Estimating CSRs for evaluating liquefaction that are consistent with building code design spectra

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



This paper presents a new method for estimating the Cyclic Stress Ratio (CSR) for evaluating liquefaction that is consistent with building code design spectra and thus considers all possible earthquake scenarios that impact the site. Many of the current building codes such as the International Building Code include seismic design spectra that are based on probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) data. This means that the design spectrum for a given site is not the result of one earthquake scenario, but rather reflects the contributions from a range of earthquakes of various magnitudes and site-to-source distances that could impact the site. Therefore, to be consistent with current codes the analysis of liquefaction potential of the foundation soils at a particular site should consider all potential earthquake scenarios. In this way the risk assumed in the analysis of the foundation soils is commensurate with the level of risk assumed in the design of the overlying structure. The new method is outlined using an example from a site located in Providence, Rhode Island. © 2011 ASCE.

Publication Title

Geotechnical Special Publication


224 GSP