Ejecta samples from the 1993 Hokkaido-Nansei-Oki earthquake

  • J. B. Berrill University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • R. Beetham GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • H. Tanaka University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


In studies of liquefaction case histories, particle size distributions of ejected sand have been useful in identifying layers which have liquefied. The aim of this note is to describe samples of ejecta that were retrieved by the New Zealand reconnaissance team to the M7.8 Hokkaido-Nansei-Oki, Japan earthquake in the hope that these might be useful in subsequent investigations.

Three samples of ejected sand were brought back to New Zealand for analysis: two from Hakodate, where many port facilities were damaged by liquefaction, and one from the Nakanosawa Primary School at Oshamanbe, where piles failed in shear due to liquefaction and lateral spreading of the surrounding soil. The Hakodate samples were both retrieved from the Hokodate Port area, sample HAKDl from near the 2500 tonne Nittetsu Cement Company silo which had tilted by about 3° and whose base had displaced about 200 mm horizontally, and sample HAKD2 from the clearly reclaimed land of the wharf area some 300 m to the south.

Hakodate is 172 km from the epicentre and Oshamanbe 107 km. The two sites are shown on a magnitude-distance plot in Figure 1, and it is seen that the Hakodate sites lie just inside the criterion of Kuribayashi and Tatsuoka (1974) for distance to furthest site of liquefaction.


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Kuribayashi, E., and F. Tatsuoka (1975) "Brief Review of Liquefaction during Earthquakes in Japan", Soils and Found., Vol. 15, pp. 81-92. DOI:

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How to Cite
Berrill, J. B., Beetham, R., & Tanaka, H. (1993). Liquefaction. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 26(4), 411-414.

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