Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential Index Along Western Coast of South Korea Using SPT and CPT

Min Woo Seo, Scott M. Olson, Chang Guk Sun, Myoung Hak Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For South Korea, liquefaction potential along the western coast has not been widely assessed because South Korea is considered to be a low seismic hazard. However, recent earthquake events and historical records indicate that the seismic hazard of South Korea should not be ignored. Moreover, as artificial fills are extensively used along the western coast for development, liquefaction evaluation of the soils in this area is necessary. In this paper, we present: (1) the seismic characteristics of the study area; (2) procedures for evaluating liquefaction potential, focusing on the liquefaction potential index (LPI) approach; and (3) LPI distributions at several representative locations along the western coast of South Korea under various seismic scenarios. The liquefaction potential index represents the liquefaction potential over the upper 20 m of a boring or sounding. Using cone penetration test (CPT) and standard penetration test (SPT) data from two coastal sites, we compare and discuss CPT-based and SPT-based LPI values, particularly values computed in nonplastic, silt-rich soils. In these soils, it appears that the CPT yields lower liquefaction resistance, resulting in large LPI values. Finally, discussion and suggestions are provided for CPT- and SPT-based liquefaction assessment of low plasticity and high fines content soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-260
Number of pages27
JournalMarine Georesources and Geotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • cone penetration test
  • liquefaction
  • liquefaction potential index
  • silty sand
  • standard penetration test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering

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