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Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering over the past 50 years

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Zelda Stuck.

Case Histories have always played a strong role in geotechnical engineering. They have been an essential means for: (a) improving understanding; (b) calibrating analytical procedures; (c) designing and interpreting physical model tests; and (d) developing semi-empirical procedures. These apply for static, during earthquake and post-earthquake loading conditions.

The discussion will cover case histories involving the behavior of three soft soil sites in Anchorage during the 1964 great Alaska earthquake. It will also cover liquefaction of cohesionless soils triggered by earthquake ground motions, and will address the following four questions:

1. Why are the published curves of cyclic resistance ratio (CRR) versus (N1)60 or versus (N1)60cs different, depending on whose model is implemented?

2. Can we treat these differences as “epistemic” uncertainty and hence can use all models with “assigned weights”?

3. Can we use site response analyses to obtain the induced cyclic stress ratio (CSR) or do we have to always use the simplified stress ratio equation?

4. How should we treat liquefaction at depths exceeding those included in the liquefaction case histories?

The lessons learned from the behavior of three soft clay sites in Anchorage in 1964 and the importance of the responses to the four questions to engineering practice will be highlighted.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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