This paper reviews the main modeling techniques for stone columns, both ordinary stone columns and geosynthetic-encased stone columns. The paper tries to encompass the more recent advances and recommendations in the topic. Regarding the geometrical model, the main options are the “unit cell”, longitudinal gravel trenches in plane strain conditions, cylindrical rings of gravel in axial symmetry conditions, equivalent homogeneous soil with improved properties and three-dimensional models, either a full three-dimensional model or just a three-dimensional row or slice of columns. Some guidelines for obtaining these simplified geometrical models are provided and the particular case of groups of columns under footings is also analyzed. For the latter case, there is a column critical length that is around twice the footing width for non-encased columns in a homogeneous soft soil. In the literature, the column critical length is sometimes given as a function of the column length, which leads to some disparities in its value. Here it is shown that the column critical length mainly depends on the footing dimensions. Some other features related with column modeling are also briefly presented, such as the influence of column installation. Finally, some guidance and recommendations are provided on parameter selection for the study of stone columns.
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