Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Ultimate Capacity of Suction Caisson in Normally and Lightly Overconsolidated Clays

Prinicipal Investigators:

Charles Aubeny and Don Murff


Minerals Management Service and Industry Consortium

Completion Date:

May, 2004

Final Report ID#

A138(Click to view final report abstract)

Note: This study is part of a broader project "Suction Caissons & Vertically Loaded Anchors: Design Analysis Methods" (MMS Project 362).

The objective of this study is to determine the undrained ultimate capacity of Suction Caissons with length over diameter ratios of 2, 4, 6 & 8 in certain representative soil profiles from the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea for various load inclinations. A suite of horizontal-vertical load interaction diagrams for varying soil profiles and caissons with different aspect ratios has been generated for this study. The optimum attachment point (loading depth at which capacity is a maximum) is also reported for each of these cases.

The study is restricted to undrained loading conditions and issues such as soil strength anisotropy (Murff, 1980) gap formation behind the caisson etc have not been included. The ultimate capacities for various inclined load cases are determined by the finite element method (FEM) and are also compared to results estimated using a simplified plasticity solution (Aubeny et al., 2003b). The objective is to verify the solutions and to study the limitations of the postulated failure mechanisms (Murff and Hamilton, 1993) which are employed in the simplified upper bound plasticity calculations.

Related Publications: Andersen, K.H., Murff, J.D. Randolph, M.F., Clukey, E., Jostad, H.P., Hansen, B. Aubeny, C., Sharma, P., Erbich, C., and Supachawarote, C. (2005) “Suction anchors for deepwater applications,” Keynote lecture for presentation at International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, Perth, Australia, September 2005.

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