Ground Types for Seismic Design in Romania

  • Cristian Neagu
  • Cristian Arion
  • Alexandru Aldea
  • Elena-Andreea Calarasu
  • Radu Vacareanu
  • Florin Pavel
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Natural Hazards book series (SPRINGERNAT)


The paper presents an overview of available data concerning ground types for seismic design in Romania. A short overview of a ground information database created during BIGSEES Romanian project is presented. A comparison of shear wave velocity for 19 sites in Bucharest determined by PS logging measurements and by Wald topographic slope method is discussed. The paper reiterates the conclusion of a study regarding the Eurocode soil factor S derived from the Romanian seismic motions. The need for an enlarged database of in situ determined ground condition is underlined, at least at the location of seismic stations. Based on borehole-specific data (geotechnical properties, hydrologic factors) and velocity profiles, evaluations of soil liquefaction potential and related indices were performed by using empirical equations proposed in literature. The application of GIS tools provided a spatial distribution of liquefaction susceptibility of Quaternary alluvial sediments in Bucharest.


Shear wave velocity VS,30 Soil conditions S factor Liquefaction potential GIS 



Authors would like to acknowledge Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the equipment donated within JICA Project in Romania, for the training periods in Japan of NCSRR research staff and for dispatching Japanese specialists for short or long period in Romania. We kindly acknowledge the support of Building Research Institute (BRI) and Tokyo Soil Research, Japan.

The results presented in this paper were partially obtained, within JICA Project for Seismic Risk Reduction on Building and Structures in Romania (2002–2007), NATO Science for Peace Project (2005–2008) and BIGSEES—Bridging the gap between seismology and earthquake engineering: from the seismicity of Romania towards a refined implementation of Seismic Action EN1998-1 in earthquake resistant design of buildings (2012–2016).


