Sensitivity Analysis of Simplified Methods for the Design of Piles in Laterally Spreading Soils
The simplified analysis of piles in laterally spreading soils is burdened by uncertainties. Key parameters affecting the pile response, such as the stiffness degradation and lateral displacement of the liquefied soil, cannot be uniquely defined, but rather vary over a wide range. In this paper we explore the effect of variations of model parameters on the pile response by means of a deterministic sensitivity analysis, and demonstrate that the relative importance of the most critical parameters depends on the mechanism of soil-pile interaction. It is clear that without an understanding of the scale of variation of the model parameters and the effect of parametric variations on the predicted pile response, the consistent and reliable use of simplified pile design and analysis methods cannot be expected.