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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compgeo

potential during the 1999 Chi-chi earthquake in Taiwan

Muhsiung Chang a,, Chih-ping Kuo b, Shih-hui Shau c, Ron-eeh Hsu d

a

National Taiwan University of Science & Technology, Taiwan, ROC

c

Da-Ho Construction Group, Taiwan, ROC

d

National Pei-Men Senior A & I Vocational School, Taiwan, ROC

b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 27 August 2010

Received in revised form 15 January 2011

Accepted 15 January 2011

Available online 4 February 2011

Keywords:

Liquefaction assessment

SPT-N-based method

Sensitivity study

Method comparison

Chi-chi earthquake

a b s t r a c t

SPT-N-based methods have been adopted for liquefaction assessment of soils during earthquakes for decades. However, there has not been a consistent way of assessing the accuracy and applicability of these

methods. The Chi-chi earthquake of 1999, which has been the most serious ground shaking in Taiwan

within the century, caused extensive liquefactions in mid-west alluvial deposits of the island. This paper

assesses the prediction accuracy of several SPT-N-based methods using liquefaction and non-liquefaction

incidents observed during the earthquake. A sensitivity study on commonly adopted parameters shows

that the SPT blow count and peak ground acceleration are most sensitive in computing liquefaction

potential. By comparing the error in predicting liquefaction and non-liquefaction incidents, this study

concludes that Tokimatsu and Yoshimis method is more accurate than the other methods. However,

the differences between prediction errors of various methods are minimal, indicating all of the methods

examined are applicable for the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan.

2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

1. General

Evaluation of liquefaction potential of a saturated sandy deposit

during an earthquake requires knowledge of the intensity and

duration of cyclic shear stresses of shaking as well as the cyclic

shear resistance of deposit materials. Generally, cyclic shear stresses could be assessed through a simplied manner [14], or based

upon results of a site response analysis [5]. The cyclic shear resistance of soils could be evaluated in the laboratory, such as through

cyclic triaxial or cyclic simple shear testing, or based upon empirical relationships between liquefaction case histories and on-site

material parameters (e.g., SPT-N, CPT-qc, or Vs values) through various eld testing programs.

The majority of liquefaction assessment methods available to

date are simplied-empirical; namely, the cyclic shear stress due

to shaking is estimated by a simplied procedure, and the cyclic

resistance of soils is based on an empirical approach. A review of

these methods can be found in a summary report by National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER) of the United

States [6] and the paper by Liam Finn [7]. The vast worldwide database, allows the SPT-N-based approach to become a dominant

methodology in the simplied-empirical category. Although this

approach has been applied for many years, the ways of assessing

Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 5 534 2601; fax: +886 5 531 2049.

E-mail address: changmh@yuntech.edu.tw (M. Chang).

0266-352X/$ - see front matter 2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.compgeo.2011.01.003

reached a consensus.

Lee et al. [8] carried out a study on 21 simplied-empirical

methods, using 100 liquefaction incidents due to earthquakes from

around the world with a magnitude greater than 6.1. They found

that the method by Seed et al. [4] is the most accurate in predicting

liquefaction, followed by Tokimatsu and Yoshimi (TY) method [9]

as the second. The new version of Japan Road Association (JRA)

method [10] ranks tenth, and the original JRA method [11] appears

to be the least accurate in prediction.

Hwang and Chen [12] indicates that the original JRA method

[11], which has been adopted in the seismic design codes for buildings in Taiwan [13], overestimates liquefaction resistance of sandy

soils with SPT-N values that are greater than 20. By examining results of laboratory and eld testing as well as liquefaction case histories, the authors recommend the TY method [9] to be adopted

for the current codes in Taiwan [14] for optimal results.

Based on a study on liquefaction damages at Yuanlin Town during the 1999 Chi-chi Earthquake, Su and Wang [15] indicates

Seeds method, as modied and suggested by the NCEER/NSF

Workshops [6], would provide most consistent predictions in comparison to observations from the earthquake.

Hwang and Yang [16] conducted a systematic evaluation on

SPT-N-based methods using 302 liquefaction and non-liquefaction

cases from the 1999 Chi-chi Earthquake. The success rate and the

at-least safety factor error (Fm) are adopted as indices for this

394

highest success rate and the lowest Fm (i.e., most accurate), while

the TY method [9] and the new version of JRA method [10] are

the next accurate. On the other hand, the original JRA method

[11] is the least accurate in prediction. The evaluation above is

based on a critical depth with a minimum corrected blow count

(N1,60). The correlation between the one-point estimation and

the observed surface manifestations of liquefaction could thus be

doubtful.

The Chi-chi earthquake of 1999, with a magnitude (Mw) of 7.6,

has been the most serious earthquake within the century which

caused extensive liquefaction damages in the mid-west alluvial

deposits of Taiwan [30]. With more than 1500 borehole logs collected from the deposits in this study, the liquefaction and non-liquefaction incidents of the earthquake provide an excellent

opportunity to examine the accuracy and applicability of various

SPT-N-based approaches for use in Taiwan.

The paper therefore aims to address this issue, by rst conducting a sensitivity study on the factors commonly adopted in N-based

methods, then evaluating the prediction accuracy of the methods

by using liquefaction and non-liquefaction incidents of the

earthquake.

However, the analysis methods for liquefaction assessment discussed are primarily for design purposes, which involve various

degrees of idealization and simplication. Accordingly, analysis results of the methods might vary from observations in the eld,

which generally reects the simplications adopted in each of

the methods. In order to provide a basis for selection of design

methods, this study compared the relative accuracy or degree of

conservatism of the methods in predicting the observations of

the 1999 earthquake.

2. SPT-N-based liquefaction analysis approaches

Analysis methods considered in this study include: (1) Seeds

method modied and suggested by NCEER/NSF Workshop [6];

(2) Tokimatsu and Yoshimis (TY) method [9]; (3) a new version

of Japan Road Association (JRA) method [10]; and (4) the Chinese

Code for Seismic Design of Buildings (CSDB) method [17]. Each

method is briey reviewed as follows.

Two analysis procedures have been recently proposed by Idriss

and Boulanger [36] and Cetin et al. [37] to revise the original Seeds

method [1,4,6]. However, these two procedures appear to disagree

in regards to the rd (stress reduction factor, or model mass participation factor) and Kr (correction factor for effective overburden

pressure) relationships, which are adopted in the evaluation of

in situ CSR for the triggering correlations from back analysis of eld

performance case histories [38]. Since more verication would be

needed for the new procedures, to settle the conict in the proposed rd and Kr relationships, this paper would only evaluate the

prediction accuracy of the commonly-adopted analysis procedures

in the industry today.

