An Overview of Soil Liquefaction Process


Soil liquefaction, additionally referred to as earthquake liquefaction, ground failure or loss of power that causes solid soil to behave briefly as a viscous liquid. The phenomenon happens in water-saturated unconsolidated soils affected by seismic S waves (secondary waves), which trigger floor vibrations throughout earthquakes. Although earthquake shock is the most effective known reason for liquefaction, sure development practices, together with blasting and soil compaction and vibroflotation (which makes use of a vibrating probe to change the grain construction of the encompassing soil), produce this phenomenon intentionally.

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Poorly drained fine-grained soils corresponding to sandy, silty, and gravelly soils are the most susceptible to liquefaction.

The damaging energy of liquefaction was abruptly brought to the world’s consideration by two giant earthquakes in 1964”the March 27 Great Alaskan (Mw = 9.2) and the June sixteen Niigata, Japan (Mw — 7.5). Liquefaction-induced lateral spread during the Alaskan earthquake distorted greater than 250 freeway and railway bridges, damaging most past repair and inflicting a quantity of to break down. Flow failures in shoreline areas during this same occasion carried port amenities out to sea, while returning waves overran coastlines inflicting further deaths and destruction.

In whole, more than 50% of the Alaskan earthquake damage was caused by liquefaction-induced floor failure.

During the Niigata earthquake, liquefaction decreased bearing energy beneath many buildings, causing settlement and tipping. At different localities, lateral spreads collapsed bridges, severed pipelines, and wreaked havoc on pile foundations and other underground structures. Research following those two events has clarified mechanisms controlling liquefaction, produced procedures for predicting its incidence, and generated strategies for mitigating damaging results. Field and laboratory exams point out that liquefaction and subsequent ground deformation comprise complicated phenomena that are tough to mannequin either bodily or analytically.

Thus, empirical procedures have turn out to be the standard of practice for evaluation of liquefaction resistance, prediction of ground deformation, and design of remedial measures.

Mechanism of Liquefaction

The formal definition of soil liquefaction is “the transformation of a granular soil from a stable state to liquefied state as a consequence of elevated pore water stress and lowered efficient stress”. Liquefaction happens as seismic waves propagate by way of saturated granular sediment layers, which induces cyclic shear deformation and collapse of unfastened particulate structures. As collapse occurs, contacts between grains are disrupted and loads previously carried via particle-to-particle contacts are transferred to the interstitial pore water. This load transfer generates increased pore water strain and concomitant lower of intergranular or effective stress. As pore water pressures enhance, the sediment layer softens, allowing greater deformation and an accelerated fee of collapse of particulate buildings. When the pore stress reaches a certain important degree, the effective stress approaches zero and the granular sediment begins to behave as a viscous liquid somewhat than a strong, and liquefaction has occurred. With the soil in a liquefied and softened condition, ground deformations happen readily in response to static or dynamic loading. The quantity of deformation is a perform of loading circumstances, amplitudes and frequencies of seismic waves, the thickness and extent of the liquefied layer, the relative density and permeability of the liquefied sediment, and the permeability of surrounding sediment layers.

Damage of Liquefaction

Liquefaction might result in any one of several types of floor failure, relying on surface masses, website geometry, and the depth, thickness, and extent of the liquefied layer. Ground failures are divided into two general classes relying on whether or not induced ground actions are primarily lateral or vertical.Ground failures related to lateral floor displacements are of three sorts: flow failure, lateral spread, and floor oscillation[4]. The bounds between these failure types are transitional, with the type of failure and amount of displacement dependent on local web site conditions.Buildings constructed on loose soil pitch and tilt easily when liquefaction happens, for the reason that soil not supports the structures’ foundations. In contrast, structures anchored to bedrock or stiff soils in earthquake-prone areas undergo less damage, because much less vibration is transmitted via the muse to the structure above. In addition, buildings anchored to bedrock have a decreased threat of pitching and tilting.One of probably the most extreme episodes of liquefaction in trendy times occurred in China in the course of the Tangshan earthquake of 1976. Some scientists estimate that an space of more than 2,400 km2 was subjected to severe liquefaction, which contributed to the extensive damage that happened in the southern part of town.

