SEAGS-AGSSEA Journal Editors March 2016

Geotechnical Engineering Journal of the SEAGS & AGSSEA Vol. 47 No.1 March 2016: VIETNAM SPECIAL ISSUE / Edited by Dr. Phung Duc Long & San Shyan Lin

Dr. Phung Duc Long
Dr. Phung Duc Long

Dr. Phung Duc Long

Dr. Phung is President of the Vietnamese Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (VSSMGE). He received his Ph.D. degree at the Geotechnical Department, Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1993. He has worked at the Institute for Building Science & Technology (IBST) in Hanoi, Vietnam from 1975 to 1988; at the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) in Linköping, Sweden from 1988 to 1994; at Chalmers University of Technology from 1989 to 1993, at Skanska Sweden as Technical Manager from 1994 to 2002; at WSP Asia in Hong Kong as Associate Director from 2002-2003; at WSP Vietnam in Hanoi as General Director from 2003-2011; and at Long GeoDesign as Director since 2011.

Dr. Phung has 40 years of international experience. His expertise areas are: deep foundations and piled raft foundations for high-rise buildings, temporary and permanent support for deep excavations, tunneling, soil improvement, underpinning, pile dynamics, and numerical analysis of soil-structure interaction problems. He has worked with projects in many countries, as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, USA, England, Russia, Germany, India, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam, etc. Some of his highlight projects are: Uni-Storebrand Headquarter in Oslo with steel-core piles into rock; SL-10 South Link in Stockholm with sheet pile wall for deep cut & cover tunnel in soft clay; Fredriksberg Metro Station in Copenhagen, the world largest drilled-pile wall for deep excavation; soil stabilization with lime-cement columns for Highway I15, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Öresund Link between Sweden and Denmark; Årsta Bridge in Stockholm with pile foundations and sheet pile walls in deep water and soft clay; the peer-review of piled foundation for the ICC Tower, 118 floors, 490m high in Hong Kong, the No. 4 tallest high-rise in the world, and the Sailing Tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is the author and co-author of more than 100 technical papers and books in English, Swedish and Vietnamese for different national, regional and international seminars, conferences, and technical journals. He is the chief editor of a number of publications, as the proceeding of the international conferences Geotec Hanoi 2011, and Geotec Hanoi 2013.

Prof. San-Shyan Lin
Prof. San-Shyan Lin

Prof. San-Shyan Lin

Dr. Lin is a Professor at Department of Harbor and River Engineering of National Taiwan Ocean University in Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri USA in 1992. Dr. Lin was an engineer at Taiwan Area National Expressway Engineering Bureau from 1992 to 1994. Prof. Lin also served as TRB A2K03 Committee member on Foundations of Bridges and Other Structures between 1995 and 2004. He is also serving as committee member of TC-212 and ATC-1 of ISSMGE and as editorial board member of four major international journals in geotechnical engineering.

Prof. Lin’s research and practical experiences have been dealt with static and dynamic behaviour of deep foundations, ground improvement and effects of scouring on bridge foundations. In the past decades, he was involved in many research projects such as interpretation of pile load testing results due to axial, lateral, or combined loading; effect of soil liquefaction on performance of pile foundation in sand; seismic effect of pile foundations; performance of suction pile in sand or in clay; and effect of scouring on performance of pile and caisson foundations etc. Prof. Lin has published more than 110 peer-reviewed journal papers and conference papers. One of his published Journal papers dealing with cyclic lateral loading effect on permanent strain of deep foundation due to cyclic lateral loading has been cited more than 60 times in Google academic website by many international researchers working on wind turbine foundations.


This journal issue was edited and contributed from works in Vietnam by Vietnamese authors and other popular persons. Sixteen papers are contained in this issue. Dr. Phung Duc Long is the lead editor. His Vietnamese team included: Dr. Pham Van Long, Dr. Pham Huy Giao, Mr. Mai Trieu Quang, Dr. Nguyen Anh Minh, Dr. Vu Quang Hung, and Dr. Vu The Manh.

