Surcharging of soft ground to reduce secondary settlement

G. Mesri, M. A. Ajlouni, T. W. Feng, D. O.K. Lo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Soft ground, including soft clay and silt deposits and peats, can be improved by precompression. Preloading without surcharge is used to increase undrained shear strength and to limit consolidation under the stmcture to the recompression range, thus reducing primary settlement. However, preloading with a surcharge is required to produce sufficient preconsolidation with respect to the final permanent structure load in order to also reduce secondary settlement. Secondary settlement without surcharging is especially significant when duration of primary consolidation tp is small and secondary compression index Cα is large. For any surcharging effort values of C″α/Cα are larger and values of tl/tpr are smaller for peats than for soft clay and silt deposits. In other words, although surcharging can reduce post-construction secondary settlement for both clay and peat deposits, surcharging is less effective for peats. Secondary settlement of soft clay, silt and peat deposits, with or without surcharging, is completely consistent with the Cα/Cc law of compressibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoft Soil Engineering
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351416184
ISBN (Print)9026518668, 9789026518669
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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