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Performance evaluation of a shallow foundation built on structured clays under seismic loading

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gaetano EliaORCiD, Dr Mohamed Rouainia



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Due to the increased need of storage, larger and higher structures are being built all over the world, thus requiring a more careful evaluation of the mechanical performance of their foundation deposits both in terms of bearing capacity and compressibility behaviour. The design of such structures and their serviceability and stability is largely governed by the effects of the dynamic loading conditions principally because of their significantly elevated risk in seismic prone zones. In this paper, numerical analyses using an advanced constitutive model, able to account for the initial soil structure and its progressive degradation, have been performed to investigate the seismic response of a silo foundation built on structured clays. The proposed analyses involve the use of a fully-coupled finite element approach. For the dynamic simulations, three different input motions have been selected form earthquake databases according to the seismic hazard study of the specific site. The results of the silo dynamic response are illustrated in terms of signal amplification, permanent excess pore water pressures, accumulated displacements and structure induced degradation during and after the seismic loading. The dynamic behaviour of the footing indicates that extreme earthquake events can induce large destructuration in natural clays, leading to ground settlements up to twice the observed ones under static loads, which need to be properly accounted for in the design. This suggests that there are significant advantages in using advanced models which recognise the existence of initial soil structure and its subsequent damage due to the applied dynamic loads.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elia G, Rouainia M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

Year: 2014

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Pages: 1537-1561

Print publication date: 01/08/2014

Online publication date: 30/01/2014

Acceptance date: 11/01/2014

Date deposited: 28/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1570-761X

ISSN (electronic): 1573-1456

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10518-014-9591-3


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