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Earthquake Engineering

Earthquake Engineering

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Earthquake Engineering

Resources pertaining to earthquake engineering are primarily geotechnical oriented. On this page, you will find free publications, references to other publications, typical software and technical guidance.

Geotechnical Info .Com provides various earthquake parameters that geotechnical engineers use and calculations for determining the potential for liquefaction in the Earthquake Technical Guidance. If you need more information than what is currently provided here, then post a question in the Geotechnical Forum.


Earthquake Engineering Publications Available for Downloading

NAVFAC 7.03 - Soil Dynamics and Special Design Aspects. Main topics include soil dynamics, earthquake engineering and special design aspects. Information pertaining to these topics include machine foundations, impact loadings, dynamic soil properties, slope stability, bearing capacity, settlement, vibratory compaction, pile driving analysis and field testing, ground anchor systems, seismic design parameters, liquefaction, sheet pile walls and laboratory testing.

USACE TM 5-852-4 - Arctic and Subarctic Construction - Foundations for Structures

USACE EM 1110-1-1905 - Bearing Capacity of Soils

USACE EM 1110-2-2906 - Design of Pile Foundations. Note: This publication does not have an appendix. For link to appendix, click here.

USACE EM 1110-2-2200 - Gravity Dam Design. Includes evaluation of existing dams, foundation parameters, concrete properties, loads, stability analysis, structural design considerations, construction considerations and static/ dynamic stress analysis.

USACE EM 1110-2-2502 - Retaining and Flood Walls. Note: This publication does not have an appendix. For link to appendix, click here.

USACE EM 1110-1-2908 - Rock Foundations

USACE EM 1110-1-1904 - Settlement Analysis

USACE EM 1110-2-1902 - Slope Stability. Note: This publication does not have an appendix. For link to appendix, click here.

USACE TM 5-818-1 - Soils and Geology Procedures for Foundation Design of Buildings and Other Structures (Except Hydraulic Structures)


References to Earthquake Engineering in other Publications

Edinger, P.H., "Seismic Response Consideration in Foundation Design,"Foundation Engineering: Current Principles and Practices, Northwestern University, Kulhawy, Vol. 1, pp 814-824, ASCE, New York, 1989.

Tokimatsu, K., Seed, H.B. "Evaluation of Settlements in Sands due to Earthquake Shaking," Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 113, pp 861-878, ASCE, New York, 1987.


Earthquake Engineering Software

Shake2000 - Ground acceleration analysis.


Earthquake Engineering Technical Guidance

Earthquake engineering for retaining walls

Review the detailed information, equations, and calculations in the Retaining Walls technical guidance.


Maximum ground acceleration

The maximum ground acceleration for different geographical regions in the United States may be estimated from the United States Seismic Zones Map here.


Soil class and spectral response

Site classifications based on general soil types may be derived from this link. In addition, relationships between general soil types and spectral response accelerations are provided.


Liquefaction Assessment (from NAVFAC)

Liquefaction basically occurs during an earthquake in which the soil behaves like a liquid. Poorly graded sands below the water table are most susceptible. Silts and gravels have a lower potential for liquefaction. Usually, liquefaction is not a problem when ideal conditions exist at a depth greater than 50 feet below the ground surface. The liquefaction calculations provided below utilizes the Standard Penetration Test (SPT). NAVFAC also has a method for Cone Penetrometer Test (CPT). See publications listed above.


F.S. =  CRR   > 1.2


F.S. = Factor of safety for liquefaction. Usually a F.S. greater than 1.2 is acceptable for liquefaction.
CRR = Cyclic Resistance Ratio. Factor derived from NAVFAC CRR Chart. Need corrected N-value, (N1)60. Chart is based on earthquake magnitude of 7.5. Multiply CRR by correction value for other earthquake magnitudes.
CSR = 0.65  amax       s     rd
                         g           s'  


(N1)60 = CN(ERm  N    

CN = overburden correlation from NAVFAC CN chart. Based on s'
ERm = energy ratio (%) from NAVFAC ER table 
N = N-value from SPT test
amax = peak horizontal acceleration of earthquake, g's
g = 32.2 ft/sec2 = gravitational constant
s = total overburden stress above liquefiable soils, lb/ft2                    *see notes below
s' = effective overburden stress above liquefiable soils, lb/ft2             *see notes below
rd = stress reduction factor
    = 1.0 if liquefiable soils are at ground surface
    = 0.9 if top of liquefiable soils are at a depth of 30 ft below the ground surface

Notes: Total and effective overburden stress may be calculated from the settlement, pressures and stress guidance.



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