2.1. Seeds method

This method was rst proposed by Seed and Idriss in 1971, then

modied by the authors and other colleagues in subsequent years

[14]. In 1996 and 1998, this method was further synthesized and

updated in the workshops held by NCEER and NSF [6]. The updated

version is used in the current study. An analysis owchart of this

method is shown in Fig. 1, indicating two separate procedures to

estimate the cyclic stress ratio (CSR) due to shaking and the cyclic

resistance ratio (CRR) of soils. The effects of earthquake magnitude

(Mw), nes content (FC), and effective overburden pressure r0v are

incorporated in the CRR estimation. The stress reduction factor (rd)

for the CSR estimation uses the original average relationship suggested by Seed and Idriss [1] and endorsed by NCEER/NSF workshops [6]. The earthquake magnitude scaling factor (MSF), as

shown in the gure, adopts the revised version by Idriss during

the 1995 Seeds Memorial Lecture, as suggested by NCEER/NSF

workshops as a lower bound for MSF values [6].

2.2. Tokimatsu and Yoshimi (TY) method

Tokimatsu and Yoshimi [9] proposed a similar approach to

Seeds method, by estimating CSR and CRR separately prior to the

computation of the factor of safety against liquefaction (FL). However, the TY method is different from Seeds method in developing

the CRR relationships. The CRR boundary curves of soils are established based on the results of laboratory testing on high quality

undisturbed (frozen) samples from Niigata, Japan, where severe

liquefactions had occurred in 1964 [18]. The cyclic strength of soils

in laboratory is determined based on a given cyclic strain at 15

stress cycles, and the cyclic strain is correlated to the level of severity in liquefaction damages observed during 70 case histories in Japan and 20 cases in other parts of the world. The assessment

owchart of TY method is presented in Fig. 2, showing the earthquake magnitude (M) is accounted for in the CSR estimation. As

mentioned, the CRR curves take into account the level of severity

of liquefaction damages, which is reected by the coefcient, Cs.

According to the authors, a Cs-range of 8090 (i.e., a cyclic shear

strain c = 5.51.5%) is normally adopted. For extensive liquefaction,

however, a Cs value of 75 (i.e., a cyclic shear strain c ; 10%) is

suggested.

2.3. New JRA (NJRA) method

The original JRA method was promulgated in 1990 [11] by synthesizing studies of several parties [1921]. The CRR curves of this

method are based on the results of laboratory evaluation of in situ

samples, where the cyclic resistance is determined with a number

of liquefaction stress cycle (Nl) of 20. After the Hyogoken-Nambu

Earthquake of Japan in 1995, this method has been considerably

revised [10]. In view of the ndings from the earthquake, a set of

screening criteria has been added prior to the assessment procedure. The cyclic resistance of gravelly soils, as evidenced in the

earthquake, is also considered based on limited laboratory results

of frozen samples. Although the earthquake magnitude is not included in the CSR formulation, two types of earthquake are accounted for in assessing the cyclic resistance of soils. Type I

quakes occurs along the subduction zone boundaries, and Type II

quakes occurs under the intraplate of continents. Fig. 3 indicates

the analysis owchart of the revised method. It is noted that the

maximum values of the CSR and CRR are computed in the process,

unlike the majority of SPT-N-based approaches, where only average values are employed.

2.4. Chinese building code (CSDB) method

The Chinese liquefaction assessment procedure was established

in the Code for Seismic Design of Buildings (CSDB) of China in 1974

(Doc. No. TJ11-74). This procedure adopts a critical SPT N-value,

Ncr, which is a function of seismic intensity, groundwater depth,

and the depth of interest, indicating that a lower limit is required

for the soil to prevent liquefaction. After the Haichen (1975) and

Tongshan (1976) earthquakes, this assessment procedure has been

modied by considering the attenuation effect of ground shaking,

as shown in the building code of 1989 (Doc. No. GBJ11-89). In

2001, the building code (Doc. No. GB50011-2001 [17]) was slightly

updated by adjusting the assessment procedure and adopting design earthquake groups to account for both the characteristic

395

Horizontal peak

ground acceleration,

amax

SPT N-value,

N

EQ magnitude,

Mw

Effective overburden

pressure, v( kPa)

ER

N 60 = N

60

CN =

Fines content,

FC (%)

100

v '

( FC 5)

5.0

(35 FC )

N1,60 = C N N 60

1.0

1.2

( FC 5)

(5 < FC < 35)

rd = 1 0.00765z

z 9.15m

rd = 1.174 0.0267 z 9.15 < z 23m

rd = 0.744 0.008z 23 < z 30m

(35 FC )

Cyclic resistance ratio, CRR7.5

CRR7.5 =

MSF =

10 2.24

M w2.56

a + cx + ex 2 + gx 3

1 + bx + dx 2 + fx 3 + hx 4

d=9.578E-3, e=6.136E-4, f=-3.285E-4,

g=-1.673E-5, h=3.714E-6

CSR = 0.65

amax v

rd

g v '

FL =

CRR

/

=

CSR o ' R o ' L

Horizontal peak

ground acceleration,

amax

EQ magnitude,

M

SPT N-value,

N

N1, 72 =

Effective overburden

pressure, o( kg/cm2)

1.7 N ER

o '+0.7 72

Fines content,

FC (%)

( FC < 5)

(5 FC < 10)

(10 FC )

N f = FC 5

0.1FC + 4

rd = 1 0.015z

N a = N1,72 + N f

Cyclic resistance ratio, CRR

Equiv. average cyclic stress ratio, CSR

= 0.1( M 1) max v rd

'

g v '

o L

16 N

16 N a

a

= aCr

+

Cs

'

100

o R

Cs=75 for extensive liquefaction situation

FL =

CRR

/

=

CSR o ' R o ' L

Fig. 4 shows the analysis owchart of the updated version. The Chinese building code method is signicantly different from the afore-

intensity and the earthquake group are exclusively dened and applied for use in China only.

396

(1) Groundwater depth 10m, with saturated sand located 20m below ground surface;

(2) Fines contents (FC) 35%, or FC>35% and PI 15%; and

(3) Effective grain size D 50 10mm and D10 1mm.

