Geocell Reinforced Slope Behavior under Seismic Loading Using Calibrated Hypoplastic Soil Constitutive Model

Document Type : Research Note


Department of Civil Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran


This study evaluates geocell reinforced slope behavior under seismic loading using calibrated hypoplastic soil constitutive model. The constitutive soil model used in this simulation was calibrated for poorly graded dense sand by conducting a series of triaxial and odometer tests. A three dimensional analysis is carried out to simulate geocells and this soil model using the finite element software PLAXIS3D. To investigate the geocell seismic behavior, the lateral displacement, induced tensile force in geocell, slope stability and frequency content effect have been assessed. Furthermore, a comparison has been made among hypoplastic, Hardening soil with small strain and Mohr-Coulomb model. The obtained results indicated that the volumetric plastic strain and inter granular strain consideration by hypoplastic model had a significant effect on the lateral displacement of the reinforced and unreinforced slope. Using the geocell layers leaded to decrease the plastic points. This behavior caused to decrease the estimated results difference when performing three constitutive models as soil failure criterion. Also, the tensile force showed hypoplastic model was not sensitive to the earthquake reversible force. In addition, it was found that the geocells lost their effect when the PGA increased and the slope was apt to fail.


[1] Arvin, M. R., Zakeri, A., and Shoorijeh, M. B. (2019). ''Using finite element strength reduction method for stability analysis of geocell-reinforced slopes.'' Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 37(3), 1453-1467.
[2] ASTM D5311 (2013) Standard test methods for load controlled cyclic triaxial strength of soil, United States.
[3] ASTM D2435 (2004) Standard test methods for one-dimensional consolidation properties of soils, United States.
[4] ASTM D7181
[5] Bathurst R.J., and Crow, R.E. (1992). ''Recent case histories of flexible geocell retaining walls in North America.'' In: Tatsuoka F, Leschinsky, D. (eds). Proceedings of conference on recent case histories of permanent geosynthetic reinforced soil retaining walls, Tokoyo, 3-20.
[6] Bauer, E. (1996). ''Calibration of comprehensive hypoplastic model for granular materials.'' Soils and Foundation, 36, 13-26.
[7] Bilotta, E., Lanzano, G., Madabhushi, S.P.G., and Silvestri, F. (2014). ''A nuemerical round robin on tunnels under seismic actions.'' Acta Geotechnica, 9(4), 563-579.
[8] Chen, R.H., and Chiu, Y.M. (2008). ''Model tests of geocell retaining structures.'' Geotext. and Geomembr. 26, 56-70.  
[9] Chen, R.H., Huang, Y.W., and Huang, F.C. (2013). ''Confinement effect of geocells on sand samples under triaxial compression.' Geotext. and Geomembr. 37, 35-44.
[10] Dai, Z., Zhang, M., Yang, L., and Zhu, H., (2018). ''Model tests on performance of embankment reinforced with geocell under static and cyclic loading.'' Proceedings of GeoShanghai International Conference: Ground Improvement and Geosynthetics, 399-410.
[11] Dash, S.K., Sireesh, S., and Sitharam, T.G., (2003). ''Model studies on circular footing supported on geocell reinforced sand underlain by soft clay.'' Geotextiles and Geomembranes 21 (4), 197-219.
[12] Gudehus, G. (1994). “A Comprehensive Constitutive Equation for Granular Materials.” Soils and Foundation 36(1), 1–12.
[13] Kazemian, T., and Arvin, M. R. (2019). ''Three-dimensional stability of locally loaded geocell-reinforced slopes by strength reduction method.'' Geomechanics and Geoengineering, 14(3), 185-201.
[14] Kianoush, M.R., and Ghaemmaghami, A.R. (2011). ''The effect of earthquake frequency content on the seismic behavior of concrete rectangular liquid tanks using the finite element method incorporating soil-structure interaction.'' Eng. Struct. 33, 186-200.
