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Evidence for the weather-driven deterioration of ageing transportation earthworks in the UK

Evidence for the weather-driven deterioration of ageing transportation earthworks in the UK
Evidence for the weather-driven deterioration of ageing transportation earthworks in the UK
Seasonal, weather-driven pore pressure cycles alter and degrade the hydro-mechanical engineering properties of earthworks as they age. The accumulating effects of deterioration over many years can lead to the excessive deformation or failure of earthworks; requiring interventions to ensure their reliable performance. This paper reviews the evidence for the weather-driven deterioration of ageing transportation earthworks, with a focus on clay earthworks in the UK. These include earthworks of various ages (up to ∼200 years old), formed from a range of clay-rich strata and at various stages of deterioration. Evidence is considered for both past behaviour and projected behaviour in response to continued ageing and a changing climate. There is clear evidence that some clay earthworks are influenced by the cumulative effect of seasonal weather cycles over many decades. Simulations show that seasonal slope ratcheting will become an increasingly dominant driver of shallow failures in high-plasticity cut slopes as they age and in response to projected climate change. The evidence can inform performance curves describing the deterioration of individual earthworks in response weather-driven ageing. This can help identify earthworks with the highest likelihood of failure and inform decisions made by earthwork asset managers.
aging, climate change, deterioration, earthworks, infrastructure, transportation, Climate change, Earthworks, Deterioration, Ageing, Transportation, Infrastructure
2214-3912
Briggs, Kevin M.
61acc4b2-72ca-4705-8af0-0337f0107b82
Helm, Peter R.
1faf99e9-184c-4034-acc2-fad6114ea54e
Smethurst, Joel A.
8f30880b-af07-4cc5-a0fe-a73f3dc30ab5
Smith, Alastair
60dc096d-d461-4991-9a80-b70106531b4f
Stirling, Ross
70a35d3d-a968-4421-b4ff-1e5ae513dd1a
Svalova, Aleksandra
437c712c-79b7-4437-abf5-ef5358ac409b
Trinidad Gonzalez, Yuderka
3eadcc49-30ce-4152-b34f-5cfa586f8a34
Loveridge, Fleur A.
fb5b7ad9-d1b8-40d3-894b-bccedf0e8a77
Glendinning, Stephanie
c0be9556-3210-4794-a36b-a483258a4b45
Briggs, Kevin M.
61acc4b2-72ca-4705-8af0-0337f0107b82
Helm, Peter R.
1faf99e9-184c-4034-acc2-fad6114ea54e
Smethurst, Joel A.
8f30880b-af07-4cc5-a0fe-a73f3dc30ab5
Smith, Alastair
60dc096d-d461-4991-9a80-b70106531b4f
Stirling, Ross
70a35d3d-a968-4421-b4ff-1e5ae513dd1a
Svalova, Aleksandra
437c712c-79b7-4437-abf5-ef5358ac409b
Trinidad Gonzalez, Yuderka
3eadcc49-30ce-4152-b34f-5cfa586f8a34
Loveridge, Fleur A.
fb5b7ad9-d1b8-40d3-894b-bccedf0e8a77
Glendinning, Stephanie
c0be9556-3210-4794-a36b-a483258a4b45

Briggs, Kevin M., Helm, Peter R., Smethurst, Joel A., Smith, Alastair, Stirling, Ross, Svalova, Aleksandra, Trinidad Gonzalez, Yuderka, Loveridge, Fleur A. and Glendinning, Stephanie (2023) Evidence for the weather-driven deterioration of ageing transportation earthworks in the UK. Transportation Geotechnics, 43, [101130]. (doi:10.1016/j.trgeo.2023.101130).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Seasonal, weather-driven pore pressure cycles alter and degrade the hydro-mechanical engineering properties of earthworks as they age. The accumulating effects of deterioration over many years can lead to the excessive deformation or failure of earthworks; requiring interventions to ensure their reliable performance. This paper reviews the evidence for the weather-driven deterioration of ageing transportation earthworks, with a focus on clay earthworks in the UK. These include earthworks of various ages (up to ∼200 years old), formed from a range of clay-rich strata and at various stages of deterioration. Evidence is considered for both past behaviour and projected behaviour in response to continued ageing and a changing climate. There is clear evidence that some clay earthworks are influenced by the cumulative effect of seasonal weather cycles over many decades. Simulations show that seasonal slope ratcheting will become an increasingly dominant driver of shallow failures in high-plasticity cut slopes as they age and in response to projected climate change. The evidence can inform performance curves describing the deterioration of individual earthworks in response weather-driven ageing. This can help identify earthworks with the highest likelihood of failure and inform decisions made by earthwork asset managers.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 October 2023
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 October 2023
Published date: November 2023
Additional Information: Funding Information: This paper is an output from the UKRI-funded ACHILLES Programme (EP/R034575/1), a collaboration between Newcastle University (lead), Durham University, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Leeds, the British Geological Survey, Loughborough University, the University of Bath and the University of Southampton. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and guidance provided by the ACHILLES Expert Advisory Board (Chaired by M. Davies), the Impact Advisory Group (Chaired by C. Power & S. Abbott) and the Stakeholder User Group. Thank you to Geotechnical Observations Limited for providing inclinometer data. Briggs is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering and HS2 Ltd under the Senior Research Fellowship scheme (RCSRF1920\10\65). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s)
Keywords: aging, climate change, deterioration, earthworks, infrastructure, transportation, Climate change, Earthworks, Deterioration, Ageing, Transportation, Infrastructure

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 483131
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/483131
ISSN: 2214-3912
PURE UUID: 2e864831-1dee-4f33-a12e-c7f73a7ea5bd
ORCID for Fleur A. Loveridge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6688-6305

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Date deposited: 25 Oct 2023 16:33
Last modified: 10 May 2024 17:02

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Contributors

Author: Kevin M. Briggs
Author: Peter R. Helm
Author: Alastair Smith
Author: Ross Stirling
Author: Aleksandra Svalova
Author: Yuderka Trinidad Gonzalez
Author: Stephanie Glendinning

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