Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 135–148 | Cite as

Measurement of the viscosity coefficient of liquefied silty soil

  • Changyun Chen
  • Guohui XuEmail author
  • Yupeng Ren
  • Xingbei Xu
  • Wangping Zhu
  • Tianlin Zhao


Seabed liquefaction occurs frequently under waves in coastal areas due to accumulation of excess pore water pressure. During wave-induced liquefaction, submarine silty soil fluctuates like a fluid. In this study, a set of falling-ball test devices was made and used to measure the viscosity coefficient of liquefied silty soil during silty soil fluctuation experiments. Smooth density balls (copper, iron, and zirconia) of three different densities were used. A laser displacement sensor was used to record the displacement of the density ball with time. Each density ball sank at a constant speed when the forces on the ball reached equilibrium. According to the result of the force analysis, the movement of a density ball in this period could be regarded as vertical uniform motion, and the ratio of displacement to time was used as the sinking speed. Therefore, the viscosity coefficient of liquefied soil was calculated via Stokes’ law. Because of the smaller density and the effect of the movement of liquefied soil, there was a large error with the measurement of the zirconia ball in the falling-ball method. Therefore, the data for other density balls (excluding zirconia balls) were selected. The results showed that the range of the viscosity coefficient of the liquefied silty soil was 0.81–1.71 kPa s. The fluctuation amplitude of the liquefied soil and the effects of soil action on viscosity measurements were also evaluated. Thus, Stokes’ law can be used to calculate the viscosity coefficient of liquefied silty soil by the falling-ball method.



The falling-ball tests were carried out at the Ocean University of China. Thanks are extended to LetPub ( for linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript. The authors deeply appreciate the help of these abovementioned sources.

Funding information

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41576039).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Changyun Chen
    • 1
  • Guohui Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yupeng Ren
    • 1
  • Xingbei Xu
    • 1
  • Wangping Zhu
    • 1
  • Tianlin Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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