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www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc

Review Article

for interaction among soilfoundationstructure system

Sekhar Chandra Dutta *, Rana Roy

Department of Applied Mechanics, Bengal Engineering College (Deemed University), Howrah 711 103, West Bengal, India

Received 19 June 2001; accepted 5 April 2002

Abstract

The interaction among structures, their foundations and the soil medium below the foundations alter the actual

behaviour of the structure considerably than what is obtained from the consideration of the structure alone. Thus, a

reasonably accurate model for the soilfoundationstructure interaction system with computational validity, eciency

and accuracy is needed in improved design of important structures. The present study makes an attempt to gather the

possible alternative models available in the literature for this purpose. Emphasis has been given on the physical

modeling of the soil media, since it appears that the modeling of the structure is rather straightforward. The strengths

and limitations of the models described in a single paper may be of help to the civil engineers to choose a suitable one

for their study and design.

2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Soilstructure interaction; Modeling; Winkler; Continuum; Elasto-plastic; Nonlinear; Viscoelastic; Finite-element; Seismic

1. Introduction

The response of any system comprising more than

one component is always interdependent. For instance, a

beam supported by three columns with isolated footing

may be considered (Fig. 1). Due to the higher concentration of the load over the central support, soil below it

tends to settle more. On the other hand, the framing

action induced by the beam will cause a load transfer to

the end column as soon as the central column tends

to settle more. Hence, the force quantities and the settlement at the nally adjusted condition can only be

obtained through interactive analysis of the soilstructurefoundation system. This explains the importance of

considering soilstructure interaction.

The three-dimensional frame in superstructure, its

foundation and the soil, on which it rests, together constitute a complete system. With the dierential settlement

E-mail address: scdind@netscape.net (S.C. Dutta).

forces and the moments in the structural members may

change. The amount of redistribution of loads depends

upon the rigidity of the structure and the load-settlement

characteristics of soil. The considerable inuence of the

structural rigidity on the same has been qualitatively

explained in the literature [1] long back. Subsequently,

several studies have been conducted to estimate the eect

of this factor. A critical scrutiny of such studies has been

presented in the literature [2] modeling the soilfoundationstructure system in a number of alternate approaches. Generally, it may be intuitively expected that

the use of a rigorous model representing the real system

more closely from the viewpoint of mechanics will lead to

better results. But the uncertainty in the determination of

the input parameters involved with such systems may

sometimes reverse such anticipation. Thus, to choose a

detailed model, one should also be careful about the

extent of accuracy with which the parameters involved

with the model can be evaluated. In the present study, an

attempt has been made to scrutinize the various approaches of modeling the soilstructurefoundation

0045-7949/02/$ - see front matter 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

PII: S 0 0 4 5 - 7 9 4 9 ( 0 2 ) 0 0 1 1 5 - 3

1580

interaction.

structure and increases the period of the system. Considerable change in spectral acceleration with natural

period is observed from the response spectrum curve.

Thus the change in natural period may alter the seismic

response of any structure considerably. In addition to

this, soil medium imparts damping due to its inherent

characteristics. The issues of increasing the natural period and involvement of high damping in soil due to

soilstructure interaction in building structures are also

discussed in some of the studies [17,18]. Moreover, the

relationship between the periods of vibration of structure and that of supporting soil is profoundly important

regarding the seismic response of the structure. The

demolition of a part of a factory in 1970 earthquake

at Gediz, Turkey; destruction of buildings at Carcas

earthquake (1967) raised the importance of this issue

[19]. These show that the soilstructure interaction

should be accounted for in the analysis of dynamic behaviour of structures, in practice. Hence, soilstructure

interaction under dynamic loads is an important aspect

to predict the overall structural response.

4. Model of structurefoundationsoil interacting system

rigor and suitability for solving practical engineering

problems with desired accuracy.

2. Soilstructure interaction under static loading

Numerous studies [310] have been made on the effect of soilstructure interaction under static loading.

These studies have considered the eect in a very simplied manner and demonstrated that the force quantities are revised due to such interaction. A limited

number of studies [6,9,1114] have been conducted

on soilstructure interaction eect considering threedimensional space frames. The studies clearly indicated

that a two-dimensional plane frame analysis might

substantially overestimate or underestimate the actual

interaction eect in a space frame. From these studies, it

becomes obvious that the consideration of the interaction eect signicantly alters the design force quantities.

These studies, may be quantitatively approximate, but

clearly emphasize the need for studying the soilstructure interaction to estimate the realistic force quantities

in the structural members, accounting for their threedimensional behaviour.

It appears from the foregoing discussion that a completely misleading behaviour may be obtained unless

the interactive study of the soilstructurefoundation is

conducted. It is generally observed that the modeling of

the superstructure and foundation are rather simpler and

straightforward than that of the soil medium underneath. Yet, a lack of simple but reasonably accurate

model of some common structures is often come across.

Hence, the present paper puts forward some idealization

technique for buildings as well as water tanks, which is a

representative inverted pendulum type structure.

However, soil is having very complex characteristics,

since it is heterogeneous, anisotropic and nonlinear in

forcedisplacement characteristics. The presence of uctuation of water table further adds to its complexity. Soil

can be modeled in a number of ways with various levels

of rigor. Hence, the major focus of the present article is

concentrated on soil modeling. However, a guideline indicating an optimum compromise between rigor and accuracy is needed to be furnished with brief details of the

models. Such a literature may help the designers to choose

a suitable model depending on the requirement. This objective is attempted to be fullled in the present work.

