Poroelastic response of unsaturated soils to cyclic loads with arbitrary waveforms

Wei Cheng Lo, Ronaldo I. Borja, Nan Chieh Chao, Yu Cheng Liu, Jhe Wei Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop an analytical solution to the problem of one-dimensional consolidation of unsaturated soil subjected to cyclic loads with arbitrary waveforms. The solution predicts the excess pore water and pore air pressures and the accompanying vertical compression in a poroelastic, unsaturated soil material. Cyclic loading occurs in a variety of engineering applications and often generates higher excess pore fluid pressures and larger vertical compression than does a time-invariant load. In the present study, the loading function is allowed to take on any arbitrary waveform represented by a Fourier trigonometric series. Analytical solution to the boundary-value problem in one dimension is given in closed form describing the frequency-independent and frequency-dependent components of the poroelastic response. We verify the analytical solution through representative examples involving cyclic loads with square and triangular patterns. Apart from the shape of the forcing function, we also investigate the effects of initial water saturation, soil texture, and excitation frequency on the system response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-700
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb 25

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • General Materials Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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