Design horizontal

EQ coefficient, khc

Effective overburden

pressure, o ( kg/cm2)

SPT N-value,

N

N1,72 =

c2 =

(

10) / 18

FC

N a = c1 N1, 72 + c2

(0 FC < 10)

(10 FC )

Gravel:

N a = N1,72 []

1 0.36 log10 ( D50 / 2)

Na

0.0882

1 .7

RL =

0.0882 N a + 1.6 10 6 ( N 14) 4.5

a

1 .7

rd = 1 0.015z

( N a < 14)

(14 N a )

EQ Type I: c w = 1.0

( RL < 0.1)

1.0

(0.4 RL )

2.0

CSR = L = rd kh

D50 (mm)

(0 FC < 10)

1

( FC / 20) 1

(60 FC )

1.7 N ER

o '+0.7 72

Sand:

khc replaced by

amax

g

Fines content,

FC (%)

v

v '

CRR = R = cw RL

FL =

CRR R

=

CSR L

Liquefaction analysis calculates factors of safety against liquefaction at separate depths of a borehole. To address the severity

of liquefaction for the entire borehole in the ground, the computed

factors of safety and the associated depth intervals need to be considered. Several techniques on assessing liquefaction potential for

the entire borehole depth have been proposed [10,17,20,21]. The

following parametric study utilizes Iwasakis depth-weighted average technique [21], and the associated liquefaction potential index

(PL) is computed for the sensitivity study among various factors.

4.1. Analysis conditions

The sensitivities of computation of the PL ratio due to various

analysis parameters are determined for the liquefaction assessment methods considered. As shown in Table 1, a set of common

parameters adopted in the SPT-N-based assessment methods are

maximum ground acceleration (amax), SPT blow count (N), nes

content (FC), stress reduction coefcient (rd), earthquake magnitude (M), overburden pressure correction factor (CN), and hammer

energy ratio (ER).

As a basis for comparison, the following values of parameters

are assumed: GWT = 1.5 m, amax = 0.25 g, FC = 15%, M = 7.5,

ER = 73.5%, as well as a unit weight cm = csat = 21.1 kN/m3 and an

effective grain size D50 = 1.5 mm. Three types of SPT N-prole of

soil deposit are postulated, namely: constant distribution, linearly-increasing distribution, and linearly-decreasing distributions

with depth, all with an average blow count of 10. In addition, Type

I earthquake is assumed in the NJRA method. As for the CSDB

method, the following values are adopted: clay fraction CF = 10%,

seismic intensity I = 8, and earthquake groups 13.

Since SPT blow count would be affected by the overburden

pressure at the depth of testing, the SPT blow count is adjusted

to a common (effective) vertical stress by a correction factor CN.

Several CNr0o relationships have been proposed, as shown in

Fig. 5, which could be broadly represented by C N 1 k log r0o ,

with k value ranging from 0.7 to 1.4. A higher k value indicates a

greater gradient in the CNr0o relationship; implying more of an

397

Screening criteria for further assessment for sands or silts (except loess)

(1) Geologic age younger than Pleistocene Epoch;

(2) Clay fraction (CF) less than 10, 13, and 16 (%), for seismic intensity (I) less than

7, 8, and 9, respectively;

(3) For overlaying non-liquefaction soil thickness (du) and groundwater depth (dw),

satisfying: du (d0+db-2m), dw (d0+db-3m), or (du+dw) (1.5d0+2db-4.5m),

where db=building embedment, d0=liquefaction characteristic depth.

Design earthquake

group

Groundwater

depth (dw)

Seismic intensity

(I, amax)

Soil depth

(ds)

Clay fraction

(CF, %)

Ncr = N0 [0.9 + 0.1(ds-dw)] (3/CF)0.5, for ds 15m

Ncr = N0 [2.4 - 0.1ds] (3/CF)0.5, for 15m ds 20m

FL =

CRR

N

=

CSR N cr

CN = 1 log 'o

Analysis

parameter

Analysis methods

Seeda

TYb

NJRAc

CSDBd

GWT

amax

SPT-N

FC

rd

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

For z 5 9.15 m,

rd 1 0:00765z

For

9.15 m < z 5 23 m,

r d 1:174 0:0267z

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

r d 1 0:015z

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

r d 1 0:015z

Yes

Yese

Yes

n/af

n/a

102:24

M 2:56

Yes

M

CN

ER (%)

Cs

q

Pa

r00

60

n/a

1:7

0 0:7

0

72

8090 Use 75

for extensive

liquefaction

n/ag

r

1:7

0 0:7

0

72

n/a

n/ag

n/a

60

n/a

a

NCEER modied Seeds method (Youd et al., 2001).

b

Tokimatsu and Yoshimis method (1983).

c

The new version of Japan Roadway Associations method (JRA, 1996).

d

Code for Seismic Design of Buildings, China (CD/PROC 2001).

e

Based on the relationship between the seismic intensity (I) and the peak ground

acceleration (amax).

f

Considered by the content of clay particles (<5 lm).

g

Considered by the type of earthquakes.

h

Considered the soil thickness (ds) and groundwater depth (dw) in computation

of the critical SPT-N value, Ncr.

reduction at a greater depth. The above expression for CN is an assumed simplied format intended for the parametric study of sensitivity of CN on the computed liquefaction. In the later part of this

paper, the respective expression of CN for each of the analysis

methods is adopted for the liquefaction assessment of the study

area during the 1999 earthquake.

Table 1

Parameters adopted in the liquefaction analysis methods.

0.0

0.0

0.4

0.8

1.2

1.6

1.0

2.0

Peck et.al. (1974)

3.0

Seed (1976)

Tokimatsu et.al. (1983)

Liao & Whitman (1986)

4.0

Dr = 40~60%

Dr = 60~80%

Lambda = 1.4

Lambda = 0.7

5.0

Fig. 5. Distribution of overburden pressure correction factor.

is adopted to consider the soil prole as a deformable body in estimating CSR. The relationship of the stress reduction factor and the

depth has been developed by several parties, but the results are

scattered signicantly [1,21,22,3638]. This study assumes a

general expression of the stress reduction factor as rd = 1 mz.

The slope m is assumed to vary from 0.005 to 0.030, as shown in

Fig. 6, covering approximately the ranges Seed and Idriss [1] and

other researchers [1,21,22,3638] had proposed. A higher m-value

indicates a greater gradient in the stress reduction curve; implying

a greater reduction in CSR with depth. Similarly, the above

expression for rd is an assumed simplied form for the purposes

of parametric study of the sensitivity of rd on the computed liquefaction. In the later part of this paper, however, the specic expression of rd for each of the liquefaction analysis methods is used for

the liquefaction assessment of the study area during the 1999

earthquake.

398

d = 1 m z (0.3048meter / ft )

0.0

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

Seed & Idiss (lower limit)

Depth, z (ft)

10

20

30

m = 0.005

40

m = 0.010

50

Iwasaki et al. (m = 0.015)

60

70

m = 0.020

80

m = 0.025

90

m = 0.030

100

Fig. 6. Distribution of stress reduction factor.

