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Liquefaction Demonstration A Student Project

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

CE Rap Session and Toys in the Classroom

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.817.1 - 7.817.9



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Paper Authors

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Ronaldo Luna

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Session 1815

Liquefaction Demonstrations – A Student Project

Ronaldo Luna University of Missouri-Rolla

Abstract The recent increase in catastrophic earthquakes (latest India Gujarat Earthquake, 2001) and the repeated evidence of ground failure due to liquefaction motivated this student research project. Liquefaction is a soil mechanics problem that often impacts structures that are supported on saturated sand deposits. The large deformations of the foundation soils typically cause major failures of civil engineering structures. This project involved research of the liquefaction phenomena and the impact experienced on select recent earthquakes. Additionally, the design of an experiment demonstration will be completed during the academic year. The device will be a feature laboratory demonstration to inspire students interested in earthquake engineering. A student was guided to research the literature on soil liquefaction and performed simple exercises on how liquefaction occurs. Once the student developed a working knowledge of the liquefaction phenomena the design of a liquefaction demonstration device was initiated. The student developed design drawings (AutoCAD and to scale) to be used in building the device in conjunction with the departmental machinist.

Introduction In the past two years our society has experienced a number of major earthquakes (e.g., Chi-Chi Taiwan, 1999; Kocaeli, Turkey, 1999; El Quindio, Columbia, 1999; Bhuj, India, 2001; and El Salvador, 2001) with significant strong ground motions causing profound damage to communities around the world. Closer to home, the recent U.S. earthquakes (e.g., Northridge, California, 1995 and Nisqually, Washington, 2001) have raised the awareness in the research and disaster management organizations. The National Science Foundation is currently soliciting proposals in a second phase to complete a Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), which will consist of distributed research experimental and computing resources brought together by a national network for virtual earthquake simulation ( Conceivably, more researchers will have available to them sophisticated resources for earthquake research. So, as academicians we have the responsibility to motivate student interest in earthquake engineering. The University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) is contributing to this national need by recently completing a project1 for the Missouri Department of Transportation and a recently awarded grant from the Federal Highway Administration. These projects are focused on assessing the seismic vulnerability and remediation of highway bridges in MidAmerica. UMR has also formed the Natural Hazards Mitigation Institute (NHMI) to provide research mechanisms to focus these efforts on campus.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Luna, R. (2002, June), Liquefaction Demonstration A Student Project Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11296

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