A review on SPT-based liquefaction potential evaluation to assess the possibility of performing a risk management

Document Type : Article


1 Civil Engineering Department, Qom University, Qom, Irqn

2 Engineering Geology Department, University of Tehran


Liquefaction is a serious natural hazard in susceptible regions which are prone to earthquakes. According to empirical and field studies, insufficiency of liquefaction assessment methods in determining liquefaction through clays and high prediction errors has caused an unceasing new development. In this article we present a comprehensive history review to organize literature on the liquefaction potential evaluation published prior to 2017. We consider deterministic approach based on SPT (Standard Penetration Test) records to create an appropriate connection between the different methods, facilitate reviewing the development of correlations in the past and current decades, assess both the cyclic stress and the flow liquefactions in a unified system, compile the latest research developments and identify the main sources as a database for the future investigators. The study attempts to assess cyclic stress method (1971) and Chinese criteria (1982) in evaluating the liquefaction potential and to discuss the insufficiencies of these methods with reference to the liquefactions caused by the Chi-chi (Taiwan) and Adapazari (Turkey) earthquakes in 1999. Besides, the absence of soil improvement on the basis of vulnerability and performance is identified as a research gap in this study.


Main Subjects

1. Finn, W.D.L. State of the art geotechnical earthquake
engineering practice", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake
Engineering, 20, pp. 1{15 (2000).
2. Das, B.M. and Ramana, G.V., Principles of Soil
Dynamics, Second Edition, CENGAGE Learning Publication,
ISBN-13: 978-0-495-41134-5 (2010).
3. Bray, J.D. and Macedo, J. 6th Ishihara lecture: Simpli
ed procedure for estimating liquefaction-induced
building settlement", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake
Engineering, 102, pp. 215{231 (2017).
4. Seed, H.B. and Idriss, I.M. Simpli ed procedure for
evaluating soil liquefaction potential", Journal of the
Soil Mechanics and Foundation Division, 97(SM9),
Proc. Paper 8371, pp. 1249{1273 (1971).
5. Cetin, K.O., Seed, R.B., Kiureghian, A.D., Tokimatsu,
K., Harder, L.F., Kayen, R.E., and Moss,
E.S. Standard penetration test-based probabilistic
and deterministic assessment of seismic soil liquefaction
potential", Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental
Engineering, 130(12), pp. 1314{1340 (2004).
6. Seed, H.B. and Idriss, I.M., Ground Motion and Soil
Liquefaction During Earthquakes, Earthquake Engineering
Research Institute, Oakland, Ca (1982).
7. Andrews, D.C.A. and Martin, G.R. Criteria for liquefaction
of silty soils", 12th World Conference on
Earthquake Engineering, Proceedings, Auckland, New
Zealand (2000).
8. Bray, J.D., Sancio, R.B., Durgunoglu, T., Onalp, A.,
Seed, R.B., Stewart, J.P., Youd, T.L., Baturay, M.L.,
Cetin, K.O., Christensen, C., Karadayilar, T., and
Emrem, C. Ground failure in Adapazari, Turkey.
Proceedings of earthquake geotechnical engineering
satellite conference of the XVth", International Conference
on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering,
Istanbul, Turkey, August 24{25 (2001).
9. Sancio, R.B., Bray, J.D., Stewart, J.P., Youd, T.L.,
Durgunoglu, H.T., Onalp, A., Seed, R.B., Christensen,
C., Baturay, M.B., and Karadayilar, T. Correlation
between ground failure and soil conditions in
Adapazari, Turkey", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake
Engineering, 22, pp. 1093{1102 (2002).
10. Chu, D.B., Stewart, J.P., Lee, S., Tsai, J.S., Lin,
P.S., Chu, L.B., Seed, R.B., Hsu, S.C., Yu, M.S.,
and Wang, M.C. Documentation of soil conditions
at liquefaction and non-liquefaction sites from 1999
Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquake", Soil Dynamics and
Earthquake Engineering, 24, pp. 647{657 (2004).
11. Chang, M., Kuo, C.P., Shau, S.H., and Hsu, R.E.
Comparison of SPT-N-based analysis methods in
evaluation of liquefaction potential during the 1999
Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan", Computers and
Geotechnics, 38, pp. 393{406 (2011).
12. Tokimatsu, K., and Yoshimi, Y. Empirical correlation
