A simple rotational spring model for laterally loaded rigid piles in sand

H. Wang*, B. M. Lehane, M. F. Bransby, A. Askarinejad, L. Z. Wang, Y. Hong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)


Monopiles are the most popular foundation for offshore wind turbines. These foundations typically have a low length to diameter ratio and undergo a rigid body rotation when subjected to lateral load. This paper presents results from an extensive numerical investigation involving 3D finite element analyses to demonstrate that the lateral moment-rotation response of a monopile in sand can be represented using a single non-linear rotational spring located at a depth of about 0.75 times the pile embedment. Expressions for the elastic rotational stiffness of a monopile under very low rotations are developed and these combined with observations from measured non-linear variations of rotational stiffness, that are supported by the numerical analyses, are used to develop a simple approximate expression that can be used to determine the response of a monopile to a monotonic lateral load in sand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103225
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Hypoplastic
  • Lateral load
  • Pile-soil interaction
  • Rigid pile
  • Sands


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