Liquefaction of Silts and Silt-Clay Mixtures


No guidelines are available on liquefaction evaluation of silts and silt-clay mixtures during a seismic event based on their simple soil property. The liquefaction behavior of these soils is not properly understood at present and is often confused with that of sand-silt mixtures. Pore water pressure generation mechanism of silt and silt-clay mixtures is discussed based on the published information. Through statistical analysis, an approximate correlation between cyclic stress ratio (CSR) for initial liquefaction and plasticity index (PI), initial void ratio (e0) and number of cycles (N) has been established. It is shown that an increase in plasticity index lowers the cyclic stress ratio for liquefaction in low plasticity range. There appears to be a critical value of plasticity index at which the resistance to liquefaction of silty soil is at a minimum. The liquefaction resistance of silts and silt-clay mixtures increases with the increase of plasticity index beyond this critical point. A physical explanation for this behavior is presented.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Dec 1998

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