Evaluation of the Seismic Bearing Capacity of Shallow Foundations Located on the Two-Layered Clayey Soils

  • M. Jahani
  • M. OulapourEmail author
  • A. Haghighi
Research Paper


The seismic bearing capacity of shallow strip footings located on homogeneous soils is studied extensively. But the effect of building height and layering is not included in those studies. In this paper two-layered cohesive soils are studied along with building height effect. The formulation of the problem is derived by extending the limit equilibrium method developed by Merlos and Romo (J Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 26(2):103–114, 2006) for two-layered soils. A log-spiral potential failure surface is assumed, and the inertia forces are applied directly to the building and the failure block soil mass. The position of the failure surface is obtained by a minimization process for every earthquake shaking acceleration. Results show that the potential failure surface moves upward and its length shortens as the peak ground acceleration (PGA) increases, reducing the bearing capacity. Also, the effects of building height, PGA, ratio of cohesion of the layers and the thickness of the top layer on seismic bearing capacity factor (Nce) are studied.


Two-layer soil Cohesion ratio Seismic bearing capacity Limit equilibrium Peak ground acceleration 


  1. Askari F, Farzaneh O, Mirabotalebi M (2005) Seismic bearing capacity of shallow foundation including the inertia force of soil. J Eng Fac Tehran Univ 39(3):319–327Google Scholar
  2. Boulanger R, Idriss I (2007) Evaluation of cyclic softening in silts and clay. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 133(6):641–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Castelli F, Lentini V (2012) Evaluation of the bearing capacity of footings on slope. Int J Phys Model Geotech Eng 12(3):112–118Google Scholar
  4. Das BM, Maji A (1994) Transient loading-related settlement of a square foundation on geogrid-reinforced sand. J Geotech Geolog Eng 12(4):241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dormieux L, Pecker A (1995) Seismic bearing capacity of foundation on cohesionless soil. J Geotech Eng 121(3):300–303. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elia G, Rouainia M (2014) Performance evaluation of a shallow foundation built on structured clays under seismic loading. Bull Earthq Eng 12(4):1537–1561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Farzaneh O, Mofidi J, Askari F (2013) Seismic bearing capacity of strip footings near cohesive slopes using lower bound limit analysis. In: Proceedings of the 18th international conference on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, Paris, pp 1467–1470Google Scholar
  8. Ghazavi M, Parsapajouh A (2006) A simple method for calculating the effect of soil saturation on seismic bearing capacity of shallow foundations. In: Proceedings 7th international conference on civil engineering, Tarbiat Moddaress University of Tehran, I.R.Iran, pp 1467–1475Google Scholar
  9. Keshavarz A, Jahanandish M, Ghahramani A (2011) Seismic bearing capacity analysis of reinforced soils by the method of stress characteristics. IJST Trans Civ Eng 35(C2):185–197Google Scholar
  10. Kholdebarin AR, Massumi A, Davoodi M (2008) Influence of soil improvement on seismic bearing capacity of shallow foundations. In: Proceedings 14th world conference on earthquake engineering, Beijing, China, pp 560–569Google Scholar
  11. Knappett JA, Haigh SK, Madabhushi SPG (2006) Mechanisms of failure for shallow foundations under earthquake loading. J Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 26(1):91–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kumar J, Ghosh P (2006) Seismic bearing capacity for embedded footings on sloping ground. Géotechnique 56(2):133–140MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kumar J, Kumar N (2003) Seismic bearing capacity of rough footings on slopes using limit equilibrium. Géotechnique 53(3):363–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kumar J, Mohan Rao VBK (2002) Seismic bearing capacity factors for spread foundations. Geotechnique 52(2):79–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Majidi R, Mirghasemi AA (2008) Seismic 3D bearing capacity of shallow foundations. Iran J Sci Technol Tran B Eng 32(B2):107–124Google Scholar
  16. Merlos J, Romo MP (2006) Fluctuant bearing capacity of shallow foundations during earthquakes. J Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 26(2):103–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Paolucci R, Pecker A (1997) Seismic bearing capacity of shallow strip foundations on dry soils. Soils Found 37(3):95–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Richards R, Elms DG, Budhu M (1993) Seismic bearing capacity and settlement of foundations. J Geotech Eng ASCE 119(4):662–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sarma SK, Iossifelis IS (1990) Seismic bearing capacity factors of shallow strip footings. Géotechnique 40(2):265–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shafiee AH, Jahanandish M (2010) Seismic bearing capacity factors for strip footings. In: Proceedings 5th National Congress on Civil Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashad, Iran, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  21. Soubra AH (1999) Upper-bound solutions for bearing capacity of foundations. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 125(1):59–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Soubra AH, Regenass P (1992) Bearing capacity in seismic areas by a Variational approach. In: Pande GN, Pietruszczak S (eds) Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on numerical models in geomechanics, NUMOG IV, Swansea, Balkema, pp 421–429Google Scholar
  23. Tiznado JC, Paillao VD (2014) Analysis of the seismic bearing capacity of shallow foundations. J Constr 13(2):40–48Google Scholar
  24. Triandafilidis GE (1965) The dynamic response of continuous footing supported on cohesive soils. In: Proceedings of the 6th international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, vol 2, pp 205–208Google Scholar
  25. Vesic AS, Banks DC, Woodard JM (1965) An experimental study of dynamic bearing capacity of footings on sand. In: Proceedings of the 6th international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Montreal, Canada, vol 2, pp 209–213Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Shiraz University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIslamic Republic of Iran

Personalised recommendations