Date of Award

Spring 7-17-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Dobroslav Znidarcic

Second Advisor

Richard A. Regueiro

Third Advisor

John S. McCartney


Hydraulically deposited soils are encountered in many common engineering applications including mine tailing and geotextile tube fills, though the consolidation process for such soils is highly nonlinear and requires the use of advanced numerical techniques to provide accurate predictions. Several commercially available finite element codes poses the ability to model soil consolidation, and it was the goal of this research to assess the ability of two of these codes, ABAQUS and PLAXIS, to model the large-strain, two-dimensional consolidation processes which occur in hydraulically deposited soils.

A series of one- and two-dimensionally drained rectangular models were first created to assess the limitations of ABAQUS and PLAXIS when modeling consolidation of highly compressible soils. Then, geotextile tube and TSF models were created to represent actual scenarios which might be encountered in engineering practice. Several limitations were discovered, including the existence of a minimum preconsolidation stress below which numerical solutions become unstable.