Liquefaction-induced settlements can cause a large economic toll on a region, from severe infrastructural damage, after an earthquake occurs. The ability to predict, and design for, these settlements is crucial to prevent extensive damage. However, the inherent uncertainty involved in predicting seismic events and hazards makes calculating accurate settlement estimations difficult. Currently there are several seismic hazard analysis methods, however, the performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) method is becoming the most promising. The PBEE framework was presented by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center. The PEER PBEE framework is a more comprehensive seismic analysis than any past seismic hazard analysis methods because it thoroughly incorporates probability theory into all aspects of post-liquefaction settlement estimation. One settlement estimation method, used with two liquefaction triggering methods, is incorporated into the PEER framework to create a new PBEE (i.e., fully-probabilistic) post-liquefaction estimation procedure for the cone penetration test (CPT). A seismic hazard analysis tool, called CPTLiquefY, was created for this study to perform the probabilistic calculations mentioned above. Liquefaction-induced settlement predictions are computed for current design methods and the created fully-probabilistic procedure for 20 CPT files at 10 cities of varying levels of seismicity. A comparison of these results indicate that conventional design methods are adequate for areas of low seismicity and low seismic events, but may significantly under-predict seismic hazard for areas and earthquake events of mid to high seismicity.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





cone penetration test (CPT), CPTLiquefY, liquefaction, performance-based earthquake engineering, seismic hazard, settlement