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Drawing up of a geotechnical dossier for the stabilization of historical quay walls along the river Scheldt in Antwerp

Within the context of the Scheldt Quays Masterplan, the stabilization of the dilapidated historical quay walls was put to study.
For drawing up the geotechnical dossier all available geological and geotechnical information along the quay wall section was collected; beneficial use could be made of the Regional Database of the subsoil of Flanders (DOV). Based on this inventarisation an extensive program of in situ tests and complementary monitoring and laboratory tests was elaborated.
Analysis of the investigation data resulted in a characterisation of the soil layering and corresponding soil parameters.
The schematic geotechnical profile consists of an upper layer of fill material, overlaying a dense tertiary sand layer (Berchem Formation) and the very stiff overconsolidated Boom clay.
The foundation level of the quay wall is situated just above or in the Boom clay. The excavation works for the foundation result-ed therefore in a stress relief of the upper part of the clay layer. Quite rapidly after construction important horizontal defor-mations of the quay wall as a whole appeared. Due to this movements, design of stabilized walls should be performed on basis of residual shear strength parameters derived from direct shear tests.
To determine the water pressure distribution along the quay wall open standpipes (in the sand layers) and closed piezometers (in the Boom clay) were continually monitored and tidal variations were noted. Furthermore a long time CPTU dissipation test was performed in the Boom clay.
The extensive geotechnical design resulted in an economic and sustainable design for the stabilized quay walls.