The impact of a PEER funded research project “Towards Multi-Tier Modeling of Liquefaction Impacts on Transportation Infrastructure” is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator is Brett Maurer, Assistant Professor, University of Washington. The research team includes Mertcan Geyin, Graduate Student Researcher, University of Washington and Alex Baird, Graduate Student Researcher, University of Washington.
The PBEE-compatible tools resulting from this project will allow for the downstream impacts of soil liquefaction to be rapidly and probabilistically predicted at no cost. Potential applications include: (a) regional loss estimation and disaster simulation; (b) city planning and policy development; (c) emergency response; (d) post-event reconnaissance (e.g., to rapidly identify infrastructure with possible damage, thus maximizing the efficiency of field reconnaissance); and (e) areas that lack geotechnical testing. Beyond these immediate impacts, the research could ultimately inform an ensemble-modelling approach by which engineers can statistically coalesce data of diverse origins and scales to predict liquefaction impacts, thereby exploiting all available information to the fullest extent possible. In moving towards this long-term goal, a first-order approach is critical for complimenting methods that are more advanced but spatially-constrained by economics (e.g., methods based on in situ geotechnical tests or effective-stress numerical analyses). As part of this Seed Project, the PBEE application of the developed tools will be demonstrated for locations within PEER’s geographic domain. Candidate locations include San Francisco, California; Santa Monica, California; Eureka, California; and Seattle, Washington, among others.