The liquefaction of the soft lake sediment upon which central Mexico City was built amplified the consequences of the 1985 earthquake, the epicentre of which was situated hundreds of miles away. In addition, the liquefaction of the bottom beneath the Mission and Market districts in San Francisco in the course of the 1906 earthquake brought on several structures to pitch and collapse. These districts had been constructed on poorly filled reclaimed wetlands and shallow-water areas.Liquefaction can also contribute to sand blows, which are also identified as sand boils or sand volcanoes. Sand blows typically accompany the liquefaction of sandy or silty soil. With the collapse of the soil’s granular structure, the density of the soil increases. This elevated stress squeezes the water out of the pore spaces between the soil grains and expels wet sand from the bottom. Sand blows have been noticed within the aftermath of several earthquakes, together with the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811″12, the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, the San Francisco”Oakland earthquake of 1989, and the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010″

Discriminat Methods of Liquefaction

Critical porosity ratio methodology The important porosity ratio methodology is a method to distinguish liquefaction by figuring out the empirical value of the important porosity ratio of saturated sand and the precise porosity ratio of soil. In 1936, Casagrande first put forward the crucial porosity ratio methodology based on the shear shrinkage of low density sand and the broaden of high density sand, and adjusted the state of shear failure. The pore ratio similar to the fixed lower volume is thought to be the critical pore ratio. The crucial pore ratio technique is also the earliest method used in the world to judge the liquefaction potential of sandy soil. But because the important porosity ratio is significantly affected by load conditions and lateral boundary conditions, the critical porosity ratio is used as a single evaluation index to judge the sandy soil liquid.At present, this method has been rarely used. Castro and Poulos et al.[5-7] proposed a way based mostly on the work of Casagrande Steady-state energy technique for retaining the unique steady state of soil when move slip failure occurs. It is considered that only loose sand might happen flow slip failure, and decided the steady-state line of the relationship between pore ratio and consolidation pressure was established. The chance of liquefaction is decided by evaluating the measured porosity ratio with the steady-state line. Zhao chenggang et al.[8] investigated the liquefaction discrimination process of steady-state intensity methodology and steady-state line.

It is pointed out that the steady-state power and steady-state deformation don’t exist under any conditions, and the uniqueness of the steady-state line, and the road form is analyzed and mentioned.Energy Assessment MethodIn 1982, Davis et al.[9] proposed a way based mostly on the idea of power by way of the survey information of seismic liquefaction. It is assumed that the rise or decrease of pore water pressure is said to the power dissipation of soil during earthquake. For a given earthquake magnitude, based on Gutenberg-Richter(1956) earthquake complete radiation energy calculation methodology to discover out its vitality for a given web site. In this theory, the pore water pressure increased with the power dissipation within the soil, and Davis assumed that the increase of pore water strain and energy attenuation had a sure linear relationship. Through numerous earthquake site investigation, the ratio of the pore stress enhance with the effective overburden stress is decided by summarizing the information and analyzing the test outcomes. Law et al.[10] and Trifunac[11] constructed the liquefaction chance respectively on the basis of the seismic vitality calculation method proposed by Gutenberg Richter. Arias (1970) proposed the calculation technique for measuring the intensity of earthquakes, and Kayen et al.[12] used Arias intensity technique to calculate the ground complete power of the earthquake and established the energy discrimination method for evaluating the liquefaction possibility of the location. Based on a large quantity of field survey knowledge, the energy discriminant methodology adopts the parameters corresponding to magnitude, epicentral distance, effective overburden stress and commonplace penetration number.

The relationship between the rise of pore stress and the effective overburden pressure is established. However, when the epicenter distance could be very small, the above hypothesized vitality attenuation relation will not be cheap, and it is not appropriate for liquefaction identification of near-field websites. In addition, within the survey data selected by Divis, the variety of normal penetration strikes is all lower than 20, and when the number of measured penetration strikes is greater than 20, the empirical method wants further revision. Since the efficient overburden strain is proportional to the buried depth of sand layer, and the initial effective overburden pressure in the selected site are less than 135kPa, it ought to be carefully used for liquefaction identification of deep saturated sand.Shear wave velocity methodShear wave velocity is a vital index of soil dynamic traits and reflects the degree of soil compaction and consolidation. In truth, the bigger the preliminary shear modulus is, the smaller the deformation of soil. Shear wave velocity technique has been broadly used in the field of geotechnical engineering because of its benefits of small size, quick test velocity and high effectivity. According to the essential theory of cyclic strain technique, Dobry et al.[13] proposed the method of determining the liquefaction potential of saturated sand soil by using shear wave velocity.