  1. Aldea A, Yamanaka H, Negulescu C, Kashima T, Radoi R, Kazama H, Calarasu E (2006) Extensive seismic instrumentation and geophysical investigations for site-response studies in Bucharest, Romania. In: ESG 2006 third international symposium on the effects of surface geology on seismic motion, Grenoble, France, Paper Number: 69, 10 p, CD-ROMGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrus RD (1994) In situ characterization of gravelly soils that liquefied in the 1983 Borah peak earthquake. Ph.D. dissertation, University of TexasGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrus RD, Stokoe KH (1997) Liquefaction resistance of soils from shear-wave velocity. In: Proceedings of NCEER workshop on evaluation of liquefaction resistance of soils, national centre for earthquake engineering research, Buffalo, pp 89–128Google Scholar
  4. Andrus RD, Stokoe KH (2000) Liquefaction resistance based on shear-wave velocity. J Geotech Eng ASCE 126(11):1015–1025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andrus RD, Stokoe KH, Juang CH (2004) Guide for shear-wave-based liquefaction potential evaluation. Earthq Spectra 20(2):285–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arion C, Tamura M, Calarasu E, Neagu C (2007) Geotechnical in situ investigation used for seismic design of buildings. In: 4th International conference on earthquake geotechnical engineering, paper no. 1349Google Scholar
  7. Arion C, Calarasu E, Neagu C (2015) Evaluation of bucharest soil liquefaction potential. Math Model Civil Eng 11(1):5–12Google Scholar
  8. ASCE/SEI 7-10 (2010) Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures. American Society of Civil Engineers, USAGoogle Scholar
  9. Bala A, Arion C, Aldea A (2013) In situ borehole measurements and laboratory measurements as primary tools for the assessment of the seismic site effects. Rom Rep Phys 65(1):285–298Google Scholar
  10. Borcherdt RD, Glassmoyer G (1992) On the characteristics of local geology and their influence on ground motions generated by the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay region, California. Bull Seismol Soc Am 82:603–641Google Scholar
  11. Boulanger RW, Idriss IM (2004) Evaluating the potential for liquefaction or cyclic failure of silts and clays. Rep. No. UCD/CGM-04/01, Center for Geotechnical Modeling, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen CJ, Juang CH (2000) Calibration of SPT and CPT based liquefaction evaluation methods, innovations applications in geotechnical site characterization. Geotechnical special publication, ASCE, New York, vol 97, pp 49–64Google Scholar
  13. Chen YM, Ke H, Chen RP (2005) Correlation of shear wave velocity with liquefaction resistance based on laboratory tests. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 25(6):461–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chu DB, Stewart JP (2004) Documentation of soil conditions at liquefaction and non-liquefaction sites from 1999 Chi-Chi Taiwan earthquake. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 24(9–10):647–657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hannich D, Hoetzl H, Ehret D, Huber G, Danchiv A, Bretotean M (2007) Liquefaction probability in Bucharest and influencing factors. In: International symposium on strong Vrancea earthquakes and risk mitigation, 4–6 Oct 2007, Bucharest, Romania, pp 205–221Google Scholar
  16. IBC 2012 (2011) International building code. International Building Council, USAGoogle Scholar
  17. Idriss IM, Boulanger RW (2003) Relating Kα and Kσ to SPT blow count and to CPT tip resistance for use in evaluating liquefaction potential. In: Proceedings of the 2003 dam safety conference, ASDSO, 7–10 Sept, Minneapolis, MNGoogle Scholar
  18. Idriss IM, Boulanger RW (2010) SPT-based liquefaction triggering procedures. Report UCD/CGM-10/02, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, 259 pGoogle Scholar
  19. Idriss IM, Boulanger RW (2012) Probabilistic standard penetration test-based liquefaction—triggering procedure. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 138(10):1185–1195Google Scholar
  20. Ishihara K (1985) Stability of natural deposits during earthquakes. In: Proceedings of 11th international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, vol 1, pp 321–376Google Scholar
  21. Ishihara K, Koga Y (1981) Case studies of liquefaction in the 1964 Niigata earthquake. Soil Found 21(3):33–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ishihara K, Ogawa K (1978) Liquefaction susceptibility map of downtown Tokyo. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on microzonation, San Francisco, vol 2, pp 897–910Google Scholar
  23. Ishihara K, Perlea V (1984) Liquefaction-associated ground damage during the Vrancea earthquake of March 4, 1977. Soils Found 24(1):90–112Google Scholar
  24. Ishihara K, Cubrinovski M, Nonaka T (1998) Characterization of undrained behaviour of soils in the reclaimed area of Kobe. Soils Found 2:33–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Iwasaki T, Tokida K, Tatsuoka F, Watanabe S, Yasuda S, Sato H (1982) Microzonation of soil liquefaction potential using simplified methods. In: Proceedings of 3rd international conference on microzonation, Seattle, vol 3, pp 1319–1330Google Scholar
  26. Juang CH, Jiang TJ, Andrus RD (2002) Assessing probability-based methods for liquefaction potential evaluation. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 128(7):580–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kayen R, Moss RES, Thompson EM, Seed RB, Cetin KO, Der Kiureghian A, Tanaka Y, Tokimatsu K (2013) Shear-wave velocity-based probabilistic and deterministic assessment of seismic soil liquefaction potential. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 139(3)Google Scholar
  28. Lemoine A, Douglas J, Cotton F (2012) Testing the applicability of correlations between topographic slope and VS30 for Europe. BSSA 102(6):2585–2599Google Scholar
