Probabilistic Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential
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A probabilistic method for evaluating liquefaction potential is presented using a site at President Island near Memphis and the New Madrid seismic zone as examples. The liquefaction potential of a soil layer is estimated by using the factor of safety FL = R/L, where L is the shear stress ratio and R is the resistance shear stress ratio. Combined with the depth and thickness of each liquefied layer, FL yields Iwasaki's (1982) liquefaction potential index, PL. By including uncertainties in a variety of site parameters, 81 earthquake-site models are established. Given a moment magnitude, these earthquake-site models will yield probabilities of the occurrence of liquefaction of varying degrees of severity. Repeating the procedure with varying moment magnitudes permits construction of a liquefaction potential probability matrix and fragility curves. This method incorporates local site conditions and regional seismicity and can easily be made to accommodate uncertainties in seismic and site parameters.