A plasticity model for spudcan foundations in soft clay

Youhu Zhang, Mark Cassidy, Britta Bienen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
366 Downloads (Pure)


A plasticity model for predicting the load displacement behaviour of a typical spudcan foundation for offshore jack-up platforms under combined vertical, horizontal, and moment loading in soft clay is presented. Results from geotechnical centrifuge experiments of a spudcan embedded vertically to 0.7, 1.0, and 1.45 footing diameters are described. Augmented with finite element results, these centrifuge experiments are used to evaluate the plasticity model components. As a result of soil backflow on top of the spudcan, enhanced combined bearing capacity was measured and this is reflected in increased yield surface size. A tensile vertical load capacity is also incorporated. The excellent predictive capabilities of the model are demonstrated by retrospectively simulating a selection of centrifuge tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-646
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number6
Early online date11 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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