Cyclic Strain Approach for the Analysis of Ocean Wave Liquefaction

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This paper investigated the application of the cyclic strain approach to the analysis of ocean wave liquefaction. The threshold shear strain concept was conceived in the early 1980s for the analysis of seismic liquefaction, but there are limited published studies on its application to the ocean wave liquefaction problem. This study was based on the analysis of data from three small-scale wave flume experiments that were compiled from the literature. Resonant column (RC) and bender element (BE) tests were performed on soil samples from one of the flume experiments and used to independently assess the stiffness and threshold shear strain properties. The RC results indicated threshold shear strains ranging from 0.004% to 0.016% at effective confining pressures of 20-100 kPa, which is consistent with values for sands in the literature. Particle contact mechanics was used to extrapolate the RC threshold shear strains to the very low confining pressures in the wave flume soils. The analysis results showed consistency between the threshold values extrapolated from the RC tests and those interpreted from the wave flume data. The results of this study strengthen the use of the threshold shear strain concept for the analysis of ocean wave liquefaction, either as a simple screening tool or in more advanced numerical modeling.

Publication Title

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering