Response of pile groups in sand due to lateral cyclic loading

Christoph Niemann, Conleth O'Loughlin, Yinghui Tian, Mark Cassidy, Oliver Reul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper considers data from centrifuge model tests on pile groups in silica sand involving lateral one-way cyclic loading. The influence of cyclic load amplitude, pile spacing within the pile group and number of cycles on the observed response are highlighted. Investigating the contribution of each pile on the lateral capacity shows leading row piles exhibit highest bending moments and attract larger loads due to 'shadowing' effects. Cyclic loading results in a subtle change of the load distribution within the pile group, with the load gradually shifting from the leading to the trailing piles as the number of cycles increases. The effect of cyclic loading on the initial stiffness of the p-y curves is more significant; initial stiffness reduces with increasing number of loading cycles at a rate that is higher in the leading row than in the trailing row. The changes in load distribution are quantified using simple analytical equations that may be used in design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-330
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

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