Analysis of liquefaction effects on ultimate pile reaction to lateral spreading

Yannis K. Chaloulos*, George D. Bouckovalas, Dimitris K. Karamitros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Current design methods for piles in liquefied ground assume that the ultimate soil pressures acting on the pile are drastically reduced relative to the reference values in the absence of liquefaction. However, there is controversy about the adopted design parameters and their effects. Furthermore, it has been experimentally shown that soil pressures are not always reduced, but they may increase well above the recommended design values because of flow-induced dilation of the liquefied soil around the upper part of the pile. In view of this, the pile response is simulated in this paper using a three-dimensional, fully coupled dynamic elastoplastic numerical analysis. The methodology is first verified against results from centrifuge experiments and consequently applied parametrically for various pile, soil, and seismic excitation characteristics. It is thus shown that dilation-induced negative excess pore pressures are indeed possible for common pile and soil conditions at the upper segments of the pile, having an overall detrimental effect on pile response. It is further found that, apart from the commonly considered effect of relative sand density, ultimate soil pressures are affected by a number of other dilation-related parameters, such as the effective confining stress, the permeability of the sand, and the predominant excitation period as well as the pile diameter and bending stiffness. To quantify the relevant effects, new multivariable relationships are established and subsequently evaluated against the empirical methodologies that are currently used in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04013035
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Lateral spreading
  • Liquefaction
  • Multivariable relationships
  • P-y relations
  • Single piles
  • Three-dimensional (3D) numerical analysis


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