5. Idealization of structure

5.1. Buildings

Structures are generally assumed to be xed at their

bases in the process of analysis and design under dynamic loading. But the consideration of actual support

building frames may be idealized as three-dimensional

of inll walls may be accounted for by imposing the

loads of the walls on to the beams on which they rest.

Plate element of suitable dimension may be added to

mimic the behaviour of slabs. This idealization appears

to be adequate for analyzing the building frame under

static gravity loading. But under lateral loading, inll

wall imparts considerable lateral stiness to the structure, since, then it behaves like a compressive strut.

Hence, under lateral loading the eect of the same must

be incorporated as specied in the literature [2023]. It is

well known that if the load coming onto the structure be

such that the stress in the reinforced concrete member of

the building exceeds the yield strength, then under a few

cycles of such loading, the stiness and strength of

concrete members will be degraded. This hysteresis behaviour is attempted to be modeled in the literature

[24,25] with various level of rigor. The details of many

such models are available elsewhere [26]. A suitable

model can be picked up depending on the accuracy required and computational facility available. However,

such degrading eect in stiness and strength seems to

be relatively lesser for buildings made up of steel.

5.2. Water tank

Elevated water tank with frame or shaft-type staging

may be conveniently modeled using any standard nite

element software for the sake of analysis under static

loading. But the performance of such elevated tank becomes crucial during earthquake. Then top portion of

the water in the container undergoes sloshing vibration

with a period generally much higher than the container

and the staging, while the remaining portion of water

moves with container, under a lateral ground shaking.

Thus, the system essentially becomes a two-mass model.

Details of such idealization are available in the literature

[27,28]. But during the torsional vibration of the tank,

almost entire amount of water is conceived to vibrate in

sloshing with a period considerably larger than the torsional period of the structure including container and

staging. Details of such modeling are presented in the

literature in an elegant form [29].

The foundation system generally adopted may be

modeled using suitable rectangular or circular plate elements. The strip or grid foundations may be modeled

using well-established theory of beams on elastic foundation. For water tanks and cooling towers, circular or

annular rafts are generally used.

approaches, viz., Winklerian approach and Continuum

approach. At the foundation-supporting soil interface,

contact pressure distribution is the important parameter.

The variation of pressure distribution depends on the

foundation behaviour (viz., rigid or exible: two extreme

situations) and nature of soil deposit (clay or sand etc.).

Since the philosophy of foundation design is to spread

the load of the structure on to the soil, ideal foundation

modeling is that wherein the distribution of contact

pressure [1] is simulated in a more realistic manner.

From this viewpoint, both the fundamental approaches

have some characteristic limitations. However, the mechanical behaviour of subsoil appears to be utterly erratic and complex and it seems to be impossible to

establish any mathematical law that would conform to

actual observation. In this context, simplicity of models,

many a time, becomes a prime consideration and they

often yield reasonable results. Attempts have been made

to improve upon these models by some suitable modications to simulate the behaviour of soil more closely

from physical standpoint. In the recent years, a number

of studies have been conducted in the area of soil

structure interaction modeling the underlying soil in

numerous sophisticated ways. Details of these modelings

are depicted below in brief.

6.1. Winkler model

Winklers idealization represents the soil medium as a

system of identical but mutually independent, closely

spaced, discrete, linearly elastic springs [30]. According

to this idealization, deformation of foundation due to

applied load is conned to loaded regions only. Fig. 2

shows the physical representation of the Winkler foundation. The pressuredeection relation at any point is

given by

p kw

reaction or subgrade modulus, and w is the deection.

A number of studies [3136] (only a few among many

others) in the area of soilstructure interaction have

been conducted on the basis of Winkler hypothesis for

its simplicity. The fundamental problem with the use of

this model is to determine the stiness of elastic springs

used to replace the soil below foundation. The problem

The search for a physically close and mathematically

simple model to represent the soil-media in the soil

1581

1582

becomes two-fold since the numerical value of the coecient of subgrade reaction not only depends on the

nature of the subgrade, but also on the dimensions of

the loaded area as well. Since the subgrade stiness is the

only parameter in the Winkler model to idealize the

physical behaviour of the subgrade, care must be taken

to determine it numerically to use in a practical problem.

Hence, several methods proposed to estimate the modulus of subgrade reaction are also included in the present

work.

Modulus of subgrade reaction or the coecient of

subgrade reaction k is the ratio between the pressure p at

any given point of the surface of contact and the settlement y produced by the load at that point:

k p=y

following alternative approaches:

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Consolidation test [40,41],

Triaxial test [34,42] and

CBR test [41,4345].

Following some suitable method mentioned to estimate k, a reasonable value of subgrade modulus, the

only parameter to idalize soil stiness, may be obtained.

In the absence of suitable test data, representative values

for the same may be chosen following the guideline

presented in the literature [37]. However, the basic limitations of Winkler hypothesis lies in the fact that this

model cannot account for the dispersion of the load over

a gradually increasing inuence area with increase in

depth. Moreover, it considers linear stressstrain behaviour of soil. The most serious demerit of Winkler

model is the one pertaining to the independence of the

springs. So the eect of the externally applied load gets

localized to the subgrade only to the point of its application. This implies no cohesive bond exists among the

particles comprising soil medium. Hence, several attempts have been made to develop modied models to

overcome these bottlenecks. These are discussed later in

the present paper.

