Role of linear elasticity in pile group analysis and load test interpretation

Yat Fai Leung, K. Soga, B. M. Lehane, A. Klar

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper compares linear-elastic and nonlinear pile group analysis methods through settlement analyses of hypothetical scenarios and real case studies, and elaborates on the implications for interpretation of pile load test data. Comparisons between linear-elastic and nonlinear methods justify the proposition that pile-to-pile interaction is dominated by linear elasticity, characterized by the small-strain soil stiffness. As the size of a pile group increases, nonlinearity in individual pile behavior becomes overwhelmed by the interaction effects. In such cases, similar estimates will be achieved by both linear and nonlinear methods if the soil modulus is derived from the initial tangent, rather than some secant stiffness, assessed from the load test data. The study clarifies the capabilities and limitations of linear elasticity in pile group analysis and provides guidance on pile test interpretation for analysis of pile group response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1686-1694
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Pile foundations
  • Pile groups
  • Soil-pile interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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