Literature Review of Liquefaction Research with a Case Study of Christchurch, NZ

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes that trigger liquefaction, landslides, and rock fall, have impacted societies for generations. The more the human population spreads into rural areas and chooses to live where these events may occur, the greater the impact these phenomena have had on human life and infrastructure. Due to the sporadic occurrence of earthquakes and subsequent events that specifically impact cities and towns, research on liquefaction in general began, only recently, in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.

In an effort to better understand liquefaction and its impact on human societies, a literature review was completed, which focused on past, present, and future research on liquefaction. The initial focus of past research looked to understand why liquefaction occurred and if it could be predicted. Later, beginning in the 21st century, with the accessibility to a greater wealth of data and information, the performance of various types of infrastructure with respect to liquefaction could be evaluated and analyzed. Using a case study of a series of earthquakes that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2010 and 2011, the impacts of liquefaction are uniquely analyzed on the performance of infrastructure. Following the case study of current research, a brief discussion looks at where research may be heading in the field of liquefaction.

Literature Review