6.2. Elastic continuum model

This is a conceptual approach of physical representation of the innite soil media. Soil mass basically

constitutes of discrete particles compacted by some intergranular forces. The problems commonly dealt in soil

mechanics involve boundary distances and loaded areas,

very large compared to the size of the individual soil

grains. Hence, in eect, the body composed of discrete

molecules gets transformed into a statistical macroscopic equivalent amenable to mathematical analysis.

of continuum mechanics for idealizing the soil media

[46].

The genesis of continuum representation for the soil

media is perhaps from the research work of Boussinesq

[47] to analyze the problem of a semi-innite, homogeneous, isotropic, linear elastic solid subjected to a concentrated force acting normal to the plane boundary,

using the theory of elasticity. In this case, some continuous function is assumed to represent the behaviour of

soil medium. In fact, later on it has been concluded that

the nature of supporting elastic medium of any type can

best be described by the deection line of its surface

under a unit concentrated load [48]. In the continuum

idealization, generally soil is assumed to be semi-innite

and isotropic for the sake of simplicity. However, the

eect of soil layering and anisotropy may be conveniently accounted for in the analysis [46].

This approach provides much more information on

the stresses and deformations within soil mass than

Winkler model. It has also the important advantage of

simplicity of the input parameters, viz., modulus of

elasticity and Poissons ratio. Solutions for some practical problems idealizing the soil media as elastic continuum are available for few limited cases [49,50].

However, this idealization of a semi-innite elastic

continuum leads to many-fold intricacies from mathematical viewpoint [51]. This severely limits the application of this model in practice. One of the major

drawbacks of the elastic continuum approach is inaccuracy in reactions calculated at the peripheries of the

foundation. It has also been found that, for soil in reality, the surface displacements away from the loaded

region decreased more rapidly than what is predicted by

this approach [53]. Thus, this idealization is not only

computationally dicult to exercise but often fails to

represent the physical behaviour of soil very closely, too.

6.3. Improved foundation models

In order to take care of the shortcomings of both the

basic approaches, viz., Winklers model and Continuum

model, some modied foundation models have been

proposed in the literature. These modications have

generally been suggested following two alternate approaches. In the rst approach, the Winkler foundation

is modied to introduce continuity through interaction

amongst the spring elements by some structural elements. In the second approach, continuum model is

simplied to obtain a more realistic picture in terms of

expected displacement and/or stresses. These improved

foundation models are briey described below.

6.3.1. Improved versions of winkler model

6.3.1.1. Filonenko-borodich foundation. Fig. 3 shows the

physical representation of FilonenkoBorodich foun-

the individual Winkler springs is achieved through a thin

elastic membrane subjected to a constant tension T. This

membrane is attached at the top ends of the springs.

Thus, the response of the model is mathematically expressed as follows.

p kw T r2 w; for rectangular or circular foundation

kw T

d2 w

; for strip foundation

dx2

3

2

force.

Hence, the interaction of the spring elements is characterized by the intensity of the tension T in the membrane. An essentially same foundation model consisting

of heavy liquid with surface tension is also suggested in

the literature [55].

6.3.1.2. Hetenyis foundation. This model suggested in

the literature [31] can be regarded as a fair compromise

between two extreme approaches (viz., Winkler foundation and isotropic continuum). In this model, the interaction among the discrete springs is accomplished by

incorporating an elastic beam or an elastic plate, which

undergoes exural deformation only, as shown in Fig. 4.

Thus the pressuredeection relationship becomes

p kw Dr4 w

where,

D flexural rigidity of the elastic plate

Ep h3p =121 lp 2 ;

p is the pressure at the interface of the plate and the

springs; Ep and lp are Youngs modulus and Poissons

ratio of plate material; hp is the thickness of the plate

and

r4

o4

o4

o4

2 2 2

ox4 oy 4

ox oy

beam or plate characterizes the interaction between the

spring elements of the Winkler model. Detailed descriptions of this model as well as some numerical examples are available in the literature [31,56].

6.3.1.3. Pasternak foundation. In this model, existence of

shear interaction among the spring elements is assumed

which is accomplished by connecting the ends of the

springs to a beam or plate that only undergoes transverse shear deformation [Fig. 5]. The loaddeection

relationship is obtained by considering the vertical equilibrium of a shear layer. The pressuredeection relationship is given by

p kw Gr2 w

Thus the continuity in this model is characterized by

the consideration of the shear layer. A comparison of

this model with that of FilonenkoBorodich implies

their physical equivalency (T has been replaced by

G). A detailed formulation and the basis of the development of the model have been discussed elsewhere

[57]. Analytical solutions for plates on Pasternak-type

foundations with a brief of the derivation of the model

have been reported in the literature [51,58].

6.3.1.4. Generalized foundation. In this foundation

model, it is assumed that at each point of contact moment is proportional to the angle of rotation in addition

to the Winklers hypothesis [5962]. This can be analytically described as follows.

p kw

and

mn k1

1583

dw

dn

at any point in the plane of the foundation; and k, k1 are

proportionality factors.

The assumption made on the proportionality in this

model is relatively arbitrary [51]. However, a physical

signicance, of the same has also been demonstrated in

the same literature [51].

