Recommended Design Practice for Pile Foundations in Laterally Spreading Ground, PEER Report 2011-04


This report presents recommended procedures and practices for the design and performance evaluation of pile foundations for bridges in areas subject to lateral spreading hazards. The past decade of research has produced numerous insights into the behavior and performance of pile foundations and bridges impacted by liquefaction and lateral spreading. The purpose of this report is to develop a set of recommended procedures and practices for analysis and design that are based on a synthesis of research findings when supporting research is available, and on the professional opinions of the Principal Investigators when
supporting research is lacking. The scope of the report is to summarize those recommendations in a concise document that provides references to supporting materials and/or identifies areas where supporting materials are lacking.

This report is intended for engineers who are familiar with geotechnical and structural design practice for static and seismic loading of bridges. The pile foundations covered by these recommendations include all piles included in the Caltrans Standard Specifications (Caltrans 2006). The term “lateral spreading” in this document refers to global movements of soil due to liquefaction of underlying cohesionless soil and hence includes cases that might be described as flow liquefaction (e.g., slope instability). The recommendations presented herein focus on the effects of liquefaction and lateral spreading, and assume familiarity with the necessary background information.

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Scott A. Ashford
Ross W. Boulanger
Scott J. Brandenberg
Publication date: 
June 1, 2011
Publication type: 
Technical Report
Ashford, S. A., Boulanger, R. W., & Brandenberg, S. J. (2011). Recommended Design Practice for Pile Foundations in Laterally Spreading Ground, PEER Report 2011-04. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.