Publication Abstract

DFI - PFSF Piling & Ground Improvement Conference 2022 Proceedings, (DFI and PFSF)

Case Studies Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Vibro-Replacement Stone Columns in Variable Soil Types
Lee R. Buhagiar

As a result of the increased seismic risk and the highly variable geology of Christchurch, finding costeffective foundation solutions has been a challenge for the Canterbury rebuild. The soil profile in Christchurch comprises both terrestrial (Springston Formation) and marine (Christchurch Formation) alluvial deposits with a high groundwater table. The result is a highly variable and interbedded soil profile which is prone to liquefaction and static settlement. Vibro-replacement stone columns are very effective in mitigating liquefaction in clean sand. However, the author's experience has shown that vibro-replacement stone columns are also effective for treating silty and soft soil layers. Vibroreplacement stone columns can be used to treat these soft soils by increasing the composite soil stiffness and providing a load transfer path to the underlying dense soils. Another challenge encountered in the Canterbury rebuild is the cost of redevelopment of brownfield sites with contaminated fill. The costs of disposing this fill often make projects too expensive. Vibro-replacement stone columns have been used successfully to treat contaminated fill, providing a treated soil profile with uniform performance and reducing the cost of disposing of contaminated fill. This paper looks at several case studies in Christchurch, with highly variable soil profiles, where vibro-replacement stone columns have been used successfully to treat multiple soil layers, from contaminated fill to silty soils and soft and non-liquefiable silt.

 article #3809; publication #1076 (IC-2021)