Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2020 - ONLINE , (DFI)

On Driven Piles in Coralline Deposits: A Selected Case from the Red Sea Coast of Saudi Arabia
Waddah Akili, PhD, PE, M. ASCE

At an offshore site along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, marine structures were supported on tubular steel piles driven into coral and coral contaminated sands and silts. Surprises and disappointments faced during the installation of the piled foundation were, to a large measure, due to inappropriate design methodology and absence of proper soil information. The paper describes the design evolution process, highlights the static pile test program conducted to verify design parameters, and amplifies the need to prepare for worst possible scenario when coral deposits are encountered. Despite corrections made to the design, based on site-specific insitu parameters (skin friction, end bearing) perceived from load tests conducted on site; the final design adopted overestimated capacities in over 50 percent of total piles driven. The paper describes the changes introduced to the design during the execution of the project, highlights the pile test program conducted to verify the design, and compares pile design penetration with actual penetration depth. The unpredictable and erratic pile behavior observed, ascertains the need for more appropriate pile design and installation guidelines for driven piles in coral and coral contaminated formations.

 article #3666; publication #1073 (AM-2020)