PEER Research Project Highlight: “Shake Table Tests on Shallow Foundations in Liquefied Soils Supported on Helical Piles”

August 13, 2018

The impact of a PEER funded research project “Shake Table Tests on Shallow Foundations in Liquefied Soils Supported on Helical Piles” is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator is Ramin Motamed, Associate Professor, University of Nevada Reno. The research team includes Prof. Ahmed Elgamal, Collaborator, UCSD, and Milad Jahed Orang, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nevada Reno.

Download the Research Project Highlight which includes the abstract. (PDF)

Research Impact:

Post-disaster reconnaissance of areas affected by earthquakes such as the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in New Zealand has documented extensive damage to residential homes and low-story structures founded on shallow foundations within liquefaction-prone areas. Such buildings are widespread throughout California and liquefaction has been extensively observed in its urban areas such as during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Foundations are integral to earthquake resistant structures in soils susceptible to liquefaction in seismic events. Continuing research into the performance of foundations in seismic conditions is vital to ensure that public safety is maintained.  Where existing structures are to be seismically upgraded, research is needed to provide guidelines to properly design underpinning systems. Helical piles are a type of deep foundation system used regularly to underpin both new and existing structures. Research into their performance in liquefiable soils is the purpose of this study. Current practice lacks offering a cost-effective yet robust solution for underpinning residential buildings and low-story structures. Therefore, this study tries to address this knowledge gap using 1-g shaking table tests.