Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

James A. Bay


James A. Bay


Joseph A. Caliendo


Loren R. Anderson


Robert T. Pack


Steven L. Folkman


This dissertation is the culmination of extensive research into the behavior of a 11 mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall at 1-15 and 3600 South in Salt Lake City, Utah. The wall is about 30 ft tall and is constructed on a compressible, soft clay foundation. Research on this project has included extensive instrumentation and monitoring of stresses and deformations in the wall and its foundation, a study of the effects of drilling and sampling method on disturbance of samples, and extensive laboratory testing to determine strength and deformation properties of soils at the site. The results of these portions of the project are summarized. All of this work has been used to develop and calibrate an analytical model of the MSE wall. This dissertation presents this analytical model.

The analytical model of this wall is a valuable and powerful tool to understand the behavior of tall MSE walls on compressible foundations. By using such a model, the effects of pore pressure dissipation during construction can be evaluated. This allows for accurate evaluation of the stability of the embankment during construction and long term for any construction sequence. The model can be used to evaluate soil reinforcement interaction and to evaluate different reinforcement configurations.

This research contains discussions of the soil model that was developed for Bonneville clay, a comparison between measured and calculated deformations in the wall foundation, the time-settlement behavior of the wall, soil-reinforcement interactions, and stability evaluations, as well as a comparison of traditional slope stability analysis results to the finite element results obtained from this model.