Serviceability Considerations in the Design of Sheet Pile Walls for Risk Management

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

GeoRisk 2011: Geotechnical Risk Assessment and Management


The common design practice of sheet pile walls, cantilever or anchored, is based on limit equilibrium approach. A wall design using the limit equilibrium approach utilizes force and moment equilibriums and considers only the soils in contact with the wall to determine lateral earth pressures. The method does not consider several factors during the design which affect the overall wall performance and deformations. Some of the factors not considered in the structural design of the wall are the soils types below the wall tip, the extent of loading behind the wall, and the methods involved during construction, such as cut in the front or fill behind the wall. These factors can adversely affect the wall behavior and cause problems for the wall as well as the structures nearby. The variability and uncertainty involved in the geotechnical engineering field compared to the other fields of civil engineering also magnify the importance of wall deformations, as they are affected by the changes in soil properties. This paper studies the effect of soil variability on wall deformations and provides an overview and analysis on factors affecting the deformations.

Inclusive pages





Permission documentation is on file.


American Society of Civil Engineers

Place of Publication

Atlanta, GA

Peer Reviewed