  29. Lewis MR, Arango I, Stokoe KH (2013) Liquefaction resistance of gravelly soils. In: Proceedings 7th international conference on case histories in geotechnical engineering, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  30. Liao SSC, Veneziano D, Whitman RV (1988) Regression models for evaluating liquefaction probability. J Geotech Eng ASCE 114(4):389–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Luna R, Frost JD (1998) Spatial liquefaction analysis system. J Comput Civil Eng 12:48–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lungu D, Cornea T, Aldea A, Zaicenco A (1997) Basic representation of seismic action. Design of structures in seismic zones: Eurocode 8—worked examples. In: Lungu D, Mazzolani F, Savidis S (eds) TEMPUS PHARE CM Project 01198: implementing of structural Eurocodes in Romanian civil engineering standards. Bridgeman Ltd., Timisoara, pp 1–60Google Scholar
  33. Lungu D, Aldea A, Moldoveanu T, Ciugudean V, Stefanica M (1999) Near-surface geology and dynamic properties of soil layers in Bucharest, Vrancea earthquakes: tectonics, hazard and risk mitigation. Springer, Netherlands, pp 137–148Google Scholar
  34. Moss RES, Seed RB, Kayen RE, Stewart JP, Der Kiureghian A, Cetin KO (2006) CPT-based probabilistic and deterministic assessment of in situ seismic soil liquefaction potential. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 132(8):1032–1051Google Scholar
  35. Neagu C (2015) Local soil condition and nonlinear soil response influence on design seismic action. Ph.D. Thesis, Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest (in Romanian)Google Scholar
  36. Orlowski D, Witte C, Loske B (2003) Execution and evaluation of seismic measurements in Bucharest by the Multi-Offset-Vertical-Seismic-Profiling method (MOVSP) (in German), Internal report, DMT, Mines & More Division, EssenGoogle Scholar
  37. Pitilakis K, Riga E, Anastasiadis A (2012) Design spectra and amplification factors for Eurocode 8. Bull Earthq Eng 10:1377–1400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pitilakis K, Riga E, Anastasiadis A (2013) New code site classification, amplification factors and normalized response spectra on a worldwide ground-motion database. Bull Earthq Eng. Google Scholar
  39. Rey J, Faccioli E, Bommer J (2002) Derivation of design soil coefficients (S) and response spectral shapes for EC 8 using the European strong-motion database. J Seismol 6:547–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Robertson PK, Campanella RG (1985) Liquefaction potential of sands using the cone penetration test. J Geotech Div ASCE 22(3):277– 286Google Scholar
  41. Robertson PK, Wride CE (1998) Evaluating cyclic liquefaction potential using the cone penetration Test. Can Geotech J 35(3):442–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Robertson PK, Woeller DJ, Finn WDL (1992) Seismic cone penetration test for evaluating liquefaction potential under cyclic loading. Can Geotech J 29:(4)686–695Google Scholar
  43. Seed HB, Idriss IM (1967) Analysis of liquefaction: Niigata earthquake. ASCE 93(SM3):83–108Google Scholar
  44. Seed HB, Idriss IM (1971) Simplified procedure for evaluating soil liquefaction potential. J Soil Mech Found Div ASCE 97(SM9):1249–1273Google Scholar
  45. Seed HB, Ugas C, Lysmer J (1974) Site-dependent spectra for earthquake-resistant design, earthquake. Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkley, EERC, pp 74–12Google Scholar
  46. Suzuki Y, Koyamada K, Tokimatsu K (1997) Prediction of liquefaction resistance based on CPT tip resistance and sleeve friction. In Proceedings, 14th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Hamburg, Germany, Vol 1, pp 603–06Google Scholar
  47. Tokimatsu K, Uchida A (1990) Correlation between liquefaction resistance and shear wave velocity. Soils Found Tokyo 30(2):33–42Google Scholar
  48. Vacareanu R, Mărmureanu G, Pavel F, Neagu C, Cioflan CA, Aldea A (2014a) Analysis of soil factor S using strong ground motions from Vrancea subcrustal seismic source. Rom Rep Phys 66(3)Google Scholar
  49. Vacareanu R, Radulian M, Iancovici M, Pavel F, Neagu C (2014b) Fore-arc and back-arc ground motion prediction model for Vrancea intermediate-depth seismic source. In: Proceedings of the second European conference on earthquake engineering and seismology (2ECEES), Istanbul, Aug 24–29 2014, Paper no. 484Google Scholar
  50. Wakamatsu K (1993) History of soil liquefaction in japan and assessment of liquefaction potential based on geomorphology. Ph.D. thesis, Waseda University, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  51. Wald DJ, Allen TI (2007) Topographic slope as a proxy for seismic site conditions and amplification. Bull Seism Soc Am 97(5):1379–1395Google Scholar
  52. Wald DJ, Earle PS, Quitoriano V (2004) Topographic slope as a proxy for seismic site correction and amplification. EOS Trans AGU 85(47):F1424Google Scholar
  53. Yasuda S, Harada K, Ishikawa K, Kanemaru Y (2012) Characteristics of liquefaction in Tokyo Bay area by the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. Soils Found 52(5):793–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Youd TL (1977) Reconnaissance report of geotechnical observations for the 4 March 1977 Romanian earthquake. Extract from EERI reportGoogle Scholar
  55. Youd JL, Perkins DM (1978) Mapping of liquefaction induced ground failure potential. J Geotech Eng Div ASCE 104:433–446Google Scholar
  56. Youd TL, Noble SK (1997) Liquefaction criteria based on probabilistic analyses, in NCEER Workshop on evaluation of liquefaction resistance of soils. National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. Technical report NCEER-97-0022, pp 201–216Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristian Neagu
    • 1
  • Cristian Arion
    • 1
  • Alexandru Aldea
    • 1
  • Elena-Andreea Calarasu
    • 2
  • Radu Vacareanu
    • 3
  • Florin Pavel
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University of Civil Engineering of BucharestBucharestRomania
  2. 2.National Institute for Research and Development in ConstructionUrban Planning and Sustainable Spatial Development URBAN-INCERCBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Seismic Risk Assessment Research Center, Technical University of Civil Engineering of BucharestBucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations