Deterministic approaches are unable to account for the variations in soil’s strength properties, earthquake loads, as well as source of errors in evaluations of liquefaction potential in sandy soils which make them questionable against other reliability concepts. Furthermore, deterministic approaches are incapable of precisely relating the probability of liquefaction and the factor of safety (FS). Therefore, the use of probabilistic approaches and especially, reliability analysis is considered since a complementary solution is needed to reach better engineering decisions. In this study, Advanced First-Order Second-Moment (AFOSM) technique associated with genetic algorithm (GA) and its corresponding sophisticated optimization techniques have been used to calculate the reliability index and the probability of liquefaction. The use of GA provides a reliable mechanism suitable for computer programming and fast convergence. A new relation is developed here, by which the liquefaction potential can be directly calculated based on the estimated probability of liquefaction ($P_L$), cyclic stress ratio (CSR) and normalized standard penetration test (SPT) blow counts while containing a mean error of less than 10% from the observational data. The validity of the proposed concept is examined through comparison of the results obtained by the new relation and those predicted by other investigators. A further advantage of the proposed relation is that it relates $P_L$ and FS and hence it provides possibility of decision making based on the liquefaction risk and the use of deterministic approaches. This could be beneficial to geotechnical engineers who use the common methods of FS for evaluation of liquefaction. As an application, the city of Babolsar which is located on the southern coasts of Caspian Sea is investigated for liquefaction potential. The investigation is based primarily on in situ tests in which the results of SPT are analysed.
Volume 130, 2021
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