Analysis of Pile-Supported Gravity Lock

by Chandrakant S. Desai, (M.ASCE), Visiting Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Virginia Polytech. Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA,
Lawrence D. Johnson, (M.ASCE), Res. Civ. Engr.; Soils and Pavement Lab., U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS,
Charles M. Hargett, (M.ASCE), Struct. Engr.; Design Branch, Engrg. Div., U.S. Army Engr. Dist., Vicksburg, MS,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 9, Pg. 1009-1029

Document Type: Journal Paper


Results obtained by using the Hrennikoff's method did not agree closely with observed field data in terms of the distribution of loads in the piles. The finite element (FE) method was therefore used to predict the behavior of the lock structure. The FE method simulated major steps of construction including the in situ stress condition, dewatering, excavation, construction of piles and lock, backfilling, filling water in the lock, and development of uplift pressure. Nonlinear behavior of soils and interfaces between the lock and surrounding soils and between the piles and the foundation soils were introduced into the analysis. The distribution of load in piles from the FE analysis showed improved agreement with the field data in comparison with the agreement shown by the Hrennikoff's method. The FE computations verified satisfactorily the measured displacements, and the trend that the piles on the backfill side carried increased contribution of the applied load.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Load distribution | Soil analysis | Field tests | Load factors | Piles | Backfills | Agreements and treaties

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