6.3.1.5. Kerr foundation. A shear layer is introduced in

the Winkler foundation and the spring constants above

and below this layer is assumed to be dierent as per this

formulation [52]. Fig. 6 shows the physical representation of this mechanical model. The governing dierential

equation for this model may be expressed as follows.

1584

supported on transverse independent springs of stinesses Cp1 . Thus, it appears that the continuity among

the individual Winkler springs is achieved by the parameter Cp2 . However, the modeling of foundation becomes incorrect due to introduction of a ctitious shear

force [63] while the modeling, as a whole is a signicant

improvement over Winklers hypothesis as a subgrade

model.

k2

G

p r2 p k2 w Gr2 w

1

k1

k1

spring constant of the second layer; w is the deection of

the rst layer.

6.3.1.6. Beam column analogy model. The classical

problem of beams on elastic foundation (Fig. 7) is attempted to be solved in a literature [63] with a new

subgrade model. The nal form of the governing differential equation for combined beam-subgrade behaviour is obtained as follows:

Eb Ib

d4 wx

d2 wx

C

Cp1 wx qx

p2

dx4

dx2

6.3.1.7. New continuous winkler model. It has been observed that, to model the continuity in the soil medium,

generally some other structural element is introduced.

But in this model, instead of discrete Winkler springs,

springs are intermeshed so that the interconnection is

automatically achieved [64]. A schematic representation

of the model is shown in Fig. 8. Physically, interconnection among Winkler springs connected to the foundation beam or plate is achieved by some other spring by

virtue of their axial stiness, which are not directly attached to the foundation. Details of the model with

some case studies on beam, plate, hyper shell raft, etc.

resting on elastic foundation are presented in the literature [64]. The excellence of this model lies in its ability

to account for the eect of the soil outside the boundaries of the structure in the modeling.

6.3.2. Improved versions of continuum model

6.3.2.1. Vlasov foundation. Starting from continuum

idealization this foundation model has been developed

using variational principle [65,66]. This model imposes

certain restrictions upon the possible deformations of an

elastic layer. As per this model,

(i) The vertical displacement wx; z wx. hz, such

that h0 1 and hH 0. This function hz describes the variation of displacement in vertical direction.

(ii) The horizontal displacement ux; z is assumed to be

zero everywhere in the soil.

constant); wx is the beam settlement qx is the applied

load; Cp1 and Cp2 are constants.

For an isotropic, homogeneous layer underlain by a

rigid base, the values of the above constants may be

chosen as Cp1 E=H and Cp2 GH =2 where E is the

Youngs modulus of soil, G is the shear modulus of soil,

H is the depth to the assumed rigid base.

The above equation is analogous to a beam-column

under constant axial tension of magnitude Cp2 , which is

The function hz may be assumed to be linearly decreasing with depth for a classical foundation of nite

thickness H. Hence, in this case, hz 1 z=H . For the

elastic foundation [62].

elastic layer, the choice may be hz sinhcH z =

sinhcH , where c is a coecient depending on the elastic

properties of the foundation dening the rate of decrease

of displacements with depth. Then using the principle of

virtual work, response function for this model is obtained and reported in the literature [67] as

p kw 2t

d2 w

dx2

where

E0

1 m0 2

E

E0

1 m2

H

0

dh

dz

2

dz;

E0

41 m0

h2 dz;

deection relationship at the interface between foundation slab and subgrade is obtained by the intrusion of a

foundation layer below the slab. This is based on the

following assumptions:

(i) in plane stresses throughout the foundation layer are

negligibly small, and

(ii) horizontal displacements at the upper and lower surfaces of the foundation layer are zero.

The pressuredeection relationship is given by

C1 w C2 r2 w p

C2 2

rp

4C1

10

is a distributed lateral load acting on the foundation

surface; C1 E=H ; C2 HG=3; E, G are the elastic

constants of foundation material and H is the thickness

of the foundation layer.

The term H 2 G=E in Eq. (10), known as dierential

shear stiness, oers the possibility of obtaining closer

agreement with actual behaviour [68]. This model also

retains the mathematical simplicity of Winkler models.

The classical problem of innitely long rigid strip resting

on Ressiner model and supporting a central line load is

studied in details [69]. It was observed from various

studies that this model predicts higher stress in structures.

In addition to the above-mentioned models, a few

more improved foundation models have also been proposed in the literature [7075].

1585

Little evidence is available in the present time to

verify the computational accuracy of the various models

studied to represent the soil medium in soilstructure

interaction analysis. Moreover, it is also dicult to decide the physical quantity, precision of which may indicate the accuracy of the whole computational process.

The dierent idealizations of the soil-media may be

compared with respect to the ways the mechanics of the

problem is treated. However, the model idealizing the

system more rigorously from physical perspective may

deviate more in predicting the behaviour. This may so

happen generally due to the possible uncertainties in the

determination of the parameters involved, number of

which is generally greater in more physically accurate

model. Another matter of considerable interest in the

idealization is to select a model easy to apply.

The various foundation models discussed herein utilize a number of parameters to represent the behaviour

of the soil. Thus, the determination of the parameters

that constitute the model is the basic requirement.

Modulus of subgrade reaction can be conveniently determined from plate load test [37,76]. The values so

obtained can be easily modied for the actual footing.

The other parameters may be obtained from rigid stump

test [74,7780].

