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13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering

Vancouver, B.C., Canada August 1-6, 2004 Paper No. 2065

FLEXURAL BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE PILES IN CLAY UNDER LATERAL EXCITATION
R. AYOTHIRAMAN1 and A. BOOMINATHAN2 SUMMARY Lateral Dynamic load tests are carried out on model aluminium piles in simulated Elastic Half Space filled with soft clay having consistency index (Ic) equal to 0.3 to determine dynamic constants of soil-pile system and to study the flexural behaviour of piles. Piles with different length to diameter ratio are subjected to steady state vibrations with different force level of 7 N to 30 N at different frequencies ranging from 2 Hz to 50 Hz. The load transferred to the pile, pile head displacement and strain variation along the length of pile are measured using a Data Acquisition System. The normalized frequency response curves indicate that the soil-pile system behaves nonlinearly in low frequency to resonance region. Stiffness of both short rigid piles and long flexible piles increases linearly with length of piles. Stiffness of piles reduces with force level because of soil strength degradation due to nonlinear behaviour at higher force level. The damping ratio of soil pile system is found to increase by length of piles and magnitude of applied forces due to geometrical and hysteretic damping. The dynamic bending moment is dependent on frequency of excitation and the maximum bending moment occurs near the fundamental frequency of soil-pile system. The maximum dynamic bending moment long flexible piles are by about 3 to 4 times higher than that of maximum dynamic bending moment of short rigid piles. The active length of piles increases drastically under dynamic loads. INTRODUCTION Use of pile foundations become more common in practice when the soil at shallow depth is very loose and weak, in particular soft marine clays deposits. Pile supporting structures such as power plants, petrochemical complexes and compressor stations and multi-storeyed buildings are subjected to dynamic lateral loads resulting from operating machineries, wind, ocean waves and earthquakes. Though several methods were developed in the early 1970s, Novak's Continuum Approach (Novak [1]) is widely used for the evaluation of dynamic lateral response of piles based on the assumption of linear behaviour of soil. However, the field investigation carried out by Prakash and Chandrasekaran [2], Blaney and O’Neill [3], Han and Novak [4], Nogami et al. [5], Puri and Prakash [6], Dou and Byrne [7] and Boominathan et al. [8] show large difference between observed and estimated response due to nonlinear behaviour of soil and gap at the pile-soil interface. Blaney et al. [9], Kuhlemeyer [10] and Angelides and Roesset [11] investigated the dynamic soil - pile interaction problems considering the nonlinear behaviour of soil using Finite Element method, which is computationally very expensive. In recent years, Nogami et al. [5], Kagawa and Kraft [12], Dobry et al. [13], Gazetas and Dobry [14], Kavvadas and Gazetas [15], El Naggar and Novak [16] & Badoni and Makris [17] developed models by approximately considering the nonlinear behaviour of soil. However, these models are not well validated with experimental investigations and hence not widely used in civil engineering practice.
1 2

Ph.D Scholar, Dept. of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, Chennai. Email: ayothiraman@yahoo.com Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering., IIT Madras, Chennai. Email: boomi@civil.iitm.ernet.in

under lateral dynamic load. It is 10 to 15 times the diameter of the pile in the direction of loading for piles under static lateral loads (Poulos and Davis [20]). [22] as shown in Fig. This paper discusses the results of dynamic lateral load experiments carried out on single piles embedded in clay having constant consistency index or shear modulus (consistency index. . the estimated response is found to be in good agreement with the observed response at lower magnitude of forces and low frequencies. fiberglass coating is applied to bond the mild steel basket with welded geomembrane and it is checked for water leakage. which is covered with the geomembrane sheet to separate the soil from the absorbing layer as well as to maintain constant moisture content in the clay layer. Agarwal [18] & Novak and Grigg [19] carried out limited dynamic experiments on piles in regular square tank in the laboratory and the experimental results are compared with results obtained using numerical methods. modulus of soil. the dynamic experiments are carried out on piles embedded in a simulated Elastic Half Space piles to study the influence of various parameters namely.0 x 2.5 m. significant discrepancy is observed at higher magnitude of forces and near resonance region may be due to reflection of stress waves from boundary of tank.30). the reflection of vibration induced-stress waves from the boundary of tank wall that may interfere with the actual response of piles is off very important. 1. Ic = 0. In view of the above.. Simulated Elastic Half Space. length of piles. But in the case of dynamic loading.Experimental studies exclusively on piles embedded in clays under lateral dynamic loads are very limited. Fig. magnitude of applied force etc. The tank wall is made of hollow cement blocks of about 250 mm thickness.0 x 1. an absorbing layer of saw dust and a boundary element between them. The geomembrane is made to the required logarithmic arc shape with the mild steel basket by hot air welding. 1. The boundary element consists of mild steel basket in logarithmic arc spiral shape. it is very essential to simulate the non-reflecting boundary conditions for conducting the dynamic experiments in the laboratory. The simulated Elastic Half Space testing facility consists of a test tank of size 2. Hence. To have minimum wave reflection and maximum wave absorption the Elastic Half Space is simulated as adopted by Stokoe and Woods [21] & Srinivasulu et al. rigidity of pile. After welding. ELASTIC HALF SPACE SIMULATION Commonly used shape of test facility is square or rectangular or circular and the plan dimension of the test facility is normally decided based on the effective stressed zone of soil mass from the pile. Although.

% Plastic limit. % Silt. The instrumented model pile is calibrated for strain gauges by simple bending test with simply supported conditions and calibration curves are found to be linear. A conical driving shoe is attached at the pile tip to enhance the driving of piles and to prevent soil plugging into the hollow pile. % Clay. 2. A Data Acquisition System consisting of Pentium II PC with DAS card.0 32. The length to diameter ratio (L/d) of pile is selected as 10 to 40 to simulate the behaviour of both short rigid piles and long flexible piles. An AGILENT make digital storage oscilloscope is used to cross check the load and amplitude measurements. Su. Piles are also instrumented with foil type electrical strain gauges to study its bending or flexural behaviour of piles under dynamic loads.0 25. . The load transferred to the pile is measured with the help of 2 kN-capacity HBM make Load cell attached between the pile cap and exciter. Foil type electrical strain gauges having resistance of 120 ± 1.0 48.SOIL AND PILE PROPERTIES Clay sample collected from the Chennai city (India) is used for the present laboratory investigation. % Specific Gravity Liquid limit. % Sand.2 Ω are fixed in quarter bridge arrangement along the length of the pile at closer spacing near the surface of soil and at larger spacing towards the pile tip to get the deflected shape and bending moment variation along the length of pile due to dynamic load. % Classification (as per D2487-00) Consistency Index Shear strength.30 13.Fat Clay 0. HBM make LVDT attached on the pile cap is used to measure the time history of displacement.0 CH . After strain gauges are fixed and connected to the wires. The particle size distribution and Atterberg limits are determined as per ASTM standards. The instrumented model pile with details of conical shoe is shown in Fig.30. pile head displacement and strain along the pile length automatically. 2.7 The aluminum piles with outer diameter of 25 mm and thickness of 3 mm are used.0 26. DYNAMIC EXPERIMENTS ON PILES Test Setup and Data Acquisition System The simulated Elastic Half Space test facility with Data Acquisition System is shown in Fig. The undrained shear strength of clay is determined by conducting laboratory vane shear test for consistency index of clay 0.1 N is attached to the pile head to simulate the static vertical load and clear resonance condition of piles.5 2. Table 1 – Properties of clay Gravel. araldite solution is applied at the location of strain gauges to make sure waterproof.5 41. A 100 N-capacity electro dynamic exciter is attached to the pile cap such that it produces steady state sinusoidal lateral excitation. The summary of properties of clay is given in Table 1. % Plasticity index. kN/m2 1. A pile cap of mass equals to 3.54 74. DAS software “GeniDAQ” and HBM make MGC Plus Multichannel digital carrier frequency amplifier system is used to observe and measure the load transferred to the pile head. The soil is classified as CH – Fat clay as per ASTM D2487-00 [23].

