Effects of Building Construction Overburden on Liquefaction Potential of Soils


1 Ms.c. of Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


As one of the significant phenomena in earthquake geotechnical engineering, liquefaction can cause severe damages. A number of factors play a role in the occurrence of liquefaction such as magnitude of earthquake, void ratio, relative density, and fines content percentage. The impact of building construction overburdens on liquefaction is of paramount importance. The present study was aimed at evaluating the effects of overburden resulting from building construction on liquefaction potential of saturating soil layers along Tabriz Metro Line 2. Fifty-four boreholes and geotechnical information were collected from the research site. Overburden values were considered to be 100 kPa, 200 kPa, 300 KPa, and 400 KPa equivalents to 5-, 10-, 15-, and 30-story building, respectively. The assessment of liquefaction potential of soil layers was carried out using the standard penetration test (SPT) method. Furthermore, liquefaction potential index (LPI) of soil layers was evaluated. The findings demonstrated that overburden can affect liquefaction resistance of soil layers. With increasing overburden, safety factor against liquefaction became less than one in nearly 80% of soil layers. The rate of growth in LPI of boreholes in the research site was found to be roughly 70%. Hence, an increase in overburden elevated liquefaction hazards in the research site.


[1]     Rollins, K.M., Seed, H.B, The Influence of Building Potential Liquefaction Damage, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, Vol.116, No.2,165-185,1990.

[2]     Seed, H.B, Tokimatsu, k., Harder, J., L.F., Chung, R.M., The Influence of SPT Procedures in Soil Liquefaction Resistance Evaluation, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, Vol.111, No.12, 1425-1445,1985.

[3]     Liu, H., Qiao, T., Liquefaction Potential of Saturated Sand Deposits underlying Foundation of Structures, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol.110, No.11, 148-175, 1987.

[4]     Lopez, C. F., &Modaressi, F. R. A., Numerical simulation of liquefaction effects on seismic SSI,Journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vo.28, No.2, 85-98,2008.

[5]     Shush Pasha, I. and Bagheri M., Effects of Overburden on Resistance of Liquefaction, 5th National Conference in Civil Engineering, University of Ferdowsi, Mashhad, Iran, 1-8,2012 (In Persian).

[6]     Khatibi, B.R., Hosseinzadeh, M., Moradi, G., Liquefaction Potential Variations Influenced by Building Constructions, Earth Science Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, 23-29, 2012.

[7]     Whitman, R.V. and Lambe, P.C., Liquefaction of Soils during Earthquakes, National Academy Press,Washington, D.C, 1985.

[8]     Pillai,V.S., Liquefaction Analysis of Sand: some Interpretation of Seed kα (Sloping Ground)and kσ (Depth) Correction Factor Using Steady State Concept, Proceedings of Second InternationalConference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamic, 579-587, 1991.

[9]     ArdashiriLajimi, S., Sharifi J. and HafeziMoghaddas N., Overburden Modelling due to Building Construction on Liquefy soil, Modarres Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol.15, Summer Issue, 9-18,2015 (In Persian).

[10] Watanabe, T., Damage to oil refinery plants and a building on compacted ground by the Niigataearthquake and their restoration, Soils and Foundation, Vol.6, No.2, 86-99,1966.

[11] Ishihara, K., Kawase, Y., and Nakajima, M.,Liquefaction characteristics of sand deposits at an oiltank site during the 1978 Miyagiken-Oki earthquake, Soils and Foundation, Vol.20, No.2, 97-111,1980.

[12] Yoshimi, Y. K., and Tokimatsu, K., Settlement of buildings on saturated sand during earthquakes,Soils and Foundation, Vol.17, No.1,23-38,1997.

[13] Boulanger R. W., High Overburden Stress Effects on Liquefaction Potential Analyses, Journal of Geoetchnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol.129, 1071-1082, 2003.

[14] Seed, H.B., Tokimatsu, K., Harder, L.F., and Chung, R.M., The Influence of SPT procedures in soil liquefaction resistance evaluations, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol.111, No.12, 1425-1445,1985.

