This series includes technical reports prepared by faculty, students and staff who are associated with the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford University. While the primary focus of Blume Center is earthquake engineering, many of the reports in this series encompass broader topics in structural engineering and materials, computational mechanics, geomechanics, structural health monitoring, and engineering life-cycle risk assessment. Each report includes acknowledgments of the specific sponsors for the report and underlying research. In addition to providing research support, the Blume Center provides administrative support for maintaining and disseminating the technical reports. For more information about the Blume Center and its activities, see https://blume.stanford.edu.
This report describes the evaluation of the potential of saturated deposits of cohesionless soil in downtown San Francisco for initial liquefaction due to seismically induced pore pressures. The condition of initial liquefaction, or the zero effective stress state, was evaluated because it provides the best available index for damage due to seismically induced pore pressures.
Liquefaction potential was evaluated in a probabilistic manner by comparing the conditional probability of liquefaction, or liquefaction susceptibility, to the expected intensity of seismic loading, or liquefaction opportunity. The probabilistic evaluation was made using a liquefaction hazard model developed by Chameau (1980).
Results indicate that while no liquefaction is expected anywhere for an intensity with an annual probability of exceedance of 5% (a return period of twenty years), only the densest deposits will survive an event with an annual probability of exceedence of two percent (fifty year return period). For an event with an annual probability of occurrence of 1%, or a hundred year return period, initial liquefaction is expected to occur within all saturated, cohesionless soil deposits in the downtown San Francisco area. It must be emphasized that in dense soil deposits the consequences of initial liquefaction may be minimal because of their limited shear strain potential.
Kavazanjian, Jr, E, Roth, RA and Schezuria, H. (1983). Probabilistic Evaluation of Liquifaction Potential for Downtown San Francisco. John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center Technical Report 60. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/gj700gs7886
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