DFI Journal - The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute

Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2007
DOI: 10.1179/dfi.2007.004

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Ground Movements – A Hidden Source of Loading on Deep Foundations
Article Type: Research Paper

Poulos, H. G.


Ground movements can arise from a large number of sources and can have a significant effect on nearby piles and deep foundations. The loading of the piles by ground movements is a different mechanism to that arising from direct applied loading to the pile head, and consequently it is not generally possible to adequately analyze the effects of ground movements simply by applying some type of equivalent loading to the pile head. The main effects of ground movements are the development of additional movements, axial forces and bending moments in the piles, and thus the key design aspects are related to movements and to the structural integrity of the pile. However, the ultimate geotechnical load carrying capacity is generally not affected by the ground movements themselves. This paper will describe an approach to the analysis of ground movement effects on piles, considering axial and lateral movements separately. Some of the main features of pile response will be discussed for three specific problems involving ground movements: 1. Piles near and within embankments; 2. Piles near an excavation for a pile cap; 3. Piles subjected to seismic ground motions.

ground movement, single pile, lateral displacement, embankment, excavation