Liquefaction Potential for Soil Deposits in Muscat, Oman
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Muscat is located in the northeastern part of Oman on a narrow strip between Oman coast and Oman Mountains, which is the place for at least four earthquakes of order of 5.2 magnitude in the last 1300 years. The near surface geology of Muscat varies from hard rocks in the eastern, southern and western parts to dense and lose sediments in the middle and northern parts. Liquefaction occurs in saturated cohesionless soils when its shear strength decreased to zero due to the increase of pore pressure. More than 500 boreholes in Muscat area were examined for their liquefaction susceptibility based on the soil characteristics data. Only soils susceptible to liquefaction are further considered for liquefaction hazard assessment. Liquefaction occurs if the cyclic stress ratio (CSR) caused by the earthquake is higher than the cyclic resistance ratio (CRR) of the soil. CSR values were evaluated using PGA values at the surface obtained from previously conducted seismic hazard and microzonation studies. CRR for Muscat region is conducted using N values of SPT tests from numerous borehole data and the shear wave velocity results from 99 MASW surveys over the entire region. All the required corrections are conducted to get standardized (N1) 60 values, to correct shear-wave velocity, and scale the results for Mw 6.0 instead of the proposed 7.5 (magnitude scaling factor). Liquefaction hazard maps are generated using the minimum factor of safety (FS) at each site as a representative of the FS against liquefaction at that location. Results indicate that under the current level of seismic hazard, liquefaction potential is possible at few sites along the northern coast where alluvial soils and shallow ground water table are present. The expected soft soil settlement is also evaluated at each liquefiable site.