0 x 2 . D isp lac em en t T ra n sd u cer (L V D T ) 6.0 R=120 100 3 100 750 100 4 DETAILS AT A OD ID OD = 25mm ID = 19mm 5 100 6 PILE WALL 3 mm THICK 7 25 8 B DETAILS AT B CONICAL SHOE 25 15 60° 100 50 ALL DIMENSIONS ARE IN mm Fig. PILE WALL STRAIN GAUGE K=2. L oa d C ell 5. D ata A cq u isitio n S y stem Fig.D. 3. E lectro D y n a m ic E xciter 4 . M S B a sket co vered w ith Im p erm ea b le G eo m e m b ra n e 1 0 . E xcitat io n A m p lifie r 1 1 . Typical instrumented model pile (L/d = 30) 12 10 11 1 2 6 7 8 9 5 3 4 80° T est T an k (2.5 m ) C la y S a w D u st 1 . Testing facility with data acquisition system .STRAIN GAUGE WIRES PILE CAP STRAIN GAUGE WIRES 200 100 1 A 100 2 ALUMINIUM PILE OF 25mm O. A lu m in iu m M od e l P ile 8.0 x 1 . M S A n gle 3. M u ltich a n n el C arrier F req u en cy A m p lifier 1 2 . S tra in G au g es 9. Pile C a p 7. L oa d in g F ra m e 2 . 2.

The tests are conducted at various depths of 0. 0. The low strain shear modulus. which indicates that. kg / m3 2065 2038 2013 2064 Shear wave velocity Vs. The dynamic properties of clay are determined by conducting seismic cross-hole tests in the Elastic Half Space clay bed as per ASTM D4428/D4428M-00 [24]. 4 clearly indicates occurrence of single peak in the frequency response curves.30). 0. Table 2. The observed response of pile in regular tank is scattered and multi-peaks are observed. The measured displacement . pile head displacement and dynamic strain along the length of pile are observed and measured using the Data Acquisition System. 21 N and 30 N for wide range of frequency of excitation (f) from 2 Hz to 50 Hz. pile head displacement and strain gauge readings are plotted.91 88. This indicates that the reflection of stress waves are minimum and does not interfere with the response of piles in the case of EHSS.31 Dynamic shear modulus Gmax.20. The steady state sinusoidal vibration is applied to the pile head. Gmax evaluated using the above equation are also given in Table 2.58 17587. Gmax is estimated using the following expression (Stokoe and Woods [21]): Gmax = ρVs2 (1) In which.00 Density ρ. Initial tests are conducted on piles embedded in regular rectangular tank and in the simulated Elastic Half Space. It is clearly evident from Table 2 that. ρ = density of soil. The typical frequency response curve for pile with L/d = 30 is given in Fig. The average shear wave velocity of clay layer works out to be about 90 m/s. kN/m2 15169. 14 N.00 m.71 90.31 15905. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Frequency Response of Piles From the measured data. the soil-pile system behaves as SDOF system.Preparation of Clay Bed Water is added to clay and mixed uniformly to achieve soft clay consistency (consistency index (Ic) = 0. Piles are subjected to lateral dynamic force with amplitudes (Fo) of 7 N. Mixed soft clay is placed and hand-packed in the test tank in several layers of 15 cm thickness and each layer is tamped with template so as to remove the entrapped air. The load transferred to the pile head. The actual experiments are conducted on piles with length to diameter ratio (L/d) of 10.62 Test Procedure The instrumented pile is gently pushed vertically into the prepared soft clay bed and sufficient time is allowed for the soil to regain its original strength depends in its thixotropic nature. It proves the simulated Elastic Half Space is a very effective dynamic test facility. which is determined by core cutter method. The measured values of shear wave velocity are given in Table 2.50 m. 4.91 16843.89 92. Dynamic properties of clay Depth m 0. whereas the response of piles in simulated Elastic Half Space show single peak. the shear wave velocity and dynamic shear modulus of clay remain constant with depth of EHSS. The low strain shear modulus.50 0. Water content is measured on soil samples collected from various depths of soil bed to check the soil homogeneity.25 0.30 and 40. m/s 85.75 1.75 m and 1. The frequency response curves are obtained from observed time histories pile head displacement. the time histories of dynamic load transferred to pile head. Fig.25 m.

A typical normalized displacement amplitude versus frequency ratio plot for piles with L/d = 30 is shown in Fig.003 L/d = 30 Normalised Displacement Amplitude. mm/N Fo = 7N 0. which indicates the nonlinear response of the soil-pile system more predominantly in the low frequency to resonance region. 5.060 Fo = 21N Fo = 30N 0.001 0. 4. Variation of normalized displacement amplitude with frequency (L/d = 30) . Hz 35 40 45 50 Fig. Hz 35 40 45 50 Fig.002 0. Typical frequency response curve of single pile (L/d = 30) 0.000 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Frequency.040 0.080 L/d = 30 Fo = 7N Fo = 14N Displacement Amplitude.002 Fo = 14N Fo = 21N Fo = 30N 0. 5 shows distinguishable response curves.amplitude is normalized by corresponding magnitude of applied dynamic force. mm 0.020 0.000 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Frequency. 5.001 0. 0. Fig.

