Assessment of liquefaction potential of Guwahati city by probabilistic approaches

  • Binu SharmaEmail author
  • Amar F. Siddique
  • Bhaskar J. Medhi
  • Noorjahan Begum
Technical Note
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection from GeoMEast 2017 – Sustainable Civil Infrastructures: Innovative Infrastructure Geotechnology


This paper presents a probabilistic assessment of the liquefaction potential of Guwahati city, in the northeastern region of India, by using eight probabilistic approaches. Northeastern region of India is one of the six most seismically active regions of the world. The assessment was done for saturated cohesionless deposits. Probabilistic liquefaction assessment is done in terms of probability of liquefaction. According to many researchers, probability of liquefaction is a better index for assessment of liquefaction than factor of safety obtained by the deterministic approach. In this paper, a review of the eight probabilistic approaches has been done and a comparative study of liquefaction potential of soil sites susceptible to liquefaction has been done using the eight SPT-based probabilistic approaches. Most of the approaches are based on logistic regression analysis of field performance data to determine empirical equations for evaluating the probability of liquefaction. Departing from logistic regression approach others have used a Bayesian mapping function that relates reliability index and factor of safety to the probability of liquefaction. Standard penetration test (SPT) N values, engineering properties of the soils and depth of water table were taken from a database of 200 boreholes up to 30 m depth covering an area of 262 km2 in Guwahati city. In the absence of ground motion relation in Guwahati city, a design peak ground acceleration of 0.36 g was used since Guwahati falls in zone V, a high earthquake risk zone, according to the seismic zoning map of India. Liquefaction susceptibility from the methods is presented as maps showing zones of levels of risk of liquefaction. The SPT-based liquefaction evaluation probabilistic procedures have been found to yield significantly different predictions. Comparisons of the methods in the probabilistic approach have shown a difference in the values of probabilities in the same depth. However, on common comparison, the soil layers susceptible to liquefaction in different zones of the city have been identified. To get a further clear picture of soil layers susceptible to liquefaction, one-dimensional equivalent linear ground-response analysis was carried out to determine the peak horizontal ground surface acceleration.


Liquefaction Standard penetration test Probability of liquefaction Peak horizontal ground acceleration 



The Geotechnical data of the 200 boreholes were taken from a project work given to Assam Engineering College, titled “Liquefaction potential determination of Guwahati city” funded by the Department of Science and Technology, India for Microzonation of Guwahati city. We acknowledge the help and assistance given by DST, India for the study.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering DepartmentAssam Engineering CollegeGuwahatiIndia

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