Passive earth pressures with various wall movements

Yung-Show Fang, Tsang Jiang Chen, Bin Ferng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


This paper presents experimental data of earth pressure acting against a vertical rigid wall, which moved into a mass of dry sand with a stress-free horizontal surface under various wall-movement modes. To investigate the variation of earth pressure induced by the rotation about a point above the top (RTT) and rotation about a point below the wall base (RBT) types of wall movement, the instrumented retaining-wall facility was developed at National Chiao Tung University. Based on experimental data it is found that, for a wall under translational movement, the passive pressure distribution is linear and in good agreement with Terzaghi's prediction based on the general wedge theory. For a wall under either RTT or RBT mode, the magnitude of passive thrust and its point of application are significantly affected by the mode of wall displacement. However, if the parameter n indicating location of the center of rotation is greater than 2.0, the influence of movement mode on passive earth pressure becomes less important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1323
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geotechnical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1994

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