Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 825–844 | Cite as

Study on the performance of the micropile-mechanically stabilized earth wall

  • Zhi-chao Zhang
  • Ronald Y. S. Pak
  • Yu-min Chen
  • Han-long Liu


The Micropile-Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall, specially designed for mountain roads, is proposed to improve the MSE wall local stability, global stability and impact resistance of roadside barriers. Model tests and the corresponding numerical modeling were conducted to validate the serviceability of the Micropile-MSE wall and the reliability of the numerical method. Then, a parametric study of the stress and deformation of Micropile-MSE wall based on the backfill strength and interfacial friction angle between backfill and backslope is conducted to evaluate its performance. The test results indicate that the surcharge-induced horizontal earth pressure, base pressure and lateral displacement of the wall panel of Micropile-MSE wall decrease. The corresponding numerical results are nearly equal to the measured values. The basic failure mode of MSE wall in steep terrain is the sliding of backfill along the backslope, while A-frame style micropiles are capable of preventing the sliding trend. The maximum resultant displacement can be decreased by 6.25% to 46.9% based on different interfacial friction angles, and the displacement can be reduced by 6% ~ 56.1% based on different backfill strengths. Furthermore, the reduction increases when the interfacial friction angle and internal friction angle of backfill decrease. In addition, the lateral displacement of wall panel, the deformation of backfill decrease and the tension strain of geogrid obviously, which guarantees the MSE wall functions and provides good conditions for mountain roads.


Mechanically stabilized earth wall Model test Micropile Numerical simulation Stress and deformation behavior 


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The work was initiated and sponsored by Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT Award No. 12 HAA 38229) to R.Y.S.P. and partial funding was received by Z.Z. from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51379067, 51609040, 51420105013), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (Grant No. 2016J05112), Science and Technology Project of Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources of Fujian Province (DK2016014), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (Grant No. 2015J01158), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2015B17314). The first author is indebted to the second author Prof. Ronald Y.S. Pak who was his research advisor for the project and the source of most of the ideas in this paper.

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Study on the performance of the micropile-mechanically stabilized earth wall


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention of Hilly MountainsMinistry of Land and Resources of ChinaFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural EngineeringUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.College of Civil & Transportation EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of New Technology for Construction of Cities in Mountain AreaChongqing UniversityChongqingChina

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