From cyclic sand ratcheting to tilt accumulation of offshore monopiles: 3D FE modelling using SANISAND-MS

Haoyuan Liu, Evangelos Kementzetzidis, José Antonio Abell, Federico Pisanò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Serviceability criteria for offshore monopiles include the estimation of long-term, permanent tilt under repeated operational loads. In the lack of well-established analysis methods, experimental and numerical research has been carried out in the last decade to support the fundamental understanding of monopile-soil interaction mechanisms, and the conception of engineering methods for monopile tilt predictions. With a focus on the case of monopiles in sand, this work shows how step-by-step/implicit, three-dimensional (3D) finite-element (FE) modelling can be fruitfully applied to the analysis of cyclic monopile-soil interaction and related soil deformation mechanisms. To achieve adequate simulation of cyclic sand ratcheting and densification around the pile, the recently proposed SANISAND-MS model is adopted. The link between local soil behaviour and global monopile response to cyclic loading is discussed through detailed analysis of model prediction. Overall, the results of numerical parametric studies confirm that the proposed 3D FE modelling framework can reproduce relevant experimental evidence about monopile-soil interaction, and support future improvement of engineering design methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-768
Number of pages16
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and the geo-engineering section of Delft University of Technology for financial support of the first author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Thomas Telford Ltd.


  • constitutive relations
  • finite-element modelling
  • footings/foundations
  • offshore engineering
  • repeated loading


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