An innovative breakwater system has been introduced for use in areas with thick soft seafloor, utilizing suction piles as the foundations. Gravity-type concrete caissons are placed on top, which resist the lateral loads caused by the wind and waves to protect the harbor behind. In Dec. 2004, four large concrete suction piles were prefabricated and installed successfully in southern Korea. During the installation of suction piles, detailed measurements were made on one pile, including the suction pressure vs. pile penetration relationship. They were used to estimate the mobilized soil strength during the suction pile installation. The calculated mobilized soil strength variation was then expressed as a function of a non-dimensional parameter that included the most essential parameters governing the behavior of suction piles during installation.

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