[15] Idriss, I.M. and Boulanger, R.W., Semi-empirical procedures for evaluating liquefaction potential during earthquakes,Soil Dynamic and Earthquake Engineering, Vol.26, 115-130,2006.

[16] Idriss, I.M. and Boulanger, R.W.,SPT-Based Liquefaction Triggering Procedures, Report No. UCD/CGM-10/02, Center for Geotechnical Modeling, University of California, Davis,2010.

[17] Robertson, P.K. and Wride, C.E., Evaluation Cyclic Liquefaction Potential Using the Cone Penetration Test,Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol.35, No.3, 442-459,1998.

[18] Andrus, R.D. and Stokoe, K.H., Liquefaction resistance based on shear wave velocity,NCEER Workshop on Evaluation of Liquefaction Resistance of Soils, Technical Report NCEER-97-0022, T.L. Youd and I.M. Idriss, Eds, Held 4-5 January 1996, Salt Lake City, UT, NCEER, Buffalo, NY, 88-128,1997.

[19] Andrus, R.D., Piratheepan, P., Ellis, B.S., Zhang, J., and Juang, H.C., Comparing liquefaction evaluation methods using penetration Vs relationship,Journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol.24, 713-721,2004.

[20] Dabiri, D., Askari, F., Shafiee, A., and Jafari, M.K., Shear wave velocity based Liquefaction resistance of sand-silt mixtures: deterministic versus probabilistic approach,Iranian Journal of Science and Technology, Transactions of Civil Engineering, Vol.35(C2), 199-215,2011.

[21] Mohammadi, S. D., Firuzi, M. and AsghariKalajahi, E., Geological-geotechnical risk in the use of EPB-TBM, case study: Tabriz Metro, Iran, Bulletin Engineering Geology and Environment, DOI 10.1007/s10064-015-0797-7, 2015.

[22] Ghobadi, M. H., Firuzi M. and Asghari- Kalajhi, E., Relationship between Geological and Ground Water Chemistry and Their Effects on Concrete Lining of Tunnels (Case study: Tabriz Metro Line 2), Environmental Earth Science, 75, 1-14, 2016.

[23] Oshnaviyeh D. and Dabiri R. “Comparison of Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Shear Wave Velocity (Vs) method in Determining Risk of Liquefaction Potential along Tabriz Metro Line 2”, Journal of Engineering Geology, Kharezmi University, 2018, In Press (In Persian).

[24] Iwasaki, T., Tokida, K., Tatsuko, F., and Yasuda, S., A practical method for assessing soil liquefaction potential based on case studies at various sites in Japan,Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Microzonation, San Francisco, 885-896,1978.

[25] Iwasaki, T., Tokida, K., Tatsuoka, F., Watanabe, S., Yasuda, S., and Sato, H.,Microzonation for soil liquefaction potential using simplified methods. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Microzonation, Seattle, 1319-1330,1982.

[27] Amiranlou, H., Pourkermani, M., Dabiri, R., Qoreshi, M. and Bouzari S., Computing Seismic Acceleration of North Tabriz Fault using Earthquake Simulation based on Finite Fault Source, Geoscience Journal, Vo.27, No.105, pp.193-198,2017.

[28] Iran design building against earthquake code 2800- Road, housing and urban development research center; version 4. (In Persian), 2014.

[29] Skempton, A. K. Standard Penetration Test Procedures and the Effects in Sands of Overburden Pressure, Relative Density, Particle Size, Aging and over consolidation, Journal of Geotechnique, Vol.36, No.3, 425-447.1986.

[30] Hynes, M. E. and Olsen, R. S., Influence of Confining Stress on Liquefaction Resistance, Proceeding, International Workshop on the Physics and Mechanics of Soil Liquefaction, held 10-11 September 1998, Baltimore, M.D., A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1998.

[31] Iran national regulations of building, Code No.6, Loading effect on building, Road, housing and urban development research center ; version 4. (In Persian), . 2014.