass as shown in Fig. 1 has been considered. The distance between the walls is B. When rotation of the wall takes place towards the soil mass, passive state is developed and the soil moves in the upward direction as shown. Consider a small strip of soil mass having thickness dh at a depth h below the ground surface in the soil mass. V is the vertical upward force acting on a strip. The weight of the strip is c B dh. The forces acting on the strip of soil mass have been shown in Fig. 1. The frictional resistance F is acting in the downward direction as shown. This fric- tional resistance is equal to the lateral force times the coefficient of friction l (i.e. l = tan d), where d is soil- wall friction angle. The major and minor principal planes and stresses are shown in the Fig. 2a. The vertical and horizontal stresses at the wall are r v and r h . Inside the soil mass the tra- jectory of major principal stress, r 1 gives continuous ‘‘tension arch’’ in the upward direction. Due to catenary arch considered the direction of the principal stress changes along and normal to the arch. The major prin- cipal stress r 1 makes an angle of h with the wall as shown at point C. Figure 2b shows Mohr’s circle of stress for any point along with failure envelope. The slip lines make an angle, h = 45 - //2. This is simplified assumption made similar to Handy. The stress conditions at C are modified and they are shown separately in Fig. 2c.

123

108

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112

Fig. 1 Representation of soil arching

108 Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112 Fig. 1 Representation of soil arching Stresses in Arch

Stresses in Arch

Vertical and Horizontal Stresses

From force equilibrium on triangular element, at C as shown in Fig. 2c gives

r h ¼ r 3 cos 2 h þ r 1 sin 2 h s ¼ ðr 1 r 3 Þsinhcosh

ð1Þ

ð2Þ

Dividing Eq. 1 by r 3 and considering the soil mass to be in a passive state

r 1 =r 3 ¼ K p :

where, K p = coefficient of passive earth pressure From Eqs. 1 and 2,

r h =r 3 ¼ cos 2 h þ K p sin 2 h

ð3Þ

From Fig. 2a, and using geometrical relationships,

r 1 r h ¼ r v r 3

Putting the value of r h , in Eq. 3.

ð

r

1

r

v

þ r

3

Þ=r 3 ¼ cos 2 h þ K p sin 2 h

Solving the above and rearranging the terms,

r v =r 3 ¼ K p cos 2 h þ sin 2 h

ð4Þ

The vertical and lateral stresses acting at arbitrary points along a differential flat element in the backfill can be calculated from Eqs. 3 and 4

The principle stresses are resolved into horizontal and vertical stresses by using Eqs. 3 and 4. The values of h and / are substituted in Eqs. 3 and 4 and the ratio of r h /r 3 and r v /r 3 are obtained. In case of wall or conduit problems instead of considering the vertical stress at the wall, aver- age stress was considered by Janssen [2] and Handy [7]. Average vertical stress is equal to r av = V/B. Consid- ering their approach the lateral stress ratio, r h /r av is evaluated. The value of r av is obtained by averaging r v /r 3 for / = 10 and / = 40 we get r av is 1.16. The horizontal stress to average vertical stress ratio is designated here as K w . This equation is adjusted for average reduction in r v

r h

¼

cos

2

h þ

K p

sin

2

h

r 3

So;

r h ¼ r 3

cos 2 h

þ K p sin 2 h

 

ð5Þ

As;

r av =r 3 ¼ 1:16

 

So;

 

r av

cos

2

h þ K sin

p

2

h

 

r h ¼

1:16

And; K w

¼ r h

¼ 0:862

cos 2 h þ K p sin 2 h

ð6Þ

 

r av

Partially Developed Wall Friction

Figure 3i, ii, show Mohr’s circle solution when angle of

wall friction

d \ /, i.e. when partially wall friction is

123

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112

109

Fig. 2 a Continuous major principal arch (trajectory of major principal arch). b Mohr’s circle showing arching. c Stresses on element at stresses at rough wall C

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112 109 Fig. 2 a Continuous major principal arch (trajectory of

developed. h w is the angle between horizontal direction and direction of the minor principal plane. The angle h w is obtained from Fig. 3. From triangle OAB and ABC.

s w ¼ ðr 1 r h Þ tanh w ¼ r h tand

ð

r

1

r

h

Þcotd ¼ r h coth w

ð7Þ

Dividing Eq. 7 by r h and rearranging,

ð

r =r

1

h

1Þcotd ¼ coth w

ð8Þ

Dividing r 1 /r 3 = K p by r h /r 3 = cos 2 h ? K p sin 2 h gives

r 1 =r h ¼ K p cos 2 h þ K p sin 2 h

ð9Þ

Substituting Eq. 9 in Eq. 8 and rearranging the terms,

K p

cos 2 h þ K p sin 2 h 1 cotd ¼ coth w

ð10Þ

 

K p ðcos 2 h þ K p sin 2 hÞ

! cotd ¼ coth w

 

cos 2 h þ

 

K p sin 2 h

Simplifying Eq. 10 further step wise, Eq. 11 is derived.

tanh w

K p 1

¼ tand

 

ð11Þ

1

þ K p tan 2 h w

123

110

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112

110 Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112 Fig. 3 i Partially developed wall friction. ii Detail

Fig. 3 i Partially developed wall friction. ii Detail at ‘C’

In Eq. 11, if / and d are known, the value of the h w can be

determined.

