We characterize the seismic fragility of levees along the Shinano River system in Japan using field performance data from two M 6.6 shallow crustal earthquakes. Levee damage is quantified based on crack depth, crack width, and crest subsidence for 3,318 levee segments each 50 m long. Variables considered for possible correlation to damage include peak ground velocity (PGV), geomorphology, groundwater elevation, and levee geometry. Seismic levee fragility is expressed as the probability of exceeding a damage level conditioned on PGV alone and PGV in combination with other predictive variables. The probability of damage (at any level) monotonically increases from effectively zero for PGV < 14 cm/s to approximately 0.5 for PGV ≈ 80 cm/s. Of the additional parameters considered, groundwater elevation relative to the levee base most significantly affects fragility functions, increasing and decreasing failure probabilities (relative to the PGV-only function) for shallow and deep groundwater conditions, respectively.

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