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Foundation and Ground Performance in Liquefaction Experiments

By Jacquelyn Allmond1, Bruce Lloyd Kutter1, Jonathan Bray2, Connor Hayden2

1. University of California, Davis 2. University of California, Berkeley

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The consequences of seismically induced liquefaction have been intensely studied through case histories, numerical simulations, and many experiments involving shallow foundations on liquefiable soil (e.g., Whitman and Lambe 1988, Liu and Dobry 1997, Bouckovalas et al. 1991, Hausler 2002). In recent years, additional, sophisticated centrifuge experiments with model buildings with various foundations overlying a layer of loose, liquefiable sand have been performed to investigate key aspects of liquefaction that affect building performance. For each test series, soil profiles, structural properties, and ground motions are varied to study specific liquefaction and soil-structure interaction phenomena. Each test contributes to the larger goal of understanding and predicting ground and building performance during liquefaction.

This database contains data of these recent centrifuge experiments. The database includes 9 large-scale centrifuge tests, with 49 stations (either a building of various types or a free-field site), and over 60 shaking events, totaling 405 event model case histories. The database allows users to access information from many centrifuge tests, and is capable of allowing similar data to be added in the future. Analyzing these and future tests as a whole instead of looking inward at individual experiments gives a broader understanding of liquefaction principles and will aid in building on geotechnical earthquake engineering understanding of liquefaction.


Each row in the database describes a single station-event, where a station-event represents the response of a specific station (either a building or free-field site) to a single ground motion (shaking event). For example, if one model container includes a sequence of 4 input ground motions and has 3 structure stations and 1 free-field station in the container, that experiment produces a total of 16 station-events. Typically, the single free-field station represents the average of several free-field monitoring displacement gauges, and the response of a structure station is captured by several accelerometers and displacement transducers.



Event Number Test Name Input Motions Structures Free Field Total Events
1-16 T6-30 4 3 1 16
17-32 T3-30 4 3 1 16
33-48 T3-30-SILT 4 3 1 16
39-68 T3-50 5 3 1 20
69-156 T3.9-50 11 6 2 88
157-221 T2.5-55 13 4 1 65
222-261 T2.3-70 8 4 1 40
262-349 T4.5-50 11 7 1 88
350-405 T4.6-40 8 6 1 56
-- TOTAL 68 39 10 405



The columns of the database provide the supplemental information for each station-event and are categorized by Event, Soil Properties, Structural Properties, Base Motion, Surface Motion, Results, and Miscellaneous.

Database Column Definitions

Each column of data is categorized and color shaded by data type as follows:

  • Informational (Info, grey) - a broad category of any supplemental information which was not directly measured or calculated (e.g. test name, soil material type, structure name).
  • Measured (M, green) - values which were directly measured in the lab or during testing without manipulation (e.g. soil layer thickness, footing width, peak base acceleration).
  • Derived (D, orange) - calculated using a known expression or equation to manipulate measured data (e.g., Arias intensity, foundation settlement, foundation bearing pressure).
  • Inferred (I, red) - data required either engineering judgment with known properties during testing, or was derived using several methods (e.g. relative density is best assessed employing calibrated air pluviation procedures and checked using cone penetration testing with correlations).


The soil properties for each material used in the test can be found using the link below. This table includes material properties, resources, and methods.

Soil Properties


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER). The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Daniel Wilson, Chad Justice, Anatoliy Ganchenko, Lars Pederson, Peter Rojas, Ray Gerhard, Tom Kohnke, and the other staff at the Center for Geotechnical Modeling at UC Davis, along with support from Ann Christine Catlin and Sudheera Fernando, and the other NEEShub DataStore developers. We acknowledge Josh Zupan who assisted in data review and validation of the database input. Finally, we acknowledge the contributions of the principal investigators and other researchers involved in the various stages of all the centrifuge experiments: S. Dashti, J. Pestana, M. Riemer, T. Hutchinson, G. Fiegel, C. Bolisetti, D. Paez, A. Whittaker, H. Mason, N. Trombetta, H. Puangnak, M. Stringer, L. Deng, M. Hakhamaneshi, R. Reitherman, I. Rawlings, C. Hilliard, and D. Zhao.


Please submit questions regarding this database to Jacquelyn Allmond (

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jacquelyn Allmond; Bruce Lloyd Kutter; Jonathan Bray; Connor Hayden (2014), "Foundation and Ground Performance in Liquefaction Experiments,"

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