Nonlinear static analysis of a pile-supported wharf


The aim of this paper is to carry out a nonlinear static analysis using a case study of a pile-supported wharf in a new oil tankers port. The seismic activity in this area is very intense with the peak ground acceleration of 0.55 g; for this reason, it is very important to analyse the structural behaviour of the nonlinear situation. The analysis of the wharf, modelled in 3D by finite element method, serves to calculate the structure vibration periods (the structure’s first period is 1.68 s) and the capacity curve. The design of the structure follows traditional criteria by international guidelines, and its procedure is in accordance to classic theoretical methods and codes. For the selection of adequate characteristic earthquake input for the pushover analysis European and Venezuelan codes have been used. Besides being important to study the seismic influence on the body of the wharf and on critical elements, as well as and the interaction fluid-structure-soil, it is also important to analyse the consequences of structure failure and to estimate the maximum allowed displacement. The results show that the ultimate displacement is 18,81 cm. A port is an extremely strategic work, which needs to be carefully designed to avoid environmental damage and maintain human safety.