Results of the sensitivity study are summarized in Table 2. For

all the parameters examined, SPT blow count (N) and peak ground

acceleration (amax) appear to be most sensitive in the computed

liquefaction potential. Hammer energy ratio (ER), earthquake magnitude (M), nes content (FC), and groundwater depth (GWT) are

also fairly sensitive. Stress reduction factor (rd) and overburden

pressure correction factor (CN) are the least sensitive of the parameters studied.

The Chinese building code (CSDB) method shows signicant

sensitivity in the computed liquefaction potential due to SPT blow

count (N) and hammer energy ratio (ER). In comparison, other

analysis methods in this study are not as sensitive; implying the

prediction accuracy of the CSDB method relies greatly upon these

two parameters.

With exception to the CSDB method, Seeds method appears

most sensitive in the computed liquefaction potential due to SPT

blow count (N), hammer energy ratio (ER), and earthquake magnitude (M); while NJRA method is least sensitive.

It is important to note the effect of the groundwater level on the

computed liquefaction potential. An increase in the groundwater

level would decrease the effective stress of soil, which would, in

turn, enhance the computed seismic force (i.e., CSR) at the depth

of interest. On the other hand, as a result of the increase in groundwater level, a decrease in the effective stress of soil would amplify

the overburden pressure correction factor (CN) in order to accommodate the underestimated SPT N-value due to rising groundwa-

ter, and causing the cyclic resistance of soil (CRR) to remain the

same. As pointed out by Youd et al. [6], the effective stress adopted

for CN should be the overburden pressure at the time of drilling and

testing, implying that the corrected N-value (N1) and the cyclic

resistance (CRR) of soil should be determined at the time of testing

and remains constant afterwards, even if the groundwater level

might be uctuating over time.

An example of the misinterpretation of the CRR and the associated factor of safety against liquefaction (FL) is indicated by Lin

et al. [23] and shown in Fig. 7a. In the example, an increase in

groundwater level causes amplication of CN factor and increases

N1 and CRR of soil, resulting in an adverse increase of FL at shallower depths. If N1 is decided at the time of testing and remains

constant afterwards (i.e., N1 irrelevant to groundwater uctuation),

then the increase in groundwater level would only enhance CSR,

and therefore decrease the FL, as shown in Fig. 7b.

5. The 1999 Chi-chi earthquake

Liquefaction and non-liquefaction incidents of the 1999 earthquake are used to compare the prediction accuracy by various

SPT-N-based methods. Since the CSDB method adopts a signicantly different analysis philosophy, this method is excluded from

the comparison. Accordingly, only Seeds method [6], the TY

method [9], and the NJRA method [10] are considered in the following study.

5.1. The earthquake and liquefaction damages

Table 2

Results of relative sensitivity study.

Parameter

SPT-N

ER

k, for CN

FC

GWT

amax

m, for rd

M

Cs

Parameter value

potential index ratio, DPL/PL for

different liquefaction assessment

methods

Range

Reference

Seed

(%)

TY

(%)

NJRA

(%)

CSDB

(%)

315

50100%

0.71.4

040%

0.55 m

0.150.35 g

0.0050.030

6.08.0

7595

10

73.5%

1.0

15%

1.5 m

0.25 g

0.015

7.5

85

153

76

5

55

50

98

28

72

91

50

3

56

57

102

24

45

53

87

40

1

32

46

86

17

192325

91129

3339

4049

(Mw) of 7.6, hit central Taiwan, resulting in more than 2300 people

killed, 8700 people wounded, and numerous structures damaged

[24]. The epicenter of the quake is in Chi-chi Town, Nantou County,

at a depth of about 7 km along the Chelungpu Fault, as shown in

Fig. 8. The quake is triggered by a rupture of the thrust fault (from

east to west) with a length of about 85 km. Based on the denition

by Bolt [32], the duration of the main shock is approximately 40 s,

which is considered long enough to contribute to the extensive liquefaction incidents during the earthquake. Fig. 9 [33] indicates an

example of the acceleration-time histories recorded at Yuanlin

Town, which had the most wide-spread liquefaction area during

the earthquake. Due to the nature and location of the faulting,

the eastwest component of the shaking is the greatest in all

directions.

399

FL

FL

0.5

1.5

2.0

2.5

3.0

0.5

0

1

2

3

4

5

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

6

7

8

9

GWT=0,N=15

10

11

12

13

GWT=1,N=15

GWT=2,N=15

GWT=3,N=15

GWT=4,N=15

GWT=5,N=15

14

15

16

17

GWT=0,N=20

GWT=1,N=20

GWT=2,N=20

GWT=3,N=20

18

19

20

GWT=4,N=20

GWT=5,N=20

Depth (m)

Depth (m)

0

1

1.0

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

3.0

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

GWT=0,N=15

GWT=1,N=15

GWT=2,N=15

GWT=3,N=15

GWT=4,N=15

GWT=5,N=15

GWT=0,N=20

GWT=1,N=20

GWT=2,N=20

GWT=3,N=20

GWT=4,N=20

GWT=5,N=20

Study

Area

Miaoli

Taichung

Chuoswei

River

(downstream)

Changhua

Yunlin

Nantou

Epicenter

Chelungpu

Fault

Chiai

50

Chuoswei River alluvial fan. The study area encompasses the entire

alluvial fan, where most of the shallower sediments consist of saturated loose sands or silts (SM or ML) interbedded with clayey layers of low plasticity (CL) [29,39].

Thirty-four strong motion stations have been installed in the

study area by the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan prior to the

earthquake [24,30], with their locations shown in Fig. 10. The recorded peak ground accelerations (PGAs; EW direction) of the

earthquake are adopted in the current study. Due to a fairly even

distribution of the stations across the study area, the PGAs at each

of the borehole locations are considered appropriate and determined by interpolation based on the 34 recorded data for liquefaction analysis of the 1999 earthquake. Fig. 10 shows the PGA

contours adopted in this study.

100Km

Liquefaction Site

magnitude as an index to account for the number of stress cycles,

or the duration of shaking. To verify the representative stress cycles

of the 1999 earthquake, a weighting procedure proposed by Seed

et al. [34] and described by Lee and Chan [35] was conducted. The

results indicate the equivalent number of stress cycles was approximately 21 for the magnitude 7.6 earthquake. Compared with the

relationship proposed by Seed [2], the estimated number of stress

cycles falls within the range of one-standard deviation (i.e., 825),

with an average of 16 cycles. Accordingly, the assumption of the

number of stress cycles adopted in most of liquefaction analysis

methods is generally valid for the case of the 1999 earthquake.

