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FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF SATURATED SAND LAYERS

SUBJECTED TO EARTHQUAKE LOADING

Jorge Luis Palomino Tamayo


lpt.jorge@gmail.com
CEMACOM, Computational Mechanical Center, Engineering School, Federal University of
Rio Grande do Sul
Av. Osvaldo Aranha, 99-3o Floor, 90035-190, RS, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Armando Miguel Awruch
Incio Benvegnu Morsch
amawruch@ufrgs.br
morsch@ufrgs.br
PPGEC Department of Civil Engineering, Engineering School, Federal University of Rio
Grande do Sul
Av. Osvaldo Aranha, 99-3o Floor, 90035-190, RS, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Abstract. In this work, a three-dimensional (3D) numerical model based on the finite element
method has been developed to simulate liquefaction of saturated sand layers under
earthquake loading. The numerical tool is based on the coupled dynamic Biot equation for
porous media where the pore pressure of the fluid and displacements of the solid matrix,
respectively, are the main unknowns of the formulation. Discretization of equations in time is
done through the Generalized Newmark (GNpj) method. Liquefaction in the sand layers is
predicted by using an appropriate constitutive model known as Pastor-Zienkiewicz Mark III
which has proved to predict adequately all features of cyclic loading. Firstly, validation of the
numerical tool is done by comparing numerical results with experimental ones for model No 1
of VELACS project. Next a parametric study of a sandy soil column is carried out in order to
investigate the effect of soil properties in its response. This response is related to the study of
pore pressure generation, magnitude of lateral displacements and accelerations.
Keywords: saturated sand, liquefaction, finite element.

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Finite element analysis of saturated sand layers subjected to earthquake loading

1 INTRODUCTION

Some geotechnical problems are still usually solved by using simplifying assumptions such as drained or
undrained behavior in the soil mass. Specifically, in the case of earthquake analysis, the undrained behavior is
sometimes adopted for simplicity, however, when the permeability of the soil and draining conditions are
considerable in the problem in question, the undrained assumption is not adequate at all. In this way, a more
general condition between drained and undrained behaviors is needed. Biot (1956) proposed a set of differential
equations for describing the hydro-mechanical behavior of a porous saturated media based on the effective stress
approach. In this work, Biots formulation is adopted in the manner as presented in Zienkiewicz et al. (1999),
which is already suitable for finite element implementations. Here, the well-known u-p (where u refers to solid
displacement and p stands for pore pressure) formulation is implemented for describing the behavior of the
saturated soil (Zienkiewicz et al., 1999), which is composed of a solid matrix and pore fluid.
The above formulation is complemented by choosing a suitable constitutive model for the soil grains.
Because sandy soils and earthquake loading are of interest in this work, this constitutive model should be able to
deal with the simulation of liquefaction flow and cyclic mobility. These two processes are related directly to the
liquefaction phenomenon, which occurs due to the strong interaction between soil and pore fluid. This
phenomenon takes place when the excess of pore pressure generated due to external loading nullifies the initial
effective vertical stress in the soil mass and therefore loss of contact among particles is generated. In this work,
the mechanical behavior of the solid phase is simulated by using the well-know PZ-Mark III constitutive model
proposed in the work of Pastor & Zienkiewicz (1986), which is considered to be suitable for cyclic loading. Due
to space limitations, the complete formulation of the constitutive model is not presented here and the reader is
referred to that reference for more details.
To investigate the interaction of soil and pore fluid, a three-dimensional (3D) finite element program is
implemented in this work. It is based in all previous concepts describe above and adopted the subroutine library
provided by Smith and Griffith (2004). Firstly, validation of the numerical model is done by replicating the
experimental results of model No 1 of the VELACS (Verification of Liquefaction Analysis by Centrifuge
Studies, Arulanandan e Scott, 1993) project. After this, a sand column under a real earthquake loading is
analyzed in detailed for two different cases. In the first case, the soil column is made of a very loose sand
material (Ou and Chan, 2006) while in the second case, a loose sand material is considered. Previous studies
have calibrated the parameters needed in the PZ-mark III model for these two soils (Ou & Chan, 2006; Chan, et
al., 1993). For that reason, these parameters are directly used in this study. Finally, some conclusions of the
obtained results are described and commented.

2 FINITE ELEMENT FORMULATION

2.1 Governing equation


The coupled set of equations of Biot (1956) that governs the behavior of a saturated porous media is given
in the following way:
Equilibrium of mixture is defined in the following manner:

ij , j + bi u&&i f {w& i + w j wi, j } = 0 . (1)

where ij is the total stress tensor (tensile positive), u&&i and wi are the acceleration of the solid skeleton and
average (Darcy) fluid velocity respectively, bi is the body acceleration per unit mass, s , f and are the
densities of the solid grain, fluid and mixture, respectively, with = (1 n) s + n f and n being the porosity
of the porous media. The underlined terms represents the fluid acceleration relative to the solid and the
convective terms of this acceleration.
Equilibrium of fluid

p,i Ri f u&&i f {w& i + w j wi , j } / n + f bi = 0 . (2)

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

where R represent the viscous drag forces which, assuming the Darcy seepage law, can be written as
k ij R j = wi , k is the permeability of soil with dimensions of [length]3[time]/[mass] which can also be expressed
by the usual soil mechanics permeability k , with k = k / f g , where f and g are the fluid density and
gravitational acceleration at which the permeability is measured.
Conservation of mass for fluid phase

np& (1 n ) p& K T p& &


wi ,i + &ii + + &ii + + n f + s&0 = 0 . (3)
Kf Ks
Ks Ks f

where wi ,i is the flow divergence in the unit volume, &ii is the increased volume due to a change in strain,
np& / K f is the additional volume stored by compression of void fluid due to the fluid pressure increase,
(1 n) p& / K s is the additional volume stored by the compression of grains by the fluid pressure increase,
K T (&ii + p& / K s ) / K s is the change in volume of the solid phase due to a change in the inter-granular effective
contact stress, and the underlined part n& f / f + s&0 are the corresponding change of fluid density and the rate
of volume expansion of the solid part in the case of thermal changes and which are consider to be negligible in
general. The mass conservation equation can be further expressed by using the definition of and Q in the
following way:
p& & f
wi ,i + &ii + +n + s&0 = 0 . (4)
Q f

where K T is the average bulk modulus of the solid skeleton, K s is the average material bulk modulus of the
solid components of the skeleton and K f is the bulk modulus of the fluid, with
1 / Q n / K f + ( n) / K s n / K f + (1 n) / K s and = 1 K T / K s . Combining Eq. (2) and Eq. (4), together
with Eq. (1), neglecting the underlined terms which are small under earthquake analysis, the governing equations
can be expressed in the following way:
ij , j + bi u&&i = 0 . (5)

{k ( p
ij ,j f u&& j + f b j )},i + &ii +
p&
= 0. (6)
Q
Due to this simplified equation set, only containing two dependent variables u and p , the present
formulation is called u p approximation form.

2.2 Discretization of the governing equation in space


For the spatial discretization of the governing equations, the finite element method is used. The variables u
and p are interpolated by suitable shape functions in the following manner:
n
u N
k =1
k u k
u
= N u u . (7)

n
p N
k =1
k
p
p k = N p p . (8)

where u and p are the nodal displacement vector and the nodal pore pressure vector, respectively. Multiplying

Eq. (5) and Eq. (6) by N ( ) u T


( )
and N
p T
, respectively, and using the definition of Biot effective stress (in
vectorial form)
= + m p . (9)

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Finite element analysis of saturated sand layers subjected to earthquake loading

where m is the vectorial form of the delta of Kronecker, the matrix form of the u-p form governing equations
can be obtained and expressed in the following manner:

V

Mu&& + dV Qp = f u . (10)

Gu&& + Q T u& + Sp& + Hp = f p . (11)


where

M=
V
(N u )T N u dV . (12)

~ n
(N p ) K
n
S= T
+ N p dV . (13)
f K s
V

(N )
k
H= T
N p dV . (14)
p
f g
V

Q = B T ~mN p dV .
(15)
V

(N )
k
G= p
T
N u dV . (16)
g
V

B LNu . (17)

fu = (N
V
u )T bdV + ( N u )T t d .

