Performance of a cantilever retaining wall

Joseph G. Bentler, Joseph F Labuz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Earth pressure cells, tiltmeters, strain gauges, inclinometer casings, and survey reflectors were installed during construction of a reinforced concrete cantilever retaining wall. A data acquisition system with remote access monitored some 60 sensors on a continual basis. Analyses of the data indicated development of the active condition after translation of about 0.1% of the backfill height. The wall rotated into the backfill as a rigid body, but the top of the stem deflected away from the backfill, approximately equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the displacement from rigid body rotation. Loading on the wall back-calculated from strain gauge readings was consistent with active earth pressure. The maximum lateral force, about the same as the design value, occurred during compaction of the backfill. Observations that differed from standard assumptions included the passive earth pressure in front of the shear key being less than 10% of the design value and vertical stress below the heel being greater than the toe. Compaction-induced lateral stresses on the stem were sometimes twice the vertical stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1070
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Earth pressure
  • Instrumentation
  • Retaining walls
  • Soil compaction
  • Stress measurement

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