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2.1 The types of ground improvement technique selected.

Soil improvement is the alteration of any property of a soil to
improve its engineering performance. This may be either a temporary
process to permit the construction of a facility or may be a permanent
measure to improve the performance of the completed facility. The result
of an application of a technique may be increased strength, reduced
compressibility, reduced permeability, or improved ground water

In this case, the site for the retaining wall is susceptible to failure
and excessive settlement will occur when superstructure is constructed
over it. Therefore, the best type of ground improvement methods decided
to be used for this case are stone column, stabilization by admixture
which is cement stabilization and field compaction.

The stone columns process is an extension of vibroflotation for

ground containing silty or clayey layers, the particles of which cannot be
rearranged by vibration. Stone columns allow the treatment of these types
of ground through the incorporation of granular materials compacted from
the bottom up. These columns can also be either concreted or made of
mortar. They also serve as drains and allow consolidation of the
surrounding ground to be accelerated.

There are few types of admixtures for stabilization by admixture

for ground improvement which are lime, cement and lime-fly ash. For this
case, cement stabilization will be done for soil improvement. The
material obtained by mixing soil and cement is known as soil-cement. Soil-
cement is a mixture of pulverized soil and measured amount of cement
and water, compacted to the desired density and cured (Liu, 1998). It
becomes a hard and durable structural material as the cement hydrates
and develops strength.

Field compaction also will be done to improve the soil condition.
Soil compaction is defined as the method of mechanically increasing the
density of soil. If field compaction performed improperly, settlement of the
soil could occur and result in unnecessary maintenance costs or structure
failure. Almost all types of building sites and construction projects utilize
mechanical compaction techniques. Soil compaction is depending on the
soil type, soil moisture content and compaction effort required.

2.2 Objective of ground improvement techniques.

The main purpose of ground improvement is to improve its condition
so that I can bear the structure about it without causing any failure. The
soil at a construction site may not always be totally suitable for supporting
structures. Depending on the structural load and the depth of the layers,
unusually large consolidation settlement may occur. Special soil-
improvement techniques are required to minimize settlement. All the soil-
improvement techniques main objectives are:
a) Reduce the settlement of structures
b) Improve the shear strength of soil and thus increase the
bearing capacity of shallow foundations.
c) Increase the factor of safety against possible slope failure of
embankments and earth dams.
d) Reduce the shrinkage and swelling of soils.
There are few techniques of ground improvement will be used for
this case which are stone column, cement stabilization and field
compaction. These techniques have their specific objective in improving
the soil conditions.

`2.2.1 Stone Column

Stone columns help to limit the amount and consequences of future
liquefaction by densifying the soil through vibration and introducing stone

into the soil. Reinforcing the soil creating a stiff composite soil mass. In
addition, stone columns may sometimes provide the soil with an increased
drainage path to help reduce excess pore water pressure that can lead to
liquefaction, so the columns can reduce the consequences of liquefaction
when this occurs.

Stone columns will transmit some load to the soil by shear stresses
(along the column-soil interface) and end bearing (at the column base),
the predominant load transfer mechanism (unless the column is very
short) is lateral bulging into the surrounding soil. The passive resistance of
the surrounding soil dictates the column performance under load.
Generally the column bulging will be greatest close to the top of the
column where the overburden pressures are lowest. Therefore, this
method will increase the load-bearing capacity of shallow foundations on
the soil. It also tend to reduce the settlement of foundations at allowable

2.2.2 Cement Stabilization

Cement stabilization is where the cement is used during compaction
process to fill the void space of the soil. The void ratio of the soil may be
reduced as this happens. Moreover, when water added during compaction,
the cement reacts with water and becomes hard which increases the unit
weight of soil. The hardened cement, increase the shear strength and
bearing capacity of the soil. This method also may cause the permeability
of the soil to reduce where the cement interacts with silt fractions and
reduce its affinity of water.
The cement plays role as to improve engineering properties of
available soil such as strength compressibility, permeability, swelling
potential, frost susceptibility and sensitivity to changes in moisture
content. The role of cement is to improve the Soil cement materials range
from semi flexible to semi rigid depending on the type of soil and amount
of cement used.

