Fundamentals of Liquefaction under Cyclic Loading

by Geoffrey R. Martin, (M.ASCE), Visiting Research Assoc.; Faculty of Applied Sci., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and Sr. Lect., Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand,
H. Bolton Seed, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
W. D. Liam Finn, (M.ASCE), Prof. and Dean; Faculty of Applied Sci., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 5, Pg. 423-438

Document Type: Journal Paper


The mechanism of progressive pore pressure increase during undrained cyclic simple shear tests on saturated sands has been examined in detail. The concepts developed provide a better understanding of the physical processes leading to liquefaction of horizontal sand deposits during earthquakes. A quantitative relationship between volume changes occurring during drained cyclic tests and the progressive increase of pore water pressure during undrained cyclic tests has been developed. The use of this relationship enables the build-up of pore water pressure during cyclic loading to be computed theoretically using basic effective stress parameters of the sand. The application of the theory to the case of undrained cyclic simple shear tests with uniform stress controlled loading is illustrated. Values of progressive pore water pressure increases predicted theoretically agree reasonably well with the nature of pore water pressure increases observed experimentally.

Subject Headings: Water pressure | Pore pressure | Shear tests | Cyclic tests | Pore water | Soil pressure | Soil liquefaction | Cyclic loads

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