Cone Penetration Tests (CPTs) in layered soils: a Material Point approach

Robert Bird, William M. Coombs, Charles Augarde, Michael Brown, Yaseen Sharif, Gareth Carter, Kirstin Johnson, Catriona Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Cone Penetration Tests (CPTs) can be used to determine in-situ soil properties and represent a practical choice for site investigation offshore, especially for linear infrastructure, such as offshore wind export cables. Information gained from CPTs is key for predicting soil-structure interaction behaviour, for example when predicting the tow forces involved in seabed ploughing, as the CPT provides an analogue to the process. The numerical modelling of CPTs is challenging due to the significant distortion in the soil displaced by the penetrating cone. This means that solving this sort of problem using finite elements, although not impossible, is numerically tiresome in terms of remeshing and mapping of state variables. Therefore, in this paper we adopt the Material Point Method (MPM) to develop a CPT prediction tool in layered soils. This MPM is combined with a novel non-matching mesh frictional boundary to represent the penetrometer. The developed tool will be used to understand the response of layered soils commonly found offshore as a step towards predicting the interaction of ploughs and anchors with the seabed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventNumerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering 2023 - Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 202328 Jun 2023


ConferenceNumerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering 2023
Abbreviated titleNUMGE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Anchors
  • Cable Burial Risk Assessment
  • Cone penetration test (CPT)
  • Material point method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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