0. but for the long flexible piles 60%. . it is found that. It can be easily noticed from Fig. but reduces with increase in length of piles. 7 that the natural frequency increases with length of piles almost in linear proportion at all force levels. 8 that. It is also inferred from Fig. the natural frequency reduces with magnitude of applied forces for all piles. It is clearly noticeable from Fig. 6 that the natural frequency increases marginally with length of pile. the stiffness of the soil-pile system reduces by about 25% to 30% for all piles with increase of magnitude of applied forces. mm L/d = 20 L/d = 30 L/d = 40 0. the damping constant increases with increase in length of pile and magnitude of applied dynamic force due to presence of both geometrical damping and hysteretic damping. This observation is consistent with observations made even on vertically vibrating piles (Han and Novak [4].112 mm with length of piles.020 Fo = 7 N L/d = 10 0. It could be inferred from Fig. Hz 35 40 45 50 Fig. From Table 3.75 Hz and peak amplitude (Aomax) varies from 0.009 mm to 0. However. Stiffness and Damping of Piles The dynamic lateral stiffness and damping constants evaluated from frequency response curves assuming SDOF system are given in Table 3.012 0. 6. 7. but the peak amplitude reduces significantly with length of pile. The increase of natural frequency with length of piles is mainly due to increase in stiffness of pile deriving from passive resistance of soil. It is observed from Table 4 that. the peak amplitude reduces significantly by about 65% with increase in length of pile at relatively high magnitude of force (21 N and 30 N) due to combination of geometrical and hysteretic damping of soil-pile system.016 Displacement Amplitude. The variation of peak amplitude with length to diameter ratio of pile is shown in Fig. It is also observed from Table 3 that. The reduction in amplitude with increase in length of piles is only marginal at low magnitude of forces (Fo = 7 N and 14 N) due to presence of negligible hysteretic damping.The frequency response at force Fo = 7 N for all the piles is shown in Fig. Frequency response curve for different L/d ratio at Fo = 7 N The variation of natural frequency with length to diameter ratio of pile at different force level is shown in Fig. The increase of stiffness of short rigid piles having L/d <=20 is only about 25%.004 0. which proves the soil-pile system behaves nonlinearly.000 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Frequency. 8.008 0. The natural frequency (fn) of tested piles varies from 16. Muster and O’Neill [25]).00 Hz to 26. stiffness of soil-pile system increases with length of pile. This difference is attributed to the higher passive resistance derived from long piles. the peak amplitude increases with increase in magnitude of applied force. 6. 8 that.

30 0.9 60525. Variation of natural frequency with length to diameter ratio 0. 8.08 Fo = 30N 0.9 51379. 3.0 .35 Ic = 0.7 77.30 33 30 Natural Frequency.04 0.4 122. C.0 92.4 111.10 Fo = 7N Fo = 14N Fo = 21N Peak Amplitude. Kx.0 31298.8 74891.3 117.1 Fo= 7 N 41843. Variation of peak amplitude with length to diameter ratio Table.2 53916. mm 0.0 87484.06 0.0 119. N-s/m Fo= 7 N Fo=14 N Fo=21 N Fo=30 N 52.3 60525.3 48903.6 74.12 Ic = 0.6 77947.4 109. Hz 28 25 23 20 18 15 10 20 30 40 Length to Diameter Ratio Fo = 7N Fo = 14N Fo = 21N Fo = 30N 50 Fig.4 48903.0 86. 7.0 67.2 64675.02 0.6 46489.00 10 20 30 40 Length to Diameter Ratio 50 Fig.0 105.7 154.0 40719.9 Damping constant.4 136.2 33285.2 170. N/m Fo=14 N Fo=21 N Fo=30 N 38519.4 184. Lateral stiffness and damping constant of soil-pile system L/d Ratio 10 20 30 40 Lateral stiffness.