(18)

(N ) (N )
k T
fp = p
T
bdV p w& d . (19)
g
V

where t is the prescribed traction on boundary and w& is the prescribed influx

2.3 Discretization in time


Equations (10) and (11) must be integrated in time. In this work, the single-step Generalized Newmark
(GNpj) (Kantona & Zienkiewicz, 1985) method is used. Using GN22 for the displacements u and GN11 for the
pore pressure p (Wood, 1990; Ou & Chan, 2006), the following expressions are used:

u t + t = u + u t . (20)
1 1 &t 1 &&t
u& t + t = u + 1 u + 1 u t . (21)
2t 2 4

&&t + t = 1 1 &t 1 &&t


u u u + 1 u . (22)
t 2 t 2
and

p t +t = p + p t . (23)
1 1 & t
p& t + t = p p . (24)
t

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

where = 0.25 and = 1.0 are used for unconditional stability of the integration scheme and t
refers to current time.

3 NUMERICAL EXAMPLE

For verification of the developed code towards liquefaction analysis, the class A prediction of the
experiment No 1 of VELACS (Verification of Numerical Procedures for the Analysis of Soil Liquefaction
Problems, Arulanandan e Scott, 1993) project is considered. The experiment carried out by Taboada & Dobry
(1993) consists of a 20 cm high, horizontal, uniform Nevada sand layer, which is placed in a laminar box at a
relative density of about 40% (loose sand). The purpose of the laminar box is to simulate the response of a semi-
infinite loose sand layer during shaking. A sketch of the laminar box and the instrumentation used for this
experiment is presented in Fig. 1.

LVDT3

LVDT4

Figure 1. Cross-sectional view of the centrifuge Experiment No 1

The sand is fully saturated with water, spun at a centrifuge acceleration of 50g, and excited horizontally at
the base with the target prototype accelerogram reproduced in Fig. 2. A zero vertical acceleration was
considered.

Figure 2. Horizontal input motion at bottom

Numerical modeling is done in prototype scale using a three dimensional formulation with a plane-strain
condition. The finite element mesh is composed of 5120 coupled hexahedral finite elements with 8-node for pore
pressure and 8-node for solid displacements (called 8-8 elements). The mesh is regular and uniform as shown in
Fig. 3. The laminar box is modeled with the constraint of the lateral tied nodes. The displacements of nodes
located at the two ends of the soil at the same level are restrained to have the same value. The base nodes are
fixed in both horizontal and vertical directions. Dissipation of pore pressure is allowed only through the top
surface of the layer; the lateral boundaries and the base are kept impermeable. First a static analysis due to
application of gravity (models own weight) is performed before seismic excitation. The resulting fluid

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Finite element analysis of saturated sand layers subjected to earthquake loading

hydrostatic pressures and stress-states along the soil mass are used as initial conditions for the subsequent
dynamic analysis (Ou & Chan, 2006). Material properties are listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Material properties and constants for PZ-Mark III model

Properties Unit

Very loose
Loose sand
sand
Elastic linear analysis
Elastic modulus Es = 30000 30000 kPa
Poisson coefficient s = 0.3 0.3

Non linear parameter for Mark III model

Initial compressibility modulus at reference


pressure p' o K evo = 770 3500 kPa
Three times shear modulus at reference
pressure p' o K eso = 1155 5250 kPa
Reference pressure p' o = 4 40 kPa

Slope of critical state for loading vector


Mg = 1.15 1.5
Slope of critical state for plastic deformation
vector Mf = 1.035 0.4
Dilatancy parameter to plastic deformation
vector f = 0.45 0.45
Dilatancy parameter g = 0.45 0.45
Hardening parameter for shearing 0 = 4.2 4.2
Hardening parameter for shearing 1 = 0.2 0.2
Plastic modulus of loading H0 = 600 350 kPa
Plastic modulus of unloading H u0 = 4000 6000 kPa
Parameter for plastic deformation during
unloading u = 2 2
Parameter plastic deformation during
loading DM = 0 2
Another propierties
Mixture density = 2.089 kN.sec2/m4
Density of fluid f = 0.98 kN.sec2/m4
Compressibility modulus of solids Ks = 1017 kPa
6
Compressibility modulus of fluids Kf = 1.092x10 kPa
Porosity n = 0.363
Permeability k = 6.6x10-5 m/sec.
Gravity of acceleration g = 9.81 m/sec.2

