Probabilistic assessment of earthquake-induced sliding displacements of natural slopes


The evaluation of earthquake-induced landslides in natural slopes is often based on an estimate of the permanent sliding displacement due to earthquake shaking. Current procedures for estimating sliding displacement do not rigorously account for the significant uncertainties present in the analysis. This paper presents a probabilistic framework for computing the annual rate of exceedance of different levels of displacement such that a hazard curve for sliding displacement can be developed. The analysis incorporates the uncertainties in the prediction of earthquake ground shaking, in the prediction of sliding displacement, and in the assessment of soil properties. Predictive models for sliding displacement that are appropriate for the probabilistic framework are presented. These models include a scalar model that predicts sliding displacement in terms of a single ground motion parameter (peak ground acceleration) and the earthquake magnitude, as well as a vector model that incorporates two ground motion parameters (peak ground acceleration and peak ground velocity). The addition of a second ground motion parameter results in a significant reduction in the standard deviation of the sliding displacement prediction. Comparisons are made between displacement hazard curves developed from the current scalar and vector models and previously developed scalar models that do not include earthquake magnitude. Additionally, an approximation to the vector hazard assessment is presented and compared with the rigorous vector approach. Finally, the inclusion of the soil property uncertainty is shown to increase the mean hazard at a site.


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How to Cite
Rathje, E. M., & Saygili, G. (2009). Probabilistic assessment of earthquake-induced sliding displacements of natural slopes. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 42(1), 18-27.