Undrained capacity of circular shallow foundations on two-layer clays under combined VHMT loading

Pengpeng He, Tim Newson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Downloads (Pure)


Wind turbines are typically designed based on fatigue and serviceability limit states, but still require an accurate assessment of bearing capacity. Overconsolidated clay deposits in Canada often have a thin layer of crust with a relatively high undrained shear strength. However, existing bearing capacity design methods do not consider surficial crusts. This paper studies the undrained VHMT (vertical, horizontal, moment, and torsional) failure envelope of circular foundations founded on a surficial crust underlain by a uniform soil using finite element analysis. Crust correction factors have been introduced to account for the effects of the stiff layer on the vertical and moment capacities. The same forms of equation that are used for uniform soils, but with different parameters provide satisfactory fits for the failure envelopes for a soil with a crustal layer. An analytical expression for the 4-D VHMT failure envelope is derived, and an application of this method is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-596
Number of pages18
JournalWind Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Surficial crust
  • circular foundation
  • failure envelope
  • finite element analysis
  • zero-tension interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Undrained capacity of circular shallow foundations on two-layer clays under combined VHMT loading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this