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The Impact of Liquefaction on the Microstructure of Cohesionless Soils

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Abstract

The effect of earthquake-induced liquefaction on the local void ratio distribution of cohesionless soil is evaluated using x-ray computed tomography (CT) and an advanced image processing software package. Intact, relatively undisturbed specimens of cohesionless soil were recovered before and after liquefaction by freezing and coring soil deposits created by pluviation and by sedimentation through water. Pluviated soil deposits were liquefied in the small geotechnical centrifuge at the University of California at Davis shared-use National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) facility. A soil deposit created by sedimentation through water was liquefied on a small shake table in the Arizona State University geotechnical laboratory. Initial centrifuge tests employed Ottawa 20-30 sand but this material proved to be too coarse to liquefy in the centrifuge. Therefore, subsequent centrifuge tests employed Ottawa F60 sand. The shake table test employed Ottawa 20-30 sand. Recovered cores were stabilized by impregnation with optical grade epoxy and sent to the University of Texas at Austin NSF-supported facility at the University of Texas at Austin for high-resolution CT scanning of geologic media. The local void ratio distribution of a CT-scanned core of Ottawa 20-30 sand evaluated using Avizo® Fire, a commercially available advanced program for image analysis, was compared to the local void ratio distribution established on the same core by analysis of optical images to demonstrate that analysis of the CT scans gave similar results to optical methods. CT scans were subsequently conducted on liquefied and not-liquefied specimens of Ottawa 20-30 sand and Ottawa F60 sand. The resolution of F60 specimens was inadequate to establish the local void ratio distribution. Results of the analysis of the Ottawa 20-30 specimens recovered from the model built for the shake table test showed that liquefaction can substantially i

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Angel Gutierrez (2013), "The Impact of Liquefaction on the Microstructure of Cohesionless Soils," http://nees.org/resources/13275.

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