Unusual Geology At Brooklyn's Edge And Its Influence On Design And Installation Of Piles

Shah, Hiren J.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
Across much of New York City, the geology of glacially deposited soils follows a common sequence. Outwash sands generally overlie varved silts and clays, which lie above a basal till deposit underlain by the bedrock. Pile foundations at projects with such typical stratigraphy generally develop their axial capacities by extending below the fine-grained deposits into the till or the bedrock. Contrastingly, at a project site on the Brooklyn waterfront, high capacity piles were efficiently and economically installed by driving them into the relatively shallow glacial drift and till deposits which lay above thick fine-grained compressible glacial lake deposits. An unusual aspect about the foundation design at the Brooklyn project site is that, relatively short and high capacity piles were driven into the shallow glacial drift and till deposits, overlying the thick fine-grained glacial lake deposits. In order for this unusual foundation scheme to be feasible and economical, the piles needed to achieve their driving criteria in the upper strata. Consolidation settlements in the lower stiff and over-consolidated glacial lake deposits below the pile tips had to be relatively small. The paper discusses the unusual stratigraphy in this area of Brooklyn in greater detail with geologic profiles and engineering characteristics of the glacial strata. It also discusses the design aspects of the pile foundations, settlement estimates, a pile drive test program during design, results of the static load test program during construction, and production pile installation results.
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