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Why is shallow bedrock condition unfavorable for open berth piers?

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The most severe load on piers generally is the horizontal load due to berthing of large vessels. Since the widths of open berth piers are relatively small so that they provides a short lever arm to counteract the moment induced by berthing loads. Moreover, the dead load of open berth piers are normally quite light and therefore the resisting moment provided by the dead load of pier structures may not be sufficient to counteract the moment generated by berthing loads.

To aid in providing adequate resistance to the overturning moment by the berthing load, the soil resistance above bedrock contributes to stabilizing moment. For commonly adopted marine piling type, i.e. driven steel tubular piles with reinforced concrete infill, driven piles can at most be founded on top of rockhead surface. In case the rockhead level is shallow, then the little soil cover may result in insufficient lateral resistance to the berthing load.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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