Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Zia Razzaq

Committee Member

Shahin N. Ameri

Committee Member

Mojtaba B. Sirjani

Committee Member

Herish Hussein


This dissertation presents the outcome of a study of the dynamic soil-structure interaction response of tapered wood utility poles embedded in various foundation soils subject to quasi-static and dynamic wind loads. The study includes the effects of nonlinear soil behavior with varying quantities of moisture and nonlinear cable tension loads on a class H1 wood pole. The natural frequency response of the pole is determined using a finite element formulation. The dynamic response in the presence of wind-induced forcing function is studied using a SAP2000 finite element scheme with wind speeds up to 220 mph. The natural frequency of the wood pole increased nine-fold with a tuned mass damper with mass and stiffness ratios of 0.15 and 10, respectively. Wood pole breakage occurs when the wind speed is more than 160 mph in the plane of the cable for clayey soils if the embedment depth is more than 5.5 ft. pole breakage does not occur for wind speeds up to 120 mph in sandy soils. The theoretical models formulated predict the critical wind speeds and embedment depths beyond which catastrophic pole rupture and excessive ground displacements occur. Results from a one-fifth scale experimental fixed base test model of a class H1 pole provided the natural frequency and damping ratio. The experimental results agreed well with those predicted using the finite element analysis. The current wood pole design standards based on static analysis do not consider the dynamic response of the poles, causing pole failures and service disruptions.


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