Using Tactile Pressure Sensors to Measure Lateral Spreading Induced Earth Pressures Against a Large, Rigid Foundation

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Olson, Scott M.; Muszynski, Mark R.; Polito, Carmine; Hashash, Youssef M. A.; Phillips, Camilo
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Geotechnical Engineering
conference paper description
Two centrifuge tests were performed at the NEES facility at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to observe lateral earth pressures mobilized against a rigid foundation element during liquefaction-induced lateral spreading, as part of a larger NEESR study aimed at developing novel approaches to mitigate the effects of seismically-induced ground failures on large, rigid foundation elements. Models were constructed in a laminar box to allow unimpeded downslope soil displacement, and the sand in the model was liquefied during the centrifuge test. Lateral pressures prior to, during, and after shaking and liquefaction were directly measured using a novel device: tactile pressure sensors. Prior to testing the production models, several 1g and centrifuge experiments were conducted to determine whether the tactile pressure sensors would accurately measure pressures. Using the tactile pressure sensor and configuration described in this paper, geostatic pressures measured prior to the shaking agreed well with the anticipated theoretical at-rest earth pressures. In this paper, we describe these initial tests, the challenges that were encountered, methods employed to overcome these challenges, and the production centrifuge tests.