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

  • Author / Creator
    Gillen, Hugh F
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.