The present study considers the effect of variation of different geotechnical random variables in the design of stone column-foundation systems for assessing the bearing capacity and consolidation settlement of highly compressible soil. The soil and stone column properties, spacing, diameter and arrangement of stone columns are considered as the random variables. Probability of failure (Pf) is computed for a target degree of consolidation and a target safe load by Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS). The study shows that the variation in coefficient of radial consolidation (cr) and cohesion of soil (cs) are two most important factors influencing Pf. If the coefficient of variation (COV) of cr exceeds 20%, Pf exceeds 0.001, which is unsafe following the guidelines of US Army Corps of Engineers. The bearing capacity also exceeds its safe value for COV of cs > 30%. It is also observed that as the spacing between the stone column increases, the probability of reaching a target degree of consolidation decreases. Accordingly, design guidelines, considering both consolidation and bearing capacity of improved ground, are proposed for different spacing and diameter of stone columns and geotechnical random variables.
This work presents a 2D numerical simulation of an earth dam to assess the behavior of its foundation after a treatment by stone columns. This treatment aims to improve the bearing capacity, to increase the mechanical properties of the soil, to accelerate the consolidation, to reduce the settlements and to eliminate the liquefaction phenomenon in case of seismic excitation. For the evaluation of the pore pressures, the position of the phreatic line and the flow network was defined, and a seepage analysis was performed with the software MIDAS Soil Works. The consolidation calculation is performed through a simulation of the actual construction stages of the dam. These analyzes were performed using the Mohr-Coulomb soil model and the results are compared with the actual measurements of settlement gauges implanted in the dam. An analysis of the bearing capacity was conducted to show the role of stone columns in improving the bearing capacity of the foundation.