The construction field in Vietnam has been under a very fast development. More than ten years ago the first 30-storey tower appeared in Vietnam. Today, the height has reached to 70-80 floors. During the last decade many tall towers, long bridges, deep tunnels, large hydro-power dams, large airport and habours, etc have appeared in Vietnam. Thousands of kilometers of highway have been constructed. New metro projects have been started both in Hanoi anh Ho Chi Minh City. It is understandable why geotechnical engineering has recently developed very fast in Vietnam.

The issue’s major topics relate to piled raft foundations; piled foundations for storage tanks; pile group settlements; coastal and riverine erosion in the context of climate change; soil characterization for land subsidence evaluation for MRT projects; discrete modelling of excavation in fractured rock; settlement management for urban tunnels; evaluation of performance of diaphragm walls; study on clayey soils using piezocone; DEM simulations of medium dense sand in triaxial apparatus; characteristic of unsaturated soil of earth fill dams; ground improvement using soil-cement columns/deep mixing method; and ground improvement with preloading, and PVD and vacuum pressure.

Phung Duc Long (paper No.1) has made a detailed study on pile raft foundation in which the piles are used for reducing settlement, not for taking the total load from superstructure as in the conventional pile foundations. The results from his field model test, which strongly supports the concept of settlementreducers, are reviewed. Basing on the experiment, a simplified design method is proposed. In the paper, the method is used for the conceptual design of a large high-rise building complex. In combination with FEM, the simplified method gives a reliable tool for conceptual design of piled-raft foundations. PLAXIS 3D is used for modelling both the piled and un-piled foundations in the study.

Yasuhara et al, (paper No.2) describe climate change related disasters such as erosion along riverine and coastal areas of the Mekong Delta in the South Vietnam. Also, the red river delta in the north is expected to be exacerbated by land subsidence, sea-level rise (SLR), and magnified typhoons. Adaptation to severe erosion is expected to respond to regional circumstances and the demands of local residents. Based on the expectations outlined above, for soft adaptation, attempts were made to conduct perception surveys of local residents, in addition to field surveys of erosion at riverside and coastal areas using an un-crewed aerial vehicle (UAV). Furthermore, for hard adaptation, a proposal is made to conduct pilot field tests at the coast for reinforcing coastal dykes using the combined technique of locally available materials with cost-saving eco-geosynthetics in addition to application of ICT. This paper explains the possibility of smart adaptation combining soft and hard adaptation to reduce severe coastal and riverine erosion in the Vietnamese deltas.

Nguyen, H. M., Fellenius, B.H., Puppala, A.J. Aravind, P., and Tran, Q.T. (paper No.3) introduce bidirectional static loading tests on two shaft-grouted barrette piles of the 40-storey Exim Bank Building in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Simulation of the measured load-movement response indicated that the shaft resistance response was hyperbolic. The test schedule was interrupted by unloading/reloading cycles, which disturbed the gage data and included uneven load-holding durations which exacerbated the analysis difficulty.

Pham Huy Giao and Ta Thi Thoang (paper No.4) have an excellent paper on soil characterization and land subsidence prediction for the first MRT line in HCM city to meet the transportation needs of a fast growing population and rapid urbanization. Being located in the Sai Gon-Dong Nai delta HCM city area has low elevations and is underlain by a sequence of clayey, silty and sandy soil layers. Land subsidence due to groundwater extraction had been suspected and observed in HCM city. In this study, geotechnical characterization of the subsoil along the first MRT line was carried out. Prediction of land subsidence along this MRT line was conducted using a FEM consolidation code.

Shiwakoti and Manai (paper No.5) examine the application of deep cement-mixing technique in improving engineering properties of soft grounds at nine different sites in southern Vietnam’s typical soft soil deposits. The exercise consisted of running a series of laboratory tests on undisturbed soil samples and their mixes with cement and field trials, followed by field application of 500,000 m cement treated columns with 600mm diameter, using Dry Jet Mixing technique. After the field trials and applications, cores were extracted from the treated grounds to evaluate improvement in their engineering characteristics. Both the laboratory and the field results revealed a drastic enhancement in strength, stiffness, and permeability of the treated soft soils.

