Yifa Wang* Mark J. Cassidy† Britta Bienen‡



A macro-element model for predicting the load–displacement behaviour of a spudcan foundation in clay overlying sand when subjected to combined vertical, horizontal and moment loading is introduced.

Observations from detailed drum centrifuge tests that measured the effect of the underlying sand layer on the foundation behaviour are combined with finite-element results and theoretical developments to derive the components of the model.

The yield surface defined by the centrifuge test results suggests that as the spudcan nears the underlying sand layer, the absolute horizontal capacity remains relatively constant, while the vertical and moment capacities increase at approximately the same normalised rate.

The model is demonstrated to accurately predict foundation behaviour by retrospectively simulating the experimental results. This macro-element model has the advantage that it can be integrated into the structural analyses of jack-up platforms required for site-specific assessments.



bearing capacity centrifuge modelling footings/foundations offshore engineering soil/structure interaction