An experimental study on the rocking response of bridge piers with spread footing foundations

Hsiao Hui Hung, Kuang Yen Liu, Tzu Hui Ho, Kuo Chun Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Some spread footing foundations from real retrofitting practices in Taiwan were extended to be uneconomically large due to the restriction of foundation uplift regulated in the design code. Although rocking mode of spread footings induced from foundation uplift is not favorable in current design code, recent studies have shown that the rocking of a spread footing may have a beneficial effect on the dynamic performance of piers by reducing the earthquake forces that can be transmitted to the pier base. This implies that the plastic deformation that occurs at the pier's plastic zone can be decreased and as a result the ductility demand of piers can possibly be reduced. In order to gain a better understanding of the structural behavior related to rocking and to clarify that if the widening and strengthening of the foundations to limit the rocking mechanism of spread footing is necessary for the retrofitting work, a series of preliminary rocking experiments were performed. A total of three circular reinforced concrete columns with spread footing foundations were tested. Using pseudo-dynamic tests and a cyclic loading test, these columns were subjected to different levels of earthquake accelerations, including a near field ground motion. The results of the tests and the rocking behavior of the footings are discussed in this paper. From the benchmark test, the difference between the response behavior of a rocking base and a fixed base foundation was highlighted. By comparing the experimental responses of the retrofitted column with the responses of the original one, the effect of the rocking mechanism on the ductility demand and strength demand of the columns was also identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-769
Number of pages21
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An experimental study on the rocking response of bridge piers with spread footing foundations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this