Modeling Soil Liquefaction

Team: 82


Area of Science: Geophysics

Interim: Problem Definition: The purpose of our project is to assemble an accurate model of the effects of soil liquefaction. Soil liquefaction is the tendency of saturated soil to become a suspension when subjected to extreme vibrations, primarily due to tectonic activity. This model will provide an in depth understanding of the process of soil liquefaction and its effects. This is important because soil liquefaction is a major cause of damage during tectonic events. Through the improved understanding of soil liquefaction it will be possible to build another computer model in order to test different building designs and their tolerances to soil liquefaction. Solutions: We will create a mathematical model that determines the probability of the occurrence of soil liquefaction. A model will be derived from the research of others. The model will use inputted information about the vibration and soil type to determine the probability of soil liquefaction occurring. Once the model is created it would then be used to test building designs to make them less susceptible to soil liquefaction. Progress to Date: We have made great progress in the researching area of our project. We have found mathematical models for soil liquefaction and some general information about soil liquefaction. We have gone to the library and found books as well as the Internet. We have also researched several examples of soil liquefaction that occurred in San Francisco and Alaska. We have made progress on our first program but have not yet completed it. The program is in Bloodshed Dev-C++, in a console format. So far, we have set up most of the inputted variables, and we are able to calculate a few variables needed to calculate the chance of soil liquefaction happening. Soon the program will able to calculate all of the variables needed for soil liquefaction, which is our primary goal. When we are done we will attempt to create a unique computer model of soil-liquefaction and then apply it to building design and construction. Expected Results: With our first program we expect to be able input the soil type of a given area and determine the chance of soil-liquefaction occurring. We expect our results will reflect the general tendencies in the real world. This will allow people to determine whether anchoring the building or other precautions are necessary for safety. Summarizing this information in a concise, complete manner will allow more people access to it, and assist in making decisions that can help save homes and lives. In later programs we expect to gain a greater understanding of soil-liquefaction and its interaction with buildings. Sources: Liquefaction Problems in Geotechnical Engineering. Philadelphia: ASCE Annual Convention and Exposition, 1976. Milligan, GWE, and Houlsby, GT BASIC Soil Mechanics. London: Butterworths, 1984. Amini, F.. Soil Liquefaction at Depth Scientific Visualization. ACTA Press. 10/16/2005 . Ferritto, J. M.. Seismic Design Criteria for Soil Liquefaction. NAVAL Facilities Engineering Service Center. November, 2005 . Kim, Kwang, and Scott Blouin. Response of Saturated Porous Nonlinear Materials to Dynamic Loading. South Royalton: Applied Research Associates, 1984. Team Members: Alex Clement Greg Fenchel Jeff Fenchel Jack Ingalls Jayson Lynch Teacher Sponsor: Neil McBeth Special Thanks to: Eric & Anita Gallagher

Team Members:

  Alexander Clement
  Gregory Fenchel
  Jack Ingalls
  Jayson Lynch
  Jeffrey Fenchel

Sponsoring Teacher: Neil McBeth