Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1597–1614 | Cite as

Effect of dry density on the liquefaction behaviour of Quaternary silt

  • Chong-lei Zhang
  • Guan-lu Jiang
  • Li-jun Su
  • Wei-ming Liu
  • Gong-dan Zhou


Quaternary silt is widely distributed in China and easily liquefies during earthquakes. To identify the influence of the dry density on the liquefaction behaviour of Quaternary silt, 40 cyclic triaxial liquefaction tests were performed on loose silt (dry density ρd=1.460 g/cm3) and dense silt (ρd=1.586 g/cm3) under different cyclic stress ratios (CSRs) to obtain liquefaction assessment criteria, determine the liquefaction resistance, improve the excess pore water pressure (EPWP) growth model and clarify the relationship between the shear modulus and damping ratio. The results indicate that the initial liquefaction assessment criteria for the loose and dense silts are a double-amplitude axial strain of 5% and an EPWP ratio of 1. The increase in the anti-liquefaction ability for the dense silt is more significant under lower confining pressures. The CSR of loose silt falls well within the results of the sandy silt and Fraser River silt, and the dense silt exhibits a higher liquefaction resistance than the sand-silt mixture. The relationships between the CSR and loading cycles were obtained at a failure strain of 1%. The EPWP development in the dense and loose silts complies with the “fast-stable” and “fast-gentle-sharp” growth modes, respectively. The power function model can effectively describe the EPWP growth characteristics of the dense silt. Finally, based on the liquefaction behaviour of silt, a suggestion for reinforcing silt slopes or foundations is proposed.


Liquefaction Quaternary silt Dry density Earthquake magnitude Liquefaction assessment Cyclic stress ratio 


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This study has been financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41761144077), the CAS “Light of West China” Program (Grant No. Y6R2240240), the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (Grant No. QYZDB-SSW-DQC010), and the Sichuan science and technology plan project (Grant No. 2017JY0251). A special acknowledgement should be expressed to Dr. Wang Zhi-meng and M.S. Hu An-hua for their invaluable assistance in the performance of the tests in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Processes, Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of High-speed Railway Engineering, School of Civil EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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