Seismic behavior of batter piles: Elastic response

A. Giannakou, N. Gerolymos, G. Gazetas, T. Tazoh, I. Anastasopoulos

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    105 Citations (Scopus)


    Several aspects of the seismic response of groups containing nonvertical piles are studied, including the lateral pile-head stiffnesses, the "kinematic" pile deformation, and the "inertial" soil-pile-structure response. A key goal is to explore the conditions under which the presence of batter piles is beneficial, indifferent, or detrimental. Parametric analyses are carried out using three-dimensional finite-element modeling, assuming elastic behavior of soil, piles, and superstructure. The model is first used to obtain the lateral stiffnesses of single batter piles and to show that its results converge to the available solutions from the literature. Then, real accelerograms covering a broad range of frequency characteristics are employed as base excitation of simple fixed-head two-pile group configurations, embedded in homogeneous, inhomogeneous, and layered soil profiles, while supporting very tall or very short structures. Five pile inclinations are considered while the corresponding vertical-pile group results serve as reference. It is found that in purely kinematic seismic loading, batter piles tend to confirm their negative reputation, as had also been found recently for a group subjected to static horizontal ground deformation. However, the total (kinematic plus inertial) response of structural systems founded on groups of batter piles offers many reasons for optimism. Batter piles may indeed be beneficial (or detrimental) depending on, among other parameters, the relative size of the overturning moment versus the shear force transmitted onto them from the superstructure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1187-1199
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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