Locations of the liquefaction sites are indicated in Fig. 8, with

the most serious damage at Yuanlin Town and nearby townships

A total of 1571 borehole logs have been collected for this study.

Some of the logs are neglected due to the lack of essential information or reliability of results. The remaining 1084 borehole logs,

with locations shown in Fig. 11, are deemed effective and adopted

in the analyses. According to different screening criteria, the actual

borehole numbers adopted in the assessment methods are slightly

varied, as shown in Table 3.

The adopted boreholes are assigned as either liquefaction or

non-liquefaction boreholes prior to the subsequent analyses. As

in usual practices, boreholes with observed surface manifestations

of liquefaction (e.g., sand boils, lateral spreads, and tilted, settled or

oated structures, etc.) in the vicinity of the boreholes during the

1999 earthquake are assigned as liquefaction boreholes, while

those without surface manifestations are assigned as non-liquefaction boreholes. It is noted that liquefaction often occurs at depth

which may or may not extend up to the ground surface due to several reasons. In accordance, the observed surface manifestations

are indicative of soil liquefaction, while no surface manifestations

are implying either non-liquefaction or liquefaction sites. For instance, Youd and Carter [40] indicate no liquefaction phenomenon

was observed in the vicinity of the instrument sites at Treasure Is-

400

2680000

N

W

2670000

S

2660000

2650000

2640000

2630000

2620000

2610000

: Strong motion stations

2600000

160000 170000 180000 190000 200000 210000 220000

0

10000

20000

30000

40000 (m)

Fig. 10. Recorded peak ground acceleration (PGA; amax,EW) contours and 34 strong

motion stations in the study area during the 1999 earthquake.

Fig. 9. Acceleration-time histories recorded at Yuanlin Station (TCU120), Changhua

County during the 1999 earthquake [33].

N

2670000

land and Alameda Navy Air Station, California, during the 1989

Loma Prieta Earthquake. However, a sudden shift of frequency contents to longer periods and a decrease in acceleration amplitudes

after some time period in the actual motions, as compared with

those in the predicted motions (without soil softening), clearly

indicate that soil liquefactions had occurred at the sites. Since no

detailed ground response analysis has been conducted for borehole

category classication purposes in this study, some falsely-assigned non-liquefaction boreholes may exist. The potential impact

of the falsely-assigned borehole categories is further discussed in

Section 6.4.3 of this paper.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 is adopted in the analyses by Seeds and TYs methods. For the NJRA method, however,

a Type I Earthquake is assumed in order to be comparable to the

1999 earthquake condition. In consideration of the level of liquefaction damages, this study adopts Cs = 83 for the TY method,

which is consistent with an earthquake magnitude of 7.6, per suggestions by Wu [25]. Based on limited on-site data [23,26,39], an

energy ratio of 73.5% is assumed for the current study, which is

consistent with the value adopted by NCREE/Taiwan for the SPT

hammers used in the island. In analysis, the unit weight of soil at

each of the material strata is based on the borehole data obtained

at the time of drilling.

Due to lack of real time monitoring data, this study assumes the

groundwater levels recorded in the borehole logs to form an average groundwater datum for the area. To account for seasonal uctuations [27] and the timing of the earthquake, an additional 3 m is

assumed on top of the average datum as the groundwater level

during the 1999 earthquake. The datum and its additional 3 m

assumption is limited by the condition that the groundwater level

should be at least 1 m below the ground surface.

E

S

2660000

2650000

2640000

2630000

2620000

2610000

0

10

20

Kilometers

2600000

160000 170000 180000

220000

The accuracy of liquefaction analysis could be evaluated in different ways. The factor of safety against liquefaction (FL) could be

computed at any given (or critical) depth and compared with the

surface manifestations observed during an earthquake [16,28].

However, the use of a single depth to compute the safety factor

401

is a magnitude scaling factor suggested by Idriss [6]. For CSR predictions, however, the values are adjusted corresponding to a

pre-assumed earthquake magnitude of 7.5. In the NJRA method,

both CRR and CSR refer to peak values, and a coefcient of 0.65,

which conforms to the coefcient used in the Seeds method, is further applied to the CRR and CSR in the above procedures.

Table 3

Number of boreholes for analysis.

Case

Numbers of boreholes

Collected

Liquefaction

Non-liquefaction

Sum

69

1015

1084

Analyzed

Seeds

method

TYs

method

NJRAs

method

66

920

986

67

927

994

67

930

997

Under the same basis of comparison, results of the CRR predictions by the three methods for the soils in the study area during the

1999 earthquake (M = 7.6) are shown in Fig. 12. The CRR curves are

plotted for a normalized blow count, N1,60, with different nes contents (FC). As shown in the gure, predictions in CRR by the three

methods vary in different ranges of N1,60 and FC. To facilitate comparison, Table 4 is prepared with corresponding orders in CRR

shown in each of the ranges of N1,60 and FC.

As indicated in the table, Seeds method normally provides the

highest CRR predictions at higher blow counts (e.g., N1,60 > 10) and

gives the lowest CRR values at lower blow counts (e.g., N1,60 < 10),

as shown by the bold letter S in the table. The TY method appears to compute the highest CRR for FC = 15% and N1,60 < 10,

and the lowest CRR for FC ; 35% and N1,60 = 10, as shown by the

bold letter T in the table. Except for a blow count of less than

or equal to 2, the NJRA method would result in the greatest CRR

prediction for FC < 5% and N1,60 < 15, and the smallest CRR prediction for FC ; 15% and N1,60 > 10, as shown by the bold letter N

in the table. A higher CRR would tend to provide a higher FL, hence

a lower PL estimation, and vice versa.

An improved method would be to use a section or an entire depth

interval to compute a depth-weighted average safety factor, or liquefaction potential index (PL), as suggested by Iwasaki et al. [21].

However, the accuracy in liquefaction prediction would be affected

by the depth-weighting function assumed.

Another method of comparison is to examine the details of

computation for CRR and CSR, which would provide a picture on

situations where the values are relatively overestimated or underestimated among the various SPT-N-based methods.

Although SPT-N-based methods generally include computations

of CRR and CSR, the analysis philosophy and computation details of

the methods are slightly different. As stated previously, Seeds

method considers the effect of the earthquake magnitude as an inverse modication in the cyclic strength of soil (Fig. 1). Conversely,

the TY method accounts for the earthquake magnitude directly in

the cyclic stress formulation (Fig. 2).

To form a basis of comparison, this study adopts the analysis

framework by Seed [1,6] and converts the CRR and CSR estimations

of the other two methods into the same platform; i.e., CRRave,M and

CSRave,M=7.5, where CRRave,M is the adjusted average cyclic resistance

ratio of the ground for an earthquake magnitude other than 7.5,

and CSRave,M=7.5 is the average cyclic stress ratio of an earthquake

shaking with a magnitude of 7.5. For an earthquake magnitude

other than 7.5, the original CRR7.5 prediction in all of the methods

FC = 5%

Results of the CSR predictions by the three methods for the 1999

earthquake are shown in Table 5. Generally, cyclic shear stresses

are higher at liquefaction sites than those at non-liquefaction sites.

The cyclic stress ratio, however, appears to be slightly increasing

with depth, at both liquefaction and non-liquefaction sites. The

computed CSRs are similar for the three methods considered. Due

to a more conservative assumption on the stress reduction

FC = 15%

FC = 35%

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.3

CRR

CRR

CRR

0.5

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.1

0.1

Seeds method

Seeds method

Seeds method

T & Ys method

T & Ys method

T & Ys method

NJRAs method

NJRAs method

NJRAs method

0

0

10

20

(N1)60

30

40

50

0

0

10

20

(N1)60

30

40

50

10

20

(N1)60

Fig. 12. CRRavN1,60 curves for liquefaction analysis of the 1999 earthquake (CRR converted per Seeds analysis framework).

30

40

50

402

Table 4

Comparison of CRRs by various analysis methods for the 1999 earthquake (CRR converted per Seeds analysis framework).

FC (%)

SPT-N1,60

02

28

810

55

S>TN

N>T>S

N>T>S

15

T>S>N

T>N>S

T>N>S

35

T>NS

T>NS

S>TN

Remark: The bold symbol (S, T, N) indicates the method with the highest computed

1012

1215

1524

>24

N>T>S

T>S>N

S>TN

CRR value.

N>S>T

S>T>N

S>TN

S>N>T

S>T>N

S>N>T

S>T>N

ST>N

N>S>T

N>S>T

S>T>N

S>TN

S>N>T

S>T>N

S>N>T

S>T>N

ST>N

N>S>T

55

S>TN

N>T>S

N>T>S

N>T>S

15

T>S>N

T>N>S

T>N>S

T>S>N

35

T>NS

T>NS

S>TN

S>TN

Remark: The bold symbol (S, T, N) indicates the method with the lowest computed CRR value.

Note: S = NCEER modied Seeds method (Youd et al., 2001).

T = Tokimatsu and Yoshimis method (1983).

N = The new version of Japan Roadway Associations method (JRA, 1996).

Table 5

Comparison of CSRs by various analysis methods for the 1999 earthquake (CSR converted per Seeds analysis framework).

Depth (m)

03.75 m

Average

3.756.75 m

Average

6.759.75 m

Average

>9.75 m

Average

a

b

CSRTYa

CSRSeed

CSRNJRA,aveb

CSRNJRA,max

Liquefaction

boreholes

Non-liquefaction

boreholes

Liquefaction

boreholes

Non-liquefaction

boreholes

Liquefaction

boreholes

Non-liquefaction

boreholes

Liquefaction

boreholes

Non-liquefaction

boreholes

0.140.26

0.19

0.160.24

0.21

0.200.24

0.23

0.150.24

0.20

0.020.40

0.09

0.030.42

0.11

0.040.37

0.12

0.030.42

0.10

0.130.25

0.17

0.160.22

0.20

0.190.23

0.21

0.160.23

0.20

0.020.40

0.09

0.020.40

0.10

0.030.35

0.11

0.030.42

0.10

0.200.39

0.28

0.230.35

0.31

0.290.35

0.32

0.250.35

0.31

0.040.48

0.14

0.040.50

0.16

0.050.50

0.17

0.050.50

0.17

0.130.26

0.18

0.160.23

0.20

0.190.23

0.21

0.160.23

0.20

0.030.31

0.09

0.030.33

0.10

0.030.33

0.11

0.030.33

0.11

Assume M = 7.5.

Assume CSRNJRA,ave = 0.1(M 1)CSR

NJRA,max

= 0.1(7.5 1)CSR

NJRA,max

= 0.65CSR

NJRA,max.

6.759.75 m. Similarly, better matched cases for the TY method

are located at depth intervals of 3.756.75 m (Fig. 13) and 6.75

9.75 m, and that for the NJRA method is located at a depth interval

of 6.759.75 m.

The comparisons stated previously provide a general view on

the situations where CRR or CSR might be overestimated or underestimated for the N-based methods considered. However, the accuracy of predictions by the various methods has not yet been

veried.

The assessment methods compute CRR and CSR, and hence the

factor of safety against liquefaction, at any given depth of a borehole. Without knowing the exact location of liquefaction, this study

postulates four potential depth intervals of liquefaction (i.e.,

03.75 m, 3.756.75 m, 6.759.75 m, and >9.75 m), and computes

the CRR and CSR accordingly for the depth points within the

intervals. Results of the analyses for a certain depth interval are

subsequently compared with observations from the earthquake.

Fig. 13 shows typical results of the analyses for a depth interval between 3.75 m and 6.75 m.

Several post-quake explorations have been carried out at Yuanlin Town, and the results reveal a potentially liqueable layer of

silty ne to medium sand, with a thickness of about 3 m, located

within the top 9 m of the prole [29,39]. Tests on erupted and

cored samples also indicate that the liqueable soils contain significant amounts of non-plastic nes (FC = 1045%) [30,39].

In view of the high nes content of liqueed soils, the comparison of predictions and observations indicates that the locations of

liquefaction boreholes appear to be better matched with the

In order to quantify the above comparison of the analyses

methods, this study considers a measurement of the error estimates in analysis and adopts the terms: prediction error ratios

for liquefaction and non-liquefaction sites (eL and eNL), which

are illustrated and dened in Fig. 14. Since SPT-N-based analysis

schemes generally divide the CSRN1,60 space into liquefaction

and non-liquefaction regions by a CRR curve, predictions would

be correct if a liquefaction site is determined by a liquefaction prediction, and a non-liquefaction site is determined by a non-liquefaction prediction. Conversely, if a site has a known liquefaction

or non-liquefaction condition, but is dened by the other side of

the predicted condition, then the prediction would be incorrect.

It is noted that there is no scale to measure how accurate is a correct prediction. However, a measurement on how far the prediction deviates from a correct (CRR) boundary would be exists for

an incorrect prediction. Accordingly, this study adopts the concept

of measuring prediction inaccuracy for comparing the accuracy in

prediction by various liquefaction assessment methods.

Results of prediction error ratios for liquefaction and non-liquefaction sites are shown in Tables 6 and 7, respectively. For

liquefaction cases (Table 6), the minimum average prediction error

ratios (eL,av,min) appear to be located at the depth interval of

3.756.75 m, for all of the assessment methods studied. However,

coefcient (rd), however, TY and NJRA methods provide somewhat smaller predictions than the Seeds method.

