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Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783

www.elsevier.com/locate/soildyn

Centrifuge modeling of load-deformation behavior


of rocking shallow foundations
Sivapalan Gajana, Bruce L. Kuttera,*, Justin D. Phalena,
Tara C. Hutchinsonb, Geoff R. Martinc
a
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
b
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
c
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Accepted 11 November 2004

Abstract

Shallow foundations supporting building structures might be loaded well into their nonlinear range during intense earthquake loading. The
nonlinearity of the soil may act as an energy dissipation mechanism, potentially reducing shaking demands exerted on the building. This
nonlinearity, however, may result in permanent deformations that also cause damage to the building. Five series of tests on a large centrifuge,
including 40 models of shear wall footings, were performed to study the nonlinear load-deformation characteristics during cyclic and
earthquake loading. Footing dimensions, depth of embedment, wall weight, initial static vertical factor of safety, soil density, and soil type
(dry sand and saturated clay) were systematically varied. The moment capacity was not observed to degrade with cycling, but due to the
deformed shape of the footing–soil interface and uplift associated with large rotations, stiffness degradation was observed. Permanent
deformations beneath the footing continue to accumulate with the number of cycles of loading, though the rate of accumulation of settlement
decreases as the footing embeds itself.
q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Centrifuge modeling; Foundation uplift; Rocking; Shear walls; Settlement; Sliding; Rotation

1. Introduction on the building response to seismic shaking. The non-


linearity of the soil and the interaction between the soil and
Shallow foundations supporting building structures foundation was shown to influence the building’s stiffness
might be loaded well into their nonlinear range during and period to change [3]. The nonlinearity of the soil may
intense earthquake loading. Understanding the nonlinear act as an energy dissipation mechanism, potentially
behavior of shallow building foundations under large reducing demands exerted on the structural components of
amplitude loading is an important aspect of performance- the building. This associated nonlinearity, however, may
based design. The 1997 Federal Emergency Management result in permanent deformations (settlement, rotation or
Agency NEHRP Guidelines for the seismic retrofit of sliding) that cause damage to the building.
buildings [1] and the associated Applied Technology Many researchers have studied the nonlinear behavior of
Council document (ATC 40) [2] discuss alternative design shallow foundations and the effect of foundation rocking on
methods associated with the response of shear walls when the behavior of soil–foundation system [3–8]. Foundation
subjected to lateral earthquake induced rocking. Geotechni- rocking and yielding of soil reduce the stiffness of the soil–
cal components of the foundation have a significant effect structure interface, lengthen the structure’s natural period,
and hence may reduce the force demands imposed on the
structure [3]. Rocking of the footing progressively makes
* Corresponding author. Tel.: C1 530 752 8099/7929; fax: C1 530 752 the foundation soil curved with a reduction in contact area
7872. between the footing and soil and thereby causing non-
E-mail address: blkutter@ucdavis.edu (B.L. Kutter). linearity in the moment–rotation relationship [8]. With
0267-7261/$ - see front matter q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. increasing eccentricity and inclination of vertical load, the
doi:10.1016/j.soildyn.2004.11.019 vertical footing displacements reduce while horizontal
774 S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783

