Suction caissons subjected to monotonic combined loading

P. Penzes, M.R. Jensen, Varvara Zania

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Suction caissons are being increasingly used as offshore foundation solutions in shallow and intermediate water depths. The convenient installation method through the application of suction has rendered this type of foundation as an attractive alternative to the more traditional monopile foundation for offshore wind turbines. The combined loading imposed typically to a suction caisson has led to the estimation of their bearing capacity by means of 3D failure envelopes. This study aims to analyse the behaviour of suction caissons for offshore wind turbines subjected to combined loading. Finite element models of the caisson-soil are developed in order to derive the failure envelopes considering both sand and clay profiles. The numerical modelling is being validated by the failure mechanisms reported in the literature for skirted foundations. The sensitivity of the load response curves on the selection of the constitutive soil model is examined. The failure envelopes of a single suction caisson obtained by the numerical models are in good agreement with the corresponding ones suggested by closed-form expressions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th Nordic Geotechnical Meeting
Number of pages8
Publication date2016
ISBN (Electronic)978-9935-24-002-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 17th Nordic Geotechnical Meeting - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 25 May 201628 May 2016
Conference number: 17


ConferenceThe 17th Nordic Geotechnical Meeting
Internet address


  • Suction caisson
  • Failure envelope
  • Numerical modelling
  • Combined loading

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