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Seismic Design Criteria and Soft Sediment Geology in the Seismically Active Southern Salton Sea
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The Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat Project was issued by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) with the goal of revitalizing nearly 3,800 acres of the southernmost portion of the exposed lakebed.

The project aims to restore fish and bird habitat and resubmerge the southern shoreline to reduce fine particle dust emissions. In general, the project includes construction of three large gravity-fed ponds with islands and areas of varying water depths to serve as fish and avian habitat. To maintain water levels and effectively manage sediment accumulation over the life expectancy of the project, project features include perimeter pond berms, a river intake structure, agricultural runoff interceptor ditches, pump stations including a pier structure, a dredge channel, a causeway, maintenance facilities, sediment basins, water conveyance systems, and appurtenances.

Geologic hazards such as highly compressible soft sediment deposits, liquefiable alluvial soils, and high site variability set within one of the most seismically active regions in the country presented the project design team with complex geotechnical challenges. The project's proximity to significant seismic sources such as the San Andreas Fault Zone, Brawley Seismic Zone, and San Jacinto Seismic Zone required a performance-based approach during selection of the earthquake design criteria for the various project features. The presentation will focus on the selection of the seismic design criteria for the project features and the subsequent seismic hazard analyses used to develop design ground motions that informed the design. 

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Christopher Corder, Madeline Downing
  • All Authors: Christopher Corder, Madeline Downing
  • Title: 65th Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG)
  • Event or Publication: Event
  • Practice Areas: Contaminated Site Assessment and Cleanup, Environmental Planning and Management, Water and Natural Resources
  • Citation: Title: Seismic Design Criteria and Soft Sediment Geology in the Seismically Active Southern Salton Sea Presenter: Chris Corder, P.G., Geologist Date/Time: Friday, September 16, 10:40–11:00 a.m. PDT
  • Date: September 12 through 17, 2022
  • Location: Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino
  • Publication Type: Platform Presentation