This paper examines the drained bearing response of circular footings resting on structured soil deposits. Numerical simulations have been carried out using a finite element formulation of the Structured Cam Clay model. A parametric study was conducted by varying the parameters that govern the behaviour of structured soils and guidelines are given for designers to identify when effects of the soil structure are important. Under fully drained conditions, deformation within the structured soil supporting the footing usually occurs as a local or punching shear failure due to high compressibility of the structured soil and the mobilised bearing pressure increases with the footing movement, without reaching an ultimate value. A novel approximate method is presented to obtain the load–displacement response of a rigid circular footing resting on the surface of a structured soil deposit. This requires the properties of the soil in the reconstituted state and two additional parameters, which govern the natural structure of the soil. The proposed method has been applied to a published case study, where plate load test results are given for rigid circular steel plates resting on structured soil deposits. Fair agreement is observed between the computed and experimental results, suggesting the approximate method may be useful in design studies of foundations on structured soil deposits.
Computers and Geotechnics Vol. 36, Issue 3, p. 493-502