This paper presents a series of flume-scale experiments to investigate suffusion at the bottom of a cutoff wall in an internally unstable sandy gravel alluvium. The initiation, progression, and potential failure of suffusion and the interactive effects of geomechanical and hydraulic conditions with the evolution of suffusion were investigated in this particular application. Temporal and spatial development of pore pressure, earth pressure, and settlement demonstrated suffusion was a multiphase (involving pore water, fine and coarse fractions) and multi-field (involving seepage, seepage-induced fine-fraction variation, and stress-deformation) coupling phenomenon. Suffusion initiated at the downstream side of the tip of the cutoff wall and then generally progressed backward to the upstream side. The monitored earth pressure provided an evidence of the heterogeneous stress distribution in internally unstable soil. Two linear empirical formulas for average hydraulic gradients at the initiation of suffusion and at blowout were derived based on the flume-scale model experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology