Analysis of liquefaction characteristics at Christchurch strong motion stations
The city of Christchurch and its surrounds experienced widespread damage due to soil liquefaction induced by seismic shaking during the Canterbury earthquake sequence that began in September 2010 with the Mw7.1 Darfield earthquake. Prior to the start of this sequence, the city had a large network of strong motion stations (SMSs) installed, which were able to record a vast database of strong ground motions. This paper uses this database of strong ground motion recordings, observations of liquefaction manifestation at the ground surface, and data from a recently completed extensive geotechnical site investigation program at each SMS to assess a range of liquefaction evaluation procedures at the four SMSs in the Christchurch Central Business District (CBD). In general, the characteristics of the accelerograms recorded at each SMS correlated well with the liquefaction evaluation procedures, with low liquefaction factors of safety predicted at sites with clear liquefaction identifiers in the ground motions. However, at sites that likely liquefied at depth (as indicated by evaluation procedures and/or inferred from the characteristics of the recorded surface accelerograms), the presence of a non-liquefiable crust layer at many of the SMS locations prevented the manifestation of any surface effects. Because of this, there was not a good correlation between surface manifestation and two surface manifestation indices, the Liquefaction Potential Index (LPI) and the Liquefaction Severity Number (LSN).