Empirical and numerical study of the static lateral response of socketed pile in Dubai, UAE
Alzo’ubi, Abdel Kareem
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In geotechnical engineering practice, it is often a challenging task to select a suitable method for the calculation of the lateral load capacity of piles. In Dubai, UAE piles are predominantly rock socketed with top layers commonly medium dense to dense sand or Dubai sedimentary rock contributing to bearing lateral loads. In the present study, the results of two lateral load field tests on piles were selected and used for evaluating various methods adopted by local geotechnical engineers for evaluating lateral load capacity. For the selected piles, the top layers of the ground lithology consist of medium dense to dense sand, which is critical in the evaluation of the lateral capacity of piles. Generally, either the Broms method or p–y non-linear analysis is adopted by local geoengineers for lateral load analysis of piles due to the simple input requirements and quick calculations. With advancement in computing capabilities, geotechnical engineers also adopt numerical analyses. As part of this study, various methods adopted were evaluated in terms of their advantages, limitations and accuracy in predicting the lateral load behaviour of piles. Commonly adopted methodologies such as the Broms method were found to have limitations that underestimate pile capacities, resulting in overdesign of pile sizes leading to higher costs, whereas, comparatively, numerical approaches predict more accurately the lateral load behaviour of piles.