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The purposes of this research are to apply numerical modelling to prediction of the pore water
pressure response induced by helical pile installation into fine-grained soil and to gain better
understanding of the pore pressure behaviour observed during the field study of helical pile -
soil interaction, performed at the Colebrook test site at Surrey, B.C. by Weech (2002).
The critical state NorSand soil model coupled with the Biot formulation were chosen to
represent the behaviour of saturated fine-grained soil. Their finite element implementation into
NorSandBiot code was adopted as a modelling framework. Thorough verification of the finite
element implementation of NorSandBiot code was conducted. Within the NorSandBiot code
framework a special procedure for modelling helical pile installation in 1-D using a cylindrical
cavity analogy was developed.
A comprehensive parametric study of the NorSandBiot code was conducted. It was found that
computed pore water pressure response is very sensitive to variation of the soil OCR and its
hydraulic conductivity kr.
Helical pile installation was modelled in two stages. At the first stage expansion of a single
cavity, corresponding to the helical pile shaft, was analysed and on the second stage additional
cavity expansion/contraction cycles, representing the helices, were added. The pore pressure
predictions were compared and contrasted with the pore pressure measurements performed by
Weech (2002) and other sources.
The modelling showed that simulation of helical pile installation using a single cavity expansion
within NorSandBiot framework provided reasonable predictions of the pore pressure response
observed in the field. More realistic simulation using series of cavity expansion/contraction
cycles improves the predictions.
The modelling confirmed many of the field observations made by Weech (2004) and proved that
a fully coupled NorSandBiot modelling framework provides a realistic environment for
simulation of the fine-grained soil behaviour. The proposed modelling approach to simulation
of helical pile installation provided a simplified technique that allows reasonable predictions of
stresses and pore pressures variation during and after helical pile installation.