Numerical Modeling of the Seismic Response of Columnar Reinforced Ground


Ground improvement using stiff columnar reinforcement, such as stone, jet-grout, and soil-mix columns, is commonly used for mitigation of seismic damage in weak ground. Seismic shear stress reduction in the reinforced soil mass is often counted on for reducing liquefaction potential. Current design methods assume composite behavior of the reinforced soil, where the shear stress reduction is based on the ratio of the columnar stiffness relative to the soil as well as the area replacement ratio. This implicitly assumes the stiff columns will deform in pure shear along with the soil. We performed 3-D dynamic finite element modeling to better understand the column deformation and shear stress reduction behavior. We found that the columns deform in both shear and flexure, providing little seismic shear stress reduction and current methods may be unconservative.

Meeting Name

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics IV Congress 2008 (2008: May 18-22, Sacramento, CA)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Column Deformations; Composite Behavior; Design Method; Dynamic Finite Element; Ground Improvement; Liquefaction Potentials; Numerical Modeling; Pure Shear; Reinforced Soil; Replacement Ratio; Seismic Damage; Stress Reduction, Civil Engineering; Dynamics; Earthquakes; Engineering Geology; Geotechnical Engineering; Reinforcement; Seismic Design; Shear Stress; Soil Structure Interactions; Soils; Strength Of Materials; Three Dimensional, Soil Liquefaction

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2008 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2008