Settlement Behavior of a Sandy Loam Due to Suction Changes Associated with Simulated Artificial Tree Roots

Title: Settlement Behavior of a Sandy Loam Due to Suction Changes Associated with Simulated Artificial Tree Roots
Authors: Areghan, Joseph I
Date: 2012
Abstract: Shallow foundations rested on Leda clay that are widely distributed in Eastern Canada exhibit shrinkage characteristics and are prone to differential settlements. Due to this reason, significant repairs are necessary to the foundations and basements of residential structures constructed in Leda clay deposits. Differential settlements are commonly attributed to the changes in the natural water content of soils associated with water infiltration, evaporation or plant transpiration (i.e., tree-roots-suction). Various research studies have been undertaken to estimate the possible settlements of shallow foundations associated with the water infiltration or evaporation. Several thumb rules have been proposed through research studies, providing recommendations with respect to the distance at which trees must be planted as a function of their heights at maturity such that differential settlements can be avoided. However, limited studies have been carried out to estimate or model the settlements of shallow foundations taking into account the influence of tree-roots-suction. In the present research program, a comprehensive experimental study regarding the deformation characteristics of a sandy loam soil from Ottawa due to tree-root-suction is undertaken, using specially designed equipment. The study has been undertaken using a sandy loam soil so that the testing program can be conducted in a shorter period of time. An artificial rooting system (ARS) was designed and placed in a specially designed tank at the University of Ottawa to simulate tree-roots-suction and measure soil surface settlements associated with a decrease in natural water content (or increase in soil suction) using particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique. The ARS consists of an artificial root, suction generator, matric suction and volumetric water content monitoring devices. The variation of matric suction and volumetric water content are monitored at various depths using the instrumentation of the ARS. Based on the results of the experimental studies, a methodology is proposed to model the settlement behaviour of sandy loam soils due to suction from ARS, using commercial finite element software, SEEP/W and SIGMA/W (i.e. software package of GeoStudio 2007). The study offers a reasonably good comparison between the measured surface settlements and those estimated using the finite element modelling analysis. The modelling methodology presented in this thesis is promising and may be extended for estimating the settlement behaviour associated with the tree roots suction of Leda clay deposits and to other soils.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -