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Find out more**Ahmed Elgamal, Jinchi Lu, and Zhaohui Yang
**

Department of Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego, USA

Keywords: liquefaction, finite element, numerical analysis, cyclic mobility, plasticity

ABSTRACT: Liquefaction remains a topic that presents major challenges for numerical analysis. A number of these challenges are discussed in this paper. Salient ongoing research efforts are presented and discussed, primarily in the area of cyclic mobility and accumulation of liquefactioninduced shear deformations. The significance of cyclic mobility during liquefaction is illustrated by data sets from centrifuge model experiments. In the context of numerical simulation, the role of online computing, and scenario-specific user interfaces is highlighted, as a means for collaboration and associated technical advancements. Visualization is also viewed as an integral element within this framework. Directions for future research and the need for large-scale simulations are finally addressed.

1 Introduction

Liquefaction of soils and associated deformations remain among the main causes of damage during earthquakes (Seed et al., 1990; Bardet et al., 1995; Sitar, 1995; JGS, 1996; Ansal et al., 1999). Indeed, dramatic unbounded deformations (flow failure) due to liquefaction in dams and other structures (Seed et al., 1975; Seed et al., 1989; Davis and Bardet, 1996) have highlighted the significance of this problem in earthquake engineering. However, liquefaction often results in limited, albeit possibly high levels of deformation (Casagrande, 1975; Youd et al., 1999). The deformation process in such situations is mainly a consequence of limited-strain cyclic deformations (Seed, 1979), commonly known as cyclic mobility (Castro and Poulos, 1977) or cyclic liquefaction (Casagrande, 1975). A large number of computational models have been, and continue to be developed for simulation of nonlinear soil response (e.g., Desai and Christian, 1977; Finn et al., 1977; Desai and Siriwardane, 1984; Prevost, 1985; Pastor and Zienkiewicz, 1986; Prevost, 1989; Bardet et al., 1993; Manzari and Dafalias, 1997; Borja et al., 1999a;b; Jeremic et al., 1999; Zienkiewicz et al., 1999; Desai, 2000; Li and Dafalias, 2000; Park and Desai, 2000; Shao and Desai, 2000; Arduino et al., 2001). Currently, liquefaction still remains a topic that presents major challenges for such numerical techniques. The research presented in this paper addresses primarily the area of cyclic mobility and accumulation of liquefaction induced shear deformations. Effort is dedicated to the analysis of liquefaction-induced deformations in medium-dense cohesionless soils.

**2 Mechanism of liquefaction-induced deformation
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In saturated clean medium to dense sands (relative densities Dr of about 40% or above, Lambe and Whitman, 1969), the mechanism of liquefaction-induced cyclic mobility may be illustrated by the

Schematic stress-strain and stress path response for medium-to-dense sand in a stresscontrolled. Figures 1 and 2). in a slope or embankment). 2002b. Li and Dafalias. cyclic mobility).g.e. the following aspects may be observed: (i) as excess-pore pressure increases. undrained cyclic shear loading with a static shear stress bias (Parra. 2002a. Park and Desai. cycle-by-cycle degradation in shear strength is observed. 2003). undrained cyclic shear loading (Parra. 2002. Elgamal et al. manifested by the occurrence of increasingly larger shear strain excursions for the same level of applied shear stress... Figure 1. 1996). 1998. Inspection of Figure 2 shows that a net finite increment of permanent shear strain occurs in a preferred “down-slope” direction on a cycle-by-cycle basis.. schematically illustrated in Figure 1. Special attention was given to the deviatoric-volumetric strain coupling (dilatancy) under cyclic loading (e. along with an increase in effective confinement (shear-induced dilative tendency).. Elgamal et al..undrained cyclic response. Realistic estimation of the magnitude of such increments is among the most important considerations in assessments of liquefaction-induced hazards (Iai. Figure 2. 2000. which causes increased shear stiffness and strength at large cyclic shear strain excursions (i. and (ii) a regain in shear stiffness and strength at large shear strain excursions. Yang and Elgamal. 2003. This soil constitutive model was developed with emphasis on simulating the liquefaction-induced shear strain accumulation mechanism in clean medium-dense sands (Elgamal et al. In this figure. 3 The constitutive model A plasticity-based formulation is employed. The main elements allowing for cyclic mobility response include: The yield surface (Figure 3) is defined by the Lade and Duncan (1975) function: f = I13 − κ1 = 0 I3 (1) . cycle-by-cycle deformation accumulates according to the schematic of Figure 2. 2000). Multi-surface kinematic plasticity allows for modelling the desired hysteretic response.g.. Schematic stress-strain and stress path response for medium-to-dense sand in a stresscontrolled. 1996). Yang et al.. In situation of an acting initial shear stress (e.

the low-strain (elastic) moduli and plastic moduli are postulated to increase in proportion to the square root of mean effective confinement. 2003. Depending on the value of η with respect to η PT and the sign of η (time rate of η ). phases & <0. where τ is the octahedral shear stress and p' the effective mean confinement) & is denoted as η PT .. The phase transformation (PT) surface (Ishihara et al. where considerable permanent shear strain ( γ y ) may accumulate with minimal change in shear stress (Yang et al. with the stress state outside the PT surface < η PT .. In the context of multi-surface plasticity.where related to soil shear strength (or friction angle φ ). and κ1 (>27) is a parameter σ1 = σ2 = σ3 τ 6 5 su lure Fai e rfac 3 rf PT su ace 2 1 0 4 p′ PT su rf ace σ1 τ 1 2 3 σ3 σ2 Figure 3. A non-associative flow dictates shear-induced contraction and dilation. below 10 kPa for Nevada Sand). 2004). The flow rule is chosen assuming associativity in the deviatoric plane. 2003). 1985). Along the PT surface. This phase is significant only at very low confinement (e. Conventionally (Prevost. Schematic showing the model undrained effective stress path and shear stress-strain response (Yang et al. phase 2-3). 1975) defines the boundary between contractive and dilative behavior (Figure 4) under shear loading.. under undrained conditions. the stress ratio η ( = τ / p' . Each surface is associated with a constant plastic modulus.. the adopted flow rule defines the following phases of soil response (Figure 4): 1) 2) 3) The contractive phase inside the PT surface ( η outside during shear unloading ( η > η PT The dilative phase during shear loading. Configuration of multi Lade-Duncan yield surfaces in principal stress space (Yang and Elgamal.g. . Yang and Elgamal.. Thus. a number of similar surfaces with a common apex form the hardening zone (Figure 3). 2004). 0 5 6 4 γ Figure 4. I1 and I3 are the first and third stress invariants respectively. distinct contractive/dilative (dilatancy) responses are reproduced (Yang et al. 2003). and The neutral phase (phase 1-2 and 5-6) between the contraction (phase 0-1) and the dilation (phase 2-3) phases. phase 3-4). with η 0-1 and 4-5). as well as & ( η > η PT with η > 0 .

and pore pressure p. the solution is obtained for each time step using the modified Newton-Raphson approach (Parra. constant density of the solid and fluid in both time and space. B the strain-displacement matrix. respectively. The main modeling parameters include typical dynamic soil properties such as low-strain shear modulus and friction angle. In the VELACS project. 1988. S the compressibility matrix. p the pore pressure vector. where k is permeability). and H the permeability matrix. 2004a). Parra. In particular. known as u-p formulation (in which displacement of the soil skeleton u. U the displacement vector. locally homogeneous porosity which is constant with time. A simplified numerical formulation of this theory. The computed surface lateral displacement histories for VELACS Model 2 and the calibrated numerical response are shown in Figure 7 (sandy gravel k. . s p & & Q T U + Sp + Hp − f p = 0 5 Model calibration Data from centrifuge experimentation has been crucial in allowing for calibration. 1996). VELACS models 1 and 2 (Figure 5) and similar centrifuge (Figure 6) experiments conducted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have been a key calibration component (Abdoun. Yang. dilation tendency. incompressibility of the soil grains. 2000. The u-p formulation is defined by (Chan. Zienkiewicz et al. two centrifuge model tests (Figure 5) were conducted by Dobry and Taboada (1994b. medium-dense.. was implemented in a 3D Finite Element program CYCLIC (Parra. 1988): 1) the equation of motion for the solid-fluid mixture. Q the discrete gradient operator coupling the solid and fluid phases. Lu et al. Yang and Elgamal. and dense cohesionless soils. through finite element simulations. σ ′ the effective stress vector (determined by the soil constitutive model described above). and equal accelerations for the solid and fluid phases.. The vectors f and f represent the effects of body forces and prescribed boundary conditions for the solid-fluid mixture and the fluid phase. 1996). In general terms. Equations 2a and 2b are integrated in the time domain using a single-step predictor multi-corrector scheme of the Newmark type (Chan. as well as calibration constants to control pore-pressure buildup rate. this type of centrifuge experimental data along with engineering judgment currently suggest the post-liquefaction shear deformation levels shown in Figure 8 for medium. 1988. 1990). These two governing equations are expressed in the following finite element matrix form (Chan. and 2) the equation of mass conservation for the fluid phase that incorporates equation of motion for the fluid phase and Darcy's law. 1996. 1994a) to simulate the dynamic response of level (Model 1) and mildly sloping (Model 2) sand sites. This implementation is based on the following assumptions: small deformation and rotation. In the current implementation. the saturated soil system is modeled as a two-phase material based on the Biot (1962) theory for porus media. are the primary unknowns (Chan. 1988): && MU + ∫ B T σ ′ dΩ + Qp − f s = 0 Ω (2a) (2b) where M is the total mass matrix. Results of these two tests were employed for calibration of model parameters. 2002.4 Finite element framework For liquefaction problems. 1997). and the level of liquefaction-induced cyclic shear strain.

and 6. General configuration of RPI Models 1 and 2 in laminar container (Dobry et al. local effects might dictate the extent of dilation-induced regain of shear stiffness and strength during a large shear strain excursion (and the resulting level of shear strain accumulation). permeability plays a critical role. Figure 7 depicts the situation of a 10m-thick uniform soil profile. with the dramatic example being (Figure 9) the situation of alluvial deposits or man-made hydraulic fills (Scott and Zuckerman.. Three numerical simulations were conducted.6 x 10 m/sec (clean sand) respectively. This configuration is identical to that of the VELACS Model-2 centrifuge experiment (Dobry et al. 3.5% cycle 0.. Post-liquefaction shear stressstrain response (deformation levels per cycle are shown). Taboada. Figure 8. Figure 6. with -2 -3 a permeability coefficient k of 1.3 x 10 m/sec (VELACS Model-2 sandy -5 gravel calibration simulation). For instance. 1. Globally. 2002). 2005). inclined by 4 degrees to simulate an infinite-slope response. excess pore-pressure is dictated by the overall influence of shear loading throughout the entire ground domain under investigation.3 x 10 m/sec (gravel). 1972.3% /cycle Figure 7. 1995. 1992). RPI 100-g ton geotechnical centrifuge (RPI.Figure 5.3% /cycle 0. Adalier. locally and globally. 1995). the distribution of pore-pressure with depth for instance can be significantly affected by the natural layering of soil strata of different permeabilities. In simple terms. At any location. It is seen that: i) as . Yang and Elgamal (2002) attempted to shed light on the significance of permeability. 1995). Surface lateral displacement histories in uniform soil profile with different premeability coefficients (Yang and Elgamal. 6 Role of permeability A coupled solid-fluid framework such as the one described above is needed in order to account for excess pore-pressure evolution and its distribution during and after seismic excitation. In this regard.

This centrifuge test was simulated using the . JGS. Using the above described numerical framework. flexible-wall laminar container shown in Figure 11. Meanwhile.e. with large shear-strain concentration. Sitar. Dissipation of this trapped fluid through the low-permeability interlayer may take a very long time in practical situations (if no sand boils develop). Indeed much experimentation during the last 10 years has been focused on this problem (Abdoun. computed lateral deformations with the sandy gravel k value are close to the experimental response (part of the calibration process). 1992) Figure 10. Natural layering of soil strata of different permeabilities (Adalier. Figure 10 and the observed deformations displayed (Yang and Elgamal. 1997). where ue=excess pore pressure and σ’v is effective vertical stress) with a low-permeability interlayer in a uniform soil profile. the post-shaking reconsolidation process eventually results in a constant distribution. negligible additional shear strain was observed in the rest of the profile.mentioned earlier. Figure 11 shows a centrifuge experiment (RPI Model 3) conducted by Abdoun (1997) at RPI to simulate the response of a single pile subjected to lateral pressure of a liquefied soil due to lateral spreading. 1995. Spatial variation of permeability in a soil profile is also potentially of primary significance in the development of liquefaction and associated deformations..0. Below this layer. 2002). 1996). 7 Seismic response of deep foundation The 1995 Kobe earthquake as well as earlier seismic events demonstrated the significant damage to piles due to liquefaction (Bardet et al. The experiment was conducted using the rectangular. i.. 2) After the shaking phase. Figure 9. related computational efforts are underway (Figure 11 and Figure 12). a higher k results in lower levels of lateral deformation (the profile with the least k value had a lateral translation about 2. Excess pore-pressure profile and deformed mesh for uniform sand profile with a low-permeability interlayer (deformations are exaggerated for clarity)(Yang and Elgamal. Figure 10 shows an example of liquefaction (excess pore pressure ratio ru=ue /σ’v approaching and reaching 1. 2002): 1) A very high pore-pressure gradient within the silt-k layer. This constant value is equal to the initial effective confinement (overburden pressure) imposed by the thin layer and the layers above. and ii) the extent of lateral deformation in this uniform profile is inversely proportional to soil permeability. void ratio continued to increase immediately beneath the silt-k layer.5 times that with the highest k value). 1995.

5 3 2. Significant decrease in the total execution time can be observed. 2004b).5 70 Speedup 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 10 20 30 40 50 Number of Processors 60 Figure 13. the mild inclination imposed a static shear stress component. 16. Abdoun. each with eight POWER3 RISCbased processors and 4 GBytes of memory. the need for parallel computing quickly becomes apparent for 3D simulations (Figure 13). 1997). Partitioned mesh of pile in liquefiable soil model (Lu. Lateral spreading pile centrifuge model in a two-layer soil profile (RPI Model 3. 1997) Figure 14.5 1 0. recently developed based on the existing serial code CYCLIC. Note that the centrifuge model. Figure 11.. cannot even fit into the memory of less than 8 processors.above-described three-dimensional finite element framework.. causing the accumulated “downslope” lateral deformation. A brief summary of ongoing parallel computing research is included in Appendix A. as also indicated by the speedup factor (relative to 8 processors) curve (Figure 14). As shown in Figure 12. In order to achieve more accurate results. conducted on the Blue Horizon machine at San Diego Supercomputer Center. Speed-up factor (relative to 8 processors) and total execution times of the single pile centrifuge simulation. 7000 6000 Time (second) 3.492 degrees of freedom.5 2 1. Each processor on the node has equal shared access to the memory. 2004a). Blue Horizon (Lu et al. Figure 14 displays the total execution times for performing this simulation on 8.. Final deformed mesh (factor of 2) of RPI Model 3 simulation (Lu et al. Figure 12. 2004b) is an IBM Scalable POWERparallel (SP) machine with 144 computer nodes. Figure 13 shows the partitioned mesh for a parallel run of the centrifuge test (Figure 11) using 16 processors (indicated by the different colors). The simulations were performed using a parallel nonlinear finite element program ParCYCLIC (Lu et al. with 363. The colormap in the final deformed mesh (Figure 12) clearly shows the influence of the pile on the ground deformation pattern. . 2005): RPI Model 3 (Abdoun. and 32 processors.

Schwarz et al. can significantly alleviate this problem allowing for high efficiency and much increased confidence.. 2004). Three-dimensional graphic models may be now constructed using the SGI Open Inventor toolkit (http://www. 1997. A minor oversight or misinterpretation might go undetected leading to erroneous results.g. Internet-based simulation of Cyclic1D (Yang et al. which can significantly help researchers to understand data (close-up within the model body) from a new perspective.org. The need to address this challendge cannot be overstated (Elgamal et al. 2002.. On-line remote computing versions (Figure 16) of these interfaces are also of potential value (Yang et al. Preparation of data files is a step that requires careful attention to detail. 1997. User-interface for single pile in 3D half-space simulation (e. Hashash et al. thought potentially restrictive. 2003.. Current efforts are underway to develop tools that simplify this process.. where a user can build-on work conducted and archived earlier by others. Hashash et al.g. and pile response (including seismic applications and liquefaction) are currently under development (e. .. an efficient and low-cost system that exploits the power of PC-based commodity graphics hardware and passive polarization techniques. 2004). Stereoscopic visualization is facilitated by Geowall (http://www. Such interfaces for analysis of plane-strain (with foundation)..sgi. 2) creation of a collaborative environment. particularly for 3D simulations. Figure 16. Figure 17 shows the deformed mesh of a bridge-foundation-ground system.ucsd.. Pape et al.g.. 2004) is becoming increasingly of importance.com/products/software/inventor/).. 2004). Advantages of internet computing include: 1) ease of updating software. Arduino et al..8 User-Interfaces Much time and effort is expended today in building an appropriate finite element mesh. Scenario-specific userfriendly interfaces.geowall. 9 Visualization Efficient visualization of the massive amounts of data from simulations (Yan et al.. Debugging can consume many weeks or even months. Effort is underway to harness the latest 3D computer graphics advances in developing new stereoscopic scientific visualizations tools (e. 2002.. This environment provides advanced interactive options such as immersive viewing. earthdam. Jeremic et al. Figure 15. http://siogeowall. 2002.. Czernuszenko et al.edu). Numerous opportunities for such errors abound. 2004). A 3D stereoscopic model of this system is displayed in Figure 18. Figure 15).. Figures 11 and 12).

