Probabilistic Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential

by Achintya Haldar, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago, Ill.,
Wilson H. Tang, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 145-163

Document Type: Journal Paper


A procedure for predicting probability of liquefaction is used to estimate the probability of liquefaction for a given design earthquake magnitude and acceleration or when the earthquake loading is considered as random. Reasonable comparison is obtained between the probabilities computed and the field observations of liquefaction occurrences. Uncertainty analysis of the Seed and Idriss simplified method reveals that the uncertainties in the load parameters exceed those in the resistance parameters. Thus, the seismic activity of the region should be given serious consideration, as well as the attenuation characteristics. When the maximum acceleration and earthquake magnitude are specified, the probability of liquefaction will be governed by the uncertainties in the relative density and cyclic shear strength parameters. As an alternative tool of analysis the probabilistic model could complement the deterministic procedures by providing information on the relative risk of liquefaction between design alternatives.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Uncertainty principles | Parameters (statistics) | Probability | Soil liquefaction | Earthquake magnitude scale | Seismic loads | Shear strength

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