Equation for the Earth Pressure Behind the Wall

A second stage of arching is its cumulative effect on soil

pressure. The forces acting on the strip of the soil mass is

shown in the Fig. 1. Summation of all vertical forces acting

on the differential element (Fig. 1)

V dV þ cB dh V þ 2K w lV=B dh ¼ 0

dv þ cB dh V þ 2K w lV=B dh ¼ 0

where K w is passive lateral stress ratio due to arching at the

wall

2KlV=B dh dv ¼ cB dh

 

ð12Þ

Eq. 12 can be written as

 

2KlV=B dv=dh ¼ cB

Integrating

Eq. 12

and

using

appropriate

boundary

condition Eq. 13 is obtained.

 

cB 2

2

 

2

  • V ¼

kl þ

cB

2kl e ð2klhÞ=B

  • V ¼

cB 2

1 e

ð2klhÞ=BÞ

2 kl

 

cB 2

  • V ¼

2 k l

e ð2klhÞ=B 1

is the wall friction coefficient

Since V/B = r av

 

ð13Þ

Rearranging the terms in Eq. 13.

ð14Þ

where V is the total accumulated vertical load at depth h, c

is unit weight of soil, B is the distance between two walls,

K w = r h /r v is the K at wall due to catenary arch, l = tan d

K w r av = r h

And Eq. 14 changes as

r h ¼

cB

2l

e ð2K w lhÞ=B 1

ð15Þ

Eq. 15 gives equation for lateral earth pressure behind a

wall.

Soil Arching Action Behind Retaining Wall

Non Linear Pressure Distribution

The Marston equations were originally derived to define

boundary stresses in the soil partially supported between

vertical walls with a constant separation distance B. They

predict constant wall pressure below certain depth.

Figure 4 shows a single wall horizontal distance equivalent

to B/2 from wall to the stable soil encountered behind a plane

normally rising at 45 - //2 from base of the wall. Along this

plane principal stresses oriented vertically and horizontally.

So the separation distance from wall is a half arch.

This distance B changes with the depth becoming zero

at the bottom of wall. The horizontal pressure on the wall

may be obtained by differentiating Eq. 14

dr h

dh

¼ K w c exp

ð

2k

w

lh=BÞ

Near the top of wall where h is small and B is large the exp.

term is 1 and slope is K w

cB

2

¼ ðH hÞtanðÞ

45 þ h=2

Substituting

Eq. 16

in

Eq. 15

gives

the

equation

ð16Þ

for

horizontal soil pressure at any level behind a rough wall.

r h ¼

c

l ðH hÞtan45

 
 

þ /=2

h

exp ððKwlÞ=tanð45þ/=2ÞÞ ðh=H hÞ 1

i

ð17Þ

123

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112

111

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112 111 Fig. 4 Retaining wall-backfill geometry r is the horizontal

Fig. 4 Retaining wall-backfill geometry

r h is the horizontal pressure at level h, c is the unit weight

of the soil, l is the soil to wall coefficient of fric-

tion = tand, H is the total height of wall, h is the elevation

from the top, / is the soil internal friction angle

Lateral earth pressure behind the wall is calculated using

Eq. 17 From the equation it is observed that the horizontal

pressure is a function of unit weight of soil, c angle of wall

friction, d total height of the wall, H and earth pressure

coefficient due to arching, K w . Applicability and effects of

arching on lateral pressure on retaining wall has been

discussed with an illustrative example based on the present

study. Also analytical prediction compared with other

theories and model study of Narain et al. [3].

Illustrative Example

An imaginary example for the soil-wall data given below

has been solved Wall height = 2 m; / = 32 and d = 0.2/

and 0.6/ and c e = 18 kN/m 3. The results have been

compared in Fig. 5.

The pressure distribution on the wall considering stage I

arching effect is calculated from Eq. 6. Lateral earth

pressure distribution behind the wall due to stage I arching

and using Coulomb equation are triangular in nature. Lat-

eral pressure at any depth is about 8 % less than the

pressure predicted by Coulomb’s analysis.

The pressure distribution behind the wall due to stage II

arching is calculated using Eq. 17. Lateral pressure due to

stage II arching and pressure due to classical theory are

practically equal for the wall height of 1.5–1.7 m. Beyond

this the lateral pressure increases in exponential form.

Comparison with Experimental Data

The prediction of earth pressure on the back of the wall

from the

Eq. 17

are

compared with model test result of

Pressure (kPa)

0 200 400 600 0 0.2 Stage I arching for 0.2 phi 0.4 Stage II arching
0
200
400
600
0
0.2
Stage I arching for 0.2 phi
0.4
Stage II arching for 0.2 phi
0.6
Coulomb Pressure for 0.2 phi
Stage I arching for 0.6 phi
0.8
Stage II arching for 0.6 phi
1
Coulomb pressure for 0.6 phi
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
Fig. 5 Lateral
earth
pressure
with
depth
and
comparison
Depth (m)

Coulomb theory (d = 0.2/ and 0.6/)

with

Narain et al. [3]. They have carried out experiments on

retaining wall model to study dry uniform Ranipur sand at

two relative densities (RD) of 31.5 and 70.25 %. The sand

has / = 38 .5 0 at RD = 31.5 % and / = 42 at

RD = 70.25 %. The angle of wall friction for two densities

0

is 23 .5 . The height of the wall is 500 mm. The pressure

distribution on the wall for different condition such as

rotation about top, rotation about bottom and translation

were considered. Model experiments reported by Sherif

et al. [12] indicated that a translating wall movement of

only about 1/6,000 the height of the wall was required to

mobilize wall friction. This is negligible. While comparing

experimental and analytical results rotation about top and

translation for 10 mm wall movement were considered.

In Fig. 6a (For loose sand) up to a depth of 160 mm

lateral earth pressure distribution due to stage I arching and

stage II arching are less than experimental results for wall

translation.

In Fig. 6b (For dense sand) Lateral earth pressure dis-

tribution due to stage I arching is always less than the

experimental values for wall translation. Lateral earth

pressure distribution due to stage II arching is less than the

experimental values up to a depth of 260 mm. However,

after this depth the pressure increases.

123

112

Indian Geotech J (April–June 2012) 42(2):106–112

sand lateral earth pressure distribution due to stage II arching is closer to the experimental results.
sand lateral earth pressure distribution due to stage II
arching is closer to the experimental results. As wall
movement increases arching does not take place. Negligi-
ble wall movement is required for stage II arching to occur
[12].
Conclusions
Analysis has been presented to estimate passive earth
pressure due to arching in soil mass. Planer failure surface
and shape of arch in soil is considered as upward catenary,
initiating from rough wall. Due consideration has been
given to the contribution of soil wall friction angle and
shearing resistance of soil. The pressure distribution pre-
dicted is reasonably closer to the observed experimental
results of Narain et al. [3] and also the trend of variation of
pressure with depth is similar to the model test results.
Further study is suggested to understand the intricacies of
arching in practice.
References
1.
Terzaghi K (1943) Theoretical soil mechanics, 4th edn. Chapman
and Hall Ltd, London, pp 66–76, 77–117
2.
Janssen HA (1895) versche uber Getreidedruck in silozellen.
Z.Ver.dut. Ingr 39:1045 (Partial English translation in proceed-
ings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, London, England 1896,
553)
3.
Spangler MG, Handy RL (1982) Soil engineering, 4th edn.
Harper and Row, New York
4.
Wang YZ (2000) Distribution of earth pressure on a retaining
wall. Geotechnique 50(1):83–88
5.
Tsagareli ZV (1965) Experimental investigation of the pressure
of a loose medium retaining wall with a vertical back face and
horizontal backfill surface. J Soil Mech Found Eng ASCE 91(4):
197–200
6.
Fang Y, Ishibhishi I (1986) Static earth pressure with various wall
movements. J Geotech Eng ASCE 112(3):313–333
7.
Handy RL (1985) The arch in soil arching. J Geotech Eng ASCE
III(3):302–317

Fig. 6 a Comparison with experimental data (loose sand). b Com- parison with experimental data (dense sand)

In Fig. 6a, b experimental values for the rotation about

the top for 10 mm wall movement are also plotted. It is

observed that the lateral earth pressure distribution due to

stage I is less than the experimental results for loose and

dense sand. But in case of loose sand lateral earth pressure

distribution due to stage II arching is less than the exper-

imental results up to depth of 220 mm. In case of dense

  • 8. Harrop-Williams K (1989) Geostatic wall pressures. J Geotech Eng ASCE 115(9):1321–1325

  • 9. Paik KH, Salgado R (2003) Estimation of active earth pressure against rigid retaining wall considering arching effects. Geo- technique 53(7):643–653

  • 10. Dalvi RS, Bhosale SS, Pise PJ (2005) Analysis for passive earth pressure: catenary arch in soil. Indian Geotech J 35(4):388–400

  • 11. Narain J, Saran S, Nandakumaran P (1969) Model study of passive pressure is sand. J Soil Mech Found Eng ASCE 95(4): 969–983

  • 12. Sherif MA, Ishibhashi I, Lee CD (1982) Earth pressure against rigid retaining wall. J Geotech Eng Div ASCE 108(GT5): 679–696

123