Estimation of the Variation of Matric Suction with Respect to Depth in a Vertical Unsaturated Soil Trench Associated with Rainfall Infiltration
1 Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada
2 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
Soil trenching is extensively used in geotechnical, mining, tunneling and geo-environmental infrastructures. Safe height and stand-up time are two key factors that are required for the rational design of soil trenches. Rainfall infiltration has a significant influence on the safe height and stand-up time of unsaturated soil trenches since it can significantly alter the shear strength of soils by influencing the matric suction. In other words, predicting the variation of matric suction of soils associated with rainfall infiltration is vital to the design of unsaturated soil trenches. In this paper, finite element analysis is carried out to reproduce the variation of matric suction profile in unsaturated soil trenches associated with rainfall infiltration using the published results of a full scale instrumented test trench at the site of BBRI at Limelette, Belgium. The analysis results showed that the variation of matric suction in unsaturated soil trenches can be reliably estimated using the information of environmental factors such as the rainfall measurements.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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