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In a significant move, researchers are developing ground-improvement methods to help increase the resilience of homes and low-rise structures built on top of soils prone to liquefaction during strong earthquakes.
And a 64,000-pound large mobile shaker, T-Rex, is being used to simulate a wide range of earthquake shaking levels.
“One critical problem facing the rebuilding effort is that the land remains at risk of liquefaction in future earthquakes. Therefore, effective engineering solutions must be developed to increase the resilience of homes and low-rise structures,” explained Kenneth Stokoe, a professor at University of Texas.
Researchers from the Austin`s Cockrell School of Engineering at University of Texas have conducted a series of field trials to test shallow-ground-improvement methods.
They collected data from test sections of improved and unimproved soils that were subjected to earthquake stresses using T-Rex and with explosive charges planted underground.
The test sections were equipped with sensors to monitor key factors including ground motion and water pressure generated in soil pores during the induced shaking, providing preliminary data to determine the most effective ground-improvement method.
“The results are being analysed, but good and poor performance can already be differentiated,” Stokoe said.