Engineers Australia

Significance of geosynthetic reinforcement in embankment construction

Priyanath Ariyarathne and D. S. Liyanapathirana


Geosynthetic reinforced pile-supported (GRPS) embankments emerge as a promising ground improvement technology when construction needs to be undertaken over soft soil deposits. This method has the potential to overcome many problems that arise due to undesirable characteristics of soft soil during embankment construction. There are many advantages in this method compared to conventional consolidation based ground improvement methods such as higher reliability, less time consumption and the ability to use even in very adverse soil conditions. This study concentrates on the significance of geosynthetic reinforcement in embankment construction. The effect of the geosynthetic reinforcement in a GRPS embankment is discussed in detail using three different analysis cases. Case 1 has no pile supports or geosynthetic reinforcement, Case 2 has only pile supports and Case 3 has both pile supports and geosynthetic reinforcement. An in depth analysis was carried out in order to investigate the influence of geosynthetic stiffness, interface friction coefficient of the soil-geosynthetic interface, height to the geosynthetic layer from the pile heads and the number of geosynthetic layers on the overall behaviour of GRPS embankment systems.