Numerical modelling of transient cyclic vertical loading of suction caissons in sand

Benjamin Cerfontaine, Frédéric Collin, Robert Charlier

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26 Citations (Scopus)
378 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents numerical investigations of the monotonic and cyclic behaviours of suction caissons upon vertical transient loading. Both drained and partially drained conditions are investigated. Monotonic compression and traction simulations are carried out to qualitatively compare results with the literature and validate the model. They highlight the different modes of reaction of the caisson to both compression and traction loading. A sensitivity analysis points out the strong influence of some parameters on the resistance of the caisson but also on the failure mechanism. The transient behaviour of the caisson upon different kinds of cyclic load signals is analysed. Results reproduce the settlement and pore water pressure accumulations observed during experiments. The influence of the key design parameters on the settlement accumulation is also assessed. Finally a cyclic diagram is proposed to describe the evolution of the final settlement upon different magnitudes of loading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-136
Number of pages16
Issue number12
Early online date21 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • finite-element modelling
  • offshore engineering
  • repeated loading
  • sands
  • soil/structure interaction


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