Use and misuse of the isotache concept with respect to creep hypotheses A and B
Journal article, 2011
Time-dependent settlements of thick in situ clay layers are normally analysed based on results of thin laboratory specimens. However, the time used to complete primary consolidation is significantly different for laboratory specimens and in situ soil layers. Two totally different cases, referred to as creep hypotheses A and B, have been used as a basis of discussion to assess the effect of creep during the primary consolidation phase. Several laboratory and field experiments have been conducted to study the effect of soil layer thickness on the time-dependent compressibility of a soil layer. Some of these tests seemed to support hypothesis A, others hypothesis B, and in some cases showed a behaviour between the two. As a result this question has continued to be a controversial topic among researchers, and remains to be an issue that needs to be resolved. In this study, some relevant experimental investigations from the literature are thoroughly studied and critically reviewed, and also explained consistently using the isotache concept. This work indicates that the isotache approach can capture the main characteristics of the time-dependent compressibility of clays during both the primary and secondary consolidation phases. It is also shown that the misuse of the isotache concept, as reported in the literature, may give a confusing picture of reality. Based on the considered data, it is demonstrated that the measured time-dependent compressibility of clays agrees well with hypothesis B.