Evaluation of uncertainties in the existing empirical models and probabilistic prediction of liquefaction-induced lateral spreading

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor, Geotechnical Engineering Research Center, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology

2 Graduated Student, Department of Civil Engineering, Semnan University


Soil liquefaction is known as one of the major causes of ground movement in earthquakes. Liquefaction
in slopes might be manifested in the ground surface by lateral spreading which is downward movement
of large soil blocks. Liquefaction-induced lateral spreading happens due to successive exceedence of
downward seismic stresses from the soil strength while the in-situ static driving stresses may never
surpass the deteriorated soil strength. Lateral spreading has caused extensive damage to buried utilities,
lifeline networks, and many other underground and surface civil engineering structures. It was reported
during some devastating earthquakes including San Francisco, USA 1906, in Prince William Sound,
Alaska 1964, Niigata, Japan 1964, and recently Bushehr, Iran 2013 earthquakes. Occurrence and
magnitude of lateral spreading depend on the geotechnical characteristics of the liquefiable soil layers,
geometry of the ground or the open-face slope, the depth of underground water table, the intensity and
duration of the earthquake excitation, the distance from the causative rupture, and site amplification
factor. Participation of a large number of factors in this sophisticated phenomenon has encouraged the
researchers to develop predictive empirical models (e.g., Hamada et al., 1986, Youd et al., 2002, and
Baziar and Ghorbani, 2005, Javadi et al. 2006, Kanibir 2003, and Baziar and Saeedi Azizkandi 2013).
The empirical models of Hamada et al. (1986) and Youd et al. (2002) are widely used in the engineering


Main Subjects

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