Earth pressure redistribution

The classic earth pressure distribution only occurs for the active earth pressure with a rotation of the wall about its base. In the case of unpropped cantilever retaining walls fixed in the ground, a classic pressure distribution is to be expected. In the case of stiffened or anchored walls, the stiffening elements and anchors act as supports that prevent free rotation. As a result of this, the earth pressure redistributes corresponding to the support points. On the passive earth pressure side, the classic distribution of the earth pressure occurs only in the case of a parallel displacement of the wall. When taking into account a redistribution of the active or passive earth pressure, the active or passive earth pressure determined in the classic way is redistributed according to the movement of the wall to be expected, whereby the total value of the resultant earth pressure normally remains the same.

DIN 4085:2007 provides guidance on the distribution of the active and passive earth pressure for various types of wall movement.

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EAB 2006 provides information on the earth pressure redistribution for anchored and stiffened excavation enclosures. In this case, the number and position of the stiffening elements are particularly important. The follow picture shows the redistributionfigures for sheet pile walls with one support.

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EAU 2004 contains earth pressure redistribution figures for anchored waterfront structures which also take into account whether the structure is built on land or in water. On land, the ground in front of the sheet pile wall is excavated so that the earth pressure redis- tributes towards the anchor position as the excavation proceeds. In water, the ground behind the wall is back filled in layers so that only a minimal redistribution of earth pressure takes place.

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