Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential of Saturated Sands Based on Resistivity Piezocone Penetration Testing

  • Guojun CaiEmail author
  • Haifeng Zou
  • Yan Yang
  • Songyu Liu
  • Anand J. Puppala
Conference paper


The liquefaction of saturated soils is a major concern for the earthquake damage of foundation. Due to the difficulty and cost constraint in obtaining high-quality undisturbed samples, in-situ testing is commonly applied to evaluating the potential of soil liquefaction. In high risk projects, a comprehensive evaluation based on various methods is usually adopted, and thus the research on new method to evaluate the liquefaction is still necessary. In this research the feasibility of using resistivity piezocone penetration test (RCPTU) for predicting liquefaction resistance is investigated. The resistivity of saturated silts and sands is measured using RCPTU at a test section of Suqian-Xinyi expressway. First, the relationship between normalized cone tip resistance and resistivity is analyzed and can contribute to the evaluation of soil liquefaction based on resistivity. Second, the study on combination of resistivity and soil behavior type index to directly calculate the cycle resistance ratio (CRR) is conducted with the CRR from Robertson modified liquefaction evaluation model as reference. The influence of thin cohesive layers and transition zones is also analyzed. It is shown that the resistivity and soil behavior type index can be used for effective evaluation of liquefaction potential of saturated soils.


Resistivity Piezocone penetration test Liquefaction Soil behavior type index Cycle resistance ratio 



Majority of the work presented in this paper was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC0800201) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41672294).


  1. 1.
    Lunne, T., Robertson, P.K., Powell, J.J.M.: Cone Penetration Testing in Geotechnical Practice. Chapman & Hall, London (1997)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cai, G.J., Liu, S.Y., Anand, J.P.: Liquefaction assessments using seismic piezocone penetration (SCPTU) test investigations in Tangshan region in China. Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng. 41, 141–150 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cai, G.J., Liu, S.Y., Tong, L.Y., et al.: Evaluation of liquefaction of sandy soils based on cone Penetration test. Chin. J. Rock Mech. Eng. 27(5), 1019–1027 (2008)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Seed, H.B., Peacock, W.H.: Test procedures for measuring soil liquefaction characteristics. J. Soil Mech. Found. Div. 97(SM8), 1099–1119 (1971)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sharp, M.K., Dobry, R., Philips, R.: CPT-based evaluation of liquefaction and lateral spreading in centrifuge. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 136(10), 1334–1346 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rinaldi, V.A., Cuestas, G.A.: Ohmic conductivity of compacted silty clay. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 128(10), 824–835 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cai, G.J., Chu, Y., Liu, S.Y., et al.: Evaluation of subsurface spatial variability in site characterization based on RCPTU data. Bull. Eng. Geol. Environ. 75, 401–412 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Arulmoli, K., Arulanandan, K., Seed, H.B.: New method for evaluating liquefaction potential. J. Geotech. Eng. 111(1), 95–114 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Arulanandan, K., Muraleetharan, K.K.: Level ground soil-liquefaction analysis using in situ properties. J. Geotech. Eng. 114(7), 753–770 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jefferies, M.G., Davies, M.P.: Use of CPTU to estimate equivalent SPT N60. Geotech. Test. J. 16(4), 458–468 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Robertson, P.K.: Interpretation of cone penetration tests - a unified approach. Can. Geotech. J. 46(11), 1337–1355 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Li, D.K., Juang, C.H., Andrus, R.D., et al.: Index properties-based criteria for liquefaction susceptibility of clayey soils: a critical assessment. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 133(1), 110–115 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Archie, G.: The electrical resistivity log as an aid in determining some reservoir characteristics. Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Metall. Pet. Eng. 146, 54–61 (1942)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Robertson, P.K.: Performance based earthquake design using the CPT. Keynote Lecture, IS-Tokyo (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weemees, I.A.: Development of an electrical resistivity cone for groundwater contamination studies. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver (1990)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Moss, R.E.S., Seed, R.B., Kayen, R.E., et al.: CPT-based probabilistic and deterministic assessment of in situ seismic soil liquefaction potential. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 132(8), 1032–1051 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Juang, C.H., Fang, S.Y., Khor, E.H.: First-order reliability method for probabilistic liquefaction triggering analysis using CPT. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 132(3), 337–350 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Seed, H.B., Idriss, I.M.: Simplified procedure for evaluating soil liquefaction potential. J. Soil Mech. Found. Div. 97(9), 1249–1273 (1971)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guojun Cai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Haifeng Zou
    • 1
  • Yan Yang
    • 1
  • Songyu Liu
    • 1
  • Anand J. Puppala
    • 2
  1. 1.Southeast UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations