Predicting peak resistance of spudcan penetrating sand overlying clay

P. Hu, Sam Stanier, Mark Cassidy, Dong Wang

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    Accurately predicting peak penetration resistance qpeak during spudcan installation into sand overlying clay is crucial to an offshore mobile jack-up industry still suffering regular punch-through failures. This paper describes a series of spudcan penetration tests performed on medium-loose sand overlying clay and compares the response to existing centrifuge data from tests performed on dense sand overlying clay. Together these data demonstrate that punch-through is a potential problem for both dense and loose sand overlying clay soil stratigraphies. Using this experimental database, a failure-stress-dependent model has been modified to account for the embedment depth, and the depth of occurrence of qpeak is shown to be a function of the sand thickness Hs. The model then was recalibrated, taking these findings into account, for a larger range of material properties and ratios of sand thickness to spudcan diameter (Hs=D). Finally, the performance of the modified and recalibrated model is verified by comparing its predictions with those calculated using current guidelines. The comparisons show that the modified model yields more accurate predictions of qpeak over the range of Hs=D ratios of practical interest, which when used in practice will potentially mitigate the risk of unexpected punch-through on sand overlying clay stratigraphies. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)04013009-1 - 04013009-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
    Issue number2
    Early online date27 Jul 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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