Experimental Study of the Lateral Spreading Pressure Acting on a Pile Foundation During Earthquakes

  • T. Nagao Research Center for Urban Safety and Security, Kobe University, Japan
  • D. Shibata Engineering Department, Japan Port Consultants, Ltd., Japan
Volume: 9 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 5021-5028 | December 2019 | https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.3217


In the seismic design of pile foundations, the safety of the pile is assessed by considering the inertial force during an earthquake and subgrade reaction as external forces against the pile. The amount of deformation of the pile must be limited to a small value to maintain the safety of the pile. In the event of a large earthquake, quay walls and seawalls are subjected to lateral spreading because of the influence of biased seaward earth pressure. The amount of lateral spreading is considerably larger than what can be expected in a typical pile seismic design and may reach several meters. In this study, loading experiments that reproduced lateral spreading were conducted to evaluate the lateral spreading pressure acting on a pile when considerably large lateral spreading occurred. The experiment results showed that lateral spreading pressure depended on the ratio of pile spacing to pile diameter while the peak value of lateral spreading pressure was larger than the one assumed in practical design.

Keywords: pile foundation, lateral spreading pressure, subgrade reaction


Download data is not yet available.


American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AASHTO LRFD Bridge design specifications, Seventh Edition, with 2015 Interim Revisions, AASHTO, 2014

Japan Road Association, Specifications for highway bridges, Part 4, substructures, ver. 2012, Maruzen Co., Ltd., 2016

International Navigation Association (PIANC), Seismic design guidelines for port structures, A.A. Balkema Publishers, 2001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/NOE9026518188

G. Mondal, D. C. Rai, “Performance of harbour structures in Andaman Islands during 2004 Sumatra earthquake”, Engineering Structurs, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 174–182, 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.03.015

R. A. Green, S. M. Olson, R. Brady, B. R. Cox, G. J. Rix, E. Rathje, J. Bachhuber, J. French, S. Lasley, N. Martin, “Geotechnical aspects of failures at Port-au-Prince seaport during the 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake”, Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 27, No. S1, pp. S43–S65, 2011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1193/1.3636440

S. Werner, N. McCullough, W. Bruin, A. Augustine, G. Rix, B. Crowder, J. Tomblin, “Seismic performance of Port de Port-au-Prince during the Haiti Earthquake and post-earthquake restoration of cargo throughput”, Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 27, No. S1, pp. S387–S410, 2011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1193/1.3638716

T. Sugano, A. Nozu, E. Kohama, K. Shimosako, Y. Kikuchi, “Damage to coastal structures”, Soils and Foundations, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 883–901, 2014 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sandf.2014.06.018

O. Ozutsumi, Y. Tamari, Y. Oka, K. Ichii, S. Iai, Y. Umeki, “Modeling of soil-pile interaction subjected to soil liquefaction in plane strain analysis”, 38th Annual Conference of Japan Geotechnical Society, Akita, Japan, July 2-4, 2003 (in Japanese)

S. Miwa, O. Ozutsumi, Y. Tamari, Y. Oka, S. Iai, S. Tagawa, “Two-dimensional analysis of horizontal cross section for soil-pile interaction in liquefied ground”, 38th Annual conference of Japan Geotechnical Society, Akita, Japan, July 2-4, 2003 (in Japanese)

S. Iai, “Seismic analysis and performance of retaining structures”, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics III, Seattle, United States, August 3-6, 1998

A. Takahashi, J. Takemura, “Liquefaction-induced large displacement of pile-supported wharf”, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 25, pp. 811–825, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soildyn.2005.04.010

G. Li, R. Motamed, “Finite element modeling of soil-pile response subjected to liquefaction induced lateral spreading in a large-scale shake table experiment”, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 92, pp. 573–584, 2017 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soildyn.2016.11.001

W. Chang, J. Chen, H. Ho, Y. Chiu, “In Situ Dynamic Model Test for Pile-Supported Wharf in Liquefied Sand”, Geotechnical Testing Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 212-224, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1520/GTJ102425

L. Su, L. Tang, X. Ling, C. Liu, X. Zhang, “Pile response to liquefaction-induced lateral spreading: a shake-table investigation”, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 82, pp. 196–204, 2016 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soildyn.2015.12.013

P. Yin, W. He, ZJ. Yang, “A Simplified Nonlinear Method for a Laterally Loaded Pile in Sloping Ground”, Advances in Civil Engineering, Vol. 2018, Article ID 5438618, 2018 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5438618

S. Iai, “Similitude for Shaking table test on Soil-Structure-Fluid Model in 1g Gravitational Field”, Soil and Foundations, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 105-118, 1989 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3208/sandf1972.29.105

Ports and Harbours Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management, Port and Airport Research Institute, Technical standards and commentaries for port and harbour facilities in Japan, The Overseas Coastal Area Developement Institute of Japan, 2009

T. Morita, S. Iai, H. Liu, K. Ichii, Y. Sato, Simplified method to determine parameter of FLIP, Technical Note of the Port and Harbor Research Institute, No.869, 1997 (in Japanese)


Abstract Views: 321
PDF Downloads: 162

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)