Studies have been reported in the area of soilstructure interaction replacing the soil in a number of different ways. Out of all the models available, Winkler

foundation utilizes only a single parameter. This can be

very conveniently determined and suitably modied for

actual foundation size, shape, etc. to employ in actual

analysis [37,76]. The fundamental limitation of Winkler

idealization lies with the independent behaviour of the

soil springs. Since the degree of continuity of the structure is suciently higher than the soil media, this approximation may not be far from reality [38]. Moreover,

a comparison of Winkler solution for a beam on elastic

foundation shows reasonable agreement with classical

solution [31] and the nite-dierence solution [81]. The

most noteworthy series of tests on continuous beams

reported in the literature [82], also corroborate the

ndings obtained through Winkler idealization [81].

Since it is very dicult to arrive at an accurate value for

Youngs Modulus of soil, which is an essential parameter in elastic continuum idealization; the approach of

using subgrade modulus nds more appreciation [39].

Further, the validity of Winklers assumptions has been

strongly established for Gibson type soil medium, where

shear modulus of soil varies linearly with depth [83]. It is

also recognized in the literature [84] that even large error

in the assessment of the values of the subgrade modulus

inuences the response of the superstructure quite insignicantly. The present practice in design oces generally adopts a xed base consideration for structural

1586

though oversimplied, seems adequate and suitable for

computational purpose for its reasonable performance

and simplicity.

8. Advanced modeling

In the previous section, pros and cons of classical

modeling of soil media has been discussed in brief. This

section addresses towards the formulation and applicability of some more rened models. The merits and demerits of such idealization to analyze the interaction

behaviour have also been reviewed. But before going to

such details, it is worthwhile to present a brief scrutiny

of the complex characteristics of actual soil behaviour,

which is attempted to be modeled.

8.1. Behaviour of soil media

The mechanical behaviour of soil media is so complex that a mathematical simulation of the same is always a mammoth task to the engineers. Soil is basically

composed of particulate materials. The behaviour of

soil, mainly the stressstraintime property, inuences

the soilstructure interaction phenomenon.

Physically, when a load is applied on the soil mass

(not completely saturated), the soil particles tend to attain such a structural conguration that their potential energy will be a minimum and hence stability is

achieved. Up to a certain stress level, strain imparted to

the soil mass in this process is elastic and then it may

enter the plastic range depending on the magnitude of

the applied load. This deformation is followed by a

mostly viscoplastic deformation (dominant for negrained soil) due to viscous intergranular behaviour that

implies strain with passage of time. This deformation

occurs by the expulsion of the pore uid and simultaneous transfer of excess pore pressure to the solid soil

grains. Hence, the rate of such strain approaches a small

value after a long time. The strain caused by the expulsion of water from the soil mass is identically equal to

the strain of the soil skeleton. This is because soil skeleton is an aggregate of mineral particles, which together

with bound water constitutes the soil mass. This process

is known as primary consolidation. However, after primary consolidation of the soil structure, continues to

adjust to the load for some additional time and secondary compression occurs approximately following a

logarithmic function of time [39]. But it is to be noted

that the settlement of any representative soil specimen

may come to an end beforehand if the range of elasticity

of soil is sucient compared to the applied load. Then

the strain will not be a function of time. But for such a

fully saturated soil sample, strain will always be the

shared by the pore uid under such condition and then

viscoelastic settlement will occur. It has been observed

that the hardening of soil due to consolidation and the

thixotropic processes must be taken into analysis as it

causes manifold increase in the cohesion and angle of

internal friction of soil. Thus well-selected rheological

models in conjunction with the model to represent the

phenomenomenologacal behaviour may oer some useful means to study the interactive system. Attempts have

been extended in the same direction in the following

subsections.

In the soilstructure interaction analysis, nonlinear

behaviour of soil mass is often modeled in the form of an

elasto-plastic element. Up to a certain stress level, deformation occurs linearly and proportional to the applied stress. This behaviour may be represented by ideal

reversible spring. A Hookean spring element is the best

suitable representation for the same. The perfectly plastic deformation of the soil mass can be well represented

with the help of a Coulomb unit [85]. But when an elastic

element (Hookean Spring) is connected in series with a

plastic element, a new schematic system known as St.

Venants unit is formed. Use of such a single element

generally shows an abrupt transition of soil from elastic

to plastic state. Instead, the use of a large number of St.

Venants units in parallel (Fig. 9) represents the elastoplastic behaviour of soil more accurately. Use of a

number of springs helps to facilitate the simulation of

the gradual transition of soil strain from elastic to plastic

zone. The following expression may be used in terms of

strain moduli for elstic and plastic strains (eep ), respectively;

eep Me r Mp log

ru

ru r

11

plastic strain modulus of soil and ru is the ultimate load

that soil can sustain.

Conceptually, the above mechanical model may appear to be useful enough. But problems occur in view of

the choice of the parameters as well as the proper adjustment of such springs at the base of the structure. At

this sequence, the use of more recently developed elastoplastic soil models [86] are invoked.

As per this idealization, dierent convenient forms of

the various yield criteria of soils such as Tresca yield

criterion, Von Mises yield criterion, MohrCoulomb

yield criterion, DruckerPrager yield criterion, etc.

[46,87] may be suitably chosen in the modeling. A ow

rule to describe the post-yielding behaviour may be

adopted following deformation theory or, the incremental or ow theory [88]. In the deformation theory,

the plastic strains are uniquely dened by the state of

stress, whereas in the incremental theory the plastic

strains depend upon a combination of factors, such as

increments of stress and strain and the state of stress.

