Introduction to Earth Retention Structures


In this course, discuss the three types of laterally acting earth pressures (at-rest, active, and passive) as they apply to retaining wall design. Additionally, we will discuss some basic soil mechanics principles, along with some common field and laboratory soil testing procedures.

We will also briefly cover the methods used for calculating the factors of safety for sliding, overturning, bearing capacity, and shallow/deep shear failure modes. Lastly, we will examine a case study of a wall failure situation which includes many of the common pitfalls of wall design, such as the effects of surcharge and hydrostatic loads on a wall, and the importance of preemptive stabilization remediation on aging structures.