The groundwater level (GWL) is an important subsoil condition for the design of foundation. GWL tends to fluctuate often with seasonal variation, which may cause unexpected, additional settlements with some reductions in the safety margin of foundation. In this study, the effects of fluctuating GWL on the load carrying and settlement behavior of footing were investigated and quantified. A series of model load tests were conducted for various GWL and soil conditions using a hydraulically-controlled chamber system. Changes in load level and rising and falling GWL fluctuation cycle were considered in the tests. Settlements during GWL rise were greater than those during GWL fall. The depth of the GWL influence zone (dw,inf) varied in the range of 0.3 to 1.5 times footing width and became shallower as GWL continued to fluctuate. Design equations for estimating GWL-induced settlements for footings were proposed. The GWL fluctuation cycle, load level and soil density were considered in the proposed method. Changes in settlement and factor of safety with GWL fluctuation were discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology