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An analytical continuum model for axially loaded end-bearing piles in inhomogeneous soil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1183
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number6
Early online date24 Jan 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - 25 Apr 2019


An approximate static solution is derived for the elastic settlement and load-transfer mechanism in axially loaded end-bearing piles in inhomogeneous soil obeying a power law variation in shear modulus with depth. The proposed generalised formulation can handle different types of soil inhomogeneity by employing pertinent eigenexpansions of the dependent variables over the vertical coordinate, in the form of static soil “modes”, analogous to those used in structural dynamics. Contrary to available models for homogeneous soil, the associated Fourier coefficients are coupled, obtained as solutions to a set of simultaneous algebraic equations of equal rank to the number of modes considered. Closed-form solutions are derived for the (1) pile head stiffness; (2) pile settlement, axial stress, and side friction profiles leading to actual, depth-dependent Winkler moduli, (3) displacement and stress fields in the soil; and (4) average, depth-independent Winkler moduli to match pile head settlement. The predictive power of the model is verified via comparisons against finite element analyses. The applicability to inhomogeneous soil of an existing regression formula for the average Winkler modulus is explored.

    Research areas

  • analytical, elasticity, inhomogeneous, piles, Tajimi, Winkler



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