403

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.3

CSR

CSR

0.5

CSR

0.5

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.1

CRR, FC = 5%

0.1

CRR, FC = 5%

CRR, FC = 15%

CRR, FC = 35%

CRR, FC = 35%

CRR, FC = 35%

Liquefaction cases

Liquefaction cases

Liquefaction cases

Non-liquefaction cases

Non-liquefaction cases

Non-liquefaction cases

0

0

10

20

30

40

CRR, FC = 5%

CRR, FC = 15%

CRR, FC = 15%

50

0

0

10

20

30

(N1)60

(N1)60

40

50

10

20

30

40

50

(N1)60

Fig. 13. Comparison of predictions vs. observations for analysis at a depth interval: 3.756.75 m during the 1999 earthquake (M = 7.6).

CSR

&

CRR

Liquefaction Site, L:

CRR

Curve

Liquefaction

Region

L =

CSRB

CRRA CSRA

CRRA

Non-Liquefaction Site, NL:

NL =

CRRB

CSRB CRRB

CRRB

Liquefaction Site:

CRRA

CSRA

NonLiquefaction

Region

NA

NB

Non-Liquefaction Site:

Falsely-Assigned

Liquefaction Site:

SPT-N

the smallest percentage of cases with erroneous predictions (PL,err,min) would be at the depth interval of 6.759.75 m. In consideration

of the prediction error and population of the cases for the whole

depth range, the NJRA method yields the smallest sum of the

weighted average prediction error ratio (min.REL,av; i.e., most accurate), the TY method next, and Seeds method the greatest (max.REL,av; i.e., least accurate) for the liquefaction cases.

For non-liquefaction cases (Table 7), the minimum average prediction error ratios (eNL,av,min) are located at the same depth interval

(3.756.75 m) as the liquefaction cases. However, the minimum

percentage of cases with erroneous predictions (PNL,err) is located

at the top depth interval (03.75 m) for all of the analysis methods.

Considering the prediction error and population of the cases for the

whole depth range for non-liquefaction cases, the sum of the

weighted average prediction error ratios (RENL,av) is the smallest

for the TY method (i.e., most accurate), next smallest for Seeds

method, and greatest for the NJRA method (i.e., least accurate).

The above discussion appears to be inconclusive because liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases are not considered at the same

(OPER) is subsequently dened and computed for all the assessment

methods to combine both cases together and account for the population in each of the cases. As shown in Table 8, the OPER ranking

indicates that the TY method would be most accurate (i.e., the

smallest OPER) in predicting both liquefaction and non-liquefaction

cases with Seeds method following in accuracy, while the NJRA

method would be least accurate in prediction (i.e., the greatest

OPER).

The aforementioned OPER ranking is based upon the computation of liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases for the entire depth

range of borehole, which could be obscured by the involvement of

non-critical depth intervals consisting of higher percentages of

cases with erroneous predictions or higher prediction error ratios.

The ranking of prediction accuracy is consequently improved by

using the critical depth interval.

In consideration of the depth interval that would provide minimum average prediction error ratios (eL,av,min or eNL,av,min) for liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases (Tables 6 and 7), a critical depth

range of 3.756.75 m is selected. This critical depth interval appears to be consistent with the location of the potential liqueable

layer identied during on-site explorations after the earthquake

[29,39]. Based on the critical depth range, the OPER ranking is computed as indicated in Table 9. This shows that the TY method provides the most accurate prediction and the NJRA method next

accurate, whereas Seeds method yields the least accuracy.

From a safe (or conservative) design standpoint, an erroneous

prediction at a liquefaction site (i.e., a non-liquefaction prediction)

would be the primary concern. As determined through the values

of REL,av or EL,av shown in Tables 8 and 9 for the whole depth range

or the critical depth interval, the NJRA method yields the most

accurate (or safest) prediction and the TY method would yield

the second most accurate prediction, whereas Seeds method

would be the least accurate.

6.4.3. Potential impact due to falsely-assigned borehole category

As discussed in Section 5.2, the analysis boreholes are pre-assigned as liquefaction or non-liquefaction ones based on the condition of surface manifestations in the vicinity of the boreholes

during the 1999 earthquake. Since surface manifestations may

404

Table 6

Prediction errors for liquefaction cases (whole depth range) in the 1999 earthquake (M = 7.6).

Method

Percentage of cases

with erroneous

predictions PL,err (%)

Average prediction

error ratio eL,av

Weighted average

prediction error

ratioa EL,av (%)

Sum of weighted

average prediction

error ratio REL,av (%)

Ranking

Seed

03.75

3.756.75

6.759.75

>9.75

56

51

23

169

57.1

37.3

4.4

53.3

0.264

0.186

0.321

0.237

15.06

6.93

1.40

12.64

36.0

TY

03.75

3.756.75

6.759.75

>9.75

58

51

23

175

56.9

31.4

4.4

33.1

0.210

0.166

0.267

0.261

11.95

5.20

1.16

8.66

27.0

NJRA

03.75

3.756.75

6.759.75

>9.75

64

52

22

172

51.6

15.4

4.6

20.9

0.296

0.141

0.205

0.337

15.27

2.16

0.93

7.05

25.4

Note: Bold numbers indicate the minimum values in all depth intervals.

a

EL,av = PL,err eL,av 100.

Table 7

Prediction errors for non-liquefaction cases (whole depth range) in the 1999 earthquake (M = 7.6).

Method

Depth

interval

(m)

Depth case

analyzed

erroneous predictions PNL,err

(%)

Average prediction

error ratio eNL,av

Weighted average

prediction error ratioa ENL,av

(%)

prediction error ratio RENL,av (%)

Ranking

Seed

03.75

3.756.75

6.759.75

>9.75

643

1100

783

2613

7.0

12.5

11.1

9.1

0.377

0.293

0.334

0.332

2.65

3.66

3.72

3.03

13.1

TY

03.75

3.756.75

6.759.75

>9.75

655

1112

801

2756

5.1

8.7

9.7

9.3

0.453

0.331

0.361

0.384

2.30

2.88

3.51

3.58

12.3

NJRA

03.75

3.756.75

6.759.75

>9.75

811

1240

920

3014

5.2

9.9

10.1

10.1

0.473

0.365

0.396

0.390

2.46

3.60

3.99

3.95

14.0

a

ENL,av = PNL,err eNL,av 100.

Table 8

Prediction errors for liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases (whole depth range) in the 1999 earthquake (M = 7.6).

Method

Seed

TY

NJRA

Liquefaction cases

Non-liquefaction cases

prediction error ratio REL,av

(%)

Ratio of analyzed

borehole numbers

BL

prediction error ratio RENL,av

(%)

Ratio of analyzed

borehole numbers

BNL

36.0

27.0

25.4

66/986

67/994

67/997

13.1

12.3

14.0

920/986

927/994

930/997

prediction error ratio OPER (%)

Ranking

14.6

13.3

14.8

2

1

3

ground, as shown by Youd and Carter [40], the above criterion for

assigning borehole categories could result in two unwanted situations: (i) a falsely-assigned liquefaction borehole, and (ii) a falselyassigned non-liquefaction borehole. A falsely-assigned liquefaction

borehole is unlikely because the observed liquefaction phenomena

on the ground surface cannot produce without the causes other

than soil liquefaction under the ground. Conversely, a falsely-assigned non-liquefaction borehole is likely due to the fact that the

extent of soil liquefaction could be hindered by thick overlying

strata.

Since detailed ground response analysis, as the ones shown by

Youd and Carter [40], has not been performed for all of the non-liquefaction boreholes, the actual number of falsely-assigned non-liq-

observed liquefaction sites during the 1999 earthquake are clustered in few townships, which account for a small portion of borehole population as compared with the entire borehole database,

the actual number of falsely-assigned non-liquefaction borehole

should be limited in this study.

As shown in Fig. 14, the falsely-assigned non-liquefaction borehole (XO) could fall on both sides of the CRR boundary curve. For XO

above the CRR curve, the prediction error ratio (eNL), and the

weighted prediction error ratio (ENL) as well, will be computed

for the falsely-assigned non-liquefaction boreholes, which will result in a slightly-overestimated overall weighted prediction error

ratio (OPER). For XO below the CRR curve, however, the prediction

error ratio (eL), and the weighted prediction error ratio (EL) as well,

405

Table 9

Prediction errors for liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases (critical depth interval: 3.756.75 m) in the 1999 earthquake (M = 7.6).

Method

Seed

TY

NJRA

Liquefaction cases

Non-liquefaction cases

Weighted average

prediction error ratio EL,av

(%)

Ratio of analyzed

borehole numbers BL

Weighted average

prediction error ratio ENL,av

(%)

Ratio of analyzed

borehole numbers BNL

6.93

5.20

2.16

66/986

67/994

67/997

3.66

2.88

3.60

920/986

927/994

930/997

prediction error ratio OPER (%)

Ranking

3.88

3.04

3.50

3

1

2

(but falsely-assigned) boreholes, which will result in a slightlyunderestimated overall weighted prediction error ratio (OPER).

It is noted that similar degrees of over or under estimations on

the OPER computation would exist among various liquefaction

assessment methods considered in this study. In addition, the over

and under estimations of OPER due to falsely-assigned non-liquefaction boreholes would be partially self-compensated, which renders

the nal OPER computation (including liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases) essentially unchanged.

In consideration of the above discussions, the falsely-assigned

non-liquefaction boreholes should have a minimal inuence on

the overall prediction error computations, and the major ndings

of this study should remain unchanged.

7. Concluding remarks

This study examines the computation sensitivity and prediction

accuracy of several SPT-N-based methods, using liquefaction and

non-liquefaction incidents of the 1999 Chi-chi Earthquake in

Taiwan. The major ndings of the study are listed as follows:

(1) Sensitivity studies on parameters adopted in the N-based

methods show that the SPT blow count (N) and peak ground

acceleration (amax) are most sensitive in the computed liquefaction potential. Hammer energy ratio (ER), earthquake

magnitude (M), nes content (FC), and groundwater depth

(GWT) follow in sensitivity. Stress reduction factor (rd) and

overburden pressure correction factor (CN) appear least

sensitive.

(2) By converting CRR and CSR estimations into the same analysis framework by Seed [1,6], Seeds method provides the

highest CRR predictions at higher blow counts (e.g.,

N1,60 > 10) and yields the lowest CRR values at lower blow

counts (e.g., N1,60 < 10). The TY method appears to compute

the highest CRR for FC = 15% and N1,60 < 10, and lowest CRR

for FC ; 35% and N1,60 = 10. The NJRA method would be

greatest in CRR for FC < 5% and N1,60 < 15, and least in CRR

for FC ; 15% and N1,60 > 10. For CSR predictions, TY and

NJRA methods provide somewhat smaller predictions than

the Seeds method.

(3) By comparing predictions and observations during the

earthquake, locations of liquefaction boreholes appear better

matched with the computed CRR curves by Seeds method at

a depth interval of 6.759.75 m. Similarly, better matched

cases for the TY method are at depth intervals of

3.756.75 m and 6.759.75 m, and for the NJRA method a

depth interval of 6.759.75 m.

(4) In liquefaction and non-liquefaction cases, the minimum

average prediction error ratios (eL,av,min and eNL,av,min) are

computed at a depth interval of 3.756.75 m, for all the

N-based assessment methods studied. This critical depth

interval appears to be consistent with the location of potentially liqueable layers identied on-site.

cases for the entire depth range of a borehole, the OPER (overall weighted average prediction error ratio) ranking shows

that the TY method would yield the most accurate (i.e.,

the smallest OPER) prediction and Seeds method the second

most accurate prediction, while the NJRA method yields

the least accurate prediction (i.e., the greatest OPER).

(6) For the critical depth interval of 3.756.75 m, the OPER ranking shows the TY method remains most accurate and the

NJRA method following in accuracy, whereas Seeds method

is the least accurate in predicting both liquefaction and nonliquefaction cases.

(7) Prediction error ratios for the N-based methods considered

in this study are usually similar and negligible, indicating

that all of the methods are generally applicable for the

1999 earthquake of Taiwan.

As mentioned previously, the analysis methods considered in

this study are primarily for design purposes. Differences between

the analysis results and the observations during the earthquake reect the simplications adopted in each method. Although the

methods studied herein provide similar degrees of accuracy in predicting the liquefaction incidents during the 1999 earthquake, the

methods are by no means accurate enough for predicting soil liquefaction in all cases. Peck [31] has raised a relevant viewpoint

regarding the issue of science and practice in liquefaction evaluation in his remark, engineering science and engineering practice

are not identical. An analysis method that is considered to be reasonably adequate for applications should have sufcient eld evidence and verications.

Acknowledgement

Financial support from the National Council for Research in

Earthquake Engineering of Taiwan (NSC89-2711-3-319-200-28,

NSC90-2711-3-319-200-12, NSC91-2711-3-319-200-08) are gratefully appreciated.

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