Bearing capacity on sand overlying clay: An analytical model for predicting post peak behaviour

Pan Hu, Mark J. Cassidy, Mark F. Randolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


New analytical models have recently been presented for evaluating the peak bearing capacity of circular footings penetrating sand-over-clay and the subsequent capacity once embedded in the underlying clay. However, in lieu of any analytical model, current methods of analysis use an inaccurate linear interpolation for the bearing capacity between the peak and the clay surface. This paper proposes an analytical model for calculating the bearing capacity of circular footings after the peak failure in sand-over-clay soils and before the footing enters the clay. Based on observations from visualisation experiments conducted in a geotechnical centrifuge, and consistent with the silo analysis approach used in predicting the peak capacity, the failure mechanism is a vertical frustum of sand progressively being forced into the underlying clay. Analysis of the capability of the new model to retrospectively simulate a database of 66 geotechnical centrifuge tests is provided. Motivation for improved prediction methods comes from the offshore mobile jack-up industry where concerns remain over the punch-through of large 20 m diameter spudcan footings in sand-over-clay. Accurate prediction of not just the peak bearing capacity but the subsequent load-displacement behaviour is required in order to assess the effectiveness of operational methods used to mitigate punch-through incidents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

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