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Abstract: Helical piles are deep foundation elements that look like, and are installed like, a large steel soil screw – they have a slender steel shaft with any number of round plates at the tip to provide support to the structure they hold. Helical piles are spun into the ground with a large torque motor and provide support through soil bearing on the plates and along the shaft. They come in many lengths and are often the foundation of choice for retrofitting existing buildings or new, urban construction, due to their small footprint and ability to create minimal disturbance to surrounding structures. Although helical piles are installed as foundation elements in seismically active areas such as New Zealand and Japan, they have not been used widely in seismically active areas of the United States. This lack of use is, admittedly, due to having no quantifiable data to illustrate the seismic behavior of helical piles. In addition, there are no side-by-side seismic comparisons to other deep foundation systems available, other than qualitative "survival" stories like those from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

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The Large High-Performance Outdoor Shake Table is supported in part by the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Engineering Simulation (NEES) program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number CMMI-0927178.

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