Geotechnical Engineering 101 and more…

Building firm foundations

Caissons

Posted by Kshitija Nadgouda on July 15, 2006

This post is about foundations of structures built over the sea, in response to two questions posted by Sachin Choughule on the post about the Bandra Worli Sea Link.

Most bridge foundations over the sea are caissons that are embedded into the river-bed (or ocean floor) until a suitable firm stratum is encountered. A caisson foundation, in simple words, is like a can (although it need not be circular!). It is a watertight chamber that facilitates the operation of construction equipment by workers within it.

Small Caisson
(Courtsey Manitoba Labour and Immigration)

The workers operate construction equipment and excavate the soil within the caisson walls thus sinking the caisson into the river-bed (or ocean floor). Compressed air is pumped into the caisson and regulated to ensure that the caisson remains stable and soil/mud/water do not rush in through the bottom.

Schematic
(Courtsey Carol Denney)

Some interesting information:

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Copyright Kshitija Nadgouda.

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3 Responses to “Caissons”

  1. Sachin Choughule said

    Kool. The second diagram was a bit complicated for a person like me. But yes, did get the overall picture.

    Thanks.

  2. The schematic simply shows how the air pressure is maintained within the caisson and how the soil/muck excavated from the bottom of the caisson is transported out.

    Kshitija

  3. johannes said

    Information about caisson and cofferdam construction

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