Numerical Analysis of Stone Column Ground Improvement Under Compression Loading with Emphases on the Soil-Structure Interaction Effect

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil and Construction Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Haluk Aktan

Second Advisor

Dr. Upul Attanayake

Third Advisor

Dr. Xiaoyun Shao

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William W. Liou


Stone column ground improvement, soil- structure interaction modeling, construction of stone column, stone column under compression loading, numerical analysis of stone and soft clay system, ABAQUS modeling of stone column soft clay system


As the foundation is considered the major component in a structure that transfers the load to the strong strata and makes the structure stable, attention is required during the design process to select the best type of foundation. A deep foundation is considered the solution in supporting a deep, weak soil, the ground improvement is considered most economical solution in many structural developments. Among the different types of ground improvement, the stone column is an effective method to improve soft soil because it increases the bearing capacity of the soil, works as a drainage path, reduces the settlement, and is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. As an effective technique, many researchers have put forth efforts to study the behavior and optimize the performance of the stone column. However, because of deficiencies related to the column-soil system modeling, interaction modeling, full-scale field simulation, effect of column backfill material types, and loading type, further studies need to be undertaken. This research focuses on developing a numerical analysis using the finite element method to simulate Bangkok soft clay in Thailand that is reinforced with granular piles including either sand, gravel, or crushed material and that incorporates the advanced soil constitutive model and mechanical types of contact available in ABAQUS. The simulation was conducted to highlight the key aspects that would improve the performance of a foundation system of soft soil reinforced with a stone/granular column under a full response state. In addition, to verify the behavior of the column under a compression load with a focus on the surface interaction between the column and the surrounding soil and the effect of material properties on this phenomena. A design tools was developed. The simulation included column geometry (i.e. diameter and length), and soil and column properties as a parametric study to improve the performance of the foundation system.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until


This document is currently not available here.