Minimum embedded length of cyclic horizontally loaded monopiles

Yu-Shu Kuo, Martin Achmus, Khalid Abdel-Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Monopiles are used as foundation structures for offshore wind energy towers. To ensure stable behavior of the monopile under cyclic loading conditions, a minimum embedded length is usually required. For this, different design criteria are used, some of which result in very large embedded depths for large-diameter monopiles. The suitability of these criteria is tested by means of numerical simulations. To account for cyclic loading, a new approach called the stiffness degradation method is applied. The results of a parametric study show that the design criteria used can indeed ensure optimum pile performance under static and cyclic loads. It is recommended that the requirement of a critical pile length, which leads to the minimum pile deflection under extreme load, is used as a design criterion. For the cases considered, this requirement results in only slightly greater cyclic deformations compared to the optimum case of very long piles. A further optimization of the required monopile length with respect to cyclic loading is possible, but requires specific consideration of cyclic behavior, as is done in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 30

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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