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Mud volcanoes are structures that are formed through 'cold volcanism' and indicate soil liquefaction. Their evolution depends on the structure, state and excitation of fine-grained feeding sediments. The disturbance of the framework of a loose, fine-grained, saturated sediment causes shear deformation leading to a pore fluid pressure increase. Effective stresses are thereby reduced and can vanish; the soil is then totally liquefied. Small amounts of enclosed gas bubbles render the soil compressible and enhance local shearing, pore pressure build-up and structural damage. Liquefied, overpressurized sediments form mud chambers, whose excess pressure is released through cracks and other inherent weak...

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