Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Experimental evaluation of stress concentration ratio of soft soil reinforced with stone column

  • 18 Accesses


Ground improvement using stone column reinforcement is an effective treatment technique to increase the stiffness and reduce the total and differential settlement of the soft deposits. Even though stone column reinforcement is a well-established technique, detailed experimental study regarding the load-sharing characteristics and parameters influencing the stress concentration ratio (SCR) between the soil and column is very limited. In the present study through a systematic laboratory investigation, time-dependent and peak SCR between the stone column and surrounding soil has been evaluated for a practical range of stone column, surrounding soil, top sand blanket thickness and column material properties. Stress experienced from the foundation loading to stone column and surrounding soil in a unit cell has been measured using earth pressure cells. Peak SCR has been observed to be in the range of 4–6 for the set of material parameters investigated in the present study. Peak SCR is in the range of 4–5.5 when internal friction angle of the stone column material varies from 38° to 42°. SCR is significantly influenced by the thickness of the top sand blanket. However, an insignificant influence of sand blanket material properties on the SCR has been observed. Additionally, surrounding soil strength significantly influences the SCR of the composite system. The results of the present study will be useful for the estimation of stiffness and settlement of the stone column-reinforced composite ground.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14


  1. 1.

    Ambily AP, Gandhi SR (2007) Behavior of stone columns based on experimental and FEM analysis. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng (ASCE) 133(4):405–415

  2. 2.

    Bahadori H, Farzalizadeh R, Barghi A, Hasheminezhad A (2018) A comparative study between gravel and rubber drainage columns for mitigation of liquefaction hazards. J R Mech Geotech Eng 10(5):924–934

  3. 3.

    Black AJ, Sivakumar V, Madhav RM, Hamill AG (2007) Reinforced stone columns in weak deposits: laboratory model study. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng (ASCE) 133(9):1154–1161

  4. 4.

    Black JA, Sivakumar V, Bell A (2011) The settlement performance of stone column foundations. Geotechnique 61(11):909–922.

  5. 5.

    Castro J, Sagaseta C (2009) Consolidation around stone columns: influence of column deformation. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 33(7):851–877

  6. 6.

    Castro J, Karstunen M (2010) Numerical simulation of stone column installations. Can Geotech J 47:1127–1138.

  7. 7.

    Indraratna B, Basack S, Rujikiatkamjorn C (2013) A numerical solution of stone column improved soft soil considering arching, clogging and smear effects. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng.

  8. 8.

    Krisch F (2006) Vibro installations and its effect on ground improvement. In: Numerical modelling of construction processes in geotechnical engineering for urban environment. Taylor and Francis Group, London, ISBN 0415 397480

  9. 9.

    McKelvey D, Sivakumar V, Bell A, Graham J (2004) Modeling vibrated stone columns in soft clay. Proc Inst Civil Eng Geotech Eng 157(3):137–149

  10. 10.

    Mohanty P, Samanta M (2015) Experimental and numerical studies on response of the stone column in layered soil. Int J Geosynth Ground Eng 1:27.

  11. 11.

    Ng KS, Tan SA (2015) Simplified homogenization method in stone column designs. Soils Found 55(1):154–165

  12. 12.

    Sexton BG, McCabe BA, Karstunen M, Sivasithamparam N (2016) Stone column settlement performance in structured anisotropic clays: the influence of creep. J R Mech Geotech Eng 8(5):672–688

  13. 13.

    Shahu JT, Reddy YR (2014) Estimating long-term settlement of floating stone column groups. Can Geotech J 51(7):770–781

  14. 14.

    Sivakumar V, Glynn D, McNeill J (2007) A laboratory model study of the performance of vibrated stone columns in soft clay. In: Proceedings of the 17th international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, vol 3, Madrid, Spain

  15. 15.

