Date of Award

Spring 2016

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 the spring of 2014, the University of New Hampshire was approached by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to provide engineering services for future embankments in Dover, New Hampshire. The proposed embankments will be constructed over a compressible marine deposit that can lead to significant settlement and long-term deformations. For one embankment, prefabricated vertical drains will be installed to direct pore water out of the soil and accelerate the rate of consolidation. Several in situ testing methods were performed to characterize the clay, including: flat plate dilatometer, field vane shear and piezocone. In addition to in situ testing, one-dimensional consolidation testing of undisturbed clay was performed in the UNH laboratory. The data collected from the in situ and laboratory tests was used to determine site-specific material and engineering properties of the clay deposit for settlement calculations using the finite element software PLAXIS 2D. The results will be used for comparison to field measurements during and after embankment construction.