Abstract

The city of Aqaba, Jordan, located along the northern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, is built over the seismically active Dead Sea Transform plate boundary fault system. The subsurface stratigraphic sequence underlying the city is composed of alluvial fan deposits containing varying amounts of clay, silt, sand, and gravel interbedded within the coastal areas with aeolian and beach sand. Groundwater levels along the coastal areas are very shallow. The groundwater levels increase to the north and northeast to depths greater than 17 m about 5 km from the shore. The liquefaction potential of the city of Aqaba soils was analyzed using the Simplified Procedure of Youd and Idriss and the modified Chinese criteria of Wang. Maps of the liquefaction susceptibility of areas in the city of Aqaba were displayed using the Geographic Information System (GIS). Application of the modified Chinese criteria indicates that the cohesive subsurface layers are predominantly nonliquefiable. The types of sediments most susceptible to liquefaction are saturated silt and sand deposits. Two classification schemes were developed in this liquefaction analysis. Our results indicate that the coastal areas of Aqaba have a high potential to liquefy, whereas the eastern parts of the city lie predominantly within a nonliquefaction zone. The critical facilities were overlaid with the liquefaction hazard map of the city and show that only the hotel and the commercial districts lie within a zone of high susceptibility to liquefaction. The areas that have historically experienced liquefaction were found to exist within the high susceptibility zone as well, supporting the findings of this study.

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