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Landslide Mitigation Using Granular Shear Keys: Observations from a Review of 38 Case Studies Open Access


Other title
Case studies
Landslide mitigation
Case study
Granular shear key
Shear key
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gillen, Hugh F
Supervisor and department
Hendry, Michael (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Martin, Derek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Hendry, Michael (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Beier, Nicholas (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Martin, Derek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
Canadian transportation industries have been using granular shear keys to remediate shallow slope instabilities for decades. Engineers have used limit equilibrium (LE) analyses as the standard method for designing these granular shear keys (Wyllie & Mah, 2004). These LE analyses do not account for the strain required to mobilize the shear resistance in the granular backfill. Finite element methods can model deformation but require calibration and may not always be practical for many applications. Recommendations featuring plots and/or nomograms based on a review of the design and resulting performance of an extensive collection of case histories could supplement current design methods and enhance design effectiveness and reliability. This thesis presents a compilation of 38 case studies for trenched granular shear keys or rockfill column shear keys. The purpose of this compilation was to identify empirical relationships between shear key design and deformation, to enhance the economy and performance of future granular shear keys. Existing granular shear key design guidelines were reviewed and compiled. Case studies featuring granular shear keys were then collected. Details from these case studies were summarized and data was compiled into a database. The data was analyzed and compared with recommendations from the existing guidelines. Additional analyses using deformation data yielded predictions for the magnitude and timespan of post-construction deformation.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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