Over-consolidation ratio (OCR) is an important geotechnical parameter for predicting undrained shear strength, lateral pressure ratio and settlement of clayey ground. Piezocone studies were made by Bui Truong Son, Le Hong Quang and Lam Ngoc Qui (paper No.6). In Southern Vietnam, a thick layer of saturated soft clays distributes throughout all the area. It includes Mekong (in Ca Mau province) and Dong Nai (in HCMC and Vung Tau) alluvial deposits. Below the soft clayey layer, there is a layer of either stiff to very stiff clay or fine sand. Based on the reliable data of consolidation test results of samples taken by piston tube and piezocone, relationship between over-consolidation ratio and normalized penetration resistant is established and analysed.

Phan To Anh Vu (paper No.7) studied the ground improvement using soil-cement method: A case study with laboratory testing and in-situ verification for a Highway project in Southern Vietnam. This article presents the experimental unconfined compressive strength results of soil-cement columns to improve the soft soil gained by Tan Son Nhat-Binh Loi Outer Ring Road Project, located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The laboratory test results revealed that the Stable Soil cement has a greater unconfined compressive strength than tower (60%) slag cement. In addition, cement-soil samples obtained from insitu indicated that the target cement content of 240 kg/m3 was satisfied not only a required compressive strength (>24 kgf/cm2) but also a low-cost. The obtained results are expected to provide an experience for further design and construction in Ho Chi Minh City and its vicinity.

Bengt Fellenius and Mauricio Ochoa (paper No.8) write on the use of piled foundations for wide storage tanks. The authors have analyzed five case records involving wide piled foundations and show that the foundation settlement can be modeled as a flexible raft placed at the pile toe level with the foundation load distributed according to Boussinesq stress distribution and that the capacity of an individual pile is not relevant to the foundation performance. Differential settlement between the perimeter and interior piles and the effect of drag force and downdrag are discussed. The limitation of drag force as affected by the pile spacing and the weight of the soil in between the interior piles is addressed.

Tran Thi Thu Hang and Frederic Dubois (paper No.9) deal with discrete modelling of excavation in fractured rock by NSCD method. The presence of the network of discontinuities on intact rock is a special feature of nature rock masses. Non Smooth Contact Dynamics method (NSCD) is a discrete numerical method that owns many strong advantages of the study on granular materials and has been used recently in rock engineering. LMGC90, open-sourced software built on NSCD, has demonstrated a robust capacity in the modelling and mechanical analysis of diverse environments, masonry and rock included. In this study, a numerical modelling of a multi-phase-excavation in fractured rock was realized. The simulation of the tunnelling with the consideration of the state of the excavation and its neighbouring rock blocks, during and after the excavation schedule, and at each excavation phase was conducted. The obtained mechanical behaviours of the model were analysed, and three failure mechanisms of the excavation vicinity during the tunnelling was aimed. The observed phenomena showed typical effects of two components of the rock mass (rock structure and rock material) to the stability of the excavation and the host rock mass.

Duong Diep Thuy, Pham Quang Hung, and Le Thiet Trung (paper No.10) studied the pile groups in Vietnam using a method for estimating the pile group settlement considering the distribution of pile shaft friction, called SDF. For illustrating the proposed method is used for a full scaled experimental model by Koizumi et al (1967), for a field model test by Phung (1993) and for two case histories in Vietnam, Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant, and Ecopark Tower 2. Comparison of the calculated settlements with the measurement results shows that the SDF method provided a good prediction for all the studied cases.

Nguyen Quang Tuan and H. Konietzky (paper No.11) deals with the mechanical behaviour of Hai Duong Medium dense sand in triaxial test and its simulation using DEM. Numerical simulations of the drained triaxial behaviour of medium sand, a typical constructional soil material and widely used in Northern Provinces of Vietnam, were performed using discrete element method (DEM). The sand was simulated based on spherical particles using PFC3D with a non-linear contact model including rolling resistance. The calibrated simulations show that the DEM model is able to capture the mechanical behaviour of sand. The effects of different microscopic parameters on the macroscopic behaviour of the sand were investigated.

