Spudcan foundation, penetrating into stratified soils is studied using H-adaptive finite element method (FE) together with Remeshing and Interpolation Technique with Small Strain model (RITSS). This is to investigate the potential hazard of punch-through failure in layered soil profiles. There are two series of analysis conducted. Firstly, for a pre-embedded spudcan foundation, a series of parametric studies has been undertaken in order to find the critical distance between the spudcan and the layer boundary, within which a punch-through failure is likely to occur. Soil profile is a uniform stiff clay layer overlaying a uniform soft clay layer with soil strength ratio (upper layer soil strength to lower layer strength) varying from 1 to 10. Secondly, continuous analysis has been undertaken for 2 cases with shear strength ratio of 2 and 3 and thickness of the upper stiff layer of one spudcan diameter. It is found that, in small strain analysis, the critical distance to the layer boundary is increasing with increasing the strength ratio. It reaches at a limit of 1.0 ∼ 1.25 D (D is the spudcan diameter) when the strength ratio is 5 or larger. In large deformation analysis, the critical distance is much lower than the one from small strain analysis. This is due to the trapped top layer soil underneath the spudcan, which cannot be simulated in small strain analysis.

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