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The design of new port of Sepetiba, near Rio de Janeiro, required a detailed evaluation of in-situ behavior of the sub-soil. The subsoil at this large site consists essentially of soft clays, but with extreme variability in sand and silt content and organic matter. The construction of two large instrumented test fills provided a good opportunity to monitor the increase in undrained strength Su with increase in effective stress. Investigations were also carried out to measure strength anisotropy using vane tests at a site nearby the test fills. The investigations suggest the following conclusions: (1) the vane strengths are very similar to those for unconfined compression and unconsolidated undrained laboratory triaxial tests, (2) the increase in vane strengths did not accompany the increase in effective stress underneath the test fills, (3) the stress ratio Su/σv after consolidation in the foundation was lower than before construction, and (4) tests with vanes of different height to diameter ratios were not successful in determining the strength anisotropy at this site.
anisotropy, Atterberg limits, in-situ testing, soft clay, test fills, undrained strength, vane tests
Associate professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario