The unexpected softening of the undrained shear strength of organic and silty clays in Rhine delta: a conceptual study : Determining the Undrained Shear Strength of soft Dutch soils using conventional laboratory equipment
The current Dutch norms for the macro-stability of flood protection embankments and more specifically the determination of SHANSEP parameters has been subject of debate since its implementation in 2017. The main concerns arise from the apparent over-conservative nature of the guidelines and the apparent underestimation of shear strength of organic and silty clays. In this Master thesis, an assessment of the normalised normally consolidated undrained shear strength is performed for a dike stability reinforcement project between Gorinchem and Waardenburg in the South west of the Netherlands on a problematic clay layer called the `Gorinchem Clay' throughout this thesis. The main goal is the confirmation of the current norms or towards a more optimised and less conservative assessment of the strength parameters and in doing so, discusses one of the most recurrent questions in geotechnical engineering: do some of the measurements from laboratory tests reveal true material behaviour or do the limitations of such laboratory tests produce this particular behaviour?
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