Liquefaction Triggering Model for Subduction Zone Earthquakes

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Virginia Tech

Liquefaction is one of the major causes of ground failures during an earthquake. Recent evidence shows that the existing variants of the "simplified" liquefaction evaluation procedure lead to inaccurate results for megathrust earthquakes in subduction interfaces. To overcome this drawback and to achieve better prediction of liquefaction cases in subduction zones, this research intends to develop new empirical models that could be used for the prediction of liquefaction triggering in subduction zones. Towards this goal, new models for number of equivalent cycles (n_eq) and stress-reduction factor (r_d) have been proposed. The models are developed by regressing site response data obtained from 254 pairs of subduction ground motions and 77 representative soil profiles. To account for tectonic differences and magnitude scaling, separate models are developed for interface and intraslab earthquakes. The uncertainties involved in the proposed models are quantified through standard deviations of regression coefficients, event, site, and residual terms. The resulting models differ from other published models, especially the model for number of equivalent cycles. It was found that n_eq is greatly influenced by the fundamental site period. The model for r_d predicts higher values at shallow depths and lower values at deeper layers than other published models. Comparing the factors of safety against liquefaction with those from other existing models revealed that the use of models proposed in this research is more likely to reduce the "false positives" in liquefaction predictions, especially when design ground motion acceleration is high.

Earthquakes, Liquefaction triggering, Subduction zone, Number of equivalent cycles, Stress-reduction factor