Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Jean Benoit

Second Advisor

Majid Ghayoomi

Third Advisor

Igor Tsukrov


In 2012 the New Hampshire Department of Transportation constructed a test embankment with prefabricated vertical drains on top of soft marine clay in Dover, NH. The test embankment was built with variable drain spacing and embankment geometry in order to determine effective and efficient treatment for long term ground settlement. Findings from this study are to be implemented in future applications in the New Hampshire seacoast where soft marine clay is present. Using data collected from several in situ and laboratory tests, this thesis investigates the use of finite element analysis to predict total settlement and time rate of consolidation using the soft soil creep model within PLAXIS 2D. The model is validated by comparing finite element analysis results with geotechnical monitoring instrumentation installed within the test embankment at the time of construction. It was found that predictions of pore pressure dissipation and vertical displacements yield comparable results with that observed in the field.