On the basis of potential check, Dobry suggested that the critical shear strain value for liquefaction of saturated sand should be about 4 ~ 10, and derived the liquefaction discriminant formula. The semi-empirical and semi-theoretical method has been adopted by the nationwide bureau of standards (NBS). Tokimatsu et al.[14] decided the relationship between the modified crucial shear wave velocity and the liquefaction stress ratio through a lot of experiments. In 1984, A new technique of seismic liquefaction identification based mostly on shear wave velocity is proposed in China. In the identical 12 months, Shi zhaoji[15] proposed that the advised worth of important shear strain given by Dobry, which was too conservative.

Based on the measured data of Haicheng earthquake and Tangshan earthquake, the method for determining the liquefaction of silt with the important shear wave velocity as the index is established and extended to totally different seismic depth. Zhou yanguo et al. [33] mixed undrained water Based on the check data of greater than 70 liquefaction factors, a critical shear wave methodology is proposed By comparability, the calculated outcomes of this methodology are in good agreement with the sphere investigation outcomes, which also verifies the anti-liquefaction strength and Empirical conclusion of linear correlation of elastic shear modulus. Based on the liquefaction phenomenon of sand and gravel soil in Wenchuan earthquake, Cao zhenzhong et al.[16] thought of that the modified shear wave velocity discriminant is not relevant to sandy gravel soil. The shear wave liquefaction model of sandy gravel soil was established by deciding on depth, groundwater depth, soil depth, shear wave velocity reference worth and gravel content as analysis elements.

The shear wave velocity methodology is based on numerous in-situ take a look at data and can immediately reflect the properties of undisturbed soil. As the technology of geotechnical testing becomes increasingly more mature, many students have established varied forms of liquefaction discrimination models by using this index. But as a end result of completely different sand samples and shear wave velocity, it’s not straightforward to determine an exact critical value.Cone Penetration Test MethodCone Penetration Test (CPT) is an in-situ take a look at technique for geotechnical engineering. It was firstly used in railway development in Sweden in 1917. Due to the advantages of small impression of soil sample disturbance, quick identification velocity and simple operation, this technique has become a typical in-situ test of geotechnical engineering. In 1984, Olsen [17] proposed the strategy of determining the cyclic resistance ratio (CRR) by means of cone penetration resistance and lateral wall friction resistance. In order to simplify the calculation, the stress index was used to normalize the penetration resistance of the cone. Robertson et al. [18] instantly calculated the cyclic resistance using CPT test outcomes. Moss et al.[19] proposed the deterministic and nondeterministic liquefaction analysis method based on CPT based on the statistics of global liquefaction websites.

The outcomes show that when the normalized CPT take a look at result is used as the variable, the load of the effect of the overburden effective stress on liquefaction is reduced, and it is instructed to undertake the iterative technique to modify the secondary stress on liquefaction. Zhou shengen[20] performed a lot of static sounding checks in different intensity areas of Tangshan earthquake, and established the liquefaction mannequin utilizing the epicentral distance, groundwater level, buried depth of sand layer, and coverage space. Li zhaoyan et al.[21] performed a examine on the applicability of static penetration method in determining liquefaction in Bachu earthquake. The results confirmed that the success rate of the standard CPT method in identifying the liquefaction site is 55%. The soil properties of the soil layer in this space was quite different from the information sources of static sounding in the standard, which isn’t suitable for this space. After practically one hundred years of engineering utility, the static sounding methodology has amassed numerous data and practical expertise, and has broad utility. With the development of the precision of the take a look at instrument, the disturbance to the undisturbed soil could be averted to the best extent, the influence of human factors can be lowered, and the take a look at results can extra precisely replicate the character of the soil.

Mitigation of Liquefaction Hazard

Where a liquefaction hazard has been identified, mitigative measures are required to get rid of or reduce the hazard to an acceptable degree. These measures may embrace anyone or a mix of the next actions: (1) avoidance of the hazard through zoning restrictions or relocation of amenities to safer sites; (2) strengthening of the structure to resist the consequences of liquefaction; (3) strengthening of the bottom to forestall liquefaction and damaging ground deformations; and (4) evaluation and acceptance of the chance where hazard to life and limb is minimal. All of these measures have been used effectively to reduce harm. For example, well-reinforced shallow foundations force differential lateral displacements into shear of soil layers beneath the inspiration somewhat than fracture of the muse and superstructure. Similarly, pile or other deep foundations that transfer structural masses to competent layers beneath the liquefiable sediments have proven efficient in preventing injury to structures at websites where little or no lateral floor movement was generated. Insurance has been used as a protection towards giant monetary loss by many people and industries at localities where the specter of damage or loss of life is small.

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