where more efficient stereoscopic visualization tools can be very helpful. 5) Management and display of 3D numerical response. and the implications of that on the need for parallelcomputing environments. ParCYCLIC was developed based on the work and contributions of Professor Kincho Law and Dr. 10 Summary and conclusions A numerical framework was presented for analysis of cyclic-mobility soil liquefaction scenarios. an issue that can be simplified by appropriate user-interfaces. 2) Simplification to the constitutive model logics. Among the current challenges are: 1) Further understanding and calibration of soil response during liquefaction via experimentation..Figure 17. CMS0084616 and CMS0200510). and selection of soil model parameters. Deformed mesh of a bridge-foundation-ground finite element model (Yan et al. 2004). This support is most appreciated. Jun Peng of Stanford University. 4) The vast time required for preparing a finite element model. 11 Acknowledgements The reported research was supported by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center. 3) Necessity for high fidelity 3D simulation. 2004). under the National Science Foundation Award Number EEC-9701568. and by the National Science Foundation (Grants No.. 3D stereoscopic visualization of bridge-foundation-ground system (Yan et al. A plasticity-based soil model within a finite element coupled solid-fluid formulation is employed. Figure 18. .

Remarkable parallel speedup has also been obtained from the simulation results. 1998). 2004b.. 2005). in which LDL factorization is performed (where L is a unit lower triangular matrix and D is a diagonal matrix). include (Lu et al. the nodes in any subtree can be numbered consecutively. 2000)) for modeling earthquake ground response and liquefaction. and good agreement has been achieved between the computed and the recorded acceleration. By topologically post-ordering the elimination tree. 1990) of which each node has its numbering higher than its descendants. 2004b). e. (b) nodal ordering strategies to minimize storage space for the matrix coefficients. 2004. ParCYCLIC employes the single-program-multiple-data (SPMD) programming paradigm. making ParCYCLIC portable. a parallel nonlinear finite element program. Beginning at . where METIS (Karypis and Kumar. It is well known that the nonzero entries in the numerical factor L can be determined by the original nonzero entries of the stiffness matrix K (Law and Fenves. (c) an efficient scheme for the allocation of sparse matrix coefficients among the processors. The coefficients of a sparse matrix factor are distributively stored among the processors according to the column blocks. Peng et al. Communication in ParCYCLIC is written in MPI (Snir and Gropp. The resulting sparse matrix factor is partitioned into block submatrices where the columns/row of each block corresponds to the node set of a branch in the elimination tree. The concept of the sparse solver is briefly described below (Lu et al. The parallel computational strategies employed in ParCYCLIC are general and can be adapted to other similiar applications without difficulties. Last but not least. 1991) and a list vector.12 Appendix A: ParCYCLIC Recently.. Simulation results demonstrated that ParCYCLIC is suitable for large-scale geotechnical simulations.. ParCYCLIC handles symmetric systems of linear equations (resulting from the employed implicit time integration scheme) using the parallel sparse solver (Law and Mackay. capable of running on a wide range of parallel computers and workstation clusters. and pore pressure responses. remains scalable to a large number of processors. ParCYCLIC has been successfully ported on IBM SP machines. SUN super computers.. Figure 19 shows a simple square finite element grid and its post-ordered elimination tree representation. Lu. which is defined as: PARENT ( j ) = min{i | Lij ≠ 0} (3) The array PARENT represents the row subscript of the first nonzero entry in each column of the lower triangular matrix factor L.g. which employs a direct solution scheme. designed for distributed-memory message-passing parallel computer systems. and Linux workstation clusters. 1993). 2005). The strategy is to assign the rows corresponding to the nodes along each branch of the elimination tree (column block) to a processor or a group of processors. 1996. Liu. was developed (based on the serial code CYCLIC (Parra.. Large-scale experimental results for 3D geotechnical simulations have been conducted to demonstrate the capability and performance of ParCYCLIC (Lu et al. This solver is based on a row-oriented storage scheme that takes full advantage of the sparsity of the stiffness matrix. 1986. Yang. Peng et al. ParCYCLIC (Lu. and (d) an automatic domain decomposer. a common approach in developing application software for distributed memory parallel computers. 2004): (a) a parallel sparse direct solver (Law and Mackay. 1993). it was shown that ParCYCLIC. 64 or more. displacement. T 2004b. 1997) is used to partition the finite element mesh so that the workload on each processor is more or less evenly distributed and the communication among processors is minimized. Key elements of the computational strategy employed in ParCYCLIC. The definition of the list array PARENT results in a monotonically ordered elimination tree (Liu..

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