    Sivakumar V, Jeludine MNKD, Bell A, Glynn TD, Mackinnon P (2011) The pressure distribution along stone columns in soft clay under consolidation and foundation loading. Géotechnique 61(7):613–620.

  16. 16.

    Samanta M, Sawant VA, Ramasamy G (2010) Ground improvement using displacement type sand pile. In: Indian geotechnical conference, IGC-2010, GEOtrendz, December 16–18, 2010 IGS Mumbai Chapter & IIT Bombay, pp 629–632

  17. 17.

    Priebe HJ (1995) The design of vibro replacement. Ground Eng 28(12):31–37

  18. 18.

    Verma S, Kumar Vikash, Priyadarshee A (2018) An experimental test study on ring footing resting on clay bed reinforced by stone column. Innov Infrastruct Solut 3:64.

  19. 19.

    Wood DM, Hu W, Nash DFT (2000) Group effects in stone column foundations: model tests. Geotechnique 50(6):689–698

  20. 20.

    Watts KS, Johnson D, Wood LA, Saadi A (2000) An instrumented trial of vibro ground treatment supporting strip foundations in a variable fill. Géotechnique 50(6):699–708.

  21. 21.

    Han J, Ye SL (2001) Simplified method for consolidation rate of stone column reinforced foundations. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng (ASCE) 127(7):597–603

  22. 22.

    Han J, Ye SL (2002) A theoretical solution for consolidation rates for stone column reinforced foundations accounting for smear and well resistance effects. Int J Geomech 2(2):135–151

  23. 23.

    Pulko B, Majes B (2005) Simple and accurate prediction of settlements of stone column reinforced soil. In: Proceedings of the 16th international conference on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, pp 1401–1404.

  24. 24.

    Aboshi H, Ichimoto E, Enoki M, Harada K (1979) The “Compozer”—A method to improve characteristics of soft clays by inclusion of large diameter sand columns. In: Paper presented at the proceedings of the international conference on soil reinforcement: reinforced earth and other techniques (Coll. Int. Reinforcements des Sols.), Paris

  25. 25.

    Goughnour RR, Bayuk AA (1979) A field study of long term settlements of loads supported by stone columns in soft ground. In: Paper presented at the proceedings of the international conference on soil reinforcement: reinforced earth and other techniques (Coll. Int. Renforcements des Sols.), Paris

  26. 26.

    Vautrain J (1977) Reinforced earth walls on stone columns in soil. In: Proceedings of international symposium on geotechnical aspects of soft clays, AIT, Bangkok, pp 613–628

  27. 27.

    Barksdale RD, Bachus RC (1983) Design and construction of stone columns, vol I. Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, Washington, DC

  28. 28.

    Xueyi L, Shubber AAM, Hongsong L, Juanjuan R (2009) The stress concentration ratio of stone columns under confined condition. In: International conference on transportation engineering (ASCE), pp 4247–4255

  29. 29.

    Fattah MY, Shlash KT, Al-Waily MJM (2013) Experimental evaluation of stress concentration ratio of model stone columns strengthened by additives. Int J Phys Model Geotech 13(3):79–98.

  30. 30.

    Poon B, Chan K (2013) Stress concentration ratio and design method for stone columns using 2D FEA with equivalent strips. In: Proceedings of the 18th international conference on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, Paris, pp 2585–2588

  31. 31.

    Das AK, Deb K (2018) Experimental and 3D numerical study on time-dependent behavior of stone column-supported embankments. Int J Geomech (ASCE) 18(4):04018011-16.

Download references


The authors would like to thank the Director, CSIR - Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, for providing infrastructure and giving permission to publish this research work.

Author information

Correspondence to M. Samanta.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kumar, G., Samanta, M. Experimental evaluation of stress concentration ratio of soft soil reinforced with stone column. Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. 5, 18 (2020).

Download citation


  • Soft soil improvement
  • Stress concentration ratio
  • Angle of internal friction
  • Composite system
  • Sand blanket
  • Unconfined compressive strength