Evaluation of undrained failure envelopes of caisson foundations under combined loading

Moura Mehravar*, Ouahid Harireche, Asaad Faramarzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, results of a three-dimensional finite element study addressing the effect of embedment ratio (L/D) of caisson foundations on the undrained bearing capacity under uniaxial and combined loadings are discussed. The undrained response of caisson foundations under uniaxial vertical (V), horizontal (H) and moment (M) loading are investigated. A series of equations are proposed to predict the ultimate vertical, moment and maximum horizontal bearing capacity factors. The undrained response of caisson foundations under combined V-H and V-M load space is studied and presented using failure envelopes generated with side-swipe method. The kinematic mechanism accompanying failure under uniaxial loading is addressed and presented for different embedment ratios. Predictions of the uniaxial bearing capacities are compared with other models and it is confirmed that the proposed equations appropriately describe the capacity of caisson foundations under uniaxial vertical, horizontal and moment loading in homogenous undrained soils. The results of this paper can be used as a basis for standard design codes of off-shore skirted shallow foundations which will be the first of its kind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Early online date11 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


  • bearing capacity
  • caisson
  • shallow foundation
  • three-dimensional finite element modelling
  • undrained analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of undrained failure envelopes of caisson foundations under combined loading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this