Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) has constructed storage tanks up to 20 m high and 60 m in diameter over weak soils at their new Horizon Oil Sands Plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. A full-scale load test was performed to obtain physical data on soil behaviour in the area in which the tanks were to be constructed. The results of the load test were used to calibrate a finite difference model and to obtain realistic engineering parameters for the foundation soils. This model was then used during detailed design to predict foundation performance and to optimize the foundation design. The actual foundation performance was measured during hydro-testing of the tanks and compared to predicted behaviour.
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