2.2.3 Field Compaction
Compaction is one kind of densification that is realized by
rearrangement of soil particles without outflow of water. Soil is compacted
by removing air and water from its pore space. It is the most obvious and
simple way of increasing the stability and supporting capacity of soil
(improving the physical properties of soil). This process of increases the
unit weight of soil by forcing solids into a tighter state and reducing air.
This is accomplished by applying static or dynamic loads to the soil. There
exists a certain amount of moisture that a soil can have where a
maximum unit weight is obtained. It does not involve fluid flow, but with
moisture changing. Field compaction will improve the soil condition as it:
a) Increases load-bearing capacity
b) Prevents soil settlement and frost damage
c) Provides stability
d) Reduces water seepage, swelling and contraction
e) Reduces settling of soil
The principal reason for compacting soil is to reduce subsequent
settlement under working loads and to increases the shear strength of the
soil. Other than that, compaction reduces the voids ratio making it more
difficult for water to flow through soil. This is important if the soil is being
used to retain water such as would be required for an earth dam.
Compaction can also prevent the build-up of large water pressures that
cause soil to liquefy during earthquakes

2.3 Factors affecting the selection of ground improvement.

The soil condition for the given case is as shown in the Table 1. Deep
boring at the site result shows that the top layer of the soil is sandy silt
about 7.5 meters. The number of blows for depth of 3 meters is 2 to 8
blows, therefore the top soil of depth 3 meters is classified as soft to
medium based on Table 2. Moreover, 3m to 9m of the soil have 8-15 blows
which classified as stiff based on Table 2. 9m to 10.5 m depth soil is
classified as very stiff based on Table 2. The main criteria when
considering the ground improvement method are the type of soil,
moisture content, type of structure to be built, and the cost.

Table 1 : Summary of Deep Boring Result with SPT Plot for Borehole 3.

Table 2 : Approximate Correlation between CI, N60, and qu .

Since the top soils are soft to medium and they are sandy silt soil, it
is found that Stone column will be suitable as a ground improvement
method. Stone Columns are designed to improve the load bearing
capacity of insitu soils and fills and to reduce differential settlements of
non-homogeneous and compressible soils, allowing the use of shallow
footings and thinner base slabs. This technology is well suited for the
improvement of soft soils such as silty sand, and silts.

The compaction method was considered as its most cost effective

method. From all type of compaction equipment Sheepsfoot rollers (static)
were choosen. This type of roller was choose because its most suitable for
sandy silt soil and also for application of embankment as shown in Table 3.
The Table 4 also shows some suitable rollers for compaction which are
Static Sheepsfoot, rubber tired roller, scraper, and grind roller.

Table 3: The suitability of different type of Equipment based on type of soil

and its application.

The cement helps decrease the liquid limit and increase the
plasticity index and workability of clayey soils. Cement stabilization is
effective for clayey soils when the liquid limit is less than 45 to 50 and the
plasticity index is less than about 25.
The cement helps increase the strength of soils, and strength increases
curing time.For field compaction, the proper amount of cement can be
mixed with soil eitherat the site or at a mixing plant. If the latter approach
is adopted, the mixture can then be carried to the site. The soil is
compacted to the required.

Table 4: Type of compaction equipment suitable for different type of


2.4 The method of the selected ground improvement technique.

2.4.1 Stone Columns Method

There are two methods to produce stone columns and they differ
mainly in the system that is used to release the stones into the ground:

Figure 1: Stone columns- Top Feed Method

It is the most cost-efficient ground improvement method. It requires

the use of a free hanging vibrolance that penetrates the ground thanks to
the lateral vibrations emitted by its tip. During penetration, the soil is
laterally compacted by displacement allowing the vibrolance to create the
hole that will contain the stone column.

When the desired depth is reached, the vibrolance is withdrawn to

allow the stones to be released from the ground surface into the hole. The
stone feeding is done by stages to allow a better compaction of the entire
stone column. Each time the hole is filled with stones, the Vibrolance
goes down again to compact them. This process is repeated several times
until the stones reach the surface.

2.4.2 Field Compaction

Sheepsfoot roller used mainly for clayed and silty soils.