For general elasticplastic behaviour, the incremental

theory of plasticity is often employed for its generality.

The constitutive modeling of soil to be adopted in the

analysis may be developed using either of the incremental method, iterative method, initial strain method

and initial stress method. Detailed formulations of the

same with their suitability in application have been depicted in the literature [88,89]. The major advantage of

such formulation is that it permits the computer coding

of the yield function and the ow rule in the general

form and necessitates only the specication of the constants involved that may be conveniently obtained. Recently, an elasto-plastic model for unsaturated soil in

three-dimensional stresses has been developed in the

literature [90].

Attempt has been made to investigate the interactive

behaviour using elasticperfectly plastic behaviour of

subsoil for a plane frame-combined footing-soil system

[91,92]. The eect for the inuence of strain-hardening

characteristics of soil in the elasto-plastic soilstructure

interaction of framed structures has also been undertaken [93]. However, the use of this model is not very

popular because, in spite of the mathematical intricacies

involved, it does not yield reasonable performance to

predict the interactive behaviour.

8.3. Nonlinear idealization

The stressstrain behaviour of soil is virtually nonlinear. The solution of nonlinear problems is normally

achieved by one of the three basic techniques: incremental procedure, iterative procedure and mixed procedure. Mathematical formulations of these techniques

have been presented in the literature in considerable

details [88]. The major advantage of the incremental

procedure is its generality to use in analyzing almost all

types of nonlinear behaviour, barring some work-softening materials; but it is time-consuming. On the contrary, the iterative scheme works faster and may be

utilized in bi-modular and work-softening materials,

where incremental method fails. However, the iterative

method fails to assure convergence to the exact solution

1587

well as the materials having path-dependent behaviour.

To minimize the disadvantages of each, incremental iterative or mixed technique is recommended that combine the advantages of the both.

However, the outputs from any numerical or analytical technique are acceptable only to the extent that

the constitutive relation of the material is accurate.

Nonlinear stressstrain relationship may be represented

either with discrete values in tabular form (obtained

from laboratory test results) where interpolation is made

for intermediate values or in the functional form.

Mathematical spline functions can provide a satisfactory

functional representation of stressstrain curves and of

the tangent moduli computed as the rst derivative of

the curves [88]. The most popular functional approach

to describe the same is to characterize the soil with hyperbolic relationship [94,95]. But the inadequacy of the

model has been clearly shown in the literature [96].

Another mathematical model accounting for the soil

nonlinearity has been proposed in the literature [97]. In

the recent time, a nonlinear elastic model to simulate

stressstrain relationships over a wide range of strains

has been advanced [98]. So, when the load on the soil

from the superstructure does not become so high that

plastic strain occurs in the soil mass, this model can be

suitably employed.

Study has been made on the interactive behaviour on

simplied structural models with nonlinear soil behaviour [99]. A rigorous computational method accounting

for nonlinear load-settlement characteristics of consolidation was validated from model tests and was reported

in the literature [11,100,101]. Two studies used this

scheme and showed that dierential settlement may

cause a many-fold increase in the axial force and moment of the corner columns [12,14]. Recently, a rigorous

computational scheme accounting for the three-dimensional behaviour of the structure as well as the nonlinear

consolidation characteristics of clayey soil has been developed by the authors [102]. Perhaps this three-dimensional structural representation considering nonlinear

soil behaviour is a reasonably accurate representation of

the interactive system. Yet a scrutiny of the existing

literature reveals that only a few studies have considered

the same.

8.4. Viscoelastic idealization

The real deformation characteristics of soil media

(particularly ne-grained) under the application of any

load are always time-dependent to some extent depending on the permeability of soil media. Loading

applied to saturated layers of clay, at the rst instance,

causes an increase in pressure in the pore water of soil.

With time, the pore water pressure will dissipate resulting in progressive increase of eective stress in soil

1588

foundation. There are numerous instances of rheological

processes in the foundations leading to large and nonuniform settlement. Considerable displacement of retaining walls from their original position and instability

of slopes and embankments [103] are two classical examples apart from the usual time-dependent settlement

of footings of building frames. Similar observations

have been reported elsewhere [104]. Hence, a general

approach governing the deformation of soil with time

considering the rheological process at the micro level is

necessary. Various models are available to describe the

rheological properties of clayey soil such as mechanical

model, theory of hereditary creep, engineering theory of

creep, theory of plastic ow and molecular theory of

ow [103]. Details of these models are available elsewhere [105]. However, for the sake of completeness,

brief accounts of some of such models are described

below.

The mechanical models represent the rheological

properties of the soil skeleton by a combination of elastic, viscous and plastic elements. These models are generally formed by a combination of spring and dashpot

in series (e.g., Maxwell model; shown in Fig. 10) or in

parallel (e.g., Kelvin model; shown in Fig. 11). A detailed discussion of these models with their physical

interpretation has been furnished in the literature [105].

In the Shvedov model, the elastic element is connected in

series with the viscous element and then in parallel with

the St. Venants plastic element [106].

These mechanical models predict the shear strain

more accurately. Hence, attempts have been made to

develop models that account for the process of consolidation also. They describe the mechanism of transmission of load to the soil skeleton and water. Extensive

research eorts [107113] have been made to idealize the

one-dimensional consolidation characteristics of soil as

viscoelastic model. This gives an insight to the secondary

consolidation phenomenon as well. The various parameters involved in these mechanical models may be

suitably determined following the treatise on the same

[103]. A recent review [114] concluded that no such

model is available that can suitably describe the timedependent behaviour for the soil at any stress level. A

new such model is also proposed in the same literature

[114].

