Axial Pile Displacement Evaluations From Seismic Piezocone Data And Back-Analysis Of Load Tests

Niazi, Fawad S.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
Ever since the use of the cone penetration test (CPT) in geotechnical practice, attempts have been made to correlate CPT parameters with pile capacity components of unit end bearing (qb) and unit shaft resistance (fp), thus deriving multiple CPT-based pile design methods. These methods focus on "capacity" only without consideration to complete axial pile load-displacement (Q-w) response. Estimated capacities from these methods also exhibit considerable scatter without any consensus on their consistency. In addition, load-displacement curves obtained from axial load tests on highly expensive and extensively instrumented piles can exhibit different shapes. Nevertheless, a single value from the curve so obtained dictates the design capacity. Currently, there are at least 42 different criteria defining capacity with considerable variation in the values obtained thereof. The Randolph elastic solution, which provides a framework for analytical evaluation of pile load-displacement response, requires the profiles of soil stiffness. The fundamental soil stiffness defined by the small-strain shear modulus (Gmax) can be obtained from shear wave velocity (Vs) readings via seismic piezocone tests (SCPTu). The secant stiffness (G), which softens from Gmax corresponding to operational load levels, can be obtained by generating stiffness reduction curves from back analysis of load tests. Then, using appropriate G values, the Q-w curve can be defined for conditions similar to the database from the pseudo strain (w/d). Thus, a complete framework for optimal integration of SCPTu data, Randolph elastic solution and back-analysis of field operational stiffness can be established for complete axial pile foundation analysis.
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