Reconsideration of Case Histories for Estimating Undrained Shear Strength in Sandy Soils

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Abstract: When sandy soils respond in a strain-softening manner to undrained loading, an estimation of the resulting undrained shear strength (S-u) is required to determine the potential for flow liquefaction at a given site. One of the most commonly used methods for estimating the undrained strength of liquefied sand is an empirical standard penetration test (SPT) based chart (originally proposed by H.B. Seed), which was developed using a number of case histories. The original interpretations of these case histories are viewed by many workers and regulatory agencies as the most authoritative measure of the liquefied strength of sand. Consequently, in comparison, other less conservative methods are generally held in an unfavourable light. This paper reexamines the original database of case histories in view of some more recent concepts regarding soil liquefaction. The objectives of this paper are to explore and reassess the issues involved in the original assessment and to offer alternative views of the case records. The conclusions presented here indicate that alternative explanations of the liquefied strength of sand are not inconsistent with the original case histories.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 1999 NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing). This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Wride (Fear), C. E., McRoberts, E.C., and Robertson, P.K. (1999). Reconsideration of case histories for estimating undrained shear strength in sandy soils. Canadian Geotechnical Jouranl, 36, 907–933.