United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Probabilistic Liquefaction Analysis (NUREG/CR-6622)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 1999
Date Published: November 1999

Prepared by:
M. E. Hynes

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199

E. G. Zurflueh, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code W6246

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This document provides a technical basis for formulating probabilistic approaches to liquefaction evaluation. The three basic elements of probabilistic liquefaction analysis are described: (1) uncertainty in the earthquake load, (2) uncertainty in the available resistance, and (3) uncertainty in the method of analysis. The probabilistic approach is built from the steps in a deterministic liquefaction analysis; however, the input parameters, such as penetration resistance, site stratigraphy, acceleration, and magnitude, are treated as random variables and the accuracy of the method of analysis is factored in as part of a capacity-demand model. Uncertainty in the earthquake load is generally treated with a probabilistic seismic hazard analysis which introduces time as a parameter. The site stratigraphy and engineering properties are generally treated as one-, two-, or three-dimensional random fields. Uncertainty in the method of analysis is generally estimated with logit regression analysis of the field performance data base. It is assumed that the reader has a working knowledge of probability theory, stochastic processes, liquefaction evaluation, and probabilistic seismic hazard analysis calculations.

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