January 17, 2022

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Sneha Upadhyaya Coauthored a Paper on Predicting Liquefaction Damage Potential in The Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

Sneha Upadhyaya, Ph.D., S.M.ASCE, (California) coauthored a paper entitled "Limitations of Surface Liquefaction Manifestation Severity Index Models Used in Conjunction with Simplified Stress-Based Triggering Models" published in The Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Volume 148, Issue 3, in March 2022.

Sneha was the lead author, and her coauthors were Russell A. Green of Virginia Tech, Brett W. Maurer of the University of Washington, and Adrian Rodriguez-Marek of Virginia Tech.

Sneha Upadhyaya is a Senior Staff Professional based in California who focuses on geotechnical engineering and geotechnical earthquake engineering. She has extensive experience in liquefaction, structural analysis, and foundation and seismic design.

The Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering covers the broad area of practice known as geotechnical engineering and features articles on foundations, retaining structures, soil dynamics, engineering behavior of soil and rock, site characterization, slope stability, dams, rock engineering, earthquake engineering, environmental geotechnics, geosynthetics, computer modeling, groundwater monitoring and restoration, and coastal and geotechnical ocean engineering. It includes articles on new and emerging topics, theoretical papers with a clear and significant potential for practical application, practice-oriented papers, and case studies.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation's oldest engineering society. ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society's economic and social engine—the built environment—while protecting and restoring the natural environment.


The severity of surface manifestation of liquefaction is commonly used as a proxy for liquefaction damage potential. As a result, manifestation severity index (MSI) models are more commonly being used in conjunction with simplified stress-based triggering models to predict liquefaction damage potential. This paper assesses the limitations of three existing MSI models and a fourth MSI model that is developed herein. The different models have differing attributes that account for factors influencing the severity of surficial liquefaction manifestations, with the newly proposed model accounting more factors than the others. The efficacies of these MSI models are evaluated using well-documented liquefaction case histories from Canterbury, New Zealand, with the deposits primarily comprising clean to nonplastic silty sands. It is found that the MSI models that explicitly account for the contractive/dilative tendencies of soil did not perform as well as the models that do not account for this tendency, opposite of what would be expected based on the mechanics of liquefaction manifestation. The likely reason for this is the double-counting of the dilative tendencies of medium-dense to dense soils by these MSI models because the liquefaction triggering model, to some extent, inherently accounts for such effects. This implies that development of mechanistically more rigorous MSI models that are used in conjunction with simplified triggering models will not necessarily result in improved liquefaction damage potential predictions and may result in less accurate predictions. This provides the impetus for the development of a new framework that clearly and distinctly separates triggering and manifestation.

More Information

Learn more about the article: https://ascelibrary.org/doi/pdf/10.1061/%28ASCE%29GT.1943-5606.0002725
Learn more about the Journal: https://ascelibrary.org/journal/jggefk
Learn more about ASCE: https://www.asce.org
For consultation regarding geotechnical engineering, contact Sneha Upadhyaya at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Sneha: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sneha-upadhyaya-vt19/