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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 635257, 10 pages
Research Article

Spectral Analysis of Surface Wave for Empirical Elastic Design of Anchored Foundations

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
2Burns and McDonnell, Houston, TX 77027, USA

Received 6 July 2011; Revised 17 November 2011; Accepted 19 November 2011

Academic Editor: E. J. Sapountzakis

Copyright © 2012 S. E. Chen and C. K. Ong. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Helical anchors are vital support components for power transmission lines. Failure of a single anchor can lead to the loss of an entire transmission line structure which results in the loss of power for downstream community. Despite being important, it is not practical to use conventional borehole method of subsurface exploration, which is labor intensive and costly, for estimating soil properties and anchor holding capacity. This paper describes the use of an empirical and elasticity-based design technique coupled with the spectral analysis of surface wave (SASW) technique to provide subsurface information for anchor foundation designs. Based on small-strain wave propagation, SASW determines shear wave velocity profile which is then correlated to anchor holding capacity. A pilot project involving over 400 anchor installations has been performed and demonstrated that such technique is reliable and can be implemented into transmission line structure designs.