Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center Global Geoengineering Research Modeling Methods of Study

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Prediction of the severity of ground failure in Quaternary deposits is a critical component of hazard studies. Model development in our project is focused on design and application of methods for quantitative assessment of ground deformation potential.

  1. Modeling Shear Wave Velocity Structure Using Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) techniques (Collaborative with Woods Hole CMG): The SASW technique is ideal for the assessment of ground failure in the coastal and offshore environment principally because of the portability of the apparatus and the non-invasive nature of the technique. For onshore deployments we use a spectrum analyzer and commercially available vertical 1-Hz sensors. For offshore investigation, we use custom designed ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) built into a ship deployable seafloor SASW system. The OBS units are arrayed in a linear multi-station configuration and mounted onto a linear support frame. The surface wave source for onshore and offshore work is an electromechanical shaker. For offshore deployment, the shaker is housed in an air filled vessel and deployed at the end of the support frame. We routinely use the SASW method to develop profiles of shear wave velocity in the upper 30+ meters of the earth. These profiles can be used as part of a liquefaction hazard assessment and as the basis for predicting response of sites to incoming earthquake ground motions.

    Probabilistic Liquefaction Triggering Assessment (Collaborative research with U.C. Berkeley; PEER; Kobe University; and the China Seismological Bureau):

    Probabilistic Assessment of Dynamic Displacements: This project is focused on developing probabilistic models for multidirectional seismic shear displacements in soil for liquefiable and non-liquefiable deposits. Bayesian methods, described above, and Newmark-type models for computing seismic slope displacements are used to estimate the amplitude of ground failures during earthquakes.


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