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Behavior of Pile Foundations in Laterally Spreading Ground during Centrifuge Tests


Eight dynamic model tests were performed on a 9 m radius centrifuge to study the behavior of single piles and pile groups in liquefiable and laterally spreading ground. Pile diameters ranged from 0.36 to 1.45 m for single piles, and from 0.73 to 1.17 m for pile groups. The soil profile consisted of a gently sloping nonliquefied crust over liquefiable loose sand over dense sand. Each model was tested with a series of realistic earthquake motions with peak base accelerations ranging from 0.13 g to 1.00 g. Representative data that characterize the important aspects of soil-pile interaction in liquefiable ground are presented. Dynamic soil-pile and soil-pile cap forces are backcalculated. Directions of lateral loading from the different soil layers are shown to depend on the mode of pile deflection relative to the soil, which depends on the deformed shape of the soil profile, the pile foundation stiffness, and the magnitude of loads imposed by the nonliquefied crust. Procedures for estimating the total horizontal loads on embedded piles and pile caps (i.e., passive loads plus friction along the base and sides) are evaluated. Due to liquefaction of the sand layer beneath the crust, the relative displacement between the pile cap and free-field crust required to mobilize the peak horizontal loads is much larger than expected based on static pile cap load tests in nonliquefied soils. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering © ASCE.

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