of soil liquefaction based on SPT-N values and nes
content", Soils and Foundations, 23(4), pp. 56-74
13. Youd, T.L., Idriss, I.M., Andrus, R.D., et al. Liquefaction
resistance of soils: Summary report from the
1996 NCEER and 1998 NCEER/NSF workshops on
evaluation liquefaction resistance of soils", Geotechnical
and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 127(4) pp.
297{313 (1998).
14. Japan Rail Association (JRA) Design code and explanations
for roadway bridges", Part V, Seismic
Resistance Design, Japan (1996).
15. Seed, R.B., Cetin, K.O., Moss, R.E.S., Kammerer,
A.M., Wu, J., Pestana, J.M., Riemer, M.F., Sancio,
R.B., Bray, J.D., Kayen, R.E., and Faris, A. Recent
advances in soil liquefaction engineering: A uni ed
and consistent framework", 26th Annual ASCE Los
Angeles Geotechnical Spring Seminar, Keynote Presentation,
HMS. Queen Mary, Long Beach, California,
Berkeley, Earthquake Engineering Research Center
(EERC) (2003).
16. Sato, H., Nhan, T.T., and Matsuda, H. Earthquake
induced settlement of a clay layer", Soil Dynamics and
Earthquake Engineering, 104, pp. 418{431 (2018).
17. Casagrande, A. The structure of clay and its importance
in foundation engineering", Contribution to
Soil Mechanics, 1925{1940, Boston Society of Civil
Engineering, pp. 257{276 (1932).
18. Castro, G. Liquefaction of sands", Harvard Soil
Mechanics Series, 81, Harvard University, Cambridge,
MA (1969).
19. Ishihara, K. Liquefaction and
ow failure during
earthquakes: Thirty-third rankine lecture", Geotechnique,
43(3), pp. 351{415 (1993).
20. Robertson, P.K. and Wride, C.E. Evaluating cyclic
liquefaction potential using the cone penetration test",
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 35(3), pp. 442{459
21. Javanmardi, Y., Imam, S.M.R., Pastor, M., and Manzanal,
D. A reference state curve to de ne the state
of soils over a wide range of pressures and densities",
Geotechnique, 68(2), pp. 95{106 (2018).
22. Andrus, R.D. and Stokoe, K.H. Liquefaction resistance
based on shear wave velocity", NCEER Workshop
on Evaluation of Liquefaction Resistance of Soils,
NCEER-97-0022 (1997).
E. Ghorbani and A.M. Rajabi/Scientia Iranica, Transactions A: Civil Engineering 27 (2020) 639{656 655
23. Hynes, M.E., Olsen, R., and Yule, D.E. In
uence of
con ning stress on liquefaction resistance", Proc, International
Symposium on the Physics and Mechanics
of Liquefaction, Balkema, pp. 145{152 (1998).
24. Bay, J.A. and Cox, B.R. Shear wave velocity pro ling
and liquefaction assessment of sites shaken by the 1999
Kocaeli", Turkey Earthquake, PEER project SA3017{
18336 (2001).
25. Idriss, I.M. and Boulanger, R.W. Semi-empirical
procedures for evaluating liquefaction potential during
earthquakes", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering,
26, pp. 115{130 (2006).
26. Boulanger, R.W. High overburden stress e ects in
liquefaction analysis", Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental
Engineering, 129(12), pp. 1071{1082 (2003).
27. Boulanger, R.W. and Idriss, I.M. State normalization
of penetration resistance and the e ect of overburden
stress on liquefaction resistance", 11th International
Conference on Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Geotechnical
Engineering, University of California, Berkeley,
CA (2004).
28. Seed, H.B., Tokimatsu, K., Harder, L.F., and Chung,
R.M. The in
uence of SPT procedures in soil liquefaction
resistance evaluations", Journal of Geotechnical
Engineering, ASCE, 111(12), pp. 1425{1445 (1985).
29. Gratchev, I.B., Sassa, K., Osipov, V.I., and Sokolov,
V.N. The liquefaction of clayey soils under cyclic
loading", Engineering Geology, 86, pp. 70{84 (2006).
30. Idriss, I.M. and Boulanger, R.W. Evaluating of cyclic
softening in silts and clays", Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental
Engineering, 133(6), pp. 641{652 (2015).
31. Seed, H.B. Earthquake-resistance design of earth
dams", Proc., Symp. Seismic Design of Earth Dams
and Caverns, ASCE, New York, pp. 41{64 (1983).
32. Seed, H.B. and Harder, L.F. SPT-based analysis of
cyclic pore pressure generation and undrained residual
strength", Proceedings, Seed Memorial Symposium,
Vancouver, BiTech Publishers, pp. 351{376 (1990).
33. Finn, W.D.L. State of the art for the evaluation
of seismic liquefaction potential", Computers and
