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Effect of slope reinforcement of an embankment on global stability and effect of traffic loads

It is common practice for a basal reinforcement to be used to stabilize an embankment on soft soil. However, in many cases also the slope of the embankment needs reinforcement due to increased slope angle. In this study the contribution of the slope reinforcement to global stability was investigated. It is a generally accepted definition that the main load for a reinforced soil is the traffic load and for an embankment, it is the self-weight of the embankment. In this study, also the effect of traffic load on the stability has been investigated. Safety factors were analyzed using the finite element technique for long and short-term. The embankment on soft clay that was unstable without reinforcement could be stabilized by reinforcing the slopes and safety factors of models were increased for different conditions. Additionally, it was seen that the use of geosynthetic reinforcement stretching from side to side contributes to the stability more than increasing the number of reinforcements. As a result, it was shown that reinforcement of the slope can be enough to provide the stability of an embankment with steep slopes on soft clays.