Effect of Soil Properties and Reinforcement Length on Mechanically Stabilized Earth Wall Deformations

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Earth Retention Conference 3


The design of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls is primarily based on the limit equilibrium approach. Wall deformations which are especially important for serviceability usually are not considered in the design when methods using limit equilibrium approach are utilized. Most agencies require minimum reinforcement length of 70 percent of wall height for the design of MSE walls. However, in some cases, due to existing site conditions and limited space behind a wall, it is not possible to accommodate these required reinforcement lengths. This study was performed to investigate the effect of reinforcement length on wall deformations for varying soil conditions. The effect of reinforced soil, retained/backfill soil, and foundation soil properties were considered. The modeling and analyses were performed using finite element method. The results showed that although wall deformations increase as the reinforcement length decreases, the use of soils with more favorable properties can help reduce the wall deformations and compensate for the increased deformations due to the use of shorter reinforcement lengths.

Inclusive pages





Permission documentation is on file.


American Society of Civil Engineers

Place of Publication

Bellevue, WA

Peer Reviewed