Impacts of Scour on Lateral Pile Behavior in the Marine Environment

Document Type : Original Article


Professor of Harbor Engineering and Marine Structures, Dept. of Irrigation & Hydraulics Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt,


Piles supporting marine structures are subjected to lateral loads due to berthing, mooring forces, waves and current forces. Scour around piles can have significant impact on the lateral loading capacity and hence affect the stability of marine structures. This paper presents the impact of scour on lateral loading of single piles and pile groups installed in coheshionless soils. Finite element modeling and Winkler model were used in the analyses. Different parameters were considered such as scour depth, magnitude of lateral load, pile group arrangement, pile spacing, pile slenderness ratio and pile batter angle. The results showed that global scour has greater impact on lateral pile capacity compared to local scour. Scour has greater impact on lateral loading of pile groups compared to its impact on single piles. Pile groups with side-by-side arrangement exposed to scour are more critical than single piles and piles groups with tandem arrangement due to the combined effect of scour and pile-soil-pile interaction. Some recommendations for scour protection are provided based on pile group arrangement, pile spacing and slenderness ratio