Analyzing liquefaction-induced lateral spreads using strength ratios

Scott M. Olson, Cora I. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The writers backanalyzed 39 well-documented liquefaction-induced lateral spreads in terms of a mobilized strength ratio, su (mob)σvo′ using the Newmark sliding block method. Based on the inverse analyses results, we found that the backcalculated strength ratios mobilized during lateral spreads can be directly correlated to normalized cone penetration test tip resistance and standard penetration test blow count. Remarkably, Newmark analysis-based strength ratios mobilized during these lateral spreads essentially coincide with liquefied strength ratios backcalculated from liquefaction flow failures. The mobilized strength ratios appear to be independent of the magnitude of lateral displacement (at least for displacements greater than 15cm) and the strength of shaking (in terms of peak ground acceleration). Furthermore, the mobilized strength ratios backcalculated from these cases appear to be consistent for a given depositional environment and do not appear to be severely impacted by potential water layer formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1049
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Earthquakes
  • In situ tests
  • Lateral displacement
  • Liquefaction
  • Penetration resistance
  • Shear strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Analyzing liquefaction-induced lateral spreads using strength ratios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this