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Changes in liquefaction severity in the San Francisco Bay Area with sea-level rise

December 1, 2021

This paper studies the impacts of sea-level rise on liquefaction triggering and severity around the San Francisco Bay Area, California, for the M 7.0 “HayWired” earthquake scenario along the Hayward fault. This work emerged from stakeholder engagement for the US Geological Survey releases of the HayWired earthquake scenario and the Coastal Storm Modeling System projects, in which local planners and engineers asked where, why, and by how much liquefaction hazards may change due to sea-level rise in the future. We assess the impacts of sea-level rise on liquefaction by computing changes in liquefaction potential index (LPI) for over 400 cone penetration test (CPT) soundings around the San Francisco Bay for groundwater table models developed for current and increased sea levels of up to 5 m. For the M 7.0 HayWired earthquake scenario, we find that while the majority of sites are insensitive to sea-level changes of less than 1 m, some sites are highly sensitive to small changes in water levels. We then repeat these analyses for a uniform shaking scenario to isolate the effects of sea-level rise and we find similar patterns of change. For both earthquake scenarios, modest changes in overall LPI are expected for increases in sea level, but individual sites may see significant increases in liquefaction likelihood and severity.

Publication Year 2021
Title Changes in liquefaction severity in the San Francisco Bay Area with sea-level rise
DOI 10.1061/9780784483695.030
Authors Alex R. R. Grant, Anne Wein, Kevin M. Befus, Juliette Finzi-Hart, Mike Frame, Rachel Volentine, Patrick L. Barnard, Keith L. Knudsen
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70236081
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Core Science Analytics and Synthesis; Earthquake Hazards Program; Earthquake Science Center; Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center; Western Geographic Science Center