Publication: Analysis of a Prefabricated Vertical Drain (PVD) Soil Improvement Project
A settlement analysis has been carried out for several sectors of a rail station yard improved with prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) in Istanbul, that exhibited prolonged consolidation beyond the predicted values in certain sectors of the treated zone. Final settlement and End of Primary (EOP) settlement times have been estimated theoretically as well as using the Asaoka graphical procedure. The compliance of settlement-time curves with in-situ measurements and Asaoka solution has been investigated. A geotechnical model was developed for finite element and three-dimensional consolidation analyses. The settlement curves obtained by varying horizontal-vertical permeability coefficient ratio (k(h)/k(v)) and in-situ measurements have been compared, and k(h)/k(v) values corresponding to 90% degree of consolidation has been computed for all sectors. The effect of drain spacing (S-drain) as well as drain length (L-drain) on the rate of consolidation have been evaluated for each sector, keeping the specified ratios constant. The times corresponding to 95% degree of consolidation (t(95)) have been calculated using the theoretical solution and compared to in-situ measurements. Calculated t(95)'s has also been compared to their estimated values by varying the spacing (S-drain) and the length (L-drain). Additionally, the required intervals of S-drain and L-drain have been obtained corresponding to the calculated t(95) times. The analyses suggest that the main reason for prolonged consolidation was the horizontal to vertical permeability coefficient ratio. According to the analysis results, PVD implementation was not efficient in clays having k(h)/k(v) of approximately unity. The main conclusion of this study was to discover the necessity for optimizing the variables in any such project. The efficacy of the works can be significantly enhanced if simultaneous evaluation of the parameters S-drain and L-drain and the permeability ratio k(h)/k(v) is carried out prior to field work. Otherwise, "accidents" may emerge as found out in this project.