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earing Capacity on Sand Overlying Clay Soils_a Simplified Conceptual Model

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1285

Bearing capacity on sand overlying clay soils: a simplied conceptual

model

K. K. LEE

The derivation of a new conceptual model for predicting the peak penetration resistance of circular

footings installed vertically into sand overlying soft clay is presented in this paper. Based on

visualisation experiments and nite-element analyses, a failure mechanism of a frustum of sand being

forced into the underlying clay, with the outer angle reecting the dilation in the sand, is assumed.

The analytical basis of the new conceptual model follows the approach for silo analysis, and takes

into account the stress level and dilatant response of the sand. A comprehensive analysis of the

performance of the new model, and other existing analytical methods, in retrospectively predicting the

peak resistance of a database of 49 geotechnical centrifuge tests is provided. Signicant improvements

over existing punching shear and load spread models are shown, as a result of incorporating the

strength properties of the sand in a consistent manner. The new model has application to the offshore

mobile jack-up industry, where inaccurate predictions of peak capacity in layered soils continue to

cause damaging punch-through failures.

KEYWORDS: bearing capacity; footings/foundations; offshore engineering

INTRODUCTION

This paper describes the derivation of a new conceptual

model for predicting the peak penetration resistance of

circular foundations in stratied sediments with sand over-

lying clay. The motivation for this comes principally from

the offshore industry, where unexpected punch-through fail-

ures occur relatively frequently during the installation of

mobile jack-up platforms (Osborne & Paisley, 2002; Osborne

et al., 2006, 2009). Such failures involve one of the spudcan

footings of the jack-up platform uncontrollably punching

locally stronger sand into underlying softer clay material.

Accurate determination of the peak penetration resistance

before this occurs is a critical component in predicting

hazardous installation conditions. The model may also be

applied more broadly to the capacity of shallow circular

footings on layered sand over clay proles.

The traditional analytical methods used to calculate the

peak penetration resistance on sand overlying clay are the

punching shear method as shown in Fig. 1(a), which is

based on Hanna & Meyerhof (1980), and the projected area

method as shown in Fig. 1(b). Both methods have been

proposed as the basis for predicting the peak penetration

resistance, q

peak

, of spudcans in the jack-up industry guide-

lines (SNAME, 2002). In the primary approach, q

peak

is

calculated following the punching shear method, but with

the recommendation that the product of the punching shear

coefcient, K

s

, and tan 9 is related to the shear strength, s

u

,

of the underlying clay layer by

K

s

tan 9 3

s

u

9

s

D

(1)

where D is the equivalent spudcan diameter, and 9

s

is the

Manuscript received 19 November 2012; revised manuscript accepted

29 May 2013. Published online ahead of print 18 July 2013.

Discussion on this paper closes on 1 May 2014, for further details

see p. ii.

Western Australia).

Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, The University of Western

Australia, Perth, Australia.

Q q D

peak peak

2

( /4)

q

0

H

s

D

z

( ) tan q z s K

0 s s s

Sand: ,

s

Clay: s

u

C

L

s N s q

c c u 0

(a)

Q q D

peak peak

2

( /4)

q

0

H

s

D

Sand: ,

s

Clay: s

u

C

L

s N s q

c c u 0

(b)

Fig. 1. Prediction methods recommended in jack-up industry

guidelines (SNAME, 2002): (a) punching shear method;

(b) projected area method

effective unit weight of the sand. An alternative design

approach is provided in the commentary to the SNAME

guidelines using the projected area method, in which the

load is assumed to be projected through the upper sand layer

to an imaginary footing of increased bearing area at the

sand/clay boundary. There remains debate as to appropriate

values of the assumed angle of spread, with the range 1:5 to

1:3 (horizontal:vertical) recommended in SNAME. By ignor-

ing the properties of the upper sand layer (since even in the

punching shear approach the frictional resistance through the

sand is expressed in terms of the strength of the underlying

clay), both methods provide oversimplied approaches

whereby the ratio of q

peak

to the bearing capacity of the

underlying clay increases as a simple quadratic function of

the ratio of the upper sand thickness to the foundation

diameter, H

s

/D.

Two alternative prediction methods have been developed

more recently by Okamura et al. (1998) and Teh (2007).

Okamura et al. (1998) proposed a new limit equilibrium

method with a failure mechanism that combines the concept

of the projected area method and the punching shear method,

as shown in Fig. 2. To incorporate the inuence of stress

level on friction angle, Okamura et al. (1998) proposed

calculating the friction angle 9 through an iterative proce-

dure between 9 and the initial mean effective stress at the

mid-depth of the sand layer, with the assumption that the

normal stress at the slip surface is at a passive failure state.

Two empirical relationships in which 9 reduced with the

logarithm of mean effective stress were proposed to be used

in the iterative procedure, although these relationships were

developed for the sand used in their model tests. Using this

method, however, the stress-level dependence of friction

angle is not totally accounted for. This is because 9 is

related only to the initial stress level rather than the actual

stress level at failure, which is also inuenced by foundation

size and the strength of the underlying clay.

The method proposed by Teh (2007) is based on observa-

tions of spudcan failure mechanisms from visualisation ex-

periments (Teh et al., 2008), and was calibrated against

centrifuge test results (Teh et al., 2010). A simplied dia-

gram of the model is shown in Fig. 3; the peak penetration

resistance is calculated as the sum of regions of full and

reduced bearing capacity in the underlying clay and frictional

resistance along a shear surface at angle to the vertical

(noting that is not a dilation angle in this method, but a

geometrical parameter used to represent the shear surface

inclination). Teh (2007) provides semi-logarithmic design

charts to calculate and two other model parameters.

A series of 30 geotechnical centrifuge experiments on the

installation of circular at and spudcan foundations in sand

overlying clay was reported in Lee et al. (2013). This

database, obtained from tests conducted on two consistent

samples in a drum centrifuge, provides the most comprehen-

sive set of ratios of sand height to diameter for conceptual

model calibration. Retrospective simulation of this database

using nite-element analysis showed that larger values of

peak resistance gave lower operational friction and dilation

angles, which is consistent with the gradual suppression of

dilatancy under high conning stress. The nite-element

analysis gave failure mechanisms during peak resistance

similar to those observed in the centrifuge visualisation

experiments of Teh et al. (2008), where a frustum of sand

was forced into the underlying clay, with the outer angle

corresponding to the dilation angle of the sand (Lee et al.,

2013).

