Soft clay is widely distributed in southeast coastal cities of China, such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Wenzhou. It has been recognized as one of the most problematic soils in China because of its high water content, high compressibility, low permeability and low bearing capacity. In the past decades, a large number of infrastructure projects have been constructed on this kind of soil. After years of operation, large settlements of the subgrade have been observed.
Therefore, it is essential to study the deformation behaviour of soft clay under traffic loading to prevent this. As the subgrade soils are subjected to large numbers of load applications (105 – 106 cycles) at a stress level below their shear strength, the deformation behaviour of soft clay under a large number of load cycles (i.e., long-term cyclic loading) is of particular importance.
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