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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Earthquake basics - Liquefaction

While on the topic of liquefaction, the EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, California) have published a pamphlet called: LIQUEFACTION: What it is and what to do about it. A detailed and intelligible explanation of liquefaction, and the hazards it poses, is provided in eight pages of text and diagrams.

The purpose of the pamphlet is descibed as:
"... The authors hope that the information presented here conveys, to policymakers in particular, that better understanding of the risk from liquefaction at a particular site or area leads to better decisions regarding mitigation options, response planning, and preparedness strategies. With good liquefaction opportunity and susceptibility maps as a starting point, public officials and private property owners can make informed decisions about how to concentrate limited resources to manage and reduce the risk."
Another good read for anyone living in a TC3 zone (and Wellington!). The topics covered are:
  • Liquefaction Process
  • Effect of Liquefaction on the Built Environment
    • Flow Failures
    • Lateral Spreads
    • Ground Oscillation
    • Loss of Bearing Strength
    • Settlement
    • Increased Lateral Pressure on Retaining Walls
  • Can Liquefaction Be Predicted?
  • What Are the Options for Mitigation?
  • How Is the Choice of Mitigation Options Made?
  • Does Mitigation Work?
  • Is It Possible to Prepare for Liquefaction?
  • What Are the Implications for Response?
  • What Are the Implications for Recovery?
A copy can downloaded from here.

The EERI also produced, in May 2011, a special report on the effects of the February 22 earthquake. It is a very good summary of the damage that occurred, and some of the lessons to be taken out of what happened. The report can be found here.
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