Lateral response of stiff column-supported shallow foundations
The mechanisms that control the lateral response of stiff column-supported shallow foundations, resulting from the application of horizontal load on shallow foundations supported by stiff columns, are uncertain. Stiff columns constructed in soft clayey soil have been used to support retaining walls and in such cases, the lateral thrust applied behind these geotechnical structures is a source of horizontal loading. For seismic events, stiff columns constructed in soft clayey soil have been used to support shallow foundations subjected to horizontal load coming from the upper structure of buildings. Due to its practical applications, it has become important to understand the consequences of subjecting a shallow foundation supported by stiff columns to horizontal load by identifying the factors that control the lateral response of such systems.
A series of centrifuge tests were carried out to examine the lateral response of stiff column-supported shallow foundations. The experimental trends suggested that the thickness of the coarse-granular mattress placed above the soil-column composite, called the Load Transfer Platform (LTP), controlled the lateral capacity and the overall lateral response of these systems. A numerical study using the finite element method confirmed the experimental trends. A parametric analysis was conducted with the purpose of investigating the influence of different geometry-based and material-based variables in the lateral response of these systems. The results of the parametric analysis further confirmed the importance of the thickness of the LTP in controlling the lateral response. The parametric results also emphasized the contribution of other variables to this lateral response, and these variables included the undrained shear strength of the soft clayey soil around the stiff columns, the stiff column diameter, and the spacing of the stiff columns after they are constructed in the soft clayey soil.