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When the Ground Gives Way: Understanding and Predicting Soil Liquefaction Caused by Earthquakes
Pages 1-4

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From page 1...
... As thousands of people in the adjoining San Fernando Valley put down their morning cups of coffee and braced themselves against the shaking, a far more ominous phenomenon was taking place inside the Lower San Fernando Dam at the head of the valley. A layer of soil at the base of the earthen dam suddenly lost strength and slipped sideways as the embankment began to break apart.
From page 2...
... Karl von Terzaghi, an Austrian engineer and geologist who would later join the faculty of Harvard University and eventually come to be known as the "father of soil mechanics," developed a simplified way to describe the stresses in soils. He realized that many of the complex interactions of soil particles and water could be captured in a single measure called effective stress, which helps describe how a soil will behave when it is disturbed or placed under addi tional stresses.
From page 3...
... of money." Evidence of the value of wise investment in soil liquefaction remediation came when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake -- the fourth most powerful ever recorded -- and the devastating tsunami that followed shook and flooded a large part of eastern Japan, including the coastal Sendai Airport.
From page 4...
... Today, geotechnical engineers usually base their recommendations and designs on one or at most a few levels of ground motion, such as the amount of shaking that can be expected to occur on average about every 2,500 years. These predictions However, smaller, more frequent earthquakes can also cause liquefaction, and bigger ones can exceed the safety factors built into designs, observed indicate the severity Steven Kramer, a geotechnical engineer at the University of Washington.

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