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The geotechnics of earthquakes explained


THE GEOTECHNICAL lessons to be learnt from recent earthquakes are to be the subject of an informal discussion at the ICE on 22 May.

Organised by the British Geotechnical Association, the meeting aims to tackle the question:

do deep soil layers liquefy when subjected to strong earthquakes?

Gopal Madabhushi, fellow of Girton College, University of Cambridge, will use data from recent earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan and India to raise some challenging geotechnical questions that will have a major impact on current design practices Liquefaction at bridge foundations is a major issue for bridge design in the seismic regions of the world.

The question of soil liquefaction is one that continues to concern engineers and research on the topic is still ongoing.

However, Madabhushi will use evidence from earthquakes in Gujarat last year and Taiwan in 1999, along with centrifuge test data obtained from physical models, to discuss the possibility of deep liquefaction.

Current research to understand soil flows past piles due to lateral spreading will be explained. Madabhushi will also set out research into the effectiveness of liquefaction resistant design measures such as in-situ densification, and provision of stone columns.

INFOPLUS For more information contact the BGA (020) 7665 2233 or visit www. geo. org. uk. The meeting starts at 5.30pm.

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