Cooperative Research Program
The U.S.-Japan Research Program on Earthquake Resistant Design of
Lifeline Facilities and Countermeasures Against Soil Liquefaction focuses on the
earthquake performance of lifelines, with emphasis on liquefaction-induced large ground
deformations. Large ground deformations are the principal cause of subsurface structural
damage during earthquakes. Currently, there is a growing recognition in the civil and
earthquake engineering communities of the importance of large ground deformations. Our
understanding of the mechanisms of large ground deformations and their effects on lifeline
facilities, and our ability to predict the magnitude and distribution of ground
displacements have improved substantially in recent years to provide a rational framework
for siting, design, and protective measures. Both Japanese and U.S. researchers have been
working on this topic, and it was recognized that considerable benefits will result from
their cooperative efforts to collect case history data and recommend the most appropriate
analytical methods and design procedures.
The program was initiated formally in November, 1988 with the signing
of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Japanese and U.S. sides. The document was
signed at a ceremony during a workshop in Tokyo, Japan by K. Kubo, Professor Emeritus of
Tokyo University, and M. Shinozuka, currently the Champion Professor of Civil Engineering
at the University of Southern California. Professor Kubo signed on behalf of the
Association for the Development of Earthquake Prediction (ADEP), the Japanese sponsoring
agency. Professor Shinozuka signed on behalf of Robert L. Ketter, then Director of the
National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER), the U.S. sponsoring agency.
The research program has concentrated on case histories of
earthquake-induced ground deformations and their effects on lifeline facilities. In
addition to the publication of the case history volumes, the products of the cooperative
research include U.S.-Japan workshops and associated publications of the proceedings
covering case history data, analytical modeling, experimental studies and recommendations
for improved practices.
The U.S.-Japan Workshop program is a major
instrument for collaboration and cooperative exchange. To date, there have been seven
workshops. The first was held in Tokyo and Niigata, Japan on November 16-19, 1988. The
proceedings of this workshop were published by the Association for the Development of
Earthquake Prediction, and are available from the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake
Engineering and Research (MCEER). The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth workshops
were held in: Buffalo/Ithaca, NY, September 26-29, 1989, NCEER-89-0032; San Francisco, CA, December 17-19, 1990, NCEER-91-0001; Honolulu, HI, May 27-29, 1992, NCEER-92-0019; Snowbird, UT on September 29-30 & October 1, 1994, NCEER-94-0026; Waseda University, Tokyo, June 11-13, 1996, NCEER-96-0012; respectively. The seventh workshop was held at Seattle,
WA on August 15-17, 1999, MCEER-99-0019.
Please note: the links to the reports listed above will open the
MCEER Publications Catalog in a new window. If you wish to purchase any
of the reports,
- follow the links above to the catalog,
- click the check box marked "Select this publication"
- then click on the button labelled "Go Back"
Cooperative research between Japanese and U.S. earthquake engineers has
resulted in significant new findings about liquefaction and its effects on lifeline
facilities, assessment of liquefaction potential, modeling of liquefaction-induced large
ground displacements, performance of lifeline facilities and foundations, dynamic response
of underground structures, and countermeasures and earthquake resistant design against
It is hoped that the spirit of cooperation fostered by these workshops
and research program will contribute to a strong and enduring relationship among U.S. and
Japanese engineers. It is believed that the research accomplishments of this collaborative
activity will encourage additional joint projects and lead to improved understanding and
mastery in the field of earthquake engineering.
Professor, Cornell University
Professor, Waseda University
Professor, University of Southern California
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