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

Figure 3. Finite element mesh

The magnified deformed mesh and excess of pore pressure at the end of the analysis are shown in Fig. 4. In
Fig. 5 and Fig. 6 is compared the development of the excess of pore pressure at points P1, P2 and P3, P4, (see
Fig. 1) respectively, as predicted by the numerical model and those recorded in the experiment. In Fig. 7, the
lateral displacement at locations LVDT3 and LVDT4 are shown. As it can be seen, a reasonable agreement
between numerical and experimental results is depicted.

Deformed mesh (m) Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

Figure 4. Deformation and excess of pore pressure after 16.38 sec.

30 30
P1 P2
25 25
Excesso de poropresso (KPa)
Excess of pore pressure(kPa)

20 20

15 15

10 10

5 5

0 0
Present analysis Present analysis
-5 Experimental (Taboada e Dobry ,1993) -5
Experimental (Taboada e Dobry ,1993)
-10 -10
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Time (sec.) Time (sec.)

Figure 5. History of excess of pore pressure for P1 and P2

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Finite element analysis of saturated sand layers subjected to earthquake loading

60 60
P3 P4
50 50

Excesso de poropresso (KPa)


Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

40 40

30 30

20 20

10 10
Present analysis Present analysis
0 0
Experimental (Taboada e Dobry ,1993) Experimental (Taboada e Dobry ,1993)
-10 -10
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Time (sec.) Time (sec.)

Figure 6. History of excess of pore pressure for P3 and P4

0.10 0.10
LVDT3 Deslocamento horizontal (m)
LVDT4
Horizontal displacement (m)

0.05 0.05

0.00 0.00

-0.05 -0.05
Present analysis Present analysis
Experimental (Taboada e Dobry ,1993) Experimental (Taboada e Dobry ,1993)
-0.10 -0.10
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Time (sec.) Time (sec.)

Figure 7. Lateral displacement for LVTD3 and LVDT4

4 SAND COLUMN RESPONSE

In this section, the responses of a very loose sand column and a loose sand column, both of them subjected
to the E-W component of the Centro (1940) earthquake, are studied. The geometry and finite element mesh used
for this problem are shown in Fig. 8. The typical column is 30 meters high and it is discretized by using ten 8-8
coupled finite elements. The same boundary conditions of the previous example are also used here. The
properties and model parameters for these two soils are presented in Table 1 where a permeability value equal to
2.1E-03 m/sec is used here. The E-W component of the Centro (1940) earthquake is shown in Fig. 9. In addition,
in the work of Ou & Chan (2006), the case of the very loose sand column has also been studied in detailed and
therefore the results of the present study can be compared with those of that reference.
In Fig. 10 and Fig 11 are shown the results at different depths of the column for the very loose and the
loose sand cases, respectively, in terms of stress paths, excess of pore pressure, shear stress versus shear strain
curves and horizontal displacements. The chosen control points (where the results are plotted) are located at a
depth of 1.5 m (element E10), 10.5 m (element E07), 19.5 m (element E04) and 25.5 m (element E02) from the
top surface of the column.
In Fig. 10, the maximum shear strain in the soil column is almost 20% in element E04. The maximum
lateral displacement occurred at the soil surface and it is almost equal to 3.5 m (relative to the base movement).
In Fig. 11, the maximum shear strain in the soil column is almost 4% for element E10. The relative lateral
displacements at all depths are negligible in comparisons with those obtained for the very loose sand layer.

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

Geometry Finite element mesh

Figure 8. Geometry and finite element mesh

1.5

1
Acelerao (m/seg.2 )

0.5

-0.5

-1

-1.5

-2
0 2 4 6 8 10
Tempo (seg.)

