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Title: Wall-Friction Support of Vertical Loads in Submerged Sand and Gravel Columns

Laboratory studies of the ‘floor-loads’ under submerged vertical columns of sand and/or gravel indicate that such loads can be approximated by a buoyancy-corrected Janssen-silo-theory-like relationship. Similar to conditions in storage silos filled with dry granular solids, most of the weight of the sand or gravel is supported by wall friction forces. Laboratory measurements of the loads on the floor at the base of the water-filled columns (up to 25-diameters tall) indicate that the extra floor-load from the addition of the granular solid never exceeded the load that would exist under an unsupported (wide) bed of submerged sand or gravel that has a total depth corresponding to only two column-diameters. The measured floorloads reached an asymptotic maximum value when the depth of granular material in the columns was only three or four pipe-diameters, and never increased further as the columns were filled to the top (e.g. up to heights of 10 to 25 diameters). The floor-loads were stable and remained the same for days after filling. Aggressive tapping (e.g. hitting the containing pipe on the outside, manually with a wrench up and down the height and around the circumference) could increase (and occasionally decrease) the floor load substantially, but there wasmore » no sudden collapse or slumping to a state without significant wall friction effects. Considerable effort was required, repeatedly tapping over almost the entire column wall periphery, in order to produce floor-loads that corresponded to the total buoyancy-corrected weight of granular material added to the columns. Projecting the observed laboratory behavior to field conditions would imply that a stable floor-load condition, with only a slightly higher total floor pressure than the preexisting hydrostatic-head, would exist after a water-filled bore-hole is filled with sand or gravel. Significant seismic vibration (either a large nearby event or many micro-seismic events over an extended period) would likely be necessary before the full (buoyancy-corrected) weight of the sand and/or gravel would be ‘delivered’ to the bottom of the submerged column.« less
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA
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United States