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Shear wave velocity-based liquefaction evaluation in the great Wenchuan earthquake: a preliminary case study

Zhou Yanguo, Chen Yunmin and Ling Daosheng

MOE Key Laboratory of Soft Soils and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China

Abstract: The great Wenchuan earthquake (Ms = 8.0) in 2008 caused severe damage in the western part of the Chengdu Plain. Soil liquefaction was one of the major causes of damage in the plain areas, and proper evaluation of liquefaction potential is important in the definition of the seismic hazard facing a given region and post-earthquake reconstruction. In this paper, a simplified procedure is proposed for liquefaction assessment of sandy deposits using shear wave velocity (Vs), and soil liquefaction from the Banqiao School site was preliminarily investigated after the earthquake. Boreholes were made at the site and shear wave velocities were measured both by SASW and down-hole methods. Based on the in-situ soil information and Vs profiles, the liquefaction potential of this site was evaluated. The results are reasonably consistent with the actual field behavior observed after the earthquake, indicating that the proposed procedure is effective. The possible effects of gravel and fines contents on liquefaction of sandy soils were also briefly discussed.

Keywords: liquefaction; Wenchuan earthquake; shear wave velocity; spectral analysis of surface waves (SASW); hazard definition

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Copyright© 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.