Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering


Expansive soils cause damage to civil engineering structures in various parts of the world, because they swell when absorb water and shrink when dry out. Due to swelling pressures, retaining walls can be subjected to additional lateral pressures causing increased wall deformations and bending moments. Anchor forces can also increase, if the walls are anchored. When expansive soils are present behind retaining walls, swell pressures should also be considered during design in addition to the traditional lateral earth pressures. This study proposes a method to predict potential swell pressures acting on retaining walls for use in design of these walls. A parametric study using the limit equilibrium approach was performed to investigate the effect of swell pressures on the design of anchored sheet pile walls in expansive soils. The results of the study show that the presence of expansive soils can significantly affect earth retaining structures and swell pressures should be considered in the design of retaining walls when the expansive soils are present at the site.

Inclusive pages


Document Version

Published Version


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International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

Place of Publication

Paris, France



Peer Reviewed