KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 2036–2048 | Cite as

Influences of Principal Stress Rotation on the Deformation of Saturated Loess under Traffic Loading

  • Sui Wang
  • Zuliang ZhongEmail author
  • Xinrong Liu
  • Yiliang Tu
Geotechnical Engineering


This study focuses on the undrained behavior of saturated remolded loess under long-term traffic loading in Lishi, China. In this work, a series of stress-controlled monotonic and cyclic hollow cylinder tests were conducted. In the monotonic tests, the samples were sheared under different inclinations of the major principal stress. According to the results, the saturated remolded loess clearly shows strength anisotropy and shear dilation features. In the cyclic tests, the experimental results show that the evolutions of the pore pressure and generalized shear strain are highly dependent on the principal stress rotation (PSR). The evolution of the strain can be categorized into stable and destructive types. For the stable type, the change in pore pressure increases with the number of loading cycles and then becomes stable. The change in the difference in pore pressure is approximately the same under the same vertical stress ratio. The development of pore pressure shows the hysteresis property, the PSR decreases the degree of the pore pressure hysteresis.


loess principal stress rotation deformation repeated loading generalized shear strain 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ansal, A. M. and Erken, A. (1989). “Undrained behavior of clay under cyclic shear stresses.” J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Engng., ASCE, vol. 115, no. 7, pp. 968–983.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, S. F. (1996). “Soil mechanics in pavement engineering.” Géotechnique, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 383–426.Google Scholar
  3. Cai, Y. Q., Guo, L., Jardine, R. J., Yang, Z., and Wang, J. (2016). “Stress–strain response of soft clay to traffic loading.” Géotechnique, DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.15.P.224.Google Scholar
  4. Chan, F. W. K. and Brown, S. F. (1994) “Significance of principal stress rotation in pavements.” Proc., 13th Int. Conf. on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, AA Balkemia, Rotterdam, Netherlands, pp. 1823–1826.Google Scholar
  5. Chazallon, C., Hornych, P., and Mouhoubi, S. (2006). “Elastoplastic model for the long–term behavior modeling of unbound granular materials in flexible pavements.” Int. J. Geomech., vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 279–289.Google Scholar
  6. Chen, Y. P., Huang, B., and Chen, Y. M. (2005). “Experimental study on dynamic strain of structural soft clay under cyclic loading.” Proc., Second International Symposium on Environmental Vibrations: Prediction, Monitoring, Mitigation and Evaluation, ISEV, Okayama, Japan, pp. 43–46.Google Scholar
  7. Chen, Y. M., Wang, C. J., Chen, Y. P., and Zhu, B. (2005). “Characteristics of stresses and settlement of ground induced by train.” Environmental Vibration Prediction, Monitoring and Evaluation, Taylor & Francis Balkemia, Leiden, Netherlands, pp. 33–42.Google Scholar
  8. Cheng, D. W., Luo, Y. S., Yang, L. G., and Chen, X. (2011). “Effect of complex initial stress conditions on dynamic deformation behaviors of compacted loess.” Applied Mechanics and Materials, vol. 90, pp. 67–73.Google Scholar
  9. Gräbe, P. J. and Clayton, C. R. I. (2003). “Permanent deformation of railway foundations under heavy axle loading.” Proc., Int. Heavy Haul Conference, Internaltional Heavy Haul Association, Dallas, TX, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Gräbe, P. J. and Clayton, C. R. I. (2009). “Effects of principal stress rotation on permanent deformation in rail track foundations.” Journal of Geotech. Geoenviron. Engineering, vol. 135, no. 4, pp. 555–565.Google Scholar
  11. Gu, T. F. (2007). Study on loess seismic subsidence and dynamic settlement of roadbed of Zhengzhou–Xi’an passenger express railway [D]. PhD Thesis, Northwestern University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  12. Guo, L. (2013). Experimental study on the static and cyclic behavior of saturated soft clay under complex stress path [D], PhD Thesis, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  13. Guo, L., Chen, J., Wang, J., Cai, Y., and Deng, P. (2016). “Influences of stress magnitude and loading frequency on cyclic behavior of K0–consolidated marine clay involving principal stress rotation.” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, vol. 84, pp. 94–107.Google Scholar
  14. Guo, L., Wang, J., Cai, Y. Q., Liu, H. L., Gao, Y. F., and Sun, H. L. (2013). “Undrained deformation behavior of saturated soft clay under long–term cyclic loading.” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, vol. 50, pp. 28–37.Google Scholar
  15. Hight, D., Gens, A., and Symes, M. (1983). “The development of a new hollow cylinder apparatus for investigating the effects of principal stress rotation in soils.” Geotechnique, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 355–383.Google Scholar
  16. Hyde, A. F. L. and Ward, S. J. (1985). “A pore pressure and stability model for a silty clay under repeated loading.” Geotechnique, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 113–125.Google Scholar
  17. Hyde, A. F. L., Yasuhara, K., and Hirao, K. (1993). “Stability criteria for marine clay under one–way cyclic loading.” J. Geotech. Eng., vol. 119, no. 11, pp. 1771–1789.Google Scholar
  18. Ishihara, K. (1983). “Soil response in cyclic loading induced by earthquakes, traffic and waves.” Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 42–66.Google Scholar
  19. Ishihara, K. (1996). Soil behavior in earthquake geotechnics, Oxford University Press Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  20. Ishikawa, T., Sekine, E., and Miura, S. (2011). “Cyclic deformation of granular material subjected to moving wheel loads.” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 691–703.Google Scholar
  21. Kumruzzaman, M. d. and Yin, J. H. (2010). “Influence of principal stress direction and intermediate principal stress on the stress–strainstrength behavior of completely decomposed granite.” Can. Geotech. J., vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 164–179.Google Scholar
  22. Lekarp, F., Isacsson, U., and Dawson, A. (2000). “State of the art I: Resilient response of unbound aggregates.” J. Transp. Eng., vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 66–75.Google Scholar
  23. Li, L. L., Dan, H. B., and Wang, L. Z. (2011). “Undrained behavior of natural marine clay under cyclic loading.” Ocean Eng., vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 1792–1805.Google Scholar
  24. Liu, Z. D. (1996). Loess mechanics and engineering [M], Science and Technology Press of Shanxi, Xi’an, China. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  25. Matsui, T., Ito, T., and Ohara, H. (1980). “Cyclic stress–strain history and shear characteristics of clay.” J. Geotech. Engng. Div., vol. 106, no. 10, pp. 1101–1120.Google Scholar
  26. Miura, K., Miura, S., and Toki, S. (1986). “Deformation behavior of anisotropic dense sand under principal stress axes rotation.” Soils Found, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 36–52.Google Scholar
  27. Powrie, W., Yang, L. A., and Clayton, C. R. I. (2007). “Stress changes in the ground below ballasted railway track during train passage.” J. Rail Rapid Transit, vol. 221, no. 2, pp. 247–260.Google Scholar
  28. Qian, J. G., Du, Z. B., and Yin, Z. Y. (2017). “Cyclic degradation and non–coaxiality of soft clay subjected to pure rotation of principal stress directions.” Acta Geotechnica, pp. 1–17. DOI: 10.1007/s11440–017–0567–8.Google Scholar
  29. Qian, J. G., Wang, Y. G., Yin, Z. Y., and Huang, M. S. (2016). “Experimental identification of plastic shakedown behavior of saturated clay subjected to traffic loading with principal stress rotation.” Engineering Geology, vol. 214, no. 1, pp. 29–42.Google Scholar
  30. Seed, H. B., Chan, C. K., and Monismith, C. L. (1955). “Effects of repeated loading on the strength and deformation of compacted clay.” Proc., Thirty–Fourth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board, Highway Research Board, Washington, D.C. USA, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 541–558.Google Scholar
  31. Seed, H. B. and McNeill, R. L. (1956). “Soil deformation in normal compression and repeated loading test.” Highway Research Board Bulletin, vol. 141, no. 12, pp. 44–53.Google Scholar
  32. Shen, Y., Wang, X., Liu, H. L., Du, W. H., and Wang, B. G. (2017). “Influence of principal stress rotation of unequal tensile and compressive stress amplitudes on characteristics of soft clay.” J. Mt. Sci., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 369–381.Google Scholar
  33. Shen, R. F., Wang, H. J., and Zhou, J. X. (1996). “Dynamic strength of sand under cyclic rotation of principal stress directions.” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 27–33 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  34. Sun, L., Gu, C., and Wang, P. (2015). “Effects of cyclic confining pressure on the deformation characteristics of natural soft clay.” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, vol. 78, no. 9, pp. 99–109.Google Scholar
  35. Symes, M. J. P. R., Gens, A., and Hight, D. W. (1984). “Undrained anisotropy and principal stress rotation in saturated sand.” Géotechnique, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 11–27.Google Scholar
  36. Symes, M. J. P. R., Gens, A., and Hight, D. W. (1988). “Drained principal stress rotation in saturated sand.” Géotechnique, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 59–81.Google Scholar
  37. Tian, K. L., Zhang, H. L., Zhang, B. P., and Luo, Y. S. H. (2004). “An experimental study on dynamic properties of unsaturated loess under dynamic torsional shear.” Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering, vol. 23, no. 24, pp. 4151–4155.Google Scholar
  38. Tong, Z. X., Zhang, J. M., Yu, Y. L., and Zhang, G. (2010). “Drained deformation behavior of anisotropic sands during cyclic rotation of principal stress axes.” J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., vol. 136, no. 11, pp. 1509–1518.Google Scholar
  39. Wang, J. and Cai, Y. Q. (2013). “Effects of initial shear stress on cyclic behavior of saturated soft clay.” Mar. Georesour. Geotechnol., vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
  40. Wang, J., Guo, L., Cai, Y. Q., Xu, C. J., and Gu, C. (2013). “Strain and pore pressure development on soft marine clay in triaxial tests with a large number of cycles.” Ocean Eng., vol. 74, no. 1, pp. 125–132.Google Scholar
  41. Wang, Y. K., Guo, L., Gao, Y. F., Qiu, Y., Hu, X. Q., and Zhang, Y. (2016). “Anisotropic drained deformation behavior and shear strength of natural soft marine clay.” Marine Georesources and Geothenology, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 493–502.Google Scholar
  42. Wang, X. B., Yu, H. Q., Wang, C. P., and Yang, Y. H. (2017). “Study on control measures for subgrade settlement of high–speed railway in cold regions of Western China.” Subgrade Engineering, vol. 194, no. 5, pp. 53–58. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  43. Wang, Z. J., Luo, Y. S., and Guo, H. (2011). “Effects of complex initial stress state parameters on dynamic shear modulus of loess.” Advanced Materials Research, vol. 243, pp. 2601–2606.Google Scholar
  44. Wu, T. Y., Guo, L., Cai, Y. Q., and Wang, J. (2017). “Deformation behavior of K0–consolidated soft clay under traffic load–induced stress paths.” Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 859–867. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  45. Xiao, J. H., Juang, C. H., Wei, K., and Xu, S. Q. (2014). “Effects of principal stress rotation on the cumulative deformation of normally consolidated soft clay under subway traffic loading.” J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., vol. 140, no. 4, pp. 1–9.Google Scholar
  46. Yang, Z. X., Li, X. S., and Yang, J. (2007). “Undrained anisotropy and rotational shear in granular soil.” Géotechnique, Vol 57, no. 4, pp. 371–384.Google Scholar
  47. Yoshimine, M., Ishihara, K., and Vargas, W. (1998). “Effects of principal stress direction and intermediate principal stress on undrained shear behavior of sand.” Soils Found, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 179–188.Google Scholar
  48. Zheng, H. B. (2011). Experimental Study of reconstituted clay and intact clay under principal stress rotation, MSc Thesis, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  49. Zhou, J. and Gong, X. N. (2001). “Strain degradation of saturated clay under cyclic loading.” Can. Geotech. J., vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 208–212.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sui Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zuliang Zhong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xinrong Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yiliang Tu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Dept. of Civil EngineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.National Joint Engineering Research Center of Geohazards Prevention in the Reservoir AreasChongqingChina
  3. 3.School of Civil and Transportation EngineeringNingbo University of TechnologyNingboChina
  4. 4.Dept. of civil engineeringChongqing Jiaotong UniversityChongqingChina

Personalised recommendations