Geotechnics, 29, pp. 329{341 (2002).
34. Boulanger, R.W. and Idriss, I.M. Evaluation of cyclic
softening in silts and clays", Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental
Engineering, 33(6), pp. 641{652 (2007).
35. Kishida, T. and Tsai, C. Seismic demand of the
liquefaction potential with equivalent number of cycles
for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis", Geotechnical
and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 140(3), 04013023
(2014). DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943{5606.0001033
36. Boulanger, R.W. and Idriss, I.M. Magnitude scaling
factors in liquefaction triggering procedures", Soil
Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 79, pp. 296{
303 (2015). DOI: 10.1016/j.soildyn.2015.01.004
37. Idriss, I.M. and Boulanger, R.W., Soil Liquefaction
During Earthquakes, EERI Publication, Monograph
MNO{12 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute,
Oakland (2008).
38. Kondoh, M., Sasaki, Y., and Matsumoto, H. E ect
of nes contents on soil liquefaction strength (Part
1)", Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Japanese
Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering,
Public Works Research Institute, Ministry of Construction,
Tsukuba, Japan (1987).
39. Liao, S.S.C. and Whitman, R.V. Overburden correction
factor for SPT in sand", Journal of Geotechnical
Engineering, 112(4), pp. 373{377 (1986).
40. Idriss, I.M. An update to the Seed-Idriss simpli ed
procedure for evaluating liquefaction potential", Proceedings
of TRB Workshop on New Approaches to Liquefaction,
Publication No. FHWA-RD-99-165, Federal
Highway Administration, Washington DC (1999).
41. Andrus, R.D., Piratheepan, P., Ellis, B.S., Zhang, J.,
and Juang, C.H. Comparing liquefaction evaluation
methods using penetration-Vs relationships", Soil Dynamics
and Earthquake Engineering, 24, pp. 713{721
42. Idriss, I.M. and Boulanger, R.W. SPT- and CPTbased
relationships for the residual shear strength of
lique ed soils", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering,
68, pp. 57{68 (2014).
43. Cao, Z., Youd, T.L., and Yuan, X. Chinese dynamic
penetration test for liquefaction evaluation in gravelly
soils", Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,
139(8), pp. 1320{1333 (2013).
44. Kim, J., Kawai, T., Kazama, M., and Mori, T.
Density index for estimating the postliquefaction
volumetric strain of silty soils", International Journal
of Geomechanics, 16(5), C4015005 (2016). DOI:
45. Dewoolkar, M., Hargy, J., Anderson, I., Alba,
P.D., and Olson, S.M. Residual and postliquefaction
strength of a lique able sand", Journal of Geotechnical
and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 142(2), 04015068
(2015). DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001374
46. Ishihara, K., Harada, K., Lee, W.F., Chan, C.C.,
and Sa ullah, A.M.M. Post-liquefaction settlement
analysis based on the volume change characteristics
of undisturbed and reconstituted samples", Soils and
Foundations, 56(3), pp. 533{546 (2016).
47. Kim, J., Kawai, T., and Kazama, M. Laboratory
testing procedure to assess post-liquefaction deformation
potential", Soils and Foundation, 57, pp. 905{919
48. Kramer, S.L., Sideras, S.S., and Green eld, M.W.
The timing of liquefaction and its utility in liquefaction
hazard evaluation", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake
Engineering, 91(C), pp. 133{146 (2016). DOI:
656 E. Ghorbani and A.M. Rajabi/Scientia Iranica, Transactions A: Civil Engineering 27 (2020) 639{656
49. CSA (Canadian Standard Association), Risk Management:
Guideline for Decision-Makers (CAN/CSAQ850-
97), Rexdale, Ontario: Canadian Standard Association
50. Vahdat, K., Smith, N.J., and Amiri, G.G. Fuzzy
multicriteria for developing a risk management system
in seismically prone area", Socia-Economic Planning
Sciences, 48, pp. 235{248 (2014).
51. Baker, J.W. and Faber, M.H. Liquefaction risk assessment
using geostatistics to account for soil special
variability", Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,
134(1), pp. 14{23 (2008).
52. Kramer, S.L. and May eld, R.T. Performance-based
liquefaction hazard evaluation", Earthquake Engineering
and Soil Dynamics, Geo-Frontiers Congress, January
24-26, Austin, Texas, United States (2005). DOI: