Effect of perforations on uplift capacity of skirted foundations on clay

X. Li, Christophe Gaudin, Yinghui Tian, Mark Cassidy

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19 Citations (Scopus)
473 Downloads (Pure)


The retrieval of deep water subsea installations resting on soft soil, such as “mudmat” shallow foundations, can be a difficult and costly operation if significant resistance to uplift is experienced. At the mudmat invert, suctions may develop, increasing the uplift resistance to greater than the weight of the mat. In this paper, a series of centrifuge model tests are performed to determine the uplift resistance of rectangular mudmats resting on lightly overconsolidated kaolin clay. The study investigates the influence of perforation, in combination with skirt length and eccentric uplift, on the uplift resistance and suction generation at the foundation invert. The outcomes demonstrate that the central and eccentric uplift of mudmats have different failure mechanisms, resulting in a different distribution of excess pore pressure at the foundation invert. In contrast, perforations do not change the failure mechanism and only alter the magnitude of suction generated. The two different configurations of perforation investigated significantly reduce the suction at the mat invert and the uplift resistance, and may potentially shorten the operating time for centred uplift. The combination of perforation and eccentric uplift has the most beneficial effect on the reduction of the uplift resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322 - 331
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number3
Early online date17 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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