Settlements and Consolidation Rates under Embankments in a Soft Soil with Vertical Drains


1 Université Hassan II, Faculté des Sciences Ben Msik, Casablanca, Morocco

2 Ecole Hassania Des Travaux Publics, Casablanca, Morocco

3 Laboratoire Public d’essais et d’études, Casablanca, Morocco


In this paper, a study was carried out in order to estimate settlements and consolidation rates under embankments constructed on Moroccan soft soils.  Settlement measurements in several embankments in High Speed Railway project between two Moroccan cities, Tangier and Assilah,  were analyzed. The objective of this study is to estimate settlement values and settlement rates, with sufficient precision, in soft soils under embankment loadings. It was found  that the elastic method using  the pressuremeter modulus results in more accurate settlement values than the oedometric method. Furthermore, settlement rates could be determined with fair accuracy by using a correlation between the vertical coefficient of consolidation and the liquid limit, and also by considering an isotropic behavior of soil.


1.     Barron, R.A., "Consolidation of fine-grained soils by drain wells",  (1948).

2.     Hansbo, S., "Consolidation of fine-grained soils by prefabricated drains", Proc. 10th ICSMFE, Vol. 3, (1981), 677-682.

3.     Casagrande, A., "Notes on soil mechanics:-first semester, Graduate School of Engineering, Harvard University,  (1938).

4.     Taylor, D.W., "Fundamentals of soil mechanics, LWW,  Vol. 66,  (1948).

5.     Navy, U., "Soil mechanics, foundations, and earth structures", NAVFAC Design Manual DM-7. US Navy, Waghington, DC,  (1971).

6.     Sridharan, A. and Nagaraj, H., "Coefficient of consolidation and its correlation with index properties of remolded soils",  (2004).

7.     Solanki, C., Desai, M. and Desai, J., "Quick settlement analysis of cohesive alluvial deposits using new empirical correlations", Journal of Civil Engineering Research and Practice,  Vol. 7, No. 2, (2010), 49-58.

8.     Asma, Y., "Al-tae’s, abbas f. Al-ameri.“Estimation of relationship between coefficient of consolidation and liquid limit of middle and south iraqi soils”", Journal of Engineering,  Vol. 17, No. 3, (2011), 430-440.

9.     Devi, S.P., Devi, K.R., Prasad, D. and Raju, G.P., "Study on consolidation and correlation with index properties of different soils in manipur valley", (2015).

10.   Bjerrum, L., "Embankments on soft ground", in Proc. Specialty Conference on Performance of Earth-Supported Structures. Vol. 2, (1972), 1-54.

11.   Jaky, J., "The coefficient of earth pressure at rest", Journal of the Society of Hungarian Architects and Engineers,  Vol. 78, No. 22, (1944), 355-358.

12.   Leroueil, S., Magnan, J.-P. and Tavenas, F., "Remblais sur argiles molles,  (1985).

13.   Cassan, M., "Les essais in situ en mecanique des sols-1) realisation et interpretation; 2) applications et methodes de calcul",  (1978).

14.   Baguelin, F. and LE Mehaute, A., "Essais cycliques au pressiometre autoforeur", Bull Liaison Lab Ponts Chauss,  No. SPEC XI F, (1981).

15.   Skempton, A. and Henkel, D., "The post-glacial clays of the thames estuary at tilbury and shellhaven", in proceedings of the 3rd international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering. Vol. 1, (1953), 302-308.

16.   Terzaghi, K., "Erdbaumechanik auf bodenphysikalischer grundlage",  (1925).

17.   Absi, E., "Generalisation de la theorie de consolidation de terzaghi au cas d'un multicouche", in Annales de l‟ ITBTP., (1965).

18.   Mariotti, M., "Le gonflement des sols argileux surconsolides (aspects du phenomene, influence sur les structures, precautions a envisager)", Mines et geologie,  Vol. 39, (1976), 13-28.

19.   Asaoka, A., "Observational procedure of settlement prediction", Soils and Foundations,  Vol. 18, No. 4, (1978), 87-101.