Over the past few decades, soil densification has been widely employed to reduce the liquefaction hazard or consequences on structures. The decision to mitigate and the design of densification specifications are typically based on procedures that assume free-field conditions or experience. As a result, the influence of ground densification on the performance of structures and the key mechanisms of soil-structure interaction remains poorly understood. This paper presents results of four centrifuge tests to evaluate the performance of 3- and 9-story, potentially-inelastic structures on liquefiable ground with and without densification. Densification was shown to generally reduce the net excess pore pressures and foundation permanent settlements (although not necessarily to acceptable levels), while amplifying the accelerations on the foundation. The influence of these demands on the performance of the foundation and superstructure depended on the structure’s strength and dynamic properties, as well as ground motion characteristics. In addition, densification tended to amplify the moment demand at the beam and column connections, which increased permanent flexural deformations and P-Δ effects (particularly on the heavier and weaker structure) that could have an adverse effect on foundation rotation. The experimental results presented aim to provide insight into the potential tradeoffs of ground densification, which may reduce foundation permanent settlement, but amplify shaking intensity that can result in larger foundation rotation, flexural drifts, and damage to the superstructure. These considerations are important for developing performance-based strategies to design mitigation techniques that improve performance of the soil-foundation-structure system in a holistic manner.
Check out Juan's paper: CAN GROUND DENSIFICATION IMPROVE SEISMIC PERFORMANCE OF THE SOIL-FOUNDATION