Tran The Truyen, Nguyen Van Hung, and Tran N. Hoa (paper No.12) studied the influence of geometrical parameters of soil cement columns on the settlement of embankments on reinforced soft soil. Deep Mixing Method (DMM) is a widely used soft soil improvement method in the construction of road, port, and tunnel foundations, etc. Deep mixing of cement with soil and water, forming Soil Cement Columns (SCC) in situ, has been applied in many projects in Vietnam in recent years; it has proved many advantages compared with other applied methods in the site. At present, Vietnamese engineers are concerned with finding out recommendations for an optimal choice of SCC scheme. This paper analyzes the influence of main geometrical parameters of SCC including the length, the diameter, and the spacing on the behavior of reinforced soft soils in some construction projects in Vietnam. The results will be an important basis for recommendations on the choice of rational schemes of SCC for soft soil improvement in Vietnam.

Benson Hsiung, Dao Sy Dan and William Cheang (paper No.13) evaluated the performance of diaphragm walls by wall deflection paths for deep excavations in Central Hanoi. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the performance of diaphragm walls by wall deflection paths for deep excavations in Central Hanoi. PLAXIS 2D was used for 2D finite element analyses in this paper. A benchmark analysis was first conducted on the excavation to verify the validity of material models and their input parameters for predicting wall deflections. The reference envelopes of wall deflection paths were then delivered for various conditions of deep excavations in Central Hanoi. Considering the current prediction, up to 72 mm of the maximum lateral wall displacement was predicted for an excavation with a 21.9 m depth. Reference envelopes of excavations have been developed and discussed in various conditions of the excavation. It is found that the maximum lateral wall displacement at the first stage of excavation is roughly inversely proportional to the Young’s moduli of soils. Changing the wall thickness leads to the limited difference in reference envelope at shallow excavation stages, but this may not be correct when the excavation goes deeper.

Hoang Hiep and Pham Huy Giao (paper No.14) studied the effect of vacuum pressure distribution on settlement analysis results for an improved thick soft clay deposit at Sai Gon-Hiep Phuoc terminal port, South of Vietnam. In this study an approach of settlement analysis using a FORTRAN code was proposed to successfully simulate the large consolidation settlement of a thick soft clay deposit, improved by combination of preloading, PVD and vacuum pressure for Sai Gon-Hiep Phuoc (SGHP) project. Geotechnical characterization of the subsoil profile underlying the project site was carefully done to provide input data for settlement analysis, in which a particular focus was given on studying the vacuum pressure distribution along the 35-m deep PVD. It was found that the coefficient of vacuum pressure distribution (kP) from 0.85 to 1.0 gave the best estimation of the time-dependent total primary settlement as embankment construction goes in addition to a smear effect RS= 3.0. The increasing trend of kP with time might be explained by the fact that for the later stages of loading the vacuum pressure could spread more to the depth.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Huong and Trinh Minh Thu (paper No.15) studied the Characteristic of Unsaturated Soil of Earth Fill Dams in Vietnam. Earth dams in Vietnam, especially earth dams at the central part of Vietnam, are generally made using in-situ soils having low clay content. The knowledge, experience, calculation theory, apparatus etc, for unsaturated soils in Vietnam are still very limited, especially the studies of the influences of the shear strength of unsaturated soils to the stability of earthen structures. Therefore, study on the soil-water characteristic curve, shear strength and coefficient of permeability versus different matric suction for Vietnamese soil is an urgent task. This study shows that when the matric suction in the soil changes, the effective cohesion c’ would also change; however the internal friction angle is almost unchanged for some types of soil in Vietnam. The experimental results can be applied to study the effect of unsaturated soil to the factor of safety of the slope.

Finally paper by Alain Guilloux and Hervé Le Bissonnais (paper No.16) is on the management of settlements for urban tunnels. The TOULON highway tunnel is located in a very dense urban environment, and a much complex geology. The excavated section is about 120 m2 and the depth is in the range 15-35 m. The aim of the paper is to show how a great attention was paid to the settlements control: at the design stage through soils investigations, survey of existing constructions in regards to their sensibility to tunnel induced settlement, definition of settlements thresholds, and choice of ground prereinforcement techniques; during the construction, by heavy monitoring of deformations and continuous adaptation of the supports to the actual settlements and buildings behaviour.

