Long-term foundation response to repetitive loading

Cesar Pasten*, Hosung Shin, J. Carlos Santamarina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Repetitive loading can induce volumetric and shear strain accumulation in soils and affect the long-term performance of engineered and natural geosystems.Ahybrid numerical scheme based on theFEMis implemented to analyze problems where a very large number of cycles is involved. The numerical approach combines a classical mechanical constitutive model to simulate the static load and the first load cycle and empirical accumulation functions to track the accumulation of deformations during repetitive loading. The hybrid model captures fundamental characteristics of soil behavior under repetitive loading, such as threshold strains, terminal density, and ratcheting response; it also predicts volumetric and shear strains as a function of the static stress obliquity, the number of load cycles, and the plastic strain during the first load cycle. The proposed numerical scheme is used to analyze shallow foundations subjected to repetitive loads. Results show the evolution of vertical settlement, horizontal displacement, footing rotation, and stress redistribution within the soil mass as the number of load cycles increases. Displacements and rotation are more pronounced as the static factor of safety decreases and the cyclic load amplitude increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04013036
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Finite-element method (FEM)
  • Footing
  • Repetitive load
  • Terminal density
  • Threshold strains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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