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Field experience indicates that wick drains installed vertically in grid fashion do not consistently result in the required degree of consolidation, under construction loading, in the time established in design. Such deviations are often related to variations in soil characteristics that are not fully identified due to limitations of soils investigation and testing. It was recognized that pore pressure is induced during the mandrel installation of drains; however, it was assumed that such pressures dissipate rapidly and was omitted in developing radial drainage theory currently used to design wick drain installations. This research was implemented to investigate the validity of the assumption.

The initial research grant to Rutgers University was used to determine the nature and extent of pore pressure induced during wick drain installation, using a prototype model in insensitive clay of low plasticity. A second grant involved research at a New York State Department of Transportation construction site to verify the laboratory findings.

This research was completed as part of a May 1997 doctoral dissertation by Richard E. Landau at Rutgers University.