A research study has been conducted to simulate liquefaction in saturated sandy soil induced by nearby controlled blasts. The purpose of the study is to help quantify soil characteristics under multiple and consecutive high-magnitude shock environments similar to those produced by large earthquakes. The simulation procedure involved the modeling of a three-dimensional half-space soil region with pre-defined, embedded, and strategically located explosive charges to be detonated at specific time intervals. LS-DYNA, a commercially available finite element hydrocode, was the solver used to simulate the event. A new geo-material model developed under the direction of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration was applied to evaluate the liquefaction potential of saturated sandy soil subjected to sequential blast environments. Additional procedural enhancements were integrated into the analysis process to represent volumetric effects of the saturated soil's transition from solid to liquid during the liquefaction process. Explosive charge detonation and pressure development characteristics were modeled using proven and accepted modeling techniques. As explosive charges were detonated in a pre-defined order, development of pore water pressure, volumetric (compressive) strains, shear strains, and particle accelerations were carefully computed and monitored using custom developed MathCad and C/C++ routines. Results of the study were compared against blast-test data gathered at the Fraser River Delta region of Vancouver, British Columbia in May of 2005 to validate and verify the modeling procedure's ability to simulate and predict blast-induced liquefaction events. Reasonable correlations between predicted and measured data were observed from the study.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





FEA, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, blast-induced, liquefaction, numerical model, geotechnical, computational mechanics, saturated soil, geo-material modeling, earthquake, detonation, hydrocode, shock physics, LaGrangian, geo-mechanics, Bulk modulus transition