Effective stress analysis of piles in liquefiable soil

A case study of a bridge foundation





When evaluating the seismic performance of pile foundations in liquefiable soils, it is critically important to estimate the effects of cyclic ground displacements on the pile response. Advanced analyses based on the effective stress principle account for these effects in great detail by simulating the process of pore pressure build-up and associated stress-strain behaviour of soils. For this reason, the effective stress method has been established as a principal tool for the analysis and assessment of seismic performance of important engineering structures.

In this paper, effective stress analysis is applied to a case study of a bridge pier founded on piles in liquefiable soil. The study examines the likely effects of liquefaction, cyclic ground displacements and soil-structure interaction on the bridge foundation during a strong earthquake. A fully coupled effective stress method of analysis is used to compute the dynamic response of the soil-pile-bridge system. In the analysis, an elastoplastic deformation law based on a state concept interpretation is used for modelling nonlinear behaviour of sand. The seismic performance of the pile foundation is discussed using computed time histories and maximum values of ground and pile displacements, excess pore water pressure and pile bending moments. The advantages of the effective stress analysis are discussed through comparisons with a more conventional pseudo-static analysis of piles.


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How to Cite

Bowen, H. J., & Cubrinovski, M. (2008). Effective stress analysis of piles in liquefiable soil: A case study of a bridge foundation. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 41(4), 247–262. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.41.4.247-262