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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A hybrid effective stress – total stress procedure for analyzing soil embankments subjected to potential liquefaction and flow Naesgaard, Ernest


Seismic design of major civil structures (bridges, dams and embankments) is moving increasingly towards using performance design methodologies which require determination of earthquake induced movements. Development of these numerical design tools and procedures for use in engineering practice for estimating the earthquake induced ground deformations of potentially liquefiable soil is the topic of this dissertation. Fully coupled effective stress numerical analyses procedures developed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) were used to simulate field and centrifuge test case histories. These analyses can offer considerable insight, but due to the complexity of the problem and variability of the parameters involved, there is considerable uncertainty. The author, therefore, recommends that the relatively new state-of-the-art effective stress analyses should be augmented by carrying out an additional analysis compatible with conventional design processes. This latter analysis uses published post-liquefaction “residual” soil strengths derived from back-analysis of field case histories by others. The developed design methodology uses the effective stress (UBCSAND) soil constitutive model for dynamic analyses, and empirical “residual” post-liquefaction soil strengths for a post-shaking total stress static analysis. In the proposed approach, the effective stress dynamic analysis is used to determine zones of liquefaction, to quantify earthquake induced deformations, and to provide overall insight. The post-shaking total stress static analysis, with “residual” strength parameters used in elements which liquefied, is carried out to capture the effects of complex stratigraphy and localization that may be missed by the effective stress model. Calibration and validation of the UBCSAND model was undertaken by comparing the model with field case histories and laboratory simple shear, shake table, and centrifuge tests. The measured response of some centrifuge tests being used for validation was indicative of the centrifuge model not being fully saturated. This was problematic as P-wave measurements within the centrifuge model suggested full saturation. A series of triaxial tests with P-wave measurements was carried out. These tests, and the numerical modeling of them, showed that high P-wave velocities were not always indicative of full saturation and they provided a logical explanation for the observed centrifuge response.

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