Nonlinear interaction of soil-pile in horizontal vibration

Kam Tim Chau, X. Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new model for analyzing a nonlinear soil-pile interaction subject to horizontal shaking of a vertical circular pile embedded in a soil layer of finite thickness. The pile rests on bedrock with either a pinned or a clamped support. The soil mass is assumed composing of a "semi-nonlinear" inner soil zone around the pile and a linear viscoelastic soil zone outside the inner zone. When the inner soil behaves linearly, the present solutions are identical to those obtained by Nogami and Novak in 1977. Numerical results show that soil resistance of less slender piles developed against the vibration is larger than that of more slender piles. Soil resistance depends more strongly on the size of the nonlinear inner zone when the pile is vibrating at a frequency higher than the natural frequency of the soil. Soil nonlinearity, in general, results in a smaller damping and stiffness of the soil-pile system, except at high frequency. At higher vibration frequency, the situation can be very complicated. The exact value of the dynamic stiffness of the soil-pile system depends on elastic shear wave speed, soil nonlinearity, vibration frequency, slenderness ratio of the pile, magnitude of vibration, and tip conditions of the pile. Generally speaking, the dynamic stiffness is smaller than the static stiffness. The normalized dynamic stiffness for pile with a pinned tip is, in general, larger than that with a clamped tip, while the reverse is true for the damping. Journal of Engineering Mechanics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-858
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Damping
  • Earthquake loads
  • Soil dynamics
  • Soil resistance
  • Soil-pile interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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