Quake Test in Miami, OK Occurs Same Day as Real Quake in Norman, OK
Researchers testing a “cement deep-soil mixing” process in Miami, Oklahoma on October 13 as a means of strengthening clay soil to improve the performance of bridge support pilings got a lot more press than anticipated, thanks to a magnitude 4.3 earthquake that occurred earlier in the day in Norman, OK. “We got great footage of high-level dynamic testing,” said Robert Nigbor, UCLA site operations manager. “The quake in Norman put us in the lead story in regional network news!”
The team of researchers on the project includes Professor K.K. “Muralee” Muraleetharan, School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, and engineers from Iowa State, San Jose State University, Clemson University, UCLA, Grand River Dam Authority, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the City of Miami, Earth Mechanics, Inc. and Advanced GeoSolutions.
The researchers worked in Miami, OK, because the soft red clay soil is similar to soil in San Francisco and the New Madrid, which experience high levels of seismic activities and shifting ground, and are some of the target applications for the project. The test hopes to determine if movement in the soil around iron piles that support bridge stanchions in earthquake zones may be controlled by adding certain amounts of cement. The test simulated a magnitude 8 earthquake to see how the pilings responded.
“We reached yield level in the steel piles, +/-4” at ~50kips force,” said an excited Dr. Nigbor. “Lots of great data gathered. We also webcast video of the test using FlexTPS and video+ data using RDV.”