Pile-head kinematic bending in layered soil

Raffaele Di Laora, George Mylonakis, Alessandro Mandolini*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

46 Citations (Scopus)


Kinematic effects at the head of a flexible vertical pile embedded in a two-layer soil deposit are investigated by means of rigorous three-dimensional elastodynamic finite-element analyses. Both pile and soil are idealized as linearly viscoelastic materials, modelled by solid elements, without the restrictions associated with the use of strength-of-materials approximations. The system is analyzed by a time-Fourier approach in conjunction with a modal expansion in space. Constant viscous damping is considered for each natural mode, and an FFT algorithm is employed to switch from frequency to time domain and vice versa in natural or generalized coordinates. The scope of the paper is to: (a) elucidate the role of a number of key phenomena controlling the amplitude of kinematic bending moments at the pile head; (b) propose a simplified semi-analytical formula for evaluating such moments; and (c) provide some remarks about the role of kinematic bending in the seismic design of pile foundations. The results of the study provide a new interpretation of the interplay between interface kinematic moments and corresponding head moments, as a function of layer thickness, pile-to-soil stiffness ratio, and stiffness contrast between the soil layers. In addition, the role of diameter in designing against kinematic action, with or without the presence of an inertial counterpart, is discussed. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-337
Number of pages19
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • numerical modeling
  • pile
  • soilstructure interaction
  • kinematic interaction
  • inertial interaction
  • pile diameter


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