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Macdonald G.J.,Mouchel Ground Engineering | Vooght A.R.,Mouchel Ground Engineering | Parkin S.,Mouchel Ground Engineering
Geological Society Engineering Geology Special Publication | Year: 2012

Seasonal effective stress changes can result in progressive failure of clay embankments. These seasonal effective stress changes are reflected in the soil moisture deficit (SMD) values. This paper explores the relationship between slope failures and SMD for both embankment and cuttings and proposes an SMD trigger level at which more cost effective targeted monitoring of earthwork slopes, considered to be at risk of failure, should be undertaken. The paper presents a methodology for obtaining and reviewing SMD data and discusses the use of rainfall and temperature forecasts as a predictor of future short-term rapid changes in SMD. © The Geological Society of London 2012. Source


Macdonald G.J.,Mouchel Ground Engineering | Vooght A.R.,Mouchel Ground Engineering | Parkin S.,Mouchel Ground Engineering
Geological Society Engineering Geology Special Publication | Year: 2012

Slope failures in cuttings constructed in heavily overconsolidated clays often occur after a period of 20 to 30 years due to the gradual dissipation of negative pore pressures and the effects of water ingress into the slopes. These slope failures are often stabilized with the installation of deep counterfort drains, which reduce the pore water pressures on the potential critical slip planes and act as a reinforcing element in the slope. Counterfort drains are normally designed using empirical methods. However there is little published data on drain performance. This paper summarizes the findings of a research project undertaken by Mouchel on behalf of the Highways Agency to assess the performance of counterfort drains installed in two highway cutting slopes that have been monitored over a number of years. The study has shown that measured pore water pressures can exceed the theoretical pressures, due mainly to what is believed to be the poor performance of the counterfort drains and that the apparent improved slope stability may be primarily due to the reinforcing effect of the drains within the slope. Further studies are required to determine the effects of construction techniques and materials used on the performance of counterfort drains before the efficiency of the existing empirical design methods can be fully assessed. © The Geological Society of London 2012. Source

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