This mechanism and the database of experimental results

form the basis of the analytical model for bearing capacity

of foundations on sand overlying clay described here. The

model is based on silo analysis, applying force equilibrium

to an idealised frustum of sand rupturing along a conical

surface between the sand/clay interface and the periphery of

the bottom of the footing (Lee et al., 2009). As the key

motivation for this research was to develop a simple mathe-

matical model for use within the offshore jack-up industry,

the model is relatively simple, is straightforward to imple-

ment, and has well-dened input parameters that can be

derived from standard offshore site investigation.

CONCEPTUAL MODEL

Assumed failure mechanism

The model is consistent with the kinematically admissible

failure mechanism that was adopted by Vermeer & Sutjiadi

(1985) for the uplift resistance of anchor plates in sand.

They observed from nite-element computations and model

tests that the failure mechanism involved approximately

straight (in any vertical plane) rupture surfaces, at an

inclination corresponding to the dilation angle of the sand,

from the edge of the anchor to the soil surface. For a

circular anchor plate, the rupture surfaces formed an over-

turned truncated-cone sand block above the anchor.

The conceptual model of this paper assumes a similar

failure mechanism, except that the truncated-cone sand block

is upside down, compared with the anchor problem, and the

base of the conceptual sand frustum is resisted by the

underlying clay. It is a consistent but slightly idealised

Q q D

peak peak

2

( /4)

q

0

z

H

s

c

Sand: ,

s

Clay: s

u

q

clay

A

B

Footing

D

(a)

/s

u

Direction of

slip line

1

0

1

Pole for

circle A

c

A

B

mc u

/s

Pole for

circle B

/s

u

(b)

Fig. 2. Illustration of model of Okamura et al. (1998): (a) assumed

failure mechanism; (b) Mohr-circle of stress for soil elements A

and B (after Okamura et al., 1998)

1286 LEE, RANDOLPH AND CASSIDY

version of the failure mechanisms observed in centrifuge

tests using photogrammetry and particle image velocimetry

(PIV) techniques (Teh et al., 2008). These showed shear

surfaces in homogeneous sand that were trumpet-shaped at

peak penetration resistance, reducing gradually to vertical

shear surfaces during post-peak penetration on sand over-

lying clay. This indicates that the dilation angle is not

constant, even in homogeneous sand, and continues to

reduce with strain during the penetration process. The con-

ceptual model described here simplies this observed behav-

iour by adopting a single operative dilation angle and

friction angle. This is considered acceptable, since the

primary focus is on conditions at peak penetration resistance,

as required in the jack-up industry. The adopted operative

friction and dilation angles are consistent with a modied

set of stressdilatancy relationships from Bolton (1986),

which was obtained from back-analyses through nite-ele-

ment analyses using MohrCoulomb and Tresca models, as

discussed in Lee et al. (2013).

Figure 4 shows the kinematically admissible axisymmetric

failure mechanism for the conceptual model, where q

peak

is

the peak penetration resistance; q

0

is the surcharge at the

sand surface; q

b

is the bearing capacity of the underlying

clay; and 9

n

are the frictional resistance and normal

effective stress along the assumed slip surface; 9, and 9

s

are the friction angle, dilation angle and effective unit

weight of the upper sand layer respectively; s

u0

and r are

the undrained strength at the sand/clay interface and the

strength gradient of the underlying clay respectively; D is

the foundation diameter; and H

s

is the sand thickness.

COMPONENTS OF THE MODEL

Bearing capacity of the underlying clay

The resistance from the underlying clay is assumed to be

the full bearing capacity of the projected footing at the base

of the sand frustum. Classical bearing capacity theory is

used, with the behaviour assumed to be undrained under the

typical spudcan loading rate. The bearing capacity of the

underlying clay, q

b

, is calculated as

q

b

N

c0

s

u0

q

0

9

s

H

s

(2)

The bearing capacity factor, N

c0

, is given as a function of

the non-dimensional parameter k, dened as

k

r D 2H

s

tan

s

u0

(3)

The N

c0

values are adopted from Martin (2001) and

Houlsby & Martin (2003), who provided bearing capacity

factors for at-based rigid circular foundations on a weight-

less isotropic Tresca soil with strength increasing linearly

with depth. Houlsby & Martin (2003) also proposed a linear

curve-t for N

c0

, expressed as

D

H

diameter

sand thickness

s

Sand

Assumed straight conical

slip surface for simplicity

Trumpet-shaped slip

surface observed

from tests

Clay

R

r

Full

bearing

capacity

( ) q

clay

Linearly reduced bearing

capacity (from to 05 ) q q

clay clay

2

C

L

Q q D

peak peak

2

( /4)

d H 012

s

h H 088

s

Fig. 3. Schematic diagram of model of Teh (2007)

Q q D

peak peak

2

( /4)

q

0

r

R D/2

z

H

s

C

L

dz

R ztan

(Thin horizontal discs)

q

b

Clay: , s

u0

Sand: , ,

s

Fig. 4. Series of thin horizontal discs in the conceptual sand

frustum

BEARING CAPACITY ON SAND OVERLYING CLAY SOILS: A SIMPLIFIED CONCEPTUAL MODEL 1287

N

c0

6

:

34 0

:

56k (4)

This expression is accurate to within 5% of the tabulated

values in the range 0 , k , 10 (Houlsby & Martin, 2003),

and is adopted here.

Resistance of the slip surfaces

Analytical treatment of equilibrium within the sand fol-

lows the method of differential slices, as used for predict-

ing the forces on the walls of silos and hoppers (e.g.

Walters, 1973). This approach was also used by Randolph et

al. (1991) to analyse the soil plug capacity in open-ended

piles under various loading conditions.

In the punch-through problem of sand overlying clay, the

sand frustum is treated as a series of thin horizontal discs,

as shown in Fig. 4. Cylindrical coordinates are used, with

the origin at the centre base of the foundation, r the radial

coordinate, and z the vertical coordinate with positive direc-

tion downwards.

Normal and shear stresses at the slip surfaces. Drescher &

Detournay (1993) showed that for kinematic mechanisms

composed of rigid blocks and velocity discontinuities, the use

of a reduced friction angle,

, instead of 9 furnishes

reasonable limit load estimates for materials with coaxial

non-associated ow rules. They suggested that

be viewed

as a reduced friction angle that accounts for the softening that

may be induced under certain stress conditions by a non-

associated ow rule.

Davis (1968) and Drescher & Detournay (1993) gave the

equation for the reduced friction angle

as

tan

sin 9 cos

1 sin 9 sin

(5)

noting that this restricts

to sin 9 , tan

, tan 9,

depending on the dilatancy angle. The lower bound is

obtained for a non-dilatant material ( 0), and the upper

bound corresponds to an associated ow rule where 9.

Consequently, the shear stress at the slip surface for a

frictional material can be written as

9

n

tan

(6)

Equation (6) relates the normal and shear stresses along

the slip surface. However, just as for analogous problems

such as calculating shaft friction of piles, it is difcult to

estimate the normal effective stress along the slip surface.

The following section presents a simple method to overcome

this by relating 9

n

along the slip surface to the average

vertical effective stress within the sand frustum through an

empirical factor.

Vertical effective stress within the sand frustum. For a rigid

foundation on sand overlying clay, the vertical effective

stresses beneath the foundation vary with radial position

(even at the same depth). This can be conrmed by

inspecting a case of zero dilation in which the vertical

effective stress at the vertical slip surface is not a principal

stress, whereas the vertical effective stress along the centre-

line of the foundation is a principal stress from symmetry.

Evaluation of the distribution function of vertical effective

stress at a particular depth beneath the foundation is extre-

mely difcult. For convenience, a mean vertical effective

stress, 9

z

, is dened as

9

z

1

R z tan

2

_

9

z

dA (7)

where R is the radius and A is the area of the innitesimal

disc element at depth z. The mean vertical stress, 9

z

, is the

average vertical effective stress acting on the horizontal

surface of the disc element at that depth.

The normal effective stress at the slip surface, 9

n

, can

then be determined by introducing a distribution factor, D

F

,

dened as the ratio of 9

n

to the mean vertical effective

stress

D

F

9

n

9

z

(8)

Using the distribution factor D

F

, the normal stress 9

n

and

shear stress acting along the slip surfaces can be written in

terms of the mean vertical effective stress, 9

z

, in the sand

frustum. Hence equation (6) can be rewritten as

9

n

tan

D

F

9

z

tan

(9)

Vertical force equilibrium on an innitesimal element. Figure

5 shows the stresses on one of the innitesimal disc elements

within the conceptual sand frustum, where each element is

acted on by mean vertical stresses 9

z

at the top, 9

z

d 9

z

at

the bottom, and normal and shear stresses 9

n

and at the

side, which is inclined at the operative dilation angle. The

effective unit weight of the horizontal disc element is 9

s

:

The vertical force equilibrium equation on the innitesi-

mal element is

R z tan

2

9

z

R z tan

2

dz 9

s

R z dz tan

_

2

9

z

R z tan

2

d 9

z

2 R z tan cos 9

n

sin

dz

cos

(10)

Substituting for the normal stress 9

n

and shear stress ,

this can be simplied to the differential equation

d 9

z

dz

2 tan D

F

tan

tan 9

z

R z tan

9

s

0 (11)

z

ds

dz

s

z

d

z

Fig. 5. Stresses on an innitesimal disc element within the

conceptual sand frustum

1288 LEE, RANDOLPH AND CASSIDY

A new parameter E, dened below, is introduced, allowing

this differential equation to be simplied to

d 9

z

dz

E tan 9

z

R z tan

9

s

0 (12)

where

E 2 1 D

F

tan

tan

1

_ _ _ _

Integration of vertical force equilibrium. In reality, the

distribution factor D

F

is likely to vary with depth, but it

would be difcult to derive an accurate function for D

F

for

different combinations of relative soil strengths and ratios of

sand thickness over foundation diameter, H

s

/D. Therefore, in

order to integrate equation (12) and obtain a simple equation

for practical design, it is assumed that D

F

is constant. Since

there is no rigorous theoretical treatment to determine D

F

, its

values have been derived by calibrating the nal equation

with the experimental results detailed in Lee et al. (2013), as

described later.

Assuming D

F

is constant with depth, equation (12) can be

integrated to give

R z tan

E

9

z

9

s

R z tan

E1

E 1 tan

A (13)

where A is a constant to be determined from the boundary

condition.

Referring to Fig. 4, when z equals the sand thickness H

s

,

the mean vertical effective stress 9

z

equals the bearing

capacity of the clay (q

b

N

c0

s

u0

q

0

9

s

H

s

), and hence A

can be evaluated as

A R H

s

tan

E

3 N

c0

s

u0

q

0

9

s

H

s

9

s

R H

s

tan

E 1 tan

_ _

(14)

By re-substituting A into equation (13), the nal equation

for the mean vertical effective stress becomes

9

z

9

s

R z tan

E 1 tan

R H

s

tan

E

R z tan

E

3 N

c0

s

u0

q

0

9

s

H

s

9

s

R H

s

tan

E 1 tan

_ _

(15)

The centrifuge test results of Lee et al. (2013)

showed that the peak penetration resistance occurred

very near the sand surface, at penetrations less than a

prototype depth of 1 m (for prototype foundation dia-

meters ranging from 6 to 16 m). This slight indentation

of the foundation into the sand has an insignicant effect

on the calculated peak resistance. Therefore the peak

penetration resistance, q

peak

, can be obtained by setting

z 0. Replacing the radius, R, by D/2, q

peak

may be

expressed as

q

peak

N

c0

s

u0

q

0

1

2H

s

D

tan

_ _

E

9

s

D

2 E 1 tan

3 1 1

2H

s

D

Etan

_ _

1

2H

s

D

tan

_ _

E

_ _

< q

sand

(16)

where

E 2 1 D

F

tan

tan

1

_ _ _ _

The rst term for q

peak

consists of the contribution from

both the bearing capacity of the underlying clay and the

frictional resistance along the slip surfaces. The second term

is due to the effective weight of the sand frustum. The

inequality is to ensure that the value of q

peak

does not

exceed the bearing capacity of the circular foundation in the

sand alone, q

sand

: Methods for calculating the bearing cap-

acity of circular footings in a pure sand layer are described

in, among others, Brinch Hansen (1970), Cassidy & Houlsby

(1999, 2002), Randolph et al. (2004) and Lee (2009).

Design equation for zero dilation angle. Because the param-

eter E in equation (16) becomes innite when the dilation

angle equals zero, a separate expression is required for this

case. This is obtained either by taking the limit of equation

(16) as tends to zero, or by integrating equation (11), again

with tan 0 (Lee, 2009). Both approaches lead to

q

peak

N

c0

s

u0

q

0

e

E0

9

s

H

s

e

E0

1

1

E

0

_ _

1

E

0

_ _

< q

sand

(17)

where

E

0

4D

F

sin

cv

H

s

D

The rst term above indicates that, for zero dilation, q

peak

increases exponentially with the sand thickness H

s

(or the

ratio H

s

/D).

PARAMETER VALUES IN THE CONCEPTUAL MODEL

Input parameters

Table 1 summarises all input parameters for the new

model, and some remarks on the methods of determining

them. The input parameters are familiar quantities, and can

be determined from a proper site investigation scheme. The

conceptual model essentially involves one equation (equation

(16)) and requires only input of the necessary geometry and

soil strength parameters to calculate the peak penetration

resistance, q

peak

, of a foundation on sand overlying clay.

Strength parameters of sand

Although part of equation (16), the friction and dilation

angles cannot be used directly as input parameters to

calculate q

peak

: This is because they depend on the stress

level, which will vary for different combinations of sand

thickness and foundation diameter, as well as the strength

properties of the sand and clay. However, the stress-level

dependence of the friction angle can be incorporated easily

BEARING CAPACITY ON SAND OVERLYING CLAY SOILS: A SIMPLIFIED CONCEPTUAL MODEL 1289

through an iterative procedure. It was shown in the nite-

element results of Lee et al. (2013) that 9 and are

related to q

peak

through a modied set of strengthdilatancy

relationships from Bolton (1986), expressed as

I

R

I

D

Q ln q

peak

_ _

1, 0 , I

R

, 4 (18)

9

cv

2

:

65I

R

(19)

0

:

8 9

cv

, > 0 (20)

Starting from the in situ relative density I

D

, the critical

state friction angle

cv

and quantity Q (natural logarithm of

the grain-crushing strength expressed in kPa, with default

value 10), an iterative calculation procedure can be per-

formed to determine q

peak

: Convergence is rapid, starting

with an assumed value for , such as 18, evaluating 9 from

equation (20), then applying equations (16), (18), (19) and

(20) in sequence to nd new estimates of 9 and until

satisfactory convergence is achieved.

With this approach, the appropriate operative friction

angle and dilation angle (and also the peak penetration

resistance, q

peak

) can be determined using the fundamental

parameters of the sand. This iterative procedure is important,

because it allows the stress level and dilatant response of the

sand to be taken into account when calculating the value of

q

peak

: In practice, a curved trumpet shape may be antici-

pated for the frustum, with the outer angle (in a vertical

plane) increasing through the sand layer because of the

effects of: (a) slight strain-softening at shallow depths as

the rupture advances from the foundation base; and (b) the

gradual decrease in stress level with depth. The deduced

friction and dilation angles, taking the outer angle of the

frustum as constant, therefore represent average conditions,

allowing the silo calculation model described above to be

applied simply.

Determination of distribution factor D

F

Values of D

F

were determined from back-calculation of

the 25 at circular and ve spudcan centrifuge test results

presented in Lee et al. (2013), noting that this is the only

parameter in the new conceptual model to be determined

from experimental results. The D

F

values required to match

q

peak

are shown in Fig. 6 with the empirical relationships of

D

F

0

:

726 0

:

219

H

s

D

, H

s

=D , 1

:

12 (21)

for at circular footings and

D

F

1

:

333 0

:

889

H

s

D

, H

s

=D , 0

:

9 (22)

for spudcan-shaped footings. By adopting the distribution

factor D

F

from equations (21) and (22), an excellent match

between the calculated q

peak

values and the experimental

results is obtained. This is shown in Fig. 7 for the spudcan-

Table 1. Parameters for the new conceptual model equation

Category Symbol Parameter Method of determining parameter

Geometry D Footing diameter Known parameter

H

s

Sand thickness Measured from in situ tests

Sand I

D

and 9

s

Relative density and effective unit weight Measured from in situ or laboratory tests

cv

Critical state friction angle Measured from laboratory tests, or estimated based on mineralogy

(Randolph et al., 2004)

Q Parameter in Bolton (1986) equation Measured from laboratory tests, or estimated based on mineralogy

(Randolph et al., 2004)

I

R

Relative dilatancy index Obtained from iterative calculation between equation (16) (or

equation (17) for 0) and equations (18)(20)

9 and Friction angle and dilation angle Obtained from equations (19) and (20): 9

cv

2

:

65I

R

and

0

:

8 9

cv

(9,

cv

and in degrees) (Lee et al., 2013)

ow rule

tan

& Detournay, 1993)

Clay s

u0

Undrained shear strength at sand/clay interface Measured from in situ or laboratory tests

r and k Represent strength prole of the clay: r is

gradient of undrained strength with depth, and

k is non-dimensional parameter for

determining bearing capacity factor

r can be inferred from site investigation, and k is determined from

k

r D 2H

s

tan

s

u0

N

c0

Bearing capacity factor (taking account of

linear strength increment)

N

c0

6

:

34 0

:

56k (Martin, 2001, and Houlsby & Martin, 2003)

Empirical

factor

D

F

Distribution factor

Dened as ratio of normal effective stress at

slip surface to mean vertical effective stress

within sand layer

For at-based circular footing, use equation (21)

D

F

0

:

726 0

:

219

H

s

D

, H

s

/D , 1

.

12

For spudcans with conical base inclined at 138 to horizontal, use

equation (22)

D

F

1

:

333 0

:

889

H

s

D

, H

s

/D , 0

.

9

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

0 02 04 06 08 10 12

D

i

s

t

r

i

b

u

t

i

o

n

f

a

c

t

o

r

,

D

F

H D

s

/

13

Spudcan

Flat foundation

D H D

H D

F s

s

1333 0889 / ,

/ 09

D H D H D

F s s

0726 0219 / , / 112

Fig. 6. Back-calculated distribution factors for spudcan and at

foundations

1290 LEE, RANDOLPH AND CASSIDY

shaped and at-based circular foundations. The differences

between the calculated q

peak

values and the test results tend

to be less than 5% (at) and 8% (spudcan), except for two

outlying cases at around 15%.

It is observed that the spudcan, with a conical base

inclined at 138 and a small spigot, has higher empirical D

F

values than the at-based foundation at similar H

s

/D ratios.

The schematic diagram in Fig. 8 is provided to explain this

observation. Equations (18) and (19) show that the operative

dilation angles are less than 138, and hence the slip surface

of the sand frustum is close to vertical, with an inclination

of less than 1H:4

.

2V. This implies that the normal stress

approximates the horizontal effective stress at the slip sur-

face. For a similar H

s

/D ratio, a conical foundation invokes

higher lateral stress than does a at-based foundation, and

hence higher resistance along the slip surface. Therefore

higher D

F

values are required for conical foundations in the

new conceptual model.

It is also observed that the empirical D

F

function for

conical foundations reduces more rapidly with increasing

H

s

/D than for at foundations. This may be due to a higher

degree of progressive failure caused by the conical founda-

tion, since the conical base will pre-shear the sand before

peak resistance occurs. Although the simplied conceptual

model does not consider strain-softening and progressive

failure, the phenomenon is captured and reected in the

back-calculated values of D

F

:

It is hypothesised that all foundations with inclined bases

would have their empirical lines of D

F

above the line of at-

based foundations in Fig. 6. Specically, the D

F

lines for

conical foundations with inclined base angle less than 138 to

the horizontal are hypothesised to lie between the at-based

q

p

e

a

k

f

r

o

m

c

o

n

c

e

p

t

u

a

l

m

o

d

e

l

:

k

P

a

800 600 400 200

0

200

400

600

800

0

q

peak

from centrifuge tests: kPa

D1: Spudcans, 62 m sand

D2: Flat-based, 67 m sand

D1: Flat-based, 62 m sand

D2: Flat-based, 58 m sand

D2: Flat-based, 48 m sand

D1: Flat-based, 41 m sand

D2: Flat-based, 34 m sand

Line of equality

20% variation

10% variation

Fig. 7. Comparison of calculated and experimental q

peak

values for spudcan-shaped and at-

based circular foundations

Sand

Clay

(Invokes higher

lateral stress)

Fig. 8. Schematic diagram of at-based and conical foundations on sand overlying clay

BEARING CAPACITY ON SAND OVERLYING CLAY SOILS: A SIMPLIFIED CONCEPTUAL MODEL 1291

equation (21) and the spudcan equation (22), whereas those

with inclined base more than 138 to the horizontal would

have higher and steeper D

F

lines than equation (22).

The values of D

F

are less than unity, which indicates that

the normal effective stress at the slip surface, 9

n

, is lower

than the mean vertical effective stress, 9

z

: There is no

physical restriction that D

F

must stay below unity. Assuming

extrapolation of the experimental results is valid, the empiri-

cal D

F

functions in Fig. 6 suggest that D

F

may have values

larger than unity for conical foundations on sand overlying

clay with very low H

s

/D ratios. This could be possible, as

large lateral stresses could be incurred while the degree of

progressive failure is small.

The relationships of equations (21) and (22) are notion-

ally valid within the range of H

s

/D tested experimentally

and from which D

F

was back-calculated, with the at

foundations veried for 0

.

21 < H

s

/D < 1

.

12 and the spud-

can shape for 0

.

39 < H

s

/D < 0

.

78 (Lee et al., 2013).

However, it is considered appropriate to extrapolate the

empirical D

F

lines of equations (21) and (22) to cover all

values of H

s

/D < 1

.

12. Further, as both empirical lines

intersect at H

s

/D 0

.

9, equation (22) for a spudcan is

deemed valid for 0 , H

s

/D < 0

.

9. In the range 0

.

9 ,

H

s

/D < 1

.

12, it is suggested that equation (21) for a at-

based foundation may be taken as the most appropriate

for a spudcan.

NUMERICAL PREDICTION OF CENTRIFUGE RESULTS

The accuracy of the q

peak

values calculated from the new

method, as well as those of SNAME (2002), Teh (2007) and

Okamura et al. (1998), has been evaluated through

retrospective simulation of centrifuge experiments with

H

s

/D < 1

.

12. Centrifuge results additional to those used in

the model calibration were included in this comparative

study. These consisted of ve model spudcan penetration

tests carried out by the rst author using the beam centri-

fuges at the University of Western Australia, two centrifuge

model tests from Craig & Chua (1990), and 12 from Teh

(2007). The experimental details of these additional tests, as

interpreted by the authors, are provided in Table 2. Including

the 30 tests described in Lee et al. (2013), a total of 49

centrifuge tests are used.

The comparisons are shown in Figs 914, where they are

categorised as the industry methods of SNAME (three alter-

native approaches) and the recent methods of Okamura et

al., Teh and this model respectively. Figs 9(a)14(a) plot the

q

peak

values calculated from each method against the experi-

mental values, where the diagonal line is the line of equality.

Additionally, Figs 9(b)14(b) present the ratios of calculated

to measured q

peak

values against the H

s

/D ratio. A linear

regression line for the data points is also shown in each of

these graphs to highlight whether the average ratio of

calculated to measured q

peak

values exhibits any trend with

H

s

/D.

Some common attributes of the datasets are observed. In

general, all analytical methods consistently provide higher

predicted q

peak

values for the tests carried out by Craig &

Chua (1990) than for the other test data. Figs 9(b)13(b)

show that the ratios of calculated to measured q

peak

values

(q

peak,calculated

/q

peak,measured

) for both datasets from Teh (2007),

namely the NUS test series and the UWA test series, are

generally below the linear regression line. Two tests from

the NUS series are exceptions. The tests at H

s

/D 1 and

1

.

05 of the NUS series show particularly high predicted

values. In comparison, the new conceptual model shown in

Fig. 14(b) gives good average predictions for both sets of

tests.

The large testing area of the drum centrifuge allowed ve

pairs of tests to be conducted on the same sample and under

the same conditions (Lee et al., 2013). Each pair comprised

a circular at-based and a spudcan-shaped foundation of the

same diameter. None of the other published methods can

distinguish between these tests, as highlighted by consis-

Table 2. Experimental details of additional tests used in comparative study

Authors Footing Name of test

Geometry

y

Sand Clay Results

q

peak

:

H

s

: m D: m H

s

/D

ratio

cv

:

degrees

I

D

9

s

:

kN/m

3

s

u0

:

{

kPa

r: kPa/m kPa

Teh (2007) Spudcan NUS_F1 3 10 0

.

30 32 0

.

95 9

.

90 7

.

8 1

.

56 155

NUS_F2 5 10 0

.

50 32 0

.

88 9

.

80 12

.

7 1

.

56 300

NUS_F3 7 10 0

.

70 32 0

.

94 9

.

90 18

.

0 1

.

56 559

NUS_F4 7

.

7 10 0

.

77 32 0

.

935 9

.

90 19

.

8 1

.

56 626

NUS_F5 10 10 1

.

00 32 0

.

95 9

.

90 25

.

8 1

.

56 700

NUS_F6 10

.

5 10 1

.

05 32 0

.

96 9

.

90 27

.

2 1

.

56 758

NUS_F8 5 10 0

.

50 32 0

.

61 9

.

20 12

.

0 1

.

56 265

NUS_F9 7 10 0

.

70 32 0

.

58 9

.

20 16

.

7 1

.

56 522

Teh (2007) Spudcan UWA_F3 3

.

5 4 0

.

88 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 7

.

2 1

.

20 371

UWA_F4 3

.

5 6 0

.

58 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 7

.

2 1

.

20 270

UWA_F9 7

.

1 7 1

.

01 31 0

.

98 11

.

13 14

.

6 1

.

20 858

UWA_F10 7

.

1 8 0

.

89 31 0

.

98 11

.

13 14

.

6 1

.

20 608

Craig & Chua

(1990)

Flat-based

foundation

T6 7 14 0

.

50 32 0

.

89 10

.

30 42 0 543

T8 9

.

5 14 0

.

68 32 0

.

89 10

.

30 41 0 638

(approximate)

This study

(beam

Spudcan B1S7SP8a 7 8 0

.

88 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 13

.

2 1

.

85 622

B1S7SP8b 7 8 0

.

88 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 13

.

2 1

.

85 487

centrifuge) B1S7SP8c 7 8 0

.

88 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 13

.

2 1

.

85 559

B1S7SP14a 7 14 0

.

50 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 13

.

2 1

.

85 482

B1S7SP14b 7 14 0

.

50 31 0

.

99 11

.

15 13

.

2 1

.

85 421

NUS implies tests performed in the beam centrifuge at the National University of Singapore, whereas UWA are tests performed in the

centrifuge facilities at the University of Western Australia.

y

Prototype scale.

{

Undrained shear strength of clay at the sand/clay interface.

1292 LEE, RANDOLPH AND CASSIDY

Teh (2007) NUS tests

Craig & Chua (1990)

Lee . (2013) (spudcan) et al

Teh (2007) UWA tests

This study (beam centrifuge)

Lee . (2013) (footing) et al

1000 800 600 400 200

12 10 08 06 04 02

0

200

400

600

800

1000

0

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

:

k

P

a

q

peak,measured

: kPa

(a)

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

14

16

18

20

0

q

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

/

p

e

a

k

,

m

e

a

s

u

r

e

d

H D

s

/

(b)

Linear regression line

Fig. 9. Comparison of calculated and measured q

peak

with

SNAME (2002) using lower-bound value of K

s

tan 9

Teh (2007) NUS tests

Craig & Chua (1990)

Lee . (2013) (spudcan) et al

Teh (2007) UWA tests

This study (beam centrifuge)

Lee . (2013) (footing) et al

0

200

400

600

800

1000

0 200 400 600 800 1000

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

:

k

P

a

q

peak,measured

: kPa

(a)

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

14

16

18

20

0 02 04 06 08 10 12

q

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

p

e

a

k

,

m

e

a

s

u

r

e

d

/

H D

s

/

(b)

Linear regression line

Fig. 10. Comparison of calculated and measured q

peak

with

SNAME (2002) commentaries, based on spreading ratio 1H:5V

Teh (2007) NUS tests

Craig & Chua (1990)

Lee . (2013) (spudcan) et al

Teh (2007) UWA tests

This study (beam centrifuge)

Lee . (2013) (footing) et al

0

200

400

600

800

1000

0 200 400 600 800 1000

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

:

k

P

a

q

peak,measured

: kPa

(a)

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

14

16

18

20

0 02 04 06 08 10 12

q

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

p

e

a

k

,

m

e

a

s

u

r

e

d

/

H D

s

/

(b)

Linear regression line

Fig. 11. Comparison of calculated and measured q

peak

with

SNAME (2002) commentaries, based on spreading ratio 1H:3V

0

400

800

1200

1600

0 400 800 1200 1600

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

:

k

P

a

q

peak,measured

: kPa

(a)

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

14

16

18

20

0 02 04 06 08 10 12

q

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

p

e

a

k

,

m

e

a

s

u

r

e

d

/

H D

s

/

(b)

Teh (2007) NUS tests Teh (2007) UWA tests

Craig & Chua (1990) This study (beam centrifuge)

Lee . (2013) (spudcan) et al Lee . (2013) (footing) et al

Linear regression line

Fig. 12. Comparison of calculated and measured q

peak

with

method of Okamura et al. (1998)

BEARING CAPACITY ON SAND OVERLYING CLAY SOILS: A SIMPLIFIED CONCEPTUAL MODEL 1293

tently lower predictions of q

peak

for the spudcan-shaped

dataset than for the at foundations. The new approach can

so distinguish, as shown in Fig. 14, as a result of varying

the distribution factor D

F

with footing shape.

Following these observations on general trends of the test

data, the specic performance of each analytical method will

now be discussed. To assist this evaluation, the performance

of the various methods in predicting the q

peak

values is

summarised in Table 3, with statistical parameters for the

mean and standard deviation () provided. In addition, a

skew angle of the linear regression line, , is also provided

to represent the skewness of the linear regression line

of q

peak,calculated

/q

peak,measured

to the horizontal axis of H

s

/D,

taking as the arctangent of the gradient of the linear

regression line.

Numerical predictions using the SNAME-recommended

practice

As stated in SNAME (2002), the methods given in the

guidelines and commentary provide a conservative prediction

of q

peak

: This is evident in the comparison graphs of Figs

911, where the experimental values are signicantly under-

estimated. Some of the predicted q

peak

values are only about

a third of the test results using the lower-bound value of

K

s

tan 9 in the primary method from SNAME (2002), or

with the conservative load spreading of 1H:5V suggested in

the SNAME (2002) commentary. Even with the slightly

larger spreading ratio of 1H:3V, the calculated values are

only about half the experimental values. These results high-

light the oversimplied nature of these models, which do not

account explicitly for the strength of the sand.

Numerical predictions using the method of Okamura et al.

(1998)

The method of Okamura et al. (1998) generally over-

estimates the q

peak

values, as shown in Fig. 12. The method

relies on an angle,

c

, projected from the base edge of the

footing to the clay surface. For the retrospective predictions

this has been calculated to be between 158 and 188, values

causing too large a projected area at the sand/clay interface.

This causes additional bearing capacity of the clay to be

calculated, and therefore overestimation of q

peak

: The over-

estimation becomes more apparent for larger H

s

/D ratios.

This reinforces the consequence of excessive projection

angles being calculated using this method, because the error

of mobilising additional bearing capacity of the clay is

exacerbated in thicker sand layers.

The Okamura method was developed based on centrifuge

tests with prototype foundation diameters of 0

.

83 m

(Okamura et al., 1997), and with relatively thin sand layers.

As the projected area is a function of the square of founda-

tion diameter and sand thickness, the error due to excessive

projection angle is less signicant for the relatively small

foundation diameters and sand thicknesses tested by Oka-

mura et al. This method may prove suitable for onshore

footings, which generally have much smaller dimensions.

Numerical predictions using the method of Teh (2007)

Figure 13 indicates that the method of Teh (2007) gives a

relatively good average prediction of the peak penetration

resistance, although Fig. 13(b) and Table 3 indicate that the

general trend of calculated to measured q

peak

ratios is

skewed.

The method involves three empirical parameters that need

to be determined from separate, semi-logarithmic graphs.

Although the schematic diagram of the model is presented

0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

:

k

P

a

q

peak,measured

: kPa

(a)

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

14

16

18

20

0 02 04 06 08 10 12

q

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

p

e

a

k

,

m

e

a

s

u

r

e

d

/

H D

s

/

(b)

Teh (2007) NUS tests Teh (2007) UWA tests

Craig & Chua (1990) This study (beam centrifuge)

Lee . (2013) (spudcan) et al Lee . (2013) (footing) et al

Linear regression line

Fig. 13. Comparison of calculated and measured q

peak

with

method of Teh (2007)

0

200

400

600

800

1000

0 200 400 600 800 1000

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

:

k

P

a

q

peak,measured

: kPa

(a)

0

02

04

06

08

10

12

14

16

18

20

0 02 04 06 08 10 12

q

q

p

e

a

k

,

c

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

p

e

a

k

,

m

e

a

s

u

r

e

d

/

H D

s

/

(b)

Teh (2007) NUS tests Teh (2007) UWA tests

Craig & Chua (1990) This study (beam centrifuge)

Lee . (2013) (spudcan) et al Lee . (2013) (footing) et al

Linear regression line

Fig. 14. Comparison of calculated and measured q

peak

with the

new conceptual model (this study)

1294 LEE, RANDOLPH AND CASSIDY

in Fig. 3, reference to Teh (2007) is required for full details

of the method. However, in brief, the inclination of the slip

surface is determined by parameter , whereas the extent of

the mobilisation of the underlying clay bearing capacity is

determined by parameter

a

: The values of the calculated

friction angle,

2

, and the empirical parameters and

a

obtained from this method are provided in Table 4.

Although it is difcult to evaluate the inuence of each

parameter in predicting the value of q

peak

, as all three

empirical parameters are related to the ratios of H

s

/D and

q

clay

/q

sand

, a brief discussion of the calculated model param-

eters and assumptions is provided here.

(a) The values of are generally much lower than the values

of

a

, producing a geometrical inconsistency between the

failure mechanisms in the sand layer and those in the

underlying clay.

(b) The operative friction angle

2

is taken as the average of

the critical state friction angle

cv

and the friction angle

calculated through an iterative procedure using Boltons

(1986) empirical relationships, with the assumptions that

the horizontal stress is at a passive failure state, and the

initial mean effective stress at the mid-depth of the sand

layer is taken as the representative stress. With this

approach, the effects of foundation size and undrained

shear strength are excluded when incorporating the effect

of stress level on friction angle.

(c) Table 4 shows that the values of

2

are higher for denser

sand layers, and this is as expected. It is generally

recognised that denser sand with a higher friction angle is

more dilative, and will cause larger dispersion angle of

the slip surface (e.g. Vermeer & Sutjiadi, 1985). How-

ever, the values of shown in Table 4 suggest a

contradictory trend. The lower limit of 28 for very

dense sand samples, with relative density of

0

.

88 , I

D

, 0

.

99 and calculated friction angle of

378 ,

2

, 398, is lower than the values 128 and

68 for tests NUS_F8 and NUS_F9, which had a looser

sand layer, with I

D

of around 0

.

6 and a calculated friction

angle between 358 and 368.

(d) Furthermore, the friction angles for tests on very dense

sand are in a relatively small range of 37398, but the

dispersion angles of the slip surface cover a much larger

range of 28 , , 268. This suggests that the inclination

of the slip surface is independent of the friction angle.

This contradicts the results of the numerical analysis

described in Lee et al. (2013), which indicates that the

slip surface inclination equals the dilation angle, which is

directly related to the operative friction angle.

In summary, it appears that the individual parameters are

not consistent with each other. However, compensating

effects among the empirical parameters have worked collec-

tively to produce reasonable estimated q

peak

values, albeit

with a signicant bias with H

s

/D.

Numerical predictions using the conceptual model of this

paper

Figure 14 shows that the new method gives a generally

good prediction of the experimental values of q

peak

:

Although it shows a slight bias with H

s

/D ratio, the linear

regression line in Fig. 14(b) falls close to unity.

The calculated values of friction angle 9 and dilation

angle are listed in Table 5, noting that the projection

angle of the conceptual sand frustum is equal to the

dilation angle (Fig. 4). The friction angles for the very

dense sand samples are in the range 37428, and the

dilation angles are between 68 and 128, following the

relationship proposed in equations (18)(20). Lower values

of 9 and are obtained for the looser sand tests NUS_F8

and NUS_F9 accordingly. This shows that the calculated

values of 9 and are consistent with the relative density

of the sand, and fall in a reasonable range.

EXAMPLE PARAMETRIC STUDY

One of the advantages of the proposed conceptual model

is the ease of calculation. To illustrate how the method may

be used to create parametric design charts, an example of a

at circular footing penetrating into sand overlying clay soils

is shown here. The sand layer is assumed to have properties

cv

318 and 9

s

8 kN/m

3

: The diameter of the footing is

taken as 15 m. The values of q

peak

were then calculated for

various sand thicknesses and relative densities, for two

different normally consolidated shear strength proles, of

Table 3. Summary of comparisons from various analytical methods

Method Value of q

peak,calculated

/q

peak,measured

Minimum Maximum Mean : degrees

SNAME (2002): punching shear method with lower-bound value of

K

s

tan 9

0

.

22 0

.

61 0

.

38 0

.

10 11

Commentaries to SNAME (2002): projected area method with ratio

1H:5V

0

.

23 0

.

71 0

.

45 0

.

12 17

Commentaries to SNAME (2002): projected area method with ratio

1H:3V

0

.

33 0

.

87 0

.

57 0

.

13 12

Okamura et al. (1998) 0

.

83 1

.

95 1

.

24 0

.

24 38

Teh (2007) 0

.

62 1

.

40 0

.

92 0

.

16 24

New conceptual model of this paper 0

.

67 1

.

33 0

.

99 0

.

