Cyclic Resistance and Liquefaction Behavior of Silt and Sandy Silt Soils

Author(s): A. El Takch, A. Sadrekarimi, H. El Naggar
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, April 2016

The liquefaction behavior and cyclic resistance ratio (CRR) of reconstituted samples of non-plastic silt and sandy silts with 50% and 75% silt content are examined using constant-volume cyclic and monotonic ring shear tests along with bender element shear wave velocity (Vs) measurements.  Liquefaction occurred at excess pore water pressure ratios (ru) between 0.6 and 0.7 associated with cumulative cyclic shear strains (y) of 4% to 7% after which cyclic liquefaction ensured with very large shear strains and excess pore water pressure (r> 0.8).  The cyclic ring shear tests demonstrate that cyclic resistance ratio of silt and sandy silts decreases with increasing void ratio, or with  decreasing silt content at a certain void ratio.  The results also show good agreement with those from cyclic direct simple shear tests on silts and sandy silts.  A unique correlation is developed for estimating CRR of silts and sandy silts (with more than 50% silt content) from stress-normalized shear wave velocity measurements (Vs1) with negligible effect of silt content.  The results indicate that the existing CRR-Vs1 correlations would underestimate the liquefaction resistance of silts and sandy silt soils.