9. -4 -2 0 0 Depth/Diameter Ratio L/d=10. mic. Hz 40 50 Fig. Variation of dynamic strain with frequency The dynamic bending moment is obtained from the measured peak strain at the natural frequency of system by multiplying the factor obtained from calibration of strain gauges. the maximum dynamic strain occurs at the natural frequency (fn) of the soil-pile system (fn = 22 Hz for the shown case. 9). f = 18 Hz Dynamic Bending Moment. 10. It is observed from Fig.m/m Depth = 12d Depth = 16d Depth = 20d Depth = 28d 600 400 200 0 0 10 20 30 Frequency. Fo=21N Depth = 4d Depth = 8d 800 Dynamic Strain. It is also observed from the experimental results that. Fig. 9 that.Flexural Behaviour of Piles The typical plot of dynamic strain versus frequency ratio along the depth of pile is given in Fig. the maximum strain occurs in the region of depth of maximum bending moment.mm 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 2 Fo =7N 4 6 8 10 12 Fo =14N Fo =21N Fo =30N (a) . 9. The variation of dynamic bending moment with depth of piles is shown in Fig. the maximum dynamic bending moment occurs near the fundamental frequency of the system. N. Kavvadas and Gazetas [15] also reported similar conclusions based on the numerical study using Winkler model that. 1000 L/d=30.

which assures that the pile behaves as a short rigid pile. As per Broms [26]. N. But.mm -3 0 0 L/d=20.Dynamic Bending Moment. f=20 Hz 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 3 Depth/Diameter Ratio 6 9 12 15 18 21 Fo =7N Fo =14N Fo =21N Fo =30N (b) Dynamic Bending Moment. N.mm 0 0 4 8 Depth/Diameter Ratio 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 L/d=40. from Fig. f=22Hz Fo=7N Fo =14N Fo =21N Fo =30N 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 (c) Fig. which indicates the maximum dynamic bending moment occurs at a depth of about 4 to 5 times deeper than the depth at which. 10. the maximum static bending moment of piles under static lateral load occurs at a depth of about 2 to 4 times the diameter of pile. 10a. the maximum static bending moment . it is observed that. Variation of dynamic bending moment along depth of pile for (a) L/d = 10 (b) L/d = 20 (c) L/d = 40 From Fig. it is clear that piles with L/d ratio 10 do not attain maximum dynamic bending moment. 10. piles of L/d ≥ 20 attain maximum dynamic bending moment at a depth of about 11 to 17 times the diameter of piles.

It shows the depth of fixity of piles under dynamic load is much higher than the depth of fixity of piles under static loads. . however. 11 that the maximum dynamic bending moment of long flexible piles is by about 3 to 4 times higher than that of maximum dynamic bending moment of short rigid piles. Finite element analysis carried out on the piles subjected to static and dynamic lateral loads by Krishnan et al. • The soil – pile system behaves in nonlinear fashion more predominantly in low frequency to resonance region. 11 that the maximum dynamic bending moment increases with increase of magnitude of applied dynamic force for both short rigid pile and long flexible pile is only about 30 %. It is observed from Fig. [27] also leads to the similar conclusions that increase of active length of piles under dynamic loads. This indicates that. It is also observed from Fig.mm 40000 20000 Ic = 0. 10 that the dynamic bending moment towards the pile tip does not attain zero. the following conclusions are arrived. But.11. the natural frequency reduces slightly with force level and inertia effect of soil-pile system. even the lower parts of the pile affect the pile head response to the inertia loads applied at the pile head and the active length of pile is high for dynamic loading than static case. 11. It could be inferred from Fig.occurs. 10 versus length to diameter ratio of piles is shown in Fig. but the maximum bending moment of long pile is limited to the ultimate moment of resistance of pile shaft. Based on the experimental studies carried out on piles subjected to harmonic lateral vibrations. The natural frequency of piles substantially increases with increase in length of pile at all force levels due to higher stiffness of soil-pile system derived from passive resistance.30 Fo = 7N Fo = 14N Fo = 21N Fo = 30N 0 10 20 30 40 Length to Diameter Ratio 50 Fig. Variation of maximum dynamic BM with length to diameter ratio CONCLUSIONS Based on the experiments carried out on model piles embedded in soft clay at consistency index (Ic=0. The frequency response of piles mainly depends on the length of pile and force level. because of vibration of pile even near the tip. The maximum dynamic bending moment obtained from Fig. N. 60000 Maximum Dynamic BM. It is mainly because of higher passive resistance of soil with increase in length of pile.30). Han and Novak [4] & Dou and Byrne [7] also arrived at similar conclusions that the maximum dynamic bending moment occurs at deeper depth than the depth at which maximum static bending moment occurs.

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