A three-dimensional viscoelastic nite element formulation for studying the interactive behaviour of space

frame considering the stressstrain versus time response

of supporting soil media has been made to observe the

importance of such detailed modeling [115]. Observation

of the results obtained shows that the time-independent

analysis may often lead to estimates which is needed to

be accounted in the design for safety. Hence, to arrive

at the complementary recommendations for the design

of structures resting on consolidating soil, viscoelastic

Similar conclusions have been made elsewhere [116].

Thus it appears that modeling the foundation soil, as

viscoelastic medium may be more appropriate.

The widespread availability of powerful computers

has brought about a sea change in the computational

aspect recently. Since the scope of numerical methods is

incomparably wider than that of analytical methods, the

use of general-purpose nite element method has attained a sudden spurt to study the complex interactive

to model many complex conditions with a high degree

of realism, including nonlinear stressstrain behaviour,

non-homogeneous material conditions, changes in geometry and so on. However, care must be taken about

the possibilities of inaccuracy arising out of numerical

limitations while interpreting the results [88]. Nevertheless, this seems to be the most powerful and versatile

tool for solving soilstructure interaction problem.

The method is a special extended form of matrix

analysis based on variational approach, where the whole

continual is discretized into a nite number of elements

connected at dierent nodal points. Displacements functions, i.e., the displacement within the element is

not known and hence to be judiciously assumed. Thus

knowing the stiness matrix for each element, overall

stiness matrix may be determined. Hence, from the

global loading conditions and boundary conditions

nodal unknowns may be generated.

The general principles and use of this method is well

documented in the literature [88,89]. A nite element

procedure for the general problem of three-dimensional

soilstructure interaction involving nonlinearities due to

material behaviour, geometrical changes and interface

behaviour is also presented in the literature [117]. The

viscoelastic behaviour of soil may also be conveniently

modeled in this method. Such a suitable scheme has been

presented in considerable details in the literature [118].

Discontinuous behaviour may occur at the interface of

soil and structure. Several studies [119123] have been

made to develop interface elements, use of which is

proved to be useful to take care of this discontinuity.

The stiness matrix for the interface element has been

explicitly presented in the literature [124]. In view of its

generality, the present paper recommends the use of the

same to study the soilstructure interaction behaviour at

least for important structure, if possible.

The consideration of soil-exibility increases the period of vibration. Hence, a considerably dierent response from that of reality may be obtained if this eect

is not considered. Such observations have been made by

the authors while analyzing the building with isolated

footing [125]. There are two currently used procedures

for analyzing seismic vibration of structures incorporating the eect of soilstructure interaction: (1) Elastic

half space theory [126], (2) Lumped mass or lumped

parameter method [39]. The strengths and limitations of

the available methods have been discussed in details in

the literature [127,128]. However, on the basis of an

extensive literature survey, it is suggested elsewhere

[39,128] that the lumped mass approach is more reliable

and substantially more general than the other alternative

1589

use of the same and provides a brief outline here. As per

this method, three translational and three rotational

springs are attached along three mutually perpendicular

axes and three rotational degrees of freedom about the

same axes below each of the foundation of the structure.

The stinesses of these springs for arbitrary shaped

footings (except annular one) resting on homogeneous

elastic half-space have been suggested in the literature

[129]. Conceptual background to develop such stiness

functions has been presented in the literature [130]. The

expressions for these spring stinesses, the shape factors

and the factors accounting for the depth of embedment

involved to compute the same have been suggested after

an extensive literature survey, study based on boundary

element method and experimental verication [129].

Dynamic stiness for machine foundations resting on

layered soil systems has been discussed elsewhere [131].

An analytical method to estimate the stiness of the

foundations embedded into the stratum over rigid rock

corresponding to dierent stress distribution below the

foundation has been elegantly presented in the literature

[132]. This study highlights on the sensitivity of the stress

distribution below the foundation in the estimation of

the dynamic stiness of the underlying soil media. The

stiness of annular footings has been derived in some

other literature [133135]. It has been observed that the

stinesses of the springs are dependent on the frequency

of the forcing function, more strongly if the foundation

is long and on saturated clay [136,138]. In fact, the inertia force exerted by a time varying force imparts a

frequency dependent behaviour, which seems to be more

conveniently incorporated in stiness in the equivalent

sense. Thus the dependence of the stiness of equivalent

springs representing the deformable behaviour of soil is

due to the incorporation of the inuence that frequency

exerts on inertia, though purely stiness properties are

frequency independent. This frequency dependence is

suggested to be incorporated by multiplying the equivalent spring stinesses by a frequency dependent factor.

