Influence of Seismic History on Liquefaction of Sands

by H. Bolton Seed, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
Clarence K. Chan, (M.ASCE), Research Engr.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
Kenji Mori, Grad. Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 4, Pg. 257-270

Document Type: Journal Paper


It is shown both analytically and experimentally that deposits of sand subjected to low magnitude earthquakes that are not sufficiently strong to cause liquefaction will develop an increased resistance to liquefaction in subsequent earthquakes even though they may undergo no significant change in density. Accordingly, in order to determine the liquefaction characteristics of a sand it is necessary to perform tests on samples having the same density and structure as the in-situ material and conduct the tests, whenever possible, with the correct in-situ value of Ko. The study also indicates that the standard penetration resistance (or any in-situ measure of penetration resistance) is likely to provide a reasonable index of the liquefaction characteristics of a saturated sand deposit. Available data on field performance have been summarized to develop a correlation between penetration resistance and the cyclic stress ratio at which liquefaction has been found to occur in the field.

Subject Headings: Soil liquefaction | Load and resistance factor design | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | History | Earthquakes | Density (material) | Saturated soils

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