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The main goal is to investigate the possibility of allowing “below-ground” support systems to respond to strong seismic shaking by going beyond a number of “thresholds” that would conventionally imply failure and are today forbidden by codes. Such “thresholds” include : (a) sliding at the soil-foundation interface ; (b) separation and uplifting of a shallow foundation from the soils ; (c) mobilization of “bearing–capacity” failure mechanism for shallow foundations ; (d) structural yielding of pile foundations ; (e) combination of some of the above.

The motivation and the need for this research has come from :     (i) observations of actual behaviour in a variety of earthquakes ; (ii) the foundation design of a number of critical structures (e.g., major bridge pier, air control tower, tall monuments, elevated water tanks,) against large seismic actions ; the disproportionately large overturning moment and/or base shear force of such slender structures can hardly be faced with today’s conventional foundation methods, (iii) the need to seismically retrofit and rehabilitate older structures and historical monuments; (iv) structural yielding of pile foundations is now detectable (thanks to technological advances), thus eliminating one of the reasons for avoiding it.

George  Gazetas
The Principal Investigator