ENEQ620-21X (C) General non-calendar-based 2021

Advanced Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 7 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 8 October 2021


Manifestation and evaluation of soil liquefaction, related ground deformation, and lateral spreading. Effects on shallow foundations, analysis and design of piles, effects on buried pipe networks. Advanced liquefaction analysis. Seismic assessment of geotechnical structures within the performance-based framework.

The course focuses on soil liquefaction and its engineering evaluation. It will first provide a brief (two-three hours) overview of seismic hazard and ground motion characteristics, to provide context for liquefaction assessment. Then, the following subjects are covered in depth, both from a mechanics perspective and application/design viewpoint: (i) key features of monotonic behaviour of sands; (ii) behaviour of sand during earthquakes (under cyclic loading); (iii) ground motion parameters and site investigations for liquefaction assessment; (iv) simplified methods for evaluation of liquefaction: triggering, liquefaction-induced ground deformation (settlement and transient ground displacements), instability (residual strength) and lateral spreading; (v) seismic assessment of shallow foundations in liquefiable soils; (vi) analysis and design of deep foundations in liquefiable soils; (vii) concepts behind seismic effective stress analysis of liquefaction problems; seismic assessment of geotechnical structures (systems) within the performance-based framework.

All topics are discussed using observations from case histories in recent earthquakes (2010-2011 Christchurch and 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes, in particular), benchmark laboratory studies, and field-testing data, with frequent reference to the updated NZ Guidelines for liquefaction assessment (to be published in November 2021).

Course Content:
(1) Background in engineering seismology, ground motions, and earthquake loads
(2) State concept interpretation of monotonic behaviour of sands; liquefaction mechanism and associated phenomena
(3) Factors affecting cyclic behaviour of sands and liquefaction
(4) Liquefaction evaluation: triggering (SPT, CPT, Vs methods)
(5) Evaluation of liquefaction-induced instability and ground deformation
(6) Evaluation of effects of liquefaction on deep foundations
(7) Effects of liquefaction on shallow foundations
(8) Liquefaction mitigation
(9) Advanced seismic analysis (effective stress analysis)
(10) Seismic soil-structure interaction

Learning Outcomes

(a) Discuss and explain mechanisms of soil liquefaction and associated phenomena
(b) Describe soil behaviour during earthquakes and site parameters required for liquefaction assessment
(c) Examine key factors affecting liquefaction resistance and mitigation strategies
(d) Interpret and apply semi-empirical procedures for evaluation of liquefaction triggering and for estimating liquefaction-induced settlements
(e) Classify lateral spreads; estimate lateral spreading displacements and associated loads on structures.
(f) Interpret performance of shallow and deep foundations in liquefying soils
(g) Analyse effects of liquefaction on land and engineering structures using simplified (state-of-the-practice) and advanced (state-of-the-art) assessment procedures.
(h) Discuss and provide means how to deal with challenges in the liquefaction assessment


Subject to approval of the Head of Department or
the Programme Director.



Timetable 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Intensive Block Course A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 09:00 - 14:00 E10
16 Aug - 22 Aug
Intensive Block Course B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 14:00 E10
16 Aug - 22 Aug
Intensive Block Course C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 14:00 Civil 216 Richard Fenwick Seminar Room
16 Aug - 22 Aug
Intensive Block Course D
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 09:00 - 14:00 Wheki 102
13 Sep - 19 Sep
Intensive Block Course E
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 14:00 Wheki 102
13 Sep - 19 Sep
Intensive Block Course F
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 14:00 Wheki 102
13 Sep - 19 Sep

Timetable Note

Block 1:
16  August  (Monday) (9 am – 2 pm; Room: E10)
17  August   (9 am – 2 pm; Room: E10)
18  August   (9 am – 2 pm; via Zoom & 216 Seminar room)

Block 2:
13  September (Monday) (9 am – 2 pm; Room: Wheki 102)
14  September   (9 am – 2 pm; Room: Wheki 102)
15  September   (9 am – 2 pm; Room: via Zoom & Wheki 102)

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Misko Cubrinovski


The assessment for this paper will comprise two assignments, one after each block of lectures. Each assignment will address practical engineering problems; detailed feedback will be provided on the submissions.

Each assignment is weighted at 50% each.

Textbooks / Resources

A large number of scientific articles will be provided by the course coordinator.
Background information, some chapters of:
 Kramer, S.L. (1996). “Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering”. Prentice-Hall, pp. 653.
 Ishihara, K. (1996). “Soil Behaviour in Earthquake Geotechnics”. Oxford Press, pp. 350.
 Idriss I.M. and Boulanger R. (2008). Soil liquefaction during earthquakes. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, MNO-12.


1. All assignments must be submitted by the due date. Late submissions will not be accepted. If a student is unable to complete and submit an assignment by the deadline due to personal circumstances beyond their control they should discuss this with the lecturer involved as soon as possible (preferably prior to the due date).
2. Lecture notes, assignments, and course information will be available and continuously updated on LEARN.
3. All communication with the class will be done through lectures, email, or via Learn.
4. The third day of each block of lectures will be available via video-link (Zoom). Thus, participants outside Christchurch may decide to attend in person only Day 1 and 2 of each lecture block.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,114.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 5 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.

All ENEQ620 Occurrences

  • ENEQ620-21X (C) General non-calendar-based 2021