Characterization of the seismic hazard and ground-failure hazard of a site using traditional empirical lateral spread displacement models requires consideration of uncertainties in seismic loading, site conditions, and model prediction. Researchers have developed performance-based design methods to simultaneously account for these sources of uncertainty through the incorporation of a probabilistic analytical framework. While these methods can effectively handle the various sources of uncertainty associated with empirical lateral spread displacement prediction, they can be difficult for engineers to perform in a practical manner without the use of specialized numerical tools. To make the benefits of a performance-based approach accessible to a broader audience of geotechnical engineers, a simplified performance-based procedure is introduced in this paper. This map-based procedure utilizes a reference soil profile to provide hazard-targeted reference displacements across a geographic area. Equations are provided for engineers to correct those reference displacements for site-specific soil conditions and surface geometry to produce site-specific, hazard-targeted estimates of lateral spread displacement. The simplified performance-based procedure is validated through a comparative study assessing probabilistic lateral spread displacements across several cities in the United States. Results show that the simplified procedure closely approximates the results from the full performance-based model for all sites. Comparison with deterministic analyses are presented, and the place for both in engineering practice are discussed.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Kevin W. Franke, probabilistic, simplified, lateral spread, liquefaction, earthquake, empirical, hazard, reference maps, seismic, performance-based, probability