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Effect of spatial correlation of standard penetration test (SPT) data on bearing capacity of driven piles in sand

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In this paper, the effect of spatial correlation of standard penetration test (SPT) data on the bearing capacity of driven piles in sand is analyzed. First, the direct approach for using SPT data to determine the bearing capacity of piles in sand is used to derive the expressions for probabilistic prediction of pile bearing capacity by considering the spatial correlation of the SPT data. To analyze the relationship between the probability of failure and the factor of safety, a procedure based on the advanced first-order, second-moment (FOSM) method is used. Then parametric studies are conducted on the spatial correlation between the spatial average of SPT numbers over the pile length, N LV, and the spatial average of SPT numbers over an interval near the pile base, N bV, and its effect on the bearing capacity of piles. The results indicate that it is important to consider the spatial correlation between N LV and N bV in the probabilistic prediction of pile bearing capacity. Ignoring this spatial correlation will underestimate the probability of failure and lead to unsafe design. Finally, three tested piles are analyzed to demonstrate the probabilistic analysis of piles by considering the spatial correlation of SPT data and the procedure for probabilistic analysis of pile bearing capacity is summarized.

Keywords: bearing capacity; capacité portante; corrélation spatiale; essai de pénétration standard (EPS); pieu; pile; sable; sand; spatial correlation; standard penetration test (SPT)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/t2012-005

Affiliations: 1: Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. 2: Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China.

Publication date: April 28, 2012

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  • Published since 1963, this monthly journal features articles, notes, and discussions related to new developments in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, and applied sciences. The topics of papers written by researchers, theoreticians, and engineers/scientists active in industry include soil and rock mechanics, material properties and fundamental behaviour, site characterization, foundations, excavations, tunnels, dams and embankments, slopes, landslides, geological and rock engineering, ground improvement, hydrogeology and contaminant hydrogeology, geochemistry, waste management, geosynthetics, offshore engineering, ice, frozen ground and northern engineering, risk and reliability applications, and physical and numerical modelling. Papers on actual case records from practice are encouraged and frequently featured.
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