Mechanics of lateral spreading observed in a full-scale shake test

R. Dobry, S. Thevanayagam, C. Medina, R. Bethapudi, A. Elgamal, V. Bennett, T. Abdoun, M. Zeghal, U. El Shamy, V. M. Mercado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines in detail the mechanics of lateral spreading observed in a full-scale test of a sloping saturated fine sand deposit, representative of liquefiable, young alluvial and hydraulic fill sands in the field. The test was conducted using a 6-m tall inclined laminar box shaken at the base. At the end of shaking, nearly the whole deposit was liquefied, and the ground surface displacement had reached 32 cm. The presented analysis of lateral spreading mechanics utilizes a unique set of lateral displacement results, DH, from three independent techniques. One of these techniques-motion tracking analysis of the experiment video recording-is especially useful as it produced DH time histories for all laminar box rings and a complete picture of the lateral spreading initiation with an unprecedented degree of resolution in time and space. A systematic study of the data identifies the progressive stages of initiation and accumulation of lateral spreading, lateral spread contribution of various depth ranges and sliding zones, their relation to the simultaneous pore pressure buildup, and the soil shear strength response during sliding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-129
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Full-scale tests
  • Hydraulic fill
  • Lateral displacement
  • Liquefaction
  • Residual strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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