Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2012, Houston, TX, USA, (DFI)

Seismic Response of Raft Foundations Supported on Aggregate Piers
Alper Turan, Hesham El Naggar

The use of aggregate pier foundation systems has become widespread as the engineering practice moves towards cost-effective ground improvement solutions that provide accelerated construction schedules. Increased bearing capacity, effective settlement control and potential for liquefaction mitigation are commonly acknowledged benefits of aggregate piers. This paper studies the mechanisms by which aggregate piers interact with each other and with the surrounding ground when excited by seismic loads. A particular emphasis was placed on the response of a raft foundation supported on a site improved using aggregate piers. Three-dimensional nonlinear finite element analyses were conducted using commercial software package, ABAQUS. Non-linear soil behaviour is modelled using a three-dimensional total stress-based bounding surface plasticity model, which is able to simulate stiffness degradation and damping increase in the soil. The soil stratigraphy considered in this study was a 30 m deep soil deposit that comprised a very stiff base layer and a shallow soft surficial clay layer. Ricker Wavelet time histories with different frequency contents are used as the excitation force in the analyses. Various area replacement ratios (ARR) for aggregate piers are studied for a square plan layout. The results presented in this study are considered to be of interest to researchers and designers in evaluating the seismic ground response of the sites improved using aggregate piers.

 article #1859; publication #99 (AM-2012)