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2D and 3D simulations of static response of a geosynthetic reinforced soil bridge abutment


This paper presents two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations of a half-scale geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) bridge abutment during construction and bridge load application. The backfill soil was characterized using a nonlinear elastoplastic model that incorporates a hyperbolic stress–strain relationship and the Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion. Geogrid reinforcements were characterized using linearly elastic elements with orthotropic behavior. Various interfaces were included to simulate the interaction between the abutment components. Results from the 2D and 3D simulations were compared with physical model test measurements from the longitudinal and transverse sections of a GRS bridge abutment. Facing displacements and bridge seat settlements for the 2D and 3D simulations agree well with measured values, with the 2D-simulated values larger than the 3D-simulated values due to boundary condition effects. Results from the 3D simulation are in reasonable agreement with measurements from the longitudinal and transverse sections. The 2D simulation can also reasonably capture the static response of GRS bridge abutments and is generally more conservative than the 3D simulation.

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