A series of stress-controlled bi-directional cyclic shear tests under isotropic consolidation conditions were conducted for simulating the cyclic stress induced by wave loading. The area bounded by the elliptical stress path was kept unchanged, while the ratio (R) of the axial cyclic shear stress and the torsional cyclic shear stress was changed in order to research the effect of varied two cyclic stress components on the pore water pressure, strength and deformation behaviors of saturated soft clay. The test results show that with a decrease in R, the residual pore water pressure decreases at first and then increases, and it reaches the lowest at R=1 at the same cycle number, while the amplitude of fluctuated pore water pressure decreases all along. The relationship curves between normalized ratio of pore water pressure and ratio of cycle number have significant differences with different R. The cycle number at failure increases at first and then decreases with decreasing R. It reaches the maximum at R=1, indicating that the dynamic strength is the highest when the stress path is close to a circle. The dynamic stress-strain relationship curves with different R indicate that both the axial and the torsional strains caused by the bi-directional cyclic loadings are mainly the cyclic strains, at the same time, the residual strains appear. With decreasing R, the amplitude of axial cyclic strain decreases and the ratio of axial residual strain and cyclic strain increases firstly and then decreases, while the amplitude of torsional cyclic strain increases. The cyclic shear strain is basically symmetric at R=1, while the residual shear strains appear under other conditions.

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