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Thomas D. O'Rourke head shot

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY



Second U.S.-Japan Workshop on Liquefaction, Large Ground Deformation and Their Effects on Lifeline Facilities

Cooperative research between U.S. and Japanese earthquake engineers has resulted in significant new findings about the ways in which large ground deformations are caused by soil liquefaction, their influence on lifelines, and the most effective means of modeling and protecting both soils and structures in the event of future earthquakes. U.S. and Japanese researchers met in Buffalo and Ithaca, NY on September 26-29, 1989 to participate in the Second U.S.-Japan Workshop on Liquefaction, Large Ground Deformation, and Their Effects on Lifeline Facilities. The new developments presented and discussed at the workshop included the use of aerial photographs before and after major earthquakes to map ground displacements by photogrammetric techniques, the effects of large ground movements on water supply pipelines and fire following earthquakes, lateral movement effects and damage to pile foundations, and the most suitable modeling methods for large ground deformation and buried lifeline response.

The workshop was the second in a series of international meetings in a collaborative research program sponsored by NCEER and the Association for the Development of Earthquake Prediction (ADEP), Tokyo, Japan. The workshop was organized by Professor T. O’Rourke of Cornell University and Professor M. Hamada of Tokai University. Presiding over the workshop were M. Shinozuka, Professor of Princeton University and Executive Committee Member of NCEER, and K. Kubo, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo and Director of ADEP. The focus of the workshop and collaborative research is on lifelines and permanent ground deformations, with emphasis on liquefaction-induced soil movements.

The first two days of the workshop involved technical presentations and group discussions in eight sessions covering case studies of previous earthquakes; analytical and physical modeling of liquefaction, large ground deformation effects on pipelines, pile foundations, and waterfront facilities; and the assessment of damage potential and earthquake countermeasures for lifelines. The second two days involved meetings to develop a technical summary and recommendations for improved engineering related to lifelines and earthquake-induced ground deformation. The workshop participants were divided into four groups to prepare an overview of case history information and recommendations for modeling ground displacements, earthquake resistant design, and earthquake countermeasures.

During the fourth day of the workshop, a ceremony was held at Cornell University to dedicate the Takeo Mogami Geotechnical Laboratory. Mogami, a professor emeritus at Tokyo University when he died in 1987, was a pioneer in geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics in Japan. Mogami’s widow, Yukiko, granddaughter, and personal friend, Mr. Ping Hsu, took part in the ceremony.

Special invited lectures were given by Kenji Ishihara, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo, entitled “Liquefaction-Induced Flow Failure of Slopes and Embankements,” and by I.M. Idriss, Professor of Civil Engineering, at the University of California at Davis, entitled “Risk Assessment Incorporating Large Ground Displacements Due to Earthquakes.” Thirty-three presentations were made by workshop participants. The papers presented at the workshop and technical summaries of the special working groups were published in the Proceedings.