Ground Improvement By Stone Columns At Formosa Plant Taiwan And Its Earthquake Response

Brunner, Wolfgang G.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Mai- Liao, in Yun Lin province of Taiwan, which was once a remote area on the coast of the South China Sea, has been developed into an offshore industrial complex. Approximately 100 million m3 of imported sand fill were used to reclaim the site from the sea with an overall area of almost 3.000 hectares. Land reclamation started in March 1994 and was completed at the end of 1998. A total of 41 industrial plants were constructed on the site, including an oil refinery, a naphta cracking plant, a cogeneration plant, a coal- fired power station, a heavy machinery plant, a boiler making plant, water purification plant, several petrochemical plants and a new harbour. From 1998 onwards, new plants were taken into operation in uninterrupted succession. The main purpose of the ground improvement by vibro- displacement, used predominantly to form the foundations of the oil storage tanks , was to reduce the liquefaction potential of the subsoil during earthquakes. The top layer across the site was treated by dynamic compaction before the installation of the stone columns. Heavy structures such as chimney- stacks and buildings were constructed on pre- cast concrete piles driven by diesel hammer. The earthquake design criteria specified an earthquake magnitude M = 7.3 and an acceleration a = 0.21 g. Stone columns were installed by the dry bottom feed process, which was controlled by an automatic monitoring system, to depths ranging from 13 to 20 m to provide flexible tank foundations. Installation of 1.500.000 linear m of stone columns commenced at the beginning of 1997 and was completed in August 2000. 60 % of the stone columns, in particular the deep ones, have been carried out by Bauer vibrators. The Chi- Chi earthquake ( M = 7.3 ) took place on 21 September 1999 and was followed by Cha- I earthquake ( M = 6.8 ) on 22 October 1999. A survey carried out after these earthquakes showed very positive results. The maximum observed settlement was 10 mm and none of the tanks suffered any damage.
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