Abstract

Changes to building codes in the last decade, lowering the probability at which design ground motions for geotechnical applications are defined, have led to an urgent need for a probabilistic approach/tool for liquefaction potential assessment. We propose a consistent approach for probabilistic liquefaction hazard analysis (PLHA) that is based on probabilistic seismic hazard analysis and incorporates a reliability-based liquefaction potential evaluation method based on shear-wave velocity data. The method directly takes the joint probability distribution of peak ground acceleration and moment magnitude into account. We demonstrate the method for four Canadian cities, employing our interim updated seismic hazard models for eastern and western Canada. Using the developed method and representative site profiles, PLHA is implemented for four major cities across Canada with the aim of investigating the impact of regional seismic characteristics on liquefaction hazard assessment. Sensitivity analysis indicates that different magnitude ranges of dominant contributing seismic events have significant impact on the extent of liquefaction hazard. More specifically, for a given seismic excitation level, the relatively high hazard contributions from small-to-moderate earthquakes in eastern Canada leads to less significant liquefaction potential, in comparison with similar sites in western Canada.

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