Physical Modeling and Visualization of Soil Liquefaction Under High Confining Stress

The mechanisms by which earthquakes cause the liquefaction of granular soils under high confining stresses are still not fully understood. Prior research in this area has been based on extrapolation of observed behavior at shallow depths. This article reports on a study in which three centrifuge model tests were conducted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) experimental facility to investigate the effects of confining stresses on the dynamic response of a deep horizontal deposit of saturated sand. In each of the tests, liquefaction was observed at high confining stresses. Full liquefaction of medium dense sand layers was reached at high confining stresses and depths larger than 30 m. The use of a viscous pore fluid was vital to properly simulate the development and dissipation of the excess pore pressures. The authors used a system identification procedure to estimate the associated shear strain and stress time histories. These histories revealed a response marked by shear strength degradation and dilative patterns. The recorded accelerations and pore pressures were employed to generate visual animations of the models. The authors conclude that this procedure allowed the observation of phenomena like shear strength degradation, stress-strain dilative patterns, and a zone of large shear strains traveling downward with the liquefaction front.

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  • Authors:
    • González, Lenart
    • Abdoun, Tarek
    • Zeghal, Mourad
    • Kallou, Vivian
    • Sharp, Michael K
  • Publication Date: 2005-6


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01003953
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 20 2005 9:36AM