Energy-based approach to study liquefaction triggering in homogeneous and stratified soils under consolidated undrained cyclic loading

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Engineering Geology






School of Engineering




Ministry of Education, India


Jain, A., Mittal, S., & Shukla, S. K. (2023). Energy-based approach to study liquefaction triggering in homogeneous and stratified soils under consolidated undrained cyclic loading. Engineering Geology, 321, 107151.


Pore water pressure development through seismic effect is one of the key reasons for liquefaction failures in the foundations, dams, bridges, slopes and other vulnerable geotechnical engineering structures. The energy dissipation theories have provided a remarkable understanding of the pore water pressure generation inside a soil skeleton. In the present study, a series of consolidated undrained cyclic triaxial tests have been performed to evaluate the normalized dissipated energy (Wn) required for triggering liquefaction in both homogeneous and stratified soil specimens (prepared using silt interlayer) to replicate the site conditions nearby marine or alluvial deposits. The generated hysteresis loops using cyclic loading facilitate the calculation of dissipated energy. Also, the test results indicated a significant variation in the dissipated energy of homogeneous specimens at different magnitudes of cyclic stress ratios (CSR) and relative densities (Dr). With an increase in the cyclic stress ratio from 0.14 to 0.20, the trend of dissipated energy was observed to be different when relative densitie of sand varied from 30% to 65%. In the stratified specimens, thickness (t) and location of the silt layer (d) in the given soil specimen were the major influencing factors for estimating the liquefaction potential in loose conditions. Additionally, the highest value of Wn,max was obtained as 0.51 for the stratified specimen with topt = 28 mm at a cyclic stress ratio of 0.14. Based on the trendline variations, empirical models have been developed to estimate the normalized dissipated energy (Wn) for both homogeneous and stratified conditions. The developed models for homogeneous specimens are functions of CSR and Dr, whereas, in the case of stratified specimens, t, d and σd/ σ'c (σd = deviator stress, σ'c = effective confining stress) have been utilized to predict the Wn with an satisfactory R2 value above 0.90. From the analysis of liquefaction resistance curves, the energy-based approach used in this study has been observed to provide more realistic results than the pore pressure ratio and strain-based failure criteria.



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