Figure 9. E-W component of the Centro (1940) earthquake

In Fig. 12 and Fig. 13 are shown the absolute accelerations at the top and at the base of the soil column for
the two cases (very loose and loose sand, respectively). In Fig. 12, it is seen that de-amplification of the
acceleration occurs due to soil liquefaction. In fact, the acceleration is almost to zero after 4 sec. of loading. This
is because all soil grains have lost contact among them and they are not able to transmit the soil base acceleration
to the top surface of the column. Otherwise, Fig. 13 depicts that the loose soil column greatly amplifies the
magnitude of the acceleration for all time instants. The maximum amplification takes place after 2 sec. of
loading where the top surface acceleration has almost a value of 7 m/sec.2.

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

5 20 5 400

Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

10 -2
3 3
200

Displ. horizontal (m)


1 1

h (kPa)

h (kPa)
10 0
-1 -1

-3 -200
-3

A -5 0 -5 -400
-20 -15 -10 -5 0 2 4 6 8 10 -4.0 -2.0 0.0 2.0 4.0 0 2 4 6 8 10
'v (KPa) Tempo (seg.)
40 30
B 100.0

Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

10 -2
100
20 50.0
10

Displ. horizontal (m)


h (kPa)

h (kPa)
0 0.0
50
-10
-20 -50.0

C -40 0 -30 -100.0


-120 -70 -20 0 2 4 6 8 1 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 0 2 4 6 8 10

50 250 50 10.0
Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

10 -2
30 200 30 5.0

Displ. horizontal (m)


0.0
10 150 10

h (kPa)
h (kPa)

D -10 -10
-5.0
100
-10.0
-30 50 -30
-15.0
E -50 0 -50 -20.0
-250 -150 -50 0 2 4 6 8 1 -20.0 -10.0 0.0 10.0 20.0 0 2 4 6 8 10

50 300 50 6.0
Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

10 -2
30 250 30 4.0

200

Displ. horizontal (m)


2.0
10 10
h (kPa)
h (kPa)

150 0.0
-10 -10
100 -2.0
-30 -30
50 -4.0

-50 0 -50 -6.0


-300 -200 -100 0 2 4 6 8 1 -4.0 -2.5 -1.0 0.5 2.0 3.5 0 2 4 6 8 10
'v (kPa) Time (sec.) h (%)

Figure 10. Stress paths, excess of pore pressure, shear stress versus shear strain curves and lateral displacements for very loose sand

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

12 20 12 400

Excess of pore pressure (kPa)


10 10

10 -2
8 8
6 6 200
4 4

Displ. horizontal (m)


2 2

h (kPa)
h (kPa)
0 10 0 0
-2 -2
-4 -4
-6 -6 -200
-8 -8
A -10 -10
-400
-12 -12
0
-20 -15 -10 -5 -5.0 -3.0 -1.0 1.0 3.0 5.0 0 2 4 6 8 10
0 2 4 6 8 10

B 40 30 100.0

Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

10 -2
100
20 50.0
10

Displ. horizontal (m)


h (kPa)
h (kPa)
0 0.0
50
-10
-20 -50.0

C -30 -100.0
-40 0
-120 -70 -20 -2.0 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 0 2 4 6 8 10
0 2 4 6 8 10

50 250 50

Excess of pore pressure (kPa)


10.0

10 -2
30 200 30 5.0

Displ. horizontal (m)


0.0
D 10 150 10
h (kPa)

h (kPa)
-5.0
-10 100 -10
-10.0
-30
E -30 50 -15.0

-50 -50 -20.0


0
-250 -150 -50 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 0 2 4 6 8 10
0 2 4 6 8 10

60 300 60
Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

6.0

10 -2
40 250 40 4.0
20 200 20

Displ. horizontal (m)


2.0

h (kPa)
h (kPa)

0 150 0 0.0

-20 100 -20 -2.0


-40 -4.0
-40 50
-60 -6.0
-60 0
-0.5 -0.3 0.0 0.3 0.5 0 2 4 6 8 10
-300 -200 -100 0 0 2 4 6 8 10
'v (kPa) Time (sec.) h (%) Time (sec.)
Figure 11. Stress paths, excess of pore pressure, shear stress versus shear strain curves and lateral displacements for loose sand

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

2.0
1.5

Acceleration (m/seg.2 )
1.0
0.5
0.0
-0.5
-1.0
-1.5
-2.0
0 2 4 6 8 10
Time (sec.)
base surface

Figure 12. History of accelerations for very loose sand column

8.0
6.0
Acceleration (m/seg.2 )

4.0
2.0
0.0
-2.0
-4.0
-6.0
0 2 4 6 8 10
Time (sec.)
base surface

Figure 13. History of accelerations for loose sand column

In Fig. 14 are compared the development of the excess of pore pressure at different depths of the sand
column for the two soils and for various time instants. Also, in these figures the initial overburden effective
stress in the sand column is shown (dashed black line). As it can be seen in Fig. 14a, the excess of pore pressure
equals the initial overburden stress at all depths after 10 sec. of loading for the case of the very loose sand.
Therefore, a complete liquefaction state has taken place in almost the whole column (with exception of its base).
In the case of the loose sand column (see Fig. 14b), the excess of pore pressure never reaches the initial
overburden stress. Therefore, liquefaction has not taken place in the column and the soil grains remain in contact
for the whole column. For this reason, amplification of the soil base acceleration occurs at the top surface of the
column.

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Tamayo J. L. P., Awruch A. M., Morsch I. B

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
0 0

-5 -5

-10 -10

Depth (m)
Depth (m)

-15 -15

-20 -20

-25 -25

-30 -30
Excess of pore pressure (KPa) Excess of pore pressure (kPa)

Initial effective vertical stress Initial effective vertical stress


Present analysis (t=2) Present analysis (t=2)
Present analysis (t=4) Present analysis (t=4)
Present analysis (t=6) Present analysis (t=6)
Present analysis (t=8) Present analysis (t=8)
Present analysis (t=10) Present analysis (t=10)

a) Very loose sand b) Loose sand

Figure 14. Excess of pore pressure development at various depths of the soil column for various times
instants

CONCLUSION
In this work, a three-dimensional numerical model for analyzing saturated porous media under earthquake
loading is presented. The coupled approach is based on a simplified form of the Biots governing equations. In
this formulation, the soil mass is modeled as a fully saturated porous media (solid skeleton plus fluid) where the
two main variables of the formulation are the displacements of the solid skeleton and the pore pressure of the
fluid. Liquefaction phenomenon in sands is simulated by using the well-know PZ-Mark III constitutive model
(Pastor & Chan, 1986). Firstly, the numerical model is validated with the experimental results obtained for the
experiment No1 of the VELACS project. Good agreement is obtained between the numerical and experimental
results in terms of excess of pore pressure and lateral displacements at monitoring points. After, a brief study is
carried out to investigate the response of a soil column under a real earthquake loading. Firstly, the response of
the soil column is evaluated considering that it is composed of a very loose sand material, and secondly it is
studied considering that it is comprised of a loose sand material. Both responses are compared in terms of stress
paths, excess of pore pressure, shear stress versus shear strain curves, horizontal displacements, accelerations
and potential of liquefaction. From the obtained results, it can be concluded that both soils have totally different
behaviors, yielding very different lateral displacements (which is a main concern in lateral spreading analysis).
As expected, the very loose sand column liquefies almost entirely after 10 sec. of loading at all depths. In the
case of the loose sand column, it is far from being in a liquefaction state. In this way, the very loose sand column
greatly de-amplifies the acceleration at the soil surface because it is not able to maintain contact among soil

CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014
Finite element analysis of saturated sand layers subjected to earthquake loading

grains. Otherwise, the loose sand column greatly amplifies the acceleration at soil surface up to a value of 7
m/sec.2 after 2 sec. of loading. This preliminary studied can also provide some insight into the different responses
obtained with these two set of parameters for sandy soils, especially for those researches which are familiar with
the PZ-Mark III model. Nevertheless, the PZ-Mark III model in its original version (as used in this work) has
some limitations such as that a new set of material parameters is needed for soils with different relative densities.
According to the state of the art of the topic, constitutive models must be able to predict soil responses for a
given unified set of model parameters. In this way, modifications are needed to take this fact into account.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by CAPES and CNPq for the
development of this work.

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CILAMCE 2014
Proceedings of the XXXV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Evandro Parente Jr (Editor), ABMEC, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, November 23-26, 2014