Soil Liquefaction at Depth Scientific Visualization

F. Amini, T.L. Biddlecome, S. Rahman, and M.K. Sharpe (USA)


Soil liquefaction, scientific visualization, earthquakes.


Many failures of various structures such as seismic dams, retaining structures, and harbors have been attributed to the liquefaction of saturated soils. The soil liquefaction refers to a form of ground failure induced by strong earthquakes, and occurs when the effective stress within the soil approaches zero as a result of increase in pore water pressure during earthquakes. There have been very limited studies regarding the behavior of soil liquefaction at large depths, yet this situation commonly occurs at foundations of some structures such as large earth dams. This paper describes a two-dimensional numerical model, which is used to study the soil liquefaction resistance at high confining pressures, and presents a scientific visualization scheme to understand the soil liquefaction behavior. Base accelerations with different magnitudes and frequencies were applied to the model. The pore water pressure and effective stress at different depths in the model were monitored during shaking. In addition, in this study, a scientific visualization scheme involving data converter, iso-surface generator, and sequence viewer was developed, for the first time, to characterize the soil liquefaction phenomenon. The liquefaction data obtained during the numerical analysis was used to perform the scientific visualization. The results have indicated that the scientific visualization is a valuable tool that can provide an insight into a phenomenon that was not previously available.

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