Vibrated stone columns are frequently used as a method of reinforcing soft ground as they provide increased bearing capacity and reduce foundation settlements. Their performance in relation to bearing capacity is well documented, but there is also a need for enhanced understanding of their settlement characteristics, particularly in relation to small-group configurations. This paper presents results obtained from physical model tests on triaxial specimens 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm high. Parameters investigated include column length to diameter ratio, area replacement ratio and single/group configuration. The findings of the work are as follows. The design is flexible: settlement can equally be controlled using short columns at relatively high area replacement ratios, or longer columns at smaller area replacement ratios. An optimum area replacement ratio of 30-40% exists for the control of settlement. The settlement performance of a small column group is highly influenced by inter-column and footing interaction effects.
- footings/foundations; ground improvement; model tests; reinforced soils; settlement; soil/structure interaction