This paper presents new correlations for assessment of the likelihood of initiation (or “triggering”) of soil liquefaction. These new correlations eliminate several sources of bias intrinsic to previous, similar correlations, and provide greatly reduced overall uncertainty and variance. Key elements in the development of these new correlations are (1) accumulation of a significantly expanded database of field performance case histories; (2) use of improved knowledge and understanding of factors affecting interpretation of standard penetration test data; (3) incorporation of improved understanding of factors affecting site-specific earthquake ground motions (including directivity effects, site-specific response, etc.); (4) use of improved methods for assessment of in situ cyclic shear stress ratio; (5) screening of field data case histories on a quality/uncertainty basis; and (6) use of high-order probabilistic tools (Bayesian updating). The resulting relationships not only provide greatly reduced uncertainty, they also help to resolve a number of corollary issues that have long been difficult and controversial including: (1) magnitude-correlated duration weighting factors, (2) adjustments for fines content, and (3) corrections for overburden stress.


Civil and Environmental Engineering



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