A comparison of full profile prediction methods for a spudcan penetrating sand overlying clay

Pan Hu, Sam Stanier, Dong Wang, Mark Cassidy

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    14 Citations (Scopus)
    196 Downloads (Pure)


    Spudcans are the traditional footings used for offshore mobile jack-up rigs. However, the installationof spudcans in sand overlying clay may lead to punch-through failure, which can cause seriousdamage to the jack-up rig and endanger personnel. This article compares three new methodsproposed in the literature and an interpretation of the International Organization for Standardization(ISO) guideline for predicting the full penetration resistance profile. The penetration resistance profilefor each of the methods is characterised by two key calculations: the peak resistance in the sand andthe bearing capacity within the underlying clay. The punch-through distance – an indicator of thepotential for and severity of punch-through failure – is estimated from these calculations. Incomparison with 71 geotechnical centrifuge tests, the ISO guideline provides poor predictions,consistently underestimating the peak resistance in the sand and the underlying bearing capacity inthe clay. Although all three of the new methods provide a superior response, by assessing theaccuracy, scatter and geometric skew of the predictions, two of the methods are shown to be biased inat least one of the key calculations used to define the penetration resistance profile, thus producingbias in the prediction of the punch-through distance. However, one method yields largely unbiasedpredictions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-139
    JournalGeotechnique Letters
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


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