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Seismic displacement of gently-sloping coastal and marine sediment under multidirectional earthquake loading

April 5, 2017

Gentle sediment-laden slopes are typical of the onshore coastal zone and offshore continental shelf and slope. Coastal sediment are commonly young weakly consolidated materials that are well stratified, have low strength, and can mobilize shear displacements at low levels of stress. Seismically-driven plastic displacements of these sediment pose a hazard to coastal cities, buried onshore utilities, and offshore infrastructure like harbor protection and outfalls. One-dimensional rigid downslope-directed Newmark sliding block analyses have been used to predict earthquake deformations generally on steeper slopes that are modeled as frictional materials. This study probes the effect of multidirectional earthquake motions on inertial displacements of gently sloping ground of the coastal and offshore condition where soft-compliant soil is expected. Toward that objective, this investigation seeks to understand the effect on Newmark-type displacements of [1] multidirectional earthquake shaking and [2] soil compliance. In order to model multidirectional effects, the earthquake motions are rotated into the local slope strike- and dip-components. On gently sloping ground, including the strike component of motion always results in a larger and more accurate shear stress vector. Strike motions are found to contribute to downslope deformations on any declivity. Compliant response of the soil mass also influences the plastic displacements. The magnitude of seismic displacements can be estimated with a simplified model using only the estimated soil yield-acceleration (ky) and the peak ground velocity (Vmax) of the earthquake motions. Compliance effects can be effectively mapped using the concept of Plastic Displacement Response Spectra (PDRS).

Publication Year 2017
Title Seismic displacement of gently-sloping coastal and marine sediment under multidirectional earthquake loading
DOI 10.1016/j.enggeo.2016.12.009
Authors Robert E. Kayen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Engineering Geology
Index ID 70186577
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center