Deep Penetration of Spudcan Foundation into Double Layered Soils

J. Liu, Yuxia Hu, Xianjing Kong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    The spudcan foundation has been widely used in offshore engineering for jack-up rigs. However, "punch through" failure often occurs where a stronger soil layer overlays a softer soil layer. In this study, spudcan penetration into double layered soils is investigated numerically. The soil profile is set up as a stronger soil layer overlaying a softer soil layer, with the soil strength ratio (bottom soil strength / top soil strength) varied from 0.1 to 1.0 (1 means uniform soil). The beating behaviour is discussed and the bearing capacity factors are given for various cases involving different layer thicknesses and different strength ratios of the two clay layers. The development of the plastic zones and the effect of soil self-weight on the bearing capacity are also discussed. From this study, it is found that, when a spudcan is distant from the soil layer boundary, the spudcan can be analysed with single soil layer data. However, when a spudcan becomes closer to the soil boundary layer, the influence of the lower soft soil layer is significant, and the bearing capacity of the spudcan decreases. The critical distance is an indication of the occurrence of "punch through" failure. ne critical distance between the spudcan and the layer boundary is larger for a rough spudcan than the one for a smooth one, and the critical distance decreases with increasing soil strength ratio. The depth of cavity formed during initial spudcan penetration depends on the top layer soil strength, soil strength ratio and unit soil self-weight, and the cavity affects the spudcan bearing behaviour as well.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-324
    JournalChina Ocean Engineering
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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