This issue contains sixteen papers which are related to the Vietnam soil conditions and contribute to the advancement of geotechnics, and are all written by the Vietnamese authors, about projects in Vietnam, or the topics that Vietnam are facing. It is hoped that the issue will demonstrate how the authors have made their studies geared in a manner useful to geotechnical engineers in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Phung Duc Long


It is a genuine pleasure to note that this Issue contains sixteen excellent contributions as made by authors mostly from Vietnam in using modern developments in Geotechnics relevant and applicable to Vietnamese soil and rock conditions. They are mostly practical in nature and is an excellent example of how research be conducted useful to our geotechnical profession in practice. Dr. PHUNG Duc Long is the lead editor. His Vietnamese team included: Dr. Pham Van Long, Dr. Pham Huy Giao, Mr. Mai Trieu Quang, Dr. Nguyen Anh Minh, Dr. Vu Quang Hung, and Dr. Vu The Manh.

The Preface by Dr. Phung adequately covers the details of the contributions by the authors. Vietnam is an important arm of our AGSSEA and has developed enormously in the recent years with tall buildings, coastal structures, highways and expressways, airport developments etc. It is a paradise for geotechnical engineers. We are all most grateful to Dr. Phung and his team. This issue demonstrates the future of Geotechnics extend to all member countries of AGSSEA and beyond. The successful conferences and symposia organised by the Vietnamese Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (VSSMGE) is also worthy of praise.

K. Y. Yong
N . Phienwej
T. A. Ooi
A. S. Balasubramaniam


Editors: Dr. Phung Duc Long & San Shyan Lin

Paper Title Pages
Prediction of Piled Raft Foundation Settlement – A Case Study
By Phung Duc Long
Geotechnical Adaptation to the Vietnamese Coastal and Riverine Erosion in the Context of Climate Change
By K. Yasuhara, M. Tamura, Trinh Cong Van and Do Minh Duc
Bidirectional Tests on Two Shaft-Grouted Barrette Piles in Mekong Delta, Vietnam
By H. M. Nguyen, B. H. Fellenius, A. J. Puppala, P. Aravind, and Q. T. Tran
Soil Characterization and Land Subsidence Prediction for the First MRT Line in HCM City
By Pham Huy Giao and Ta Thi Thoang
Soft Ground Improvement by Deep Cement-Mixing Technique in Southern Vietnam
By Dinesh Raj Shiwakoti and Ryuji Manai
Over Consolidation Feature of Clayey Soils in Southern Vietnam According to Piezocone
By Bui Truong Son, Le Hong Quang, Lam Ngoc Qui
Ground Improvement Using Soil-Cement Method: A Case Study with Laboratory Testing and In-Situ Verification for a Highway Project in Southern Vietnam
By Phan To Anh Vu
Wide Storage Tanks on Piled Foundations
By Bengt H. Fellenius and Mauricio Ochoa
Discrete Modelling of Excavation in Fractured Rock by NSCD Method
By Tran Thi Thu Hang and Frederic Dubois
A Method for Estimating Pile Group Settlement Considering Distribution of Pile Shaft Friction (SDF) – Application for Pile Groups in Vietnam
By Duong Diep Thuy, Pham Quang Hung, and Le Thiet Trung
Mechanical behaviour of Hai Duong Medium Sand in Triaxial Test and its DEM Simulations
By Nguyen Quang Tuan and Heinz Konietzky
Influence of Geometrical Parameters of Soil-Cement Columns on the Average Settlement of Embankment on Reinforced Soft Soil – Numerical Analysis
By Tran The Truyen, Nguyen Van Hung, and Tran N. Hoa
Evaluation of Performance of Diaphragm Walls by Wall Deflection Paths for Deep Excavations in Central Ha Noi
By Benson Hsiung, Dao Sy Dan, and William Cheang
Effect of Vacuum Pressure Distribution on Settlement Analysis Results for an Improved Thick Soft Clay Deposit at Sai Gon-Hiep Phuoc Terminal Port, South of Vietnam
By Hoang Hiep and Pham Huy Giao
Characteristic of Unsaturated Soil of Earth Fill Dams in Vietnam
By Nguyen Thi Ngoc Huong and Trinh Minh Thu
Settlement management for urban tunnels: an example from France
By Alain Guilloux and Hervé Le Bissonnais