Graduate Project


Evaluation and Modification of a Thixotropic Fluid Model for Liquefaction Triggering with Application to Laboratory Tests and Lateral Spreading Public Deposited

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  • Earthquake-induced liquefaction is a large contributor to damage observed following seismic events. Commonly observed damage consists of significant ground and structural failure due to the deformation of large volumes of soil due to soil liquefaction and lateral spreading. A significant focus of geotechnical seismic research concentrates on the development and evaluation of methods for predicting soil behavior during and following liquefaction. Despite the general improvement in such methods in recent decades, many questions have been left unanswered regarding the degradation of soil strength during cyclic loading and the associated magnitude of deformation. Methods have been developed for determining liquefaction susceptibility, liquefaction triggering, and strength degradation during loading and post-liquefaction residual strength. However, most models cannot account for all of these considerations within a common framework. A relatively new unified thixotropic fluid model for soil liquefaction presents a potentially-significant new approach that can address soil strength throughout the process of and after cyclic loading and liquefaction. This research uses three suites of new cyclic element test data to evaluate the accuracy of the thixotropic fluid model parameters, including initial and liquefied viscosity coefficients and excess pore pressure generation parameters. Then, deficiencies in the model framework are identified and treated by proposing new relationships for the excess pore pressure generated under varying shear strain rates, and between the viscosity coefficient and the excess pore pressure generated. The accuracy of the new relationships is evaluated through comparison to the cyclic data. This research concludes with a parametric study that demonstrates the range in cyclic response captured by the revised framework.
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