Technical guidelines for the assessment of earthquake induced liquefaction hazard at urban scale

Lai C. G., Bozzoni F., Conca D., Fama A., Ozcebe A. G., Zuccolo E., ...More

BULLETIN OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING, vol.19, no.10, pp.4013-4057, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10518-020-00951-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Compendex, Geobase, INSPEC, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.4013-4057
  • Keywords: Earthquake, Guidelines, LIQUEFACT project, Liquefaction, Microzonation
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


Microzonation for earthquake-induced liquefaction hazard is the subdivision of a territory at a municipal or submunicipal scale in areas characterized by the same probability of liquefaction manifestation for the occurrence of an earthquake of specified intensity. The liquefaction hazard at a site depends on the severity of expected ground shaking as well as on the susceptibility to liquefaction of that site. This in turn depends on geological, geomorphological, hydrogeological and geotechnical predisposing factors. Thus, liquefaction hazard implies the existence of territories characterized by a moderate to high level of intensity of expected ground shaking. Microzonation charts for ground shaking and liquefaction hazard play a key role for the mitigation of seismic risk of an urban centre as they provide a valuable tool for the implementation of prevention strategies and land use planning. The LIQUEFACT project fully addressed the problem of microzoning a territory for earthquake-induced liquefaction hazard in a specific work package. Four municipal testing areas were selected across Europe as peculiar case studies where to construct microzonation charts for earthquake-induced liquefaction hazard. They are located in Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), Lisbon metropolitan area (Portugal), Brezice territory (Slovenia) and Marmara region (Turkey). Their location was identified based on the following criteria: severity of expected seismic hazard, availability of geological and geotechnical data, presence of liquefiable soil deposits, documented cases of liquefaction manifestations occurred in historical earthquakes, representativeness of different geological settings, density of population in selected areas (exposure). This paper illustrates the general procedure developed in LIQUEFACT for the assessment of earthquake-induced liquefaction hazard at urban scale and presents the main achievements of the microzonation studies carried out at the four previously mentioned European testbeds. Since the microzonation studies have been carried out using a shared framework and methodology, this paper has the ambition to serve as technical guidelines for updating the standards and the operational criteria currently used in different countries worldwide to construct seismic microzonation maps of liquefaction hazard.