Lateral Loading of Deep Foundations in Stiff Clay

by Lymon C. Reese, (F.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, Tex.,
Robert C. Welch, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 7, Pg. 633-649

Document Type: Journal Paper


A full-sized drilled shaft, or drilled pier, was constructed in the field in a stratum of stiff clay. The foundation was instrumented so that bending moment could be measured at various depths. A series of lateral loads, both short-term static and cyclic, were applied to the foundation and families of bending moment curves, along with the boundary conditions at the groundline, were obtained. These data were analyzed and sets of curves were developed showing soil resistance p as a function of deflection y for various depths. Rational concepts concerning the behavior of soil around a laterally loaded deep foundation were employed, along with some empirical expressions, and equations are presented for the development of p-y curves for stiff clay, both for short-term static loading and for cyclic loading. The expressions were tested against available experiments and were found to yield satisfactory results.

Subject Headings: Lateral loads | Cyclic loads | Static loads | Curvature | Load factors | Deep foundations | Clays | Drilled shafts

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