Sheepsfoot Roller:

Sheepsfoot compactors can work only at speeds from 6 to 10 km/h

(4 to 6 mph), which cancels any benefit from impact and vibration.
Pressure and manipulation are the only compactive forces exerted on the
soil. Usually, 6-10 cycles (12-20 machine passes) are needed to reach
target density on 200-mm (8-in.) lifts. Sheepsfoot compactors are no
longer widely used.

2.4.3 Cement Stabilization

Methods used in soil cement construction:

There are two main methods used in soil-cement construction.

1. Central plant method.

2. Mix-in-place method.

Central plant method:

Central plant method is a constructional method in which specific

proportions of soil and cement are mixed with each other and then dried
to obtain a uniform color. When a dried mixture is obtained it is then
remixed by adding water in it, the material thus performed is thoroughly
remixed, and then used on the formations which are made ready for
spreading and compaction. The plants using this method require a large
place and the projects are usually expensive this method is used on those
places where long interrupted runs are required. But the advantage of this
method is that it provides us better control on the quality and gives fast

Mix-in-place method:

You might have encountered many agricultural rotators cultivators

which are similar to multi pass machinery. In this process by mixing the
soil it is first pulverized and according to the requirement of the final
chamber it is shaped with the help of blade graders. After that soil is
mixed with cement by spreading the cement over the surface and allows
it to dry to uniform color. This process is performed in no. of stages, in
each stage water is added and soil and cement are remixed, this makes
cement and soil mixed with each other properly. After passing the mixture
through a no. of stages, when the moisture content s of our requirements
is achieved, the new soil produced is reshaped with the help of graders,
and after it, compacted using rollers. The plants using mix-in-place
method do not require a large place they are usually small and light and
thus can be used in confined spaces.

Figure 2: Stone columns - Bottom Feed System (BFS)

The BFS system controls the length and the diameter of the stone column,
better than the Top feed system. In addition, there is no risk of soil
collapse while the stone is released, because the Vibrolance is not
withdrawn from the ground until the stone column is finished. Thus, the

BFS system allows the contractor to have a continuous production process
that results in higher productivity and time savings.

2.5 The advantages of the selected method.

2.5.1 Stone Column
Advantages of stone column :
increase the bearing capacity of in-situ soils
to reduced total and differential settlements
expedites consolidation settlement.
mitigates the risk of liquefaction.
installation is fast and easy
higher strength and stiffness than sand compaction columns

installation of stone columns by bottom feeding does not generate
spoil, however,that by top feeding generates spoil,which is not
environmentally friendly.

2.5.2 Field Compaction

Advantages of Compaction

Increase shear strength

Reduces compressibility
Reduces permeability
Reduces liquefaction potential
Controls swelling and shrinking
Prolongs durability

Disadvantages of sheepsfoot

The loose top-lift material can act as a sponge when it rains and slow
the compaction process.

The loose material also slows hauling units that deposit fill material, so
haul cycle times are increased.

2.5.3 Cement Stabilization

Advantages of Cement Stabilization

1. It is widely available.

2. Cost is relatively low.

3. It is highly durable.

4. Soil cement is quite weather resistant and strong.

5. Granular soils with sufficient fines are ideally suited for cement
stabilization as it requires least amount of cement.

6. Soil cement reduces the swelling characteristics of the soil.

7. It is commonly used for stabilizing sandy and other low plasticity

soils. Cement interacts with the silt and clay fractions and reduces
their affinity for water.

Disadvantages of Cement Stabilization

1. Cracks may form in soil cement.

2. It is harmful for environment.

3. It requires extra labor.

4. The quantity of water must be sufficient for hydration of cement and

making the mixture workable.


[1] Bulbul Ahmed, Md. Abdul Alim, Md. Abu Sayeed. Improvement of
Soil Strength Using Cement and Lime Admixtures. Earth Science.
Vol. 2, No. 6, 2013, pp. 139-144. doi: 10.11648/j.earth.20130206.14

[2] Liu, C. & Evett, B.J. 1998. Soils and Foundations, 4th edition,
Prentice-Hall, Inc, United States of America.
[3] Manis, K.M. (2002). Identification and Stabilization Methods for
Problematic Silt Soils (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

[4] MULTIQUIP INC. (2011). Soil Compaction Handbook.