Scour effects on lateral behavior of pile foundations




Lin, Yunjie

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Scour is a phenomenon of soil erosion around foundations under currents and waves. It is a major cause for the disruption to water-borne structures such as bridges and marine structures. Pile foundations supporting these structures are required to be designed against the scour damage. However, at present, there is no accepted method for the design of piles in scoured conditions probably due to an inadequate understanding of scour effects on foundations. Although numerous efforts have been made to evaluate the scour effects on single piles using numerical simulations and centrifuges tests, the scour susceptibility of piles in different soil properties is still not well understood. Furthermore, there is no study concerning scour effects on the lateral responses of pile groups. Therefore, a series of three-dimensional finite element (FE) parametric analyses were conducted to investigate scour effects on lateral behavior of both single piles and free-head pile groups by varying scour-hole dimensions, soil properties, pile properties, and pile group configurations. Moreover, to facilitate the routine design, a modified p-y method that was modified based on the widely used p-y method was proposed for both scoured single piles and pile groups, and was validated against the results from the FE analyses. The results show that scour induced lateral capacity loss to both single piles and pile groups, which was approximately 10% more in dense sands than that in loose sands. Simplification of local scour as a general scour that has been commonly used in general design practice resulted in a maximum of 17% underestimate of lateral capacity of pile foundations. Pile groups were more susceptible to scour than single piles under equivalent scour conditions. A pile group with smaller pile spacing or larger pile numbers tended to experience less lateral capacity loss due to scour.



Local scour, Pile foundations, Lateral responses, 3D FE analyses, Modified p-y method, Sands