Geotechnical Engineering Applications of Caissons

Conceptualizing Caisson Foundation Basics

Caissons are a pivotal component in geotechnical engineering, particularly when it comes to the construction of deep water foundations. These structures are essentially large, watertight chambers that allow for the excavation of soil under water, to reach stable subsurface conditions. Caissons are designed to rest on a solid substrate, often penetrating through layers of soft soil to reach rock or a more stable soil layer. The engineering behind caissons is sophisticated, involving detailed analysis of geotechnical properties to ensure stability against buoyancy, lateral forces, and potential settlement issues. This approach allows for the construction of bridges, docks, and large buildings where traditional foundations are not feasible due to water depth or other challenging conditions. The application of caissons in geotechnical engineering showcases the field's ability to innovate and solve complex problems in foundation engineering.«Combined lateral and vertical loading of caisson foundations otc offshore technology conference onepetro»

What is a caisson?

A caisson is a watertight structure used in construction, specifically in areas where construction needs to take place underwater, such as in bridge piers or foundations for offshore structures. They are often cylindrical in shape and made of concrete, steel, or timber. Caissons are built onshore and then sunk into place using heavy machinery or by excavating soil from inside the structure, allowing it to sink under its own weight. Once in position, the caisson is filled with concrete or other material to provide stability and structural support.«Installation of bucket foundations and suction caissons in sand - geotechnical performance otc offshore technology conference onepetro»

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Caissons have proven to be highly effective in various geotechnical engineering applications, particularly in deep foundation construction. The use of caissons allows for the safe and efficient transfer of building loads to deeper, more stable layers of soil or rock. Caissons are commonly used in the construction of bridges, piers, and high-rise buildings, providing essential structural support and stability. Additionally, caissons are instrumental in soil stabilization and retaining wall construction, mitigating risks associated with soil erosion and collapse. The versatility and reliability of caissons make them essential in modern geotechnical engineering projects.«Investigations of suction caissons in dense sand - ora - oxford university research archive»

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1. Is caisson a cofferdam?

No, a caisson is not a cofferdam. A caisson is a watertight structure that is used in the construction of foundations, piers, and bridges. It is typically installed by sinking it into the ground and then pumping out the water from inside the structure to create a dry working space. On the other hand, a cofferdam is a temporary barrier or enclosure that is used to isolate an area from water during construction. It is usually built around a construction site to allow for excavation and construction activities to be carried out in dry conditions.«Application of suction caisson foundations in the gulf of mexico otc offshore technology conference onepetro»

2. Why is a caisson kept free of water?

A caisson is kept free of water to provide a dry and stable working environment for construction activities. The absence of water allows workers to excavate, install foundations, and construct underground structures without encountering water-related challenges such as buoyancy and seepage. Maintaining a dry caisson also facilitates inspections, repairs, and maintenance work. Additionally, a water-free caisson prevents corrosion of steel elements and reduces the potential for soil liquefaction, ensuring the stability and longevity of the structure.«Components of suction caisson capacity measured in axial pullout tests »

3. What does a caisson look like?

A caisson is a large watertight structure used in construction to work underwater, usually in deep foundations of bridges, piers, or other structures. It is a hollow cylinder typically made of reinforced concrete or steel, with open tops and bottoms. The shape and size of a caisson can vary depending on the project requirements, but they are generally cylindrical or box-like in appearance. Caissons are designed to be sunk into the ground, allowing construction activities to take place below the water table or in unstable soil conditions.«Dynamic behaviour of suction caissons (technical report) etdeweb»

4. Which type of footing is best?

The type of footing that is best depends on several factors such as soil conditions, load requirements, and structural design. Common footing types include spread footings, combined footings, and mat footings. Spread footings are suitable for small to medium-sized loads, while combined footings or mat footings are used for larger loads or uneven load distribution. It is crucial to consider site-specific conditions and consult with a geotechnical engineer to determine the most appropriate footing type for a specific project.«Installation of bucket foundations and suction caissons in sand - geotechnical performance otc offshore technology conference onepetro»