An effective stress framework for estimating penetration resistance accounting for changes in soil strength from maintained load, remoulding and reconsolidation
Some offshore foundations are subjected to intermittent episodes of remoulding and reconsolidation during installation and operational processes. The maintained and cyclic loads, and subsequent reconsolidation processes, cause changes in the geotechnical capacity, particularly in soft clays. This changing capacity affects the in-service behaviour, including changes to the safety margin, the extraction resistance, the stiffness and structural fatigue rates and also the overall system reliability. This paper provides a new analysis framework to capture these effects, based on estimation of the changing soil strength. The framework is developed using critical state concepts in the effective stress domain, and by discretising the soil domain as a one-dimensional column of soil elements. This framework is designed as the simplest basis on which to capture spatially varying changes in strength due to maintained and cyclic loads, and the associated remoulding and reconsolidation processes. The framework can be used to interpret cyclic penetrometer tests, as well as foundation behaviour. This provides a basis for the approach to be used in design, by scaling directly from penetrometer tests to foundation behaviour. Centrifuge tests are used to illustrate the performance of this approach. The penetration resistance during cyclic T-bar penetrometer tests and spudcan footing installation with periods of maintained loading and consolidation is accurately captured. The framework therefore provides a basis to predict the significant changes in penetration resistance caused by changing soil strength, and can bridge between in situ penetrometer tests and design assessments of soil–structure interaction.
- Source: Géotechnique, Volume 65, Issue 2, 1 Feb 2015 (147–154)
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