Physical modeling and visualization of soil liquefaction under high confining stress

Lenart González, Tarek Abdoun, Mourad Zeghal, Vivian Kallou, Michael K. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanisms of seismically-induced liquefaction of granular soils under high confining stresses are still not fully understood. Evaluation of these mechanisms is generally based on extrapolation of observed behavior at shallow depths. Three centrifuge model tests were conducted at RPI's experimental facility to investigate the effects of confining stresses on the dynamic response of a deep horizontal deposit of saturated sand. Liquefaction was observed at high confining stresses in each of the tests. A system identification procedure was used to estimate the associated shear strain and stress time histories. These histories revealed a response marked by shear strength degradation and dilative patterns. The recorded accelerations and pore pressures were employed to generate visual animations of the models. These visualizations revealed a liquefaction front traveling downward and leading to large shear strains and isolation of upper soil layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1671-3664(2005)01-0047-11
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Centrifuge modeling
  • High confining stress
  • Liquefaction
  • System identification
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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