[15] Kolymbas, D., Herle, I., and Von Wolffersdorff, P.A. (1994). ''Hypoplastic constitutive equation with internal variables.'' Int. J. Numer. Anal. Met. 19, 415-36.
[16] Krishnaswamy, N.R., Rajagopal, K., and Latha, G., (2000). ''Model studies on geocell supported embankments constructed over a soft clay foundation.'' Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM 23, 45-54.
[17] Lanzano, G., Bilotta, E., Russo, G., and Silvestri, F. (2014). “Experimental and Numerical Study on Circular Tunnels under Seismic Loading.” European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 19 (5), 539– 563.
[18] Latha, G.M., and Rajagopal, K., (2007). ''Parametric finite element analyses of geocell supported embankments.'' Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 44 (8), 917-927.
[19] Latha, G.M., Dash, S.K., and Rajagopal, K., (2008). ''Equivalent continuum simulations of geocell reinforced sand beds supporting strip footings.'' Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 26, 387-398.
[20] Latha, G.M., and Manju, G.S. (2018). ''Seismic response of geocell retaining walls through shaking table tests.'' Int. J. of Geosynth. and Ground Eng. 2(7), 1-15.
[21] Leshchinsky, B., and Ling, H.I., (2013a). ''Effects of geocell confinement on strength and deformation behavior of gravel.' Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 139 (2), 340-352.
[22] Ling, H.I., Leshchinsky, D., Wang, J.P., Mohri, Y., and Rosen, A., (2009). ''Seismic response of geocell retaining walls: experimental studies''. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE 135(4), 515-524.
[23] Masin, D. (2019). ''Modeling of soil behavior with Hypoplasticity: Another Approach to soil constitutive modeling.'' Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering.
[24] .Mehdipour, I., Ghazavi, M., and Moayed, R.Z., (2013). ''Numerical study on stability analysis of geocell reinforced slopes by considering the bending effect.'' Geotext. and Geomembr., 37, 23-34.
[25] Mehdipour, I., Ghazavi, M., and Moayed, R.Z., (2017). ''Stability analysis of geocell reinforced slopes using the limit equilibrium horizontal slice method.'' Int. J. Geomech., 06017007, 1-15.
[26] Mohammadi-Haji B., and Ardakani A. (2018). ''Numerical prediction of circular tunnel seismic behavior using hypoplastic soil constitutive model.'' Int J Geotech Eng. 1-14.
[27] Mohammadi-Haji B., and Ardakani A. (2020). ''Performance based analysis of tunnel under seismic events with nonlinear features of soil mass and lining.'' Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 134, 1-15.
[28] Song, F., Liu, H., Hu, H., and Xie, Y., (2018).  ''Centrifuge tests on geocell reinforced retaining walls at limit equilibrium.'' J. Geotech. Geoenvriron. Eng. 144(3): 04018005, 1-13.
[29] Song F., Tian Y. H. (2019). “Three-dimensional numerical modelling of geocell reinforced soils and its practical application.” Geomechanics and Engineering, 17(1):1-9.
[30] Von Wolffersdorff, P.A. (1996). ''A hypoplastic relation for granular materials with a predefined limit state surface.'' Mech. Cohesive Frict. Mater, 12, 51-71.
[31] Wu, W., and Kolymbas, D. (1990). '' Numerical testing of the stability criterion for hypoplastic constitutive equations.'' Mechanics of Materials, 9(3), 245-253.
[32] Wu, W., and Bauer, E. (1994). ''A simple hypoplastic constitutive model for sand.'' International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 18(12), 833-862.
[33] Wu, W., and Kolymbas, D. (2000). ''Hypoplasticity then and now.'' Constitutive modelling of granular materials, 57-105.
[34] Zhao, M.H., Zhang, L., Zou, X.J. and Zhao, H., (2009). ''Research progress in two-direction composite foundation formed by geocell reinforced mattress and gravel piles.'' Chinese Journal of Highway and Transport 22(1), 1-10.