12 Embankments

12.1 General

(1)P The provisions of this Section shall apply to embankments for small dams and for infrastructure.

(2) For placement and compaction of fill the provisions in Section 5 should be applied.

12.2 Limit states

(1)P A list shall be compiled of limit states to be checked in the design of the embankment.

(2) The following limit states should be checked:

  • loss of overall site stability;
  • failure in the embankment slope or crest;
  • failure caused by internal erosion;
  • failure caused by surface erosion or scour;
  • deformations in the embankment leading to loss of serviceability, e.g. excessive settlements or cracks;
  • settlements and creep displacements leading to damages or loss of serviceability in nearby structures or utilities;
  • excessive deformations in transition zones, e.g. the access embankment of a bridge abutment;
  • loss of serviceability of traffic areas by climatic influences such as freezing and thawing or extreme drying;
  • creep in slopes during the freezing and thawing period;
  • degradation of base course material due to high traffic loads;
  • deformations caused by hydraulic actions;
  • changes of environmental conditions such as pollution of surface or ground-water, noise or vibrations.

12.3 Actions and design situations

(1) In selecting the actions for the calculation of limit states, the list in 2.4.2 (4) should be considered.

(2) When deriving the actions that embankments impose on adjacent structures or any reinforced parts of the ground, the differences in the stiffnesses should be considered.

(3)P Design situations shall be selected in accordance with 2.2.

(4)P In addition, the following special design situations shall be taken into account, if relevant:

  • the effects of the construction process, such as excavations close to the embankment fill and vibrations caused by blasting, pile driving or heavy equipment;
  • the effects of structures planned to be constructed on or close to the embankment;
  • the erosion effects of overtopping, ice, waves and rain on the slopes and crest;
  • temperature effects such as shrinkage.

(5)P The design free water level on the downstream embankment slope and the design ground-water level, or their combination, shall be based on available hydrological data to give the most unfavourable conditions that could occur in the design situation considered. The possibility of failure of drains, filters or seals shall be considered.

(6) For shore embankments, the most unfavourable hydraulic conditions should be considered. These are normally steady seepage for the highest possible ground-water level and rapid draw-down of the free water level.

(7)P In deriving design distributions of pore-water pressure, account shall be taken of the possible range of anisotropy and heterogeneity of the soil.

(8)P When designing the embankment with respect to settlement, the effective stress decrease in the ground, due to submergence of the dry crust or the fill, shall be taken into account.

Eurocode 7 Geotechnical design Part 1 : General rules