Finite Element Analysis of Deep Excavations

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation describes enhancements made to the finite element program, SAGE, and research on the performance of deep excavations. SAGE was developed at Virginia Tech for analysis of soil-structure interaction problems (Morrison, 1995). The purpose of the work described in this text with SAGE was to increase the capabilities of the program for soil-structure analysis. The purpose of the research on deep excavations was to develop a deeper understanding of the behavior of excavation support systems.

The significant changes made to SAGE during this study include implementation of Biot Consolidation, implementation of axisymmetric analysis, and creation of a steady state seepage module. These changes as well as several others are described. A new manual for the program is also included.

A review of published studies of deep excavation performance and recent case histories is presented. Factors affecting the performance of excavation support systems are examined, and performance data from recent published case histories is compared to data from Goldberg et al.'s 1976 report to the Federal Highway Administration.

The design, construction, and performance of the deep excavation for the Dam Number 2 Hydroelectric Project is described. Finite element analyses of the excavation that were performed with SAGE are presented and discussed.

support systems, SAGE, Finite element method, deep excavations, geotechnical engineering