Creep of Geomaterials (CREEP)
Research Project , 2012 – 2016

Slow time-dependent movements caused by creep of natural geomaterials affect the performance of infrastructure and cause high maintenance and repair costs, and the partial closures of infrastructure networks during the repair work have significant eomic and social impact. Although the phenomenon of creep is well-known for being a major design issue, there is currently no accepted sensus on the best way to model creep. Reliable calculation tools are either missing or - due to their scientific nature - out of reach for the engineer in charge. If as a sequence creep is underestimated in design, structures will possibly be damaged so that they will not reach their design life. On the other hand, if creep is overestimated, unnecessary countermeasures such as soil improvement, deep foundations, or additional structural reinforcement will take up additional resources. For sustainable building processes it is therefore imperative to adequately incorporate creep behaviour in analyses and design.The research topic of this Marie Curie action is creep behaviour of geomaterials and its incorporation in geotechnical design the project aims at establishing a sensus in creep modelling. The project shall supply tools and knowledge needed in creep analysis. Past research in the field of creep behaviour of soils has centrated mainly on soft silts and clays. Different theoretical frameworks and numerical models were proposed. Yet, creep is likewise observed in geomaterials such as peat, sand, rock fills, and warm permafrost. Key questions formulated by industry and academia are therefore: Can existing creep cepts be adopted equally for those materials? Can different creep cepts be unified? Of the alternatives proposed, which work best at both element level and real geotechnical problem level? This project intends to answer these questions by combining the practical experience gathered by industry with the theoretical cepts worked out by academia.


Minna Karstunen (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Claes Alén

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Amardeep Amavasai

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Jelke Dijkstra

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Jean-Philippe Gras

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Mats Karlsson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Jorge Yannie

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering


Cold and Arid Regions Environmentaland Engineering Research Institute

Lanzhou, China

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Trondheim, Norway

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Shanghai, China

Stichting Deltares

Tilburg, Netherlands

Stiftelsen Norges Geotekniske Institutt

Oslo, Norway

University of Strathclyde

Glasgow, United Kingdom


European Commission (EC)

Project ID: EC/FP7/286397
Funding Chalmers participation during 2012–2016

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Areas of Advance

Materials Science

Areas of Advance

More information

Project Web Page

Project Web Page at Chalmers

Latest update