This factor is plotted as a function of a non-dimensional

parameter a0 where a0 xB=Vs [129]. Here, x is the

frequency of the forcing function, B is the half of the

lateral dimension of the footing and Vs is the shear wave

velocity in the soil medium. But in an earthquake motion, a large spectrum of waves with wide ranges of

frequencies participates together. Hence, it is dicult to

consider any frequency dependent multiplier to compute

dynamic stiness and damping coecient as is suggested

in the literature [129]. In fact, other literatures [138,139]

have not recommended the use of such multiplication

factors perhaps due to the same reason. However, the

critical situations that may occur due to the consideration of these frequency dependent factors have been

studied for buildings on grid foundation in a very limited form [140]. The study reveals that the eect of

1590

overall structural system may be higher than what is

obtained from the frequency independent behaviour,

only to a limited extent. The additional damping eect

imparted by the soil to the overall system may also be

conveniently accounted for in this method of analysis

[39,129]. However, it is agreed that at certain complex

sites, nite element idealization of elastic half space denoting soil below foundation may prove useful. An

outline of such procedure has been given in the literature

in a very lucid manner [141]. Nevertheless, it is believed

in the recent time that nite element method is not capable of idealizing the innite soil medium properly.

Hence it is suggested in the literature [136144] to model

the innite soil media using boundary element method

and the nite structure with nite element method.

These two dierent means of idelizations may be suitably matched at the interface through equilibrium and

compatibility conditions. An extremely ecient scheme

for the analysis of soilstructure interaction system

using coupling model of nite elements, boundary elements, innite elements and innite boundary elements

has been elegantly presented in the literature [145] recently. This scheme will be of ample help in case of

layered soil also. The eect of soilstructure interaction

on vibrating pile foundation can be studied following

the analytical formulation or numerical modeling of

vibrating beams partially embedded in a Winkler foundation, presented in well-accepted literature [146,147].

The discussion on the sensitivity of the nite element

models for the same provided in such literature [146] can

be of help in nite element modeling for pile vibration

problem with varying degrees of renement depending

on the required level of accuracy.

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

soil, nonlinear modeling of soil is desired. To perform such an analysis, incremental iterative technique appears to be the most suitable and general

one.

The clayey soil having low permeability possesses

time-dependent behaviour under sustained loading.

In such time-dependent process of soilstructure interaction, critical condition may occur at any time

during the process in some situation. Under such circumstances, modeling the soil as viscoelastic medium can only provide the crucial input for design.

Modeling the system through discretization into a

number of elements and assembling the same using

the concept of nite element method has proved to

be a very useful method, which should be employed

for studying the eect of soilstructure interaction

with rigor. In fact, the technique becomes useful to

incorporate the eect of material nonlinearity, nonhomogeneity and anisotropy of the supporting soilmedium if needed to be accounted due to the case

specic nature of any particular problem.

The eect of soilstructure interaction on dynamic

behaviour of structure may conveniently be analyzed using Lumped parameter approach. However,

resort to the nite element modeling may be taken

for the important structure where more rigorous

analysis is necessary.

The paper may help to arrive at a suitable method of

analysis by properly weighing the strength and limitation of the same against the particular characteristics and need of the problem at hand. The further

details of a method may be obtained from picking

the right reference from the exhaustive list presented

in the paper.

10. Conclusions

The review of the current state-of-the art of the

modeling of soil as applied in the soilstructure interaction analysis leads to the following broad conclusions.

(1) To accurately estimate the design force quantities,

the eect of soilstructure interaction is needed to

be considered under the inuence of both static

and dynamic loading. To obtain the same, realistic

yet simplied modeling of the soilstructurefoundation system is obligatory.

(2) Winkler hypothesis, despite its obvious limitations,

yields reasonable performance and it is very easy

to exercise. So for practical purpose, this idealization

should, at least, be employed, instead of carrying out

an analysis with xed base idealization of structures.

(3) The consolidation phenomenon of clayey soil

follows a nonlinear stresssettlement relationship.

Hence, to achieve a more realistic analysis of the

Acknowledgements

The support received from a UGC Major Research

Project (no. F.1413/2000 (SR-I)) is gratefully acknowledged. The help rendered by Mr. K. Bhattacharya, a

Graduate student of B.E. College (D.U.) is also sincerely

appreciated.

Ref. [1] explains the inuence of structural rigidity

apart from soil exibility on the amount of load distributions due to soilstructure interaction. A suitable

iterative method for estimation of the eect of soil

structure interaction is outlined in Ref. [3]. Ref. [14]

provides an idea about the eect of dierential settlement on design force quantities of various building

frames with isolated footings. Remedial measure to reduce this eect is also suggested in this literature. Refs.

[20,21] provide the approach for accounting the contribution of the brick walls to the lateral stiness of the

buildings. The detailed information about various important models, namely FilonenkoBorodich Foundation model, Hetenyis Foundation model, Pasternak

Foundation model, Kerr Foundation model, Beam

Column analogy model, and New Continuum model can

be obtained from Refs. [54], [31,56], [57], [52], [63], [64],

respectively. Refs. [65,66,68] provide the details of two

improved versions of continuum model, namely, Vlasov

Foundation and Reissner Foundation, respectively. Validated computational scheme of accounting for nonlinear

loadsettlement characteristics of consolidation settlement in framesoil interaction process was reported in

[100,101]. Ref. [114] proposed a model, which can suitably depict the time-dependent behaviour for the soil at

any stress level. Modeling of foundation soil interface

with the help of nite element discretization is explicitly

presented in [124]. Ref. [129] provides the dynamic

stiness as well as damping characteristics of soil medium supporting any arbitrary shaped foundation. Including the eect of the frequency of the forcing function

in dynamic stiness of soil medium, it becomes a

benchmark literature in the area of dynamic soilstructure interaction. Modeling required to address the

problem of soilstructure interaction of pile foundation

in vibrating condition nds a detailed treatment in two

pioneering literatures, Refs. [146,147].

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