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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 410390, 9 pages
Research Article

Consolidation by Prefabricated Vertical Drains with a Threshold Gradient

1Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Faculty of Architectural Civil Engineering and Environment, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China

Received 6 August 2014; Accepted 1 December 2014; Published 16 December 2014

Academic Editor: Yuming Qin

Copyright © 2014 Xiao Guo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper shows the development of an approximate analytical solution of radial consolidation by prefabricated vertical drains with a threshold gradient. To understand the effect of the threshold gradient on consolidation, a parametric analysis was performed using the present solution. The applicability of the present solution was demonstrated in two cases, wherein the comparisons with Hansbo’s results and observed data were conducted. It was found that (1) the flow with the threshold gradient would not occur instantaneously throughout the whole unit cell. Rather, it gradually occurs from the vertical drain to the outside; (2) the moving boundary would never reach the outer radius of influence if , whereas it will reach the outer radius of influence at some time; (3) the excess pore pressure will not be dissipated completely, but it will maintain a long-term stable value at the end of consolidation; (4) the larger the threshold gradient is, the greater the long-term excess pore pressure will be; and (5) the present solution could predict the consolidation behavior in soft clay better than previous methods.