Analysis of a failed basal reinforced embankment

Smita Narayan, Shobha K Bhatia, Brian W. Corcoran, Ted R. Nabavi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


An interesting failure involving geosynthetic basal reinforcement for embankments constructed on soft soil occurred at the Fresh Kills Landfill located on Staten Island, New York. The failure occurred in two stages, in May 1997 and April 1998, respectively. In this study, an attempt has been made to model the embankment from this case history using finite difference software - FLAC (Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua, Itasca Consulting Group, 1996). The goal of such a study is to develop the Finite Difference model as an approximate design tool for future reinforced embankments. FLAC is a two-dimensional finite-difference code that uses an explicit time-marching method to solve governing field equations. The paper presents the results of such an analysis and compares them to the field results. Various stages of construction are simulated by applying different model loading conditions at different stages of the analysis. The development of excess pore water pressures with staged construction are captured by using the undrained mode of analysis. The limits of failure and zone of movement are found to be strikingly similar to the field observations. It is expected that the proposed research will contribute to the state of the art of analyzing and designing embankments reinforced with geosynthetics in basal layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeotechnical Special Publication
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2000
EventGeoDenver 2000 Congress 'Advances in Transportation and Geoenvironmental Systems Using Geosynthetics' - Denver, CO, USA
Duration: Aug 5 2000Aug 8 2000


OtherGeoDenver 2000 Congress 'Advances in Transportation and Geoenvironmental Systems Using Geosynthetics'
CityDenver, CO, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture


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