Winkler modulus for axially loaded piles

G. Mylonakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

98 Citations (Scopus)


The problem of elastic soil-pile interaction and its modelling using the concept of a Winkler support are revisited. It is shown that dividing the vertical soil shear tractions and the corresponding settlements along the pile generates depth-dependent Winkler springs that accurately describe the pile-soil interaction, contrary to the widespread belief that the Winkler representation is always approximate. A simplified theoretical model is then derived for analysing the response of an end-bearing cylindrical pile in a homogeneous soil stratum. Explicit solutions are obtained for: (a) pile settlement; (b) depth-dependent Winkler modulus; (c) average (depth-independent) Winkler modulus to match pile head settlement. Both infinitely long piles and piles of finite length are examined. The approximate analytical solution compares favourably with finite-element and boundary-element solutions. A simple regression formula for the average Winkler modulus is developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Dynamics
  • Elasticity
  • Piles
  • Settlement
  • Soil/structure interaction
  • Stiffness


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