Numerical Modeling of Geofoam Embankments

In 2001, the Utah Department of Transportation completed a 4-year $1.4 billion I-15 reconstruction project in Salt Lake City, Utah. This project included widespread use of expanded polystyrene geofoam as lightweight embankment at important utility crossings and where close proximity to existing buildings necessitated minimizing consolidation settlement. This paper presents construction and long-term monitoring results for some of these embankments with numerical modeling of the field measurements. Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua, a finite-difference program, was used to estimate the complex stress distribution and the displacements (i.e., strain) that developed in select geofoam embankments. The writers used a bilinear elastic model to produce reasonable estimates of gap closure, block seating, and the subsequent elastic compression of the geofoam embankment at higher stress levels. Such estimations are important for modeling and designing geofoam embankments and potential connections with other systems. The calculation of the complex stress distribution and displacements that develops in a geofoam embankment has application to settlement, lateral earth pressure against retaining and buried walls, slope stability, and seismic design of geofoam embankments.

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  • Authors:
    • Newman, M P
    • Bartlett, S F
    • Lawton, E C
  • Publication Date: 2010-2


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01153301
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 27 2010 4:07PM