12 2

Table 4. Values of

2

, and

a

from method of Teh (2007)

Test name I

D

Calculated

2

: degrees Empirical : degrees Empirical

a

: degrees

47 tests with very dense sand layer 0

.

880

.

99 36

.

839

.

1 2

.

026

.

4 19

.

624

.

8

NUS_F8 0

.

61 35

.

8 12

.

2 23

.

8

NUS_F9 0

.

58 35

.

3 5

.

7 22

.

4

BEARING CAPACITY ON SAND OVERLYING CLAY SOILS: A SIMPLIFIED CONCEPTUAL MODEL 1295

increasing strength with depth of 1

.

5 kPa/m and 2

.

5 kPa/m,

for the underlying clay. The results are summarised in Fig.

15. Both graphs present the normalised peak resistance,

q

peak

/N

c0

s

u0

, as a function of relative sand thickness, H

s

/D,

for ve different relative densities, from I

D

0

.

2 to I

D

1.

The graphs show that when the sand thickness becomes

zero (H

s

0; clay-only prole), the values of q

peak

converge

to the bearing capacity of the underlying clay. As H

s

/D

increases, the bearing capacity of the underlying clay is

enhanced signicantly, up to a factor of about 3

.

35

.

5

relative to the bearing capacity of the underlying clay at H

s

/

D 1, depending on the relative density of the sand layer

and the absolute strength of the clay.

Figure 15 also reects the effects of incorporating the

stress level and dilatant response of sand in the model. The

enhancement of bearing capacity for the lower increasing

strength with depth ratio is greater. This is because stronger

clay in the latter case invokes higher stresses in the sand

layer (and higher q

peak

values). This leads to greater suppres-

sion of dilation, and a lower operative friction angle at peak

resistance. The stress level will also be affected in a similar

manner by the absolute value of footing diameter. This

shows how the new model is an improvement over the

models adopted in the design guidelines of SNAME (2002),

which do not consider the strength properties of the sand.

CONCLUSIONS

The development of a new conceptual model and deriva-

tion of an equation to calculate the peak penetration resis-

tance of circular foundations on sand overlying clay were

presented in this paper. Only a homogeneous sand layer is

considered, whereas the undrained shear strength of the clay

may increase linearly with depth. In contrast to other

methods that relate the friction angle to an initial stress

within the sand layer, the operative friction angle in the new

model is related directly to the peak penetration resistance

using a modied strengthdilatancy equation. The method

involves an iterative approach to determine the stress-level-

dependent friction and dilation angles based on the peak

penetration resistance. This can be implemented numerically

using a simple spreadsheet approach. The iterative calcula-

tion process ensures that the stress-level-dependent friction

angle is correctly linked to the stress level mobilised at peak

penetration resistance. The inuence of foundation size and

undrained shear strength of the underlying clay on the

conning stress in the sand is thereby incorporated.

The approach relies on an empirically determined distribu-

tion factor (D

F

) relating the normal stress on the slip surface

to the average vertical stress beneath the foundation at that

depth. The peak penetration resistance calculated using the

deduced linear variation of D

F

with H

s

/D was shown to

provide excellent agreement not only with the 30 centrifuge

tests of Lee et al. (2013) used to calibrate D

F

(an expected

result), but also with another 19 geotechnical centrifuge tests

not used in the calibration.

The new conceptual model has been veried only for

ratios of sand thickness to footing diameter less than 1

.

12.

This covers the range of practical interest for the offshore

jack-up industry, where calculation of potential punch-

through capacities is critical. Further calibration of the

model for loose sand layers overlying soft clay, and for

different footing shapes and conical angles, is recommended.

Furthermore, verication with full-scale penetration events

would be highly benecial.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The research presented here was supported by the Austra-

lian Research Council through the ARC Linkage grant

1

2

3

4

5

6

0 02 04 06 08 10

C

a

l

c

u

l

a

t

e

d

/

q

N

p

e

a

k

c

0

s

u

0

H D

s

/

(a)

For both graphs:

15 m

31

8 kN/m

D

cv

s

3

1

2

3

4

5

6

0 02 04 06 08 10

H D

s

/

(b)

s

u

: kPa

D

e

p

t

h

:

m

H

s

1

1

25 (RHS graph)

15 (LHS graph)

I

D

10

I

D

08

I

D

06

I

D

04

I

D

02

Fig. 15. Normalised peak resistance as a function of relative sand thickness at various relative densities for

(a) s

u

1

.

5 kPa/m and (b) s

u

2

.

5 kPa/m, from surface

Table 5. Values of 9 and calculated using the new conceptual model for database of 49

centrifuge tests with H

s

/D < 1

.

12

Test name I

D

Calculated 9:

degrees

Calculated :

degrees

47 tests with very dense sand layer 0

.

880

.

99 36

.

741

.

7 6

.

312

.

2

NUS_F8 0

.

61 36

.

3 5

.

3

NUS_F9 0

.

58 35

.

3 4

.

1

1296 LEE, RANDOLPH AND CASSIDY

scheme (Project LP0561838), and by industry partner Keppel

Offshore and Maritime Limited. This work forms part of the

activities of the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems and

the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for

Geotechnical Science and Engineering at UWA. The authors

acknowledge extensive support through the ARCs Federa-

tion and Future Fellowships, Discovery and Linkage pro-

grammes. The third author holds the Chair of Offshore

Foundations from the Lloyds Register Foundation. This

support is gratefully acknowledged.

NOTATION

A area of innitesimal disc element

D foundation diameter

D

F

distribution factor

E model parameter

E

0

model parameter when dilation angle is zero

H

s

sand thickness

I

D

in situ relative density

I

R

relative dilatancy index

K

s

punching shear coefcient

N

c0

bearing capacity factor

Q natural logarithm of grain-crushing strength

q

b

bearing capacity of underlying clay

q

peak

peak penetration resistance

q

sand

bearing capacity in sand

q

0

surcharge at sand surface

R radius of innitesimal disc element

r radial coordinate

s

u

shear strength

s

u0

undrained strength at sand/clay interface

z vertical coordinate

a

geometrical parameter

9

s

effective unit weight of sand

arctangent of gradient of linear regression line

k non-dimensional parameter

r strength gradient of underlying clay

standard deviation

9

n

normal effective stress

9

z

mean vertical effective stress

frictional resistance

9 friction angle

2

calculated friction angle

cv

critical state friction angle

dilation angle; empirical parameter

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BEARING CAPACITY ON SAND OVERLYING CLAY SOILS: A SIMPLIFIED CONCEPTUAL MODEL 1297

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