Volume 36, N. 2

May-August 2013

Observational Method applied to the Rio Grande Port Breakwater


Volume 36, N. 2, May-August 2013 | PDF (3 downloads)


A case study describing the experience in modeling and designing the process of construction of the Rio Grande Breakwater on soft clay deposits is summarized in this paper. Field performance during and after embankment construction was monitored with inclinometers, magnetometers and electrical piezometers providing the necessary information to check the design hypothesis, to evaluate the uncertainties related to the natural ground variability and to ensure that the work conformed with acceptable limits of behaviour. The importance of modeling the construction by finite element analysis as an interactive process supported by observations collected from the construction phases is highlighted. The successful completion of the work stimulates the use of the Observational Method in geotechnical practice and, for this reason, guidance is provided for future work.

Keywords: observational method, soft clay, instrumentation, numerical analysis,

Submitted on July 10, 2012.
Final Acceptance on July 30, 2017.
Discussion open until December 31, 2013.