The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Forecast climate change impact on pore-water pressure regimes for the design and assessment of clay earthworks

Forecast climate change impact on pore-water pressure regimes for the design and assessment of clay earthworks
Forecast climate change impact on pore-water pressure regimes for the design and assessment of clay earthworks
Understanding and mitigating the impact of climate change on the built environment is becoming increasingly important worldwide. Earthworks (embankments and cuttings) supporting road and rail transportation networks often have direct contact with the atmosphere and are therefore influenced by extreme weather events and seasonal weather patterns. Atmospheric wetting and drying alters pore-water pressures (PWP) within earthworks, potentially contributing to the deformation and failure of earthwork slopes. Consequently, it is essential to understand the influence of climate change on PWPs within earthwork slopes, to inform strategies for their design, assessment and maintenance. Extensive one-dimensional seepage analyses were carried out for typical railway embankments in the London area. The analyses showed that forecast hotter, drier summers will increase the water storage capacity of earthworks. This will lead to increased net infiltration in the winter months due to both a forecast increase in rainfall, and a longer time being required to saturate the soil pores and bring the water table back to the slope surface. Hence, despite the forecast increase in winter rainfall, this will not lead to higher design PWP regimes. The analyses were conducted for the London area, but the methodology and conceptual framework can be readily adapted for other locations.
climate change, cutting, embankment, pore-water pressure, slope stability
1470-9236
Huang, Wengui
2e1c6ee2-0ab9-424d-8568-111373a6aad6
Loveridge, Fleur A.
fb5b7ad9-d1b8-40d3-894b-bccedf0e8a77
Briggs, Kevin M.
8974f7ce-2757-4481-9dbc-07510b416de4
Smethurst, Joel A.
8f30880b-af07-4cc5-a0fe-a73f3dc30ab5
Saffari, Nader
4e2e7dc9-4f2a-4ddd-b45a-f912e510f0e4
Thomson, Fiona
71bf6f85-66d8-46ed-a7f3-9b0d4ad1badd
Huang, Wengui
2e1c6ee2-0ab9-424d-8568-111373a6aad6
Loveridge, Fleur A.
fb5b7ad9-d1b8-40d3-894b-bccedf0e8a77
Briggs, Kevin M.
8974f7ce-2757-4481-9dbc-07510b416de4
Smethurst, Joel A.
8f30880b-af07-4cc5-a0fe-a73f3dc30ab5
Saffari, Nader
4e2e7dc9-4f2a-4ddd-b45a-f912e510f0e4
Thomson, Fiona
71bf6f85-66d8-46ed-a7f3-9b0d4ad1badd

Huang, Wengui, Loveridge, Fleur A., Briggs, Kevin M., Smethurst, Joel A., Saffari, Nader and Thomson, Fiona (2023) Forecast climate change impact on pore-water pressure regimes for the design and assessment of clay earthworks. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 57 (1), [qjegh2023-015]. (doi:10.1144/qjegh2023-015).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Understanding and mitigating the impact of climate change on the built environment is becoming increasingly important worldwide. Earthworks (embankments and cuttings) supporting road and rail transportation networks often have direct contact with the atmosphere and are therefore influenced by extreme weather events and seasonal weather patterns. Atmospheric wetting and drying alters pore-water pressures (PWP) within earthworks, potentially contributing to the deformation and failure of earthwork slopes. Consequently, it is essential to understand the influence of climate change on PWPs within earthwork slopes, to inform strategies for their design, assessment and maintenance. Extensive one-dimensional seepage analyses were carried out for typical railway embankments in the London area. The analyses showed that forecast hotter, drier summers will increase the water storage capacity of earthworks. This will lead to increased net infiltration in the winter months due to both a forecast increase in rainfall, and a longer time being required to saturate the soil pores and bring the water table back to the slope surface. Hence, despite the forecast increase in winter rainfall, this will not lead to higher design PWP regimes. The analyses were conducted for the London area, but the methodology and conceptual framework can be readily adapted for other locations.

Text
Huang et al (2023) Forecast climate change impact QJEGH - Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (2MB)
Text
qjegh2023-015 - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (4MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 25 September 2023
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 September 2023
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors are grateful for the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the programme Grant ACHILLES (EP/R034575/1). Kevin Briggs is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering and HS2 Ltd under the Senior Research Fellowship scheme. The authors would like to acknowledge assistance from Chris Kilsby and thank Dr David Hughes and Prof Roger Moore for reviewing and providing constructive comments to this paper.
Keywords: climate change, cutting, embankment, pore-water pressure, slope stability

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 483376
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/483376
ISSN: 1470-9236
PURE UUID: 5a89c504-a336-42f6-bf83-e3cc0f52fe6f
ORCID for Fleur A. Loveridge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6688-6305
ORCID for Kevin M. Briggs: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1738-9692

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Oct 2023 12:15
Last modified: 23 Jul 2024 01:43

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Wengui Huang
Author: Kevin M. Briggs ORCID iD
Author: Nader Saffari
Author: Fiona Thomson

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×