and rotational displacements increase [5]. Faccioli et al. [4], model scale dimensions), each of which included six to ten
Martin and Lam [6] and Pecker and Pender [7] state that footing-wall models depending on the testing series. The
allowing mobilization of ultimate capacity for shallow preparation procedures for all the models were similar.
foundations, a major change in conventional foundation Sand was pluviated at required densities using air
design, results in reduced ductility demands for structural pluviation. Nevada Sand (uniformly graded fine clean
components and more accurate performance evaluation. sand with D50Z0.17 mm, CuZ1.6, emaxZ0.881 and
Although previous experimental efforts have contributed eminZ0.536) was used for all sand layers. The remolded
greatly to nonlinear analysis of shallow foundations in San Francisco Bay Mud (Atterberg limits: LLZ90 and
performance-based evaluation, many of these tests PLZ38) was consolidated on top of a dense sand layer
were conducted at low confining stresses (model tests at prior to spinning in the clay test series. The soil properties
1 g) [3,5,8]. The confining stresses play an important role in of Nevada Sand are presented in [9,10]. All the results in
the nonlinear prototype behavior of soil-footing system. this paper are presented in prototype units unless otherwise
This paper presents the results of tests conducted on model stated. The initial static vertical factors of safety of the
foundations attached to a rigid shear wall subjected to footings were varied from about 2.0 to 10.0, by changing
vertical, lateral slow cyclic and dynamic loading at 20g the weight of the structure and footing dimensions
centrifugal acceleration. Five series of tests, including 40 (length, LZ2.5–4.0 m, width, BZ0.4–1.0 m, embedment,
model shear wall footings, were performed to study the DZ0.0–0.7 m). The depth of the sand layer inside the
effects of footing dimensions, depth of embedment, initial container was 4.0 m, and the thickness of the consolidated
static vertical factor of safety (FSV) and soil type on the
clay layer was 1.7 m in clay test series.
nonlinear ‘soil–foundation’ system response. The initial
Fig. 1 shows the test setup and instrumentation for
static vertical factor of safety was varied by changing the
vertical push, slow cyclic lateral push and dynamic tests.
structures weight and footing dimensions. The methods of
The soil bed in the container was divided into stations
testing, analyses and major findings are presented in the
(about six to ten stations depending on the test series) and
following sections.
tests were conducted in each station separately. Table 1
presents the details of tests conducted in every test series.
Soil strength, footing geometry, depth of embedment, initial
2. Testing program static vertical factor of safety (FSV) and types of loading are
given for every test in Table 1. The last column in Table 1
Experiments have been conducted in a 9.1 m radius includes the height of push for slow cyclic lateral loading
centrifuge at the Center of Geotechnical Modeling at the tests. ‘Standard’ height of push corresponds to the height of
University of California, Davis at 20g centrifuge accelera- center of gravity of the structure from the base of the
tion. Four series of tests were conducted on dry sand footing, while ‘low’ height of push corresponds to a height
(DrZ80 and 60%) and one test series was on saturated clay closer to the base of the footing.
(CuZ100 kPa). All the models were tested on a soil bed In each series of tests, at least one concentric vertical
prepared in a rigid container (Fig. 1) (1.75!0.90!0.53 m, push test was conducted to estimate the bearing capacity of

Fig. 1. Model container and experimental setup with instrumentation for vertical push, slow cyclic lateral push and dynamic loading tests.
S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783 775

Table 1
Test series summary

Test series Solid type Event type Static FSv Footing length (m) Footing width (m) Embed depth (m) Load height (m)
KRR01 Dry sand (60–80%) VSC 3.8 2.672 0.686 0.3 n/a
HSC 3.8 2.672 0.686 0.3 Standard
HSC 3.0 2.672 0.686 0.3 Standard
VSC 3.0 2.672 0.686 0.3 n/a
VSC 3.0 2.672 0.686 0.3 n/a
VSC 2.0 2.540 0.381 0.3 n/a
Dynamic 6.2 3.944 1.080 0.3 n/a
Dynamic 2.8 2.672 0.686 0.3 n/a
Dynamic 2.4 2.672 0.686 0.3 n/a
Dynamic 1.3 2.540 0.381 0.3 n/a
Dynamic 3.0 2.672 0.686 0.3 n/a
Dynamic 1.3 2.540 0.381 0.3 n/a
KRR02 Dry sand (DrZ60%) VSC 1.6 2.672 0.686 0 n/a
VSC 1.6 2.672 0.686 0 Standard
HSC 4.1 3.944 1.080 0 Standard
HSC 1.6 2.672 0.686 0 Standard
Dynamic 1.6 2.672 0.686 0 n/a
Dynamic 4.1 3.944 1.080 0 n/a
KRR03 Bay mud (CuZ100 kPa) VSC 2.8 2.672 0.686 0 n/a
HSC 2.8 2.672 0.686 0 Standard
HSC 2.8 2.672 0.686 0 Standard
VSC 2.8 2.672 0.686 0 n/a
Dynamic 2.8 2.672 0.686 0 n/a
Dynamic 4.8 3.944 1.080 0 n/a
SSG02 Dry sand (DrZ80%) VSC n/a 2.840 0.690 0 n/a
HSC 6.8 2.840 0.690 0 Low
HSC 6.8 2.840 0.690 0 Standard
HSC 9.6 2.840 0.690 0 Standard
HSC 3.4 2.840 0.690 0 Standard
HSC 9.6 2.840 0.690 0 Standard
HSC 3.4 2.840 0.690 0 Standard
Dynamic 6.8 2.840 0.690 0 n/a
Dynamic 5.3 2.840 0.690 0 n/a
SSG03 Dry sand (DrZ80%) VSC n/a 2.840 0.690 0.7 n/a
HSC 1.1 2.840 0.690 0 Low
HSC 8.2 2.840 0.690 0.7 Standard
HSC 8.2 2.840 0.690 0.7 Standard
HSC 4.0 2.840 0.690 0.7 Standard
HSC 11.5 2.840 0.690 0.7 Standard
Dynamic 4.0 2.840 0.690 0.7 n/a
Dynamic 6.4 2.840 0.690 0.7 n/a

HSC, horizontal slow cyclic (lateral push tests); VSC, vertical slow cyclic (vertical push tests); Dynamic, dynamic base shaking.

the soil and to back-calculate the strength of the soil bed 3. Data processing
(either friction angle or undrained shear strength). Slow
cyclic lateral push tests were carried out by pushing the wall Measured forces and displacements are used to calculate
with an actuator at different heights on the wall. This the resultant forces and displacements at the base center
produced different moment to horizontal force ratios at the point of the footing using equilibrium equations and rigid
base center point of the footing. Displacements were body translation and rotation. Results are presented in terms
measured by two horizontal and two vertical linear of three forces and three displacements components for a
potentiometers attached on the wall and forces were planer loading as shown in Fig. 2; vertical force (V),
measured by a load-cell attached to the actuator. Dynamic horizontal force (H), moment (M), settlement (s), sliding (u)
loading was applied to the models by shaking the base of the and rotation (q). Measured forces and displacements during
soil container with a tapered cosine (gradually increasing) cyclic tests were filtered properly and processed to calculate
displacement time history. Accelerations and displacements the force resultants and corresponding displacements. For
were recorded at different positions on the footing and wall lateral push tests, the additional moment caused by the self-
as shown in Fig. 1. Experimental setups and testing weight of the structure moving through a lateral displace-
procedures are explained in detail in [11–18]. ment (PKD effect) was also included.
776 S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783

Fig. 2. Definition of system of forces and displacements.

In the dynamic tests, forces and displacements of the


footing were obtained by combining the measurements of
accelerometers and displacement transducers. Considering
the shear wall as a rigid body, the applied moment, M, for
dynamic tests was computed by
M Z I:a C macg hcg C mgD (1)
where I is the structure’s moment of inertia about its center
of gravity, a is the angular acceleration of the structure, m is
the mass of the structure, acg is the horizontal acceleration at
the center of gravity, and hcg is the height of the center of Fig. 3. Vertical push test results: sand (DrZ80%), LZ2.84 m, BZ0.65 m,
gravity from the base of the footing. The term ‘m g D’ DZ0.0 m.
corrects for the pKD effect, g is the centrifugal acceleration
and D is the horizontal eccentricity of the center of gravity (M/H) at the base center point of the footing was controlled
relative to the bottom center of the footing. The displace- by the height of push. Most of the slow cyclic lateral push
ments and rotations of the footing were obtained by tests have a standard height of push (hZ4.75 m), which is
combining low-pass filtered displacement transducers close to the height of center of gravity of the structure, while
results and high-pass filtered accelerometer results. some tests were done at a low height of push (hZ1.25 m).
The height of all structures tested were 10.0 m.
Fig. 5 shows the moment–rotation, horizontal force-
4. Test results sliding, settlement-rotation, and settlement-sliding relation-
ships at the base center point of the footing for one of the
4.1. Vertical push (loading and unloading) lateral push test on sand (DrZ80% dry sand, LZ2.84 m,
BZ0.65 m, DZ0.0 m, hZ4.9 m, and FSVZ6.7), while
Fig. 3 shows the results for one of the vertical push test Fig. 6 shows the same results for one of the test on clay
on a rectangular surface footing (LZ2.84 m and BZ0.65 m, (CuZ100 kPa, LZ2.7 m, BZ0.65 m, DZ0.0 m, hZ4.6 m,
and DZ0.0 m) on dry sand (DrZ80%). The ultimate and FSVZ3.0). The moment–rotation relationship encloses
vertical load (Vmax) was measured as 1920 kN for this test. a large area in hysteresis loops indicating a considerable
Results show a larger stiffness for the unloading–reloading amount of energy is dissipated at the footing soil interface.
process, compared to virgin loading, and the unloading– The moment–rotation plot does not show any reduction in
reloading lines show nonlinear behavior at very small load moment capacity with the number of cycles or with the
levels. amplitude of rotation, but it does show a degradation of
rotational stiffness with increasing amplitude of rotation.
4.2. Slow cyclic lateral push

Slow cyclic lateral push tests were conducted on


structures with different initial static vertical factors of
safety (FSV) (varying footing dimensions, applied vertical
load, soil strength) and with height of lateral loading (h)
varied. An actuator was used to apply cyclic lateral
displacements to the structure at load height h, while a
load cell attached to the actuator measured the load on the
actuator. Fig. 4 shows the load paths followed in slow cyclic
lateral tests. The applied moment to horizontal force ratio Fig. 4. Load paths followed in slow cyclic lateral push tests.
S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783 777

Fig. 5. Slow cyclic lateral push test; sand (DrZ80%), footing lengthZ2.84 m, widthZ0.65 m, embedmentZ0.0 m, FSZ6.7, lateral load heightZ4.9 m
(forces and displacements are at the base center point of the footing).

The settlement–rotation relationship shows the accumu- associated with larger rotation amplitudes. A portion of
lation of permanent settlement beneath the footing. The rate the footing base loses contact with the soil when the rotation
of increase in settlement per cycle of rotation decreases with is large. The formation of a gap on one side of the
the number of cycles applied. As the footing settles down, footing causes yielding of the soil on the other side of the
its depth of embedment increases, overburden stresses footing, and the yielding of the soil on the other hand
increase, and vertical stiffness also increases, thus the rate of increases the uplift. Foundation rocking during high
increase of settlement reduces (Fig. 5). The settlement- amplitude lateral loading causes rounding of the soil
rotation plot shows the uplift behavior of the footing beneath the footing, and the rounding of the soil causes

Fig. 6. Slow cyclic lateral push test; clay (CuZ100 kPa), footing lengthZ2.7 m, widthZ0.65 m, embedmentZ0.0 m, FSZ3.0, lateral load heightZ4.6 m
(forces and displacements are at the base center point of the footing).
778 S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783

the nonlinear moment rotation relationship and the degra-


dation of rotational stiffness due to closing of the gap.
The horizontal load-sliding plot does not show any
significant degradation in horizontal stiffness with number
of cycles or the amplitude of displacement. The footing does
not slide much until it reaches the shear capacity, but once it
reaches the shear capacity it starts sliding. The settlement-
sliding relationship shows the coupling behavior of sliding
and uplift, and the closing of the gap upon unloading. When
loaded in one direction, the footing closes its gap first and
then it slides horizontally, while a gap forms on the other
side.

