Simulation of Liquefaction-induced Damage of the Port of Long Beach Using the UBC3D-PLM Model

In the past decades, expansion projects of port facilities in California, USA, have been completed by placing hydraulic fills. These loose man-made fills and even their subjacent natural estuarine and marine deposits, have shown to be susceptible to liquefaction. The case of study presented in this research, the Port of Long Beach (POLB), Pier S, which is located within a few miles of the Newport-Inglewood and the Palos Verdes faults, offers a unique opportunity to use advanced constitutive soil models to study liquefaction. This research is presented to develop the following specific objectives: i) to calibrate constitutive model parameters to reproduce laboratory tests following different stress paths and shear strain levels; ii) to assess the use of an advanced constitutive soil model (UBC3D-PLM) to predict the soil behavior at the POLB, Pier S when a seismic event induces liquefaction; iii) to provide recommendations related to the permanent deformations of soils which could compromise the resiliency of the port. A semi-empirical evaluation of the liquefaction triggering and settlements were developed. Then, numerical analyses using the UBC3D-PLM soil model were used to determine the onset of liquefaction and estimate ground-induced settlements based on post-liquefaction excess pore pressure dissipation. This work presents the results of boundary value element simulations of cyclic undrained direct simple shear and monotonic triaxial compression. Numerical simulations are performed to study the free-field response and behavior of hypothetical structures when an Operating and Contingency Level Earthquakes occur. The assessment of liquefaction susceptibility based on semi-empirical methods showed that Unit B is the only liquefiable layer under both earthquake levels. Generally, large discrepancies were observed in the calculation of liquefaction-induced ground settlements using classical semi-empirical approaches. The numerical simulations showed that Unit B for all earthquake motions developed pore water pressure ratios larger than 85%, which caused significant reductions of the vertical effective stresses, hence, liquefaction occurred. Simulations of hypothetical structures showed that settlement of structures with shallow foundations on liquefiable soils were controlled by a combination of different failures mechanisms. However, it was observed that the model is capable to predict the onset of liquefaction and estimate liquefaction-induced settlements.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program. Title page date: December 2016.
  • Corporate Authors:

    METRANS Transportation Center

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626

    California Department of Transportation

    Division of Research and Innovation
    1227 O Street, MS-83
    Sacramento, CA  United States  94273-0001

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Arboleda-Monsalve, Luis G
    • Nguyen, Hung
    • Mercado, Jaime Andres
    • Sover, Andrew
    • Uribe, Andres F
    • Preciado, Deisy
    • Avila, Nestor
  • Publication Date: 2016-12-31


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 166p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01630041
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: METRANS PROJECT 15-02
  • Contract Numbers: 65A0533; Task Order 012
  • Created Date: Mar 27 2017 9:29AM