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Strength of the Fill Mass

Strength of the fill mass will determine its bearing capacity and slope stability and effects the fill mass’s ability to bear the weight of foundations.

Weight bearing capacity

The structures built upon a reclamation site require a shear strength to bear heavy loads from buildings, roads, containers and other objects. This is both the strength of the fill mass, and the strength of the subsoil beneath the fill. In addition, the slopes at the edge of a fill area are very relevant to strength of the fill and often need to be protected against waves and currents. The angle of these slopes and thus the required shear strength of the fill is often determined by the design of the shore protection. It may also be related to boundary conditions.

Boundary conditions

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Boundary conditions such as the nature of the existing subsoil, the quantity of fill available and existing water depths or the presence of adjacent facilities will also determine the shear strength required. In all cases, the strength of the fill mass is crucial to the stability of the infrastructure. If it proves to be insufficient then compaction, soil replacement or reinforcement may be possible to increase shear strength. If these measures are unsuccessful than the design of the structures may have to be adapted, for instance, to include piled foundations or retaining structures.