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Foundation punch-through in clay with sand: Analytical modelling

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Ullah, SN 
Hu, Y 
White, D 


Severe punch-through of jack-up rig foundations can occur due to the presence of a stronger sand layer in a bed of relatively soft clay. Analytical estimation of the bearing capacity and leg load-penetration response on such multi-layer stratigraphies is challenging. Accurate mechanism-based models need to be established in each of the layers involved and the effects of the mechanisms in each of the layers on the response in the other layers must be captured. Based on the recently developed failure stress-dependent punch-through models for sand-clay stratigraphies, an extended model is proposed for clay-sand-clay stratigraphies. Half-spudcan particle image velocimetry centrifuge tests and fullspudcan centrifuge tests are used in developing and validating the extended model. The centrifuge test results were discussed in a companion paper and this paper focuses on the analytical developments and prediction assessment. Both spudcan peak resistance (qpeak) and spudcan punch-through depth (dpunch) can be estimated using the model. The predictions by the extended model and by the current industry guidelines are compared against the centrifuge test data. The extended model proposed in this paper outperforms the approaches suggested in the guidelines. An advantage of the proposed approach is that it can be used for either sand-clay or clay-sand-clay scenarios and exhibits excellent performance compared to the model testing dataset considered in this work for both cases. The resulting penetration resistance model is a useful design tool for routine punch-through risk assessment.



4005 Civil Engineering, 4015 Maritime Engineering, 40 Engineering, 4019 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy

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the research presented here forms part of the activities of the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS), currently supported as a node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering (grant CE110001009) and through the Fugro Chair in Geotechnics, the Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair and Centre of Excellence in Offshore Foundations and the Shell EMI Chair in Offshore Engineering (held by the fourth author). The authors would like to acknowledge the financial contribution of the Australian Research Council (ARC) through Discovery Project DP1096764.