Newmark sliding block model for pile-reinforced slopes under earthquake loading

A. H. Al-Defae, J. A. Knappett (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Recent studies have demonstrated that the use of a discretely-spaced row of piles can be effective in reducing the deformations of slopes in earthquakes. In this paper, an approximate strain-dependant Newmark sliding-block procedure for pile-reinforced slopes has been developed, for use in analysis and design of the piling scheme, and the model is validated against centrifuge test data. The interaction of the pile within the slipping soil was idealised using a non-linear elasto-plastic (P-y) model, while the interaction within the underlying stable soil was modelled using an elastic response model in which (degraded) soil stiffness is selected for an appropriate amount of shear strain. This combined soil-pile interaction model was incorporated into the improved Newmark methodology for unreinforced slopes presented by Al-defae et al. [1], so that the final method additionally incorporates strain-dependent geometric hardening (slope re-grading). When combined with the strain-dependent pile resistance, the method is therefore applicable to analysis of both the mainshock and subsequent aftershocks acting on the deformed slope. It was observed that the single pile resistance is mobilised rapidly at the start of a strong earthquake and that this and the permanent slope deformation are therefore strongly influenced by pile stiffness properties, pile spacing and the depth of the slip surface. The model shows good agreement with the centrifuge test data in terms of the prediction of permanent deformation at the crest of the slope (important in design for selecting an appropriate pile layout/spacing i.e. S/B) and in terms of the maximum permanent bending moments induced in the piles (important for appropriate structural detailing of the piles), so long as the slip surface depth can be accurately predicted. A method for doing this, based on limit analysis, is also presented and validated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-278
    Number of pages14
    JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
    Early online date15 May 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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