IDENTIFYING LIQUEFACTION POTENTIAL AND EXPLORING DEWATERING TECHNIQUES TO MITIGATE HAZARDS
Mentor:Neal Driscoll, Professor, University of California San Diego
Liquefaction is a formidable geohazard because it increases the damage zone for a given sized earthquake. Much attention in civil engineering has gone into building safety during seismic accelerations; however, amplified ground displacements from liquefaction still cause significant damage. We will attempt to understand the link between depositional environments and areas of high liquefaction potential. Depositional environments change due to energy condition fluctuations to produce clay- sand-clay structures. We hypothesize that a sand layer encased in clays is the worst case scenario for liquefaction. To eliminate liquefaction from a site the matrix needs to be strengthened with a soil hardening technique or dewater the sand dominated layer. The lateral continuity of the clay-sand-clay layers will affect the approach employed to dewater the layer. Therefore we need to understand cost effective strategies to dewater sand dominated layers. During periods of prolonged drought the likelihood of liquefaction might be altered. This is important because global warming models forecast a dryer western united states in the future, which could lead to diminished hazards associated with liquefaction.