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Line Load Surcharges

Line Load Surcharges

Line loads are defined with two components: a) a vertical Py, and b) a horizontal Px. It is important to note that the many of the equations listed below are, only by themselves, applicable for a load in an infinite soil mass. For this reason, the software multiplies the obtained surcharge by a factor m that accounts for wall rigidity. The software assumes a default value m=2 that accounts for full surcharge “reflection” from a rigid behavior. However, a value m=1.5 might be a reasonably less conservative assumption that can account for limited wall displacement.

For line loads that are located on the surface (or the vertical component strip loads, since strip loads are found by integrating with line load calculations), equations that include full wall rigidity can be included. This behavior can be selected from the Loads/Supports tab as Figure 4.2 illustrates. In this case, the calculated loads are not multiplied by the m factor.

For vertical line loads on the surface:  When the Use Equations with Wall Rigidity option is not selected, the software uses the Boussinesq equation listed in Poulos and Davis, 1974, Equation 2.7


For a vertical surface line load, when the Use Equations with Wall Rigidity option is selected, the software uses the Boussinesq equation as modified by experiment for ridig walls (Terzaghi, 1954).



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For vertical line loads within the soil mass: The software uses the Melan’s equation listed in Poulos and Davis, 1974, Equation 2.10b pg. 27


For the horizontal component of a surface line load: The software uses the integrated Cerruti problem from Poulos and Davis Equation 2.9b


For the horizontal component of a line load within the soil mass: The software uses Melan’s problem Equation 2.11b pg. 27, from Poulos & Davis




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