OpenSeesPL – 3D Lateral Pile-Ground Interaction

OpenSeesPL is a PC-based graphical pre- and post-processor (user-interface) for three dimensional (3D) ground and ground-structure response. The 3D Finite Element (FE) computations are conducted using OpenSees developed by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER). The analysis options available in OpenSeesPL* include (please see Example Input Files): 1) Pushover Analysis, 2) Mode Shape Analysis and 3) Base Input Acceleration Analysis.

OpenSeesPL is recently re-written in Microsoft .NET Framework (WPF or Windows Presentation Foundation). OpenTK (OpenGL) library is used for visualization of FE mesh and OxyPlot is employed for x-y plotting.

*Lu, J., Elgamal, A., and Yang, Z. (2011). OpenSeesPL: 3D Lateral Pile-Ground Interaction, User Manual, Beta 1.0.

Also, check the publications below for examples of different pile, footing, embedded structure, pile group, and ground modification scenarios:

  • Elgamal, A., Lu, J., Yang, Z., and Shantz, T. (2009). Scenario-focused three-dimensional computational modeling in geomechanics, Alexandria, Egypt, 4 iYGEC’09 – Proc. 4th International Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Conference (2 – 6 October), ISSMGE [View PDF File]
  • Elgamal, A., Lu, J., and Forcellini, D., “Mitigation of Liquefaction-Induced Lateral Deformation in a Sloping Stratum: Three-dimensional Numerical Simulation,” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 135, No. 11, November, 1672-1682, 2009.
  • Lu, J., Elgamal, A., Yan, L., Law, K. and Conte, J.P., “Large Scale Numerical Modeling in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering” International Journal of Geomechanics, ASCE, Vol. 11, No. 6, December, 490-503, 2011.
  • Nguyen, T., Rayamajhi, D., Boulanger, R., Ashford, S., Lu, J., Elgamal, A., and Shao, L., “Design of DSM Grids for Liquefaction Remediation” J. Geotech Geoenviron. Engng, ASCE, Volume 139, Issue 11, 1923-1933, November 2013.
  • Rayamajhi, D., Nguyen, T., Ashford, S., Boulanger, R., Lu, J., Elgamal, A., and Shao, L., “Numerical Study of Shear Stress Distribution for Discrete Columns in Liquefiable Soils, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, 9 pp., Volume 140, Issue 3, March 2014.

Google for “OpenSeesPL” in Google Scholar

Click here to see additional related references.

Click here to see example input files.

Download & Install OpenSeesPL

Note: OpenSeesPL only works on Windows based PC computers. It is best to use a relatively new Laptop or Desktop with a fast processor, and at least 2GB of memory.

The following steps describe how to download, install and run OpenSeesPL. For detailed documentation, please see the User Manual (3.2 MB pdf file, updated Dec. 2011). In addition, a few demo examples are available at the Examples page.

Step 1: Install Tcl

If you have not installed Tcl/Tk on your computer, please download the Tcl/Tk 8.5 installation file below and double-click to install it (OpenSees employs Tcl 8.5). You only need to do this step once for a given PC.

Download Tcl 8.5 (64-bit)

Step 2: Install OpenSeesPL (Nonlinear pile option recently added!)

Please download the installation file from the link below, and then double-click on the icon and follow the simple installation instructions (you may wish to visit this site periodically to check for updates).

(Note that we’re using 64-bit OpenSees and Tcl for the 64-bit version of OpenSeesPL):

Register Log In

(Edu Version 2.9.2, updated 8/19/2021; This version is based on a major update. As such, we sincerely appreciate any feedback or observations about its operation)

OpenSeesPL Beta 2.0 (and later versions) is written in Microsoft .NET Framework. You may need to install Microsoft .NET Framework if OpenSeesPL is not running.
Download .NET Framework 4.5

1) In this Edu Version, the total number of soil elements must be less than 2000 for Pile Group, Outermost Zone, or Piled Raft scenarios. Otherwise, analysis will not be executed and result will not be displayed either. Please click the links below to download sample models for Pile Group, Outermost Zone, and Piled Raft Option, respectively:
Pile Group Simple Mesh Outermost Zone Simple Mesh Piled Raft Simple Mesh
2) The model files (*.opl) created with versions earlier than Beta 2.0 will not be compatible with Beta 2.0 (or later versions) since the data structure of the model input has been re-organized. The user is encouraged to re-build his/her models in the new version of OpenSeesPL if that’s the case. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Step 3: Run OpenSeesPL

1) After installing the software on your computer, double-click the OpenSeesPL icon to start.

2) To conduct a pushover analysis, click Pushover Analysis in the main window. To conduct earthquake motion analysis, click Single Motion Analysis. For the default mesh, a typical Pushover analysis will be performed in less than 1 minute, and a typical earthquake simulation will consume about 5 – 10 minutes.

3) To open an existing model, click File in Menu and then click Open Model to open a model (the model file must have an extension of .opl).

4) Click Execute in Menu and then click Save Model & Run Analysis to conduct the finite element simulation.

5) Click Display in Menu and then click corresponding menu item to view the result.

Step 4: Download OpenSeesPL User Manual

OpenSeesPL User Manual (3.2 MB pdf file, updated Dec. 2011)