4.3. Dynamic test

Fig. 7 shows one of the time histories of applied


acceleration at the base of the soil for dynamic tests. The
dynamic test results shown in Fig. 8 was carried out on the
same footing as the one presented in the slow cyclic lateral
test in Fig. 5 (LZ2.84 m, BZ0.65 m, DZ0.0 m) on sand,
but with a slight change in the weight of the wall used. This
reduced the factor of safety from 6.7 to 5.3. It should be
noted that the settlement and rotation do not start at zero for
the shaking event presented in Fig. 8, because another two
small amplitude shaking events were applied before this
event.
The dynamic moment–rotation behavior also shows a
reduction in rotational stiffness with increasing amplitude of
rotation. The footing–soil interface shows stiffer response in Fig. 8. Results of dynamic test: sand (DrZ80%), LZ2.84 m, BZ0.65 m,
moment–rotation behavior for small amplitude motions, as DZ0.0 m, FSVZ5.3.
the magnitude of shaking increases it shows softer response,
but at the end of shaking, it again shows stiffer response for Fig. 9 shows a dynamic data trend line (i.e. backbone
small amplitude of motions. The structure tilted back and curve that connects the extreme points of each cycle),
forth during shaking and ended up with a permanent rotation obtained from Fig. 8, superimposed on a slow cyclic
in one direction after shaking. The maximum amplitude of moment–rotation plot (Fig. 5). This suggests that the
cyclic rotation observed in the dynamic test (about moment–rotation behavior during slow cyclic and dynamic
0.02 rad.) was smaller than that applied in the slow cyclic tests agree very well and that slow cyclic tests may be
lateral push test (about 0.06 rad.). The settlement-rotation appropriate for simulating moment–rotation behavior in
behavior from the dynamic test does not indicate significant dynamic events.
uplift.

Fig. 9. Comparison of dynamic data trend line with slow-cyclic moment–


Fig. 7. Applied base acceleration time history for dynamic test. rotation plot: sand, DrZ80%, LZ2.84 m, BZ0.65 m, DZ0.0 m.
S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783 779

5. Rotational stiffness degradation

It is evident from the moment–rotation plots of all tests


conducted that the energy is dissipated by the foundation by
rocking. Initial cycles show significant mobilization of
moment capacity at small strains, where rotational stiffness,
kq, is high. At higher levels of strain, there is a softening of
the system and a degradation of rotational stiffness.
Although the hysteresis curves are highly nonlinear, a
consistent linear behavior can be recognized in their central
portion (Fig. 10). For the purpose of this analysis this range
was taken to be the maximum moment (MMAX, half of the
peak-to-peak moment) centered about the median moment.
Fig. 10 shows the estimation of rotational stiffness (kq) at
different levels of rotation from the moment–rotation plot of
a slow cyclic lateral push test. To quantify the amount
of rotational stiffness reduction that occurs as a result of
foundation rocking, each test was analyzed for its stiffness,
relative to a theoretical maximum stiffness, kq,MAX, at each
rotational increment. kq,MAX was estimated from proposed Fig. 11. Rotational stiffness degradation as a result of foundation rocking:
relationship for Gazetas’ elastic stiffness parameters of test results on sand for various FSV.
rectangular footings [19]
"   # obtained at very low strains (!0.002 rad.). However, it is
GMAX 0:75 L 0:15 not likely that substantial permanent deformations will
kq;MAX Z I 3 b (2)
1 Kn B occur at small foundation rotations (even with a large
number of cycles). There seems to be no clear trend in terms
where GMAX is the initial shear modulus of the soil, obtained of the effect of vertical factor of safety on rotational stiffness
from a relationship proposed by Seed and Idriss [20], n is reduction. Both high and low FSV tests show similar
Poisson’s ratio for sand (taken to be 0.35 for all cases), I is reduction at similar strain levels. There is good agreement in
the area moment of inertia about the centroid of the footing rotational stiffness between the centrifuge and 1g tests
base normal to the direction of rocking, L is the length of the performed by Weissing [8]. Fig. 11 shows a recommended
footing, B is the width of the footing, and b is an embedment ‘mean’ stiffness reduction trend for shallow footings on
factor and is correlated with the ratio of the depth of sand for the foundation rotation range shown. Upper and
embedment to the length of the footing (D/L) [19]. lower bound lines show the G1 standard deviation. The
Fig. 11 shows kq (normalized by kq,MAX) versus rotation mean stiffness line was determined as:
for tests with varying FSV (test series KRR [16–18], SSG
kq
[11,12] and Weissing [8]). Due to the small inherent Z 3:0 !10K3 ðqK0:6 Þ (3)
kq;MAX
vibrations during the test procedure and limitations of the
data acquisition system, accurate recordings were not

6. Accumulation of permanent settlement

Test results in slow cyclic and dynamic tests (Figs. 5, 6


and 8) show that the footing tends to accumulate vertical
settlement as the moment and shear loads are cycled. During
horizontal slow cyclic tests, displacement was usually
applied in packets of three cycles of given amplitude,
followed by three more cycles with a larger amplitude (see
Figs. 5 and 6). The permanent displacement in a packet of
cycles of similar amplitude was divided by the number of
cycles in that packet to compute the amount of settlement
per cycle of given rotational amplitude. Fig. 12 is
constructed from selected tests (on sand) of varying FSV
and relative density, Dr. The horizontal axis represents the
Fig. 10. Moment–rotation plot showing rotational stiffness degradation with rotation, q, for a given packet of cycles (slow cyclic tests)
increasing rotation. or averaged values of similar rotational amplitudes
780 S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783

Fig. 12. Permanent settlement caused by cyclic rotation: slow cyclic and dynamic test results on sand for various FSV and Dr (for height of pushZ4.0–5.0 m).

(dynamic tests). The vertical axis is the normalized vertical and an elliptical section in the M–H plane
settlement (normalized by the dimension of footing in  2  2
FH FM
loading direction, L) per cycle of that rotation demand, C K1 Z 0 (4)
denoted UV. A family of curves may be determined based on aFVc ð1 K FV Þd bFVe ð1 K FV Þf
the specific FSV and relative density of each test. where, a, b, c, d, e, and f are constants that define the shape
Data points shown in Fig. 12 are chosen from slow-cyclic of the failure envelope. The coefficients a and b define the
and dynamic data from the KRR [16–18], SSG [11,12] size of the failure envelope of elliptical shape in a FM–FH
series, as well as experimental 1g data from Weissing [18] plane whereas the coefficients c, d and e, f define the
and the TRISEE experiment by Faccioli et al. [2]. The parabolic shape of the failure envelope in FH–FV and FM–
plotted slow cyclic lateral push test data correspond to a FV planes, respectively. This failure envelope was used in a
moment to horizontal force ratio (M/HZ4.0–5.0 m). For plasticity model to simulate the behavior of strip footings
slow cyclic tests, there is a consistent trend that the during cyclic loading on cohesive soils [21].
normalized settlement, Uv, decreases as FSV increases. Houlsby and Cassidy [22] also suggested an analytical
Also, for those tests with similar FSV but different relative expression for the yield surface, which also consists of
densities, Uv decreases as Dr increases. It is important to parabolic and elliptical sections in V–H–M space. They
point out, that the settlement is not only affected by vertical normalized the forces by maximum past vertical load
factor of safety but soil state as well. The settlement in experienced by the footing
dynamic tests is significantly larger than the settlement in  2  2
slow cyclic tests. A portion of this difference is attributed to FH F
C M K 16Fv2 ð1 K FV Þ2 Z 0 (5)
the free-field settlement of the ground due to the dynamic h0 m0
ground shaking. Rocking of rigid shear walls during
dynamic shaking tests produced vertical acceleration where, h0 and m0 are constants that define the shape of the
components that caused more settlement in dynamic tests yield surface. They used this yield surface to formulate a
than in slow cyclic tests where the effect of inertia forces is plasticity model to simulate the behavior of surface footings
not present. on dry cohesionless soils during monotonic loading in
V–H–M space [22].
Experimentally observed failure points are plotted with
the theoretical failure envelopes proposed by Cremer et al.
7. Failure envelope in (V–M–H) space [21] and Houlsby and Cassidy [22] in Figs. 13 and 14. The
failure points were obtained from centrifuge tests conducted
Previous studies by Cremer et al. [21] suggested that on rectangular surface footings on sand for constant moment
there exists a failure envelope in normalized V–H–M to shear ratio (M/HZ4.9 m) loading at different vertical
loading space (FVZV/Vmax, FHZH/Vmax and FMZM/ loads (FSV). The data show agreement with the failure
(Vmax.L), where Vmax is failure vertical load for pure envelopes indicating that these can be used for analytical
vertical loading). The failure envelope was assumed to modeling of shallow foundations subjected to combined
consist of parabolic sections in the V–H and V–M planes moment, shear, and axial loading.
S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783 781

Fig. 13. Projection of failure envelope and experimental failure points on


sand in FM–FV plane for M/HZ4.9 m loading.

8. Effect of embedment on shear and moment capacities

If the footing area and vertical load remain constant as


embedment increases, the tendency for horizontal sliding
should decrease. Although the footing base friction
remains constant, additional passive pressure is mobilized Fig. 15. Effect of embedment (D) on the ratio of horizontal force to moment
at the toe of the footing, for increasing embedment, capacities for various vertical factors of safety.
providing more resistance to sliding. Comparing the tests
in the SSG02 series [11] (no embedment) with those in  
the SSG03 series [12] (same building weights and footing LV 1 D D D
MMAX Z 1K C Pp C 2Po k K Pa (7)
size, with embedment, DZB), an increase of between 4 2 FSV 3 3 3
and 19% in horizontal shear capacity can be observed, as
the static vertical factor of safety increases from about 3.0
to 10.0 and the embedment is increased from DZ0 to where V is the applied vertical load, L is the length of the
DZB [16]. footing, D is the depth of embedment, FSv is the vertical
A parametric study using basic bearing capacity analyses factor of safety, Po, Pa and Pp are the at-rest, active and
was performed to assess the relationship of moment to shear passive earth pressures and k is the base/side shear
capacity ratios, considering embedments of DZ0, B, 2B and coefficient, taken as 0.4 in this analysis.
3B, and different vertical factors of safety FSvZ2, 4, 6, 8 MMAX and HMAX both increase with embedment,
and 12. Dry sand, with a friction angle of fZ378 was used, however, the relative rates of increase actually govern
with footing dimensions matching the intermediate size footing behavior. If HMAX increases faster with embedment
footing tested (BZ0.686 m, LZ2.84 m). The theoretical than MMAX, the footing would have a greater tendency to
maximum shear capacity, HMAX, and moment capacity, rotate about its base, rather than slide, as is the case for
MMAX were calculated as greater depths. Fig. 15 plots the theoretical ratio HMAXL/
MMAX versus embedment for varying vertical factors of
HMAX Z Vk C 2Po k C Pp K Pa (6) safety, and Fig. 16 shows the percent increase in the ratio
HMAXL/MMAX as embedment increases. The initial trend for
all cases suggests that the ratio increases slightly with depth,
with higher factor of safety footings increasing more than
lower factor of safety footings. In the case of FSZ2.0, the
increase in HMAXL/MMAX is about 4% from a surface
footing to a footing with an initial embedment of 2B. For
FSZ12.0, the increase in HMAXL/MMAX is about 26% from
a surface footing to a footing with initial embedment 2B.
The theoretically predicted increase in shear to moment
capacity ratio calculated using Eqs. (6) and (7) seems to be
consistent with the general magnitude of increase observed
in the experiments. Since most design safety factors are on
the order of 2.0–4.0, it can be assumed that maintaining a
Fig. 14. Projection of failure envelope and experimental failure points on constant vertical factor of safety with increasing embedment
sand in FH–FV plane for M/HZ4.9 m loading. does not favor either sliding or rotation.
782 S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783

Fig. 17. Illustration of the geometry and contact of the rigid footing with
deformed soil surface.

when the contact length at one edge of the footing reaches


its critical contact length. Considering the free body
diagram at critical overturning illustrated in Fig. 17, and
assuming that the resultant of the bearing pressure acts at the
center of the critical contact length, for a surface footing, the
maximum moment is given by
 
V$L Lc
MMAX Z 1K (8)
2 L
In fact, Eq. (8) is similar to Eq. (7) for surface footings,
where active, passive and side soil pressures are not present.
Fig. 16. Effect of embedment on the percent increase in horizontal force to
moment capacity ratios for various vertical factors of safety.
It can be shown, using conventional bearing capacity
equations, that
9. Deformed shape of the footing–soil interface Lc 1
Z (9)
L FSV
Plaster was cast at the structures’ footprint after some
tests to preserve the imprint for subsequent analysis of the for surface footings when LcRB. Similar to the above
shape of the soil surface beneath the footing. Measurements method, prior to ultimate moment, the moment–rotation
of these footing imprints were taken in transects using a relationship as a function of rotation can be obtained from
computer measuring machine (CMM). These imprints the length of the footing (L) and the length and location of
illustrate the deformed shape of the soil surface at the the footing in contact with the soil (Lcont) as a function of
rotation. The above idea is being implemented in a single
foundation–soil interface, which cumulated during the
element footing–soil contact model that simulates the
slow-cyclic lateral push tests. The soil surface beneath the
moment–rotation behavior of rigid footings on dry sand.
footing becomes curved as the rigid footing keeps rotating
By keeping track of the curved soil surface and the location
on the deformable soil layer.
of the footing contact length with the footing, moment–
The curved shape of the soil surface at the footing–soil
rotation relationships can be obtained. The other parameters
interface causes partial separation of the footing from the
that need to be included in the contact model are the
soil, resulting in reduced footing–soil contact area. During
nonuniform bearing pressure distribution beneath the
moment loading, the footing begins lifting off on either side footing–soil contact area and the location of the resultant
of its contact, and progressively creates a curved soil surface bearing pressure during large rotations.
beneath the footing. As a result, the length of contact
between the footing and soil decreases as the structures’
rotation increases and as the curvature of the soil surface
becomes significant. The contact length not only reduces, 10. Conclusions
but also moves along the length of the footing as the
building rocks, causing a nonlinear bearing pressure Data presented in this paper show the nonlinear load–
distribution in the soil beneath the contact length. The displacement behavior of model shallow foundations resting
changing location of the resultant of the bearing pressure on moderately dense sand under high confining stresses
distribution with the rotation of footing dictates the (20g centrifuge experiments). Models were constructed to
moment–rotation behavior. represent various realistic static factors of safety and
To maintain stability (i.e. a factor of safety of 1.0 against subjected to slow cyclic and seismic loading. The
bearing failure), for a given soil-footing system, a limiting moment–rotation relationships show a large amount of
minimum value of footing–soil contact length may be work being dissipated in the foundation, indicating a great
calculated. This contact length is defined as the critical potential for the soil beneath a footing to dissipate a large
contact length (Lc). The ultimate moment can be obtained amount of energy during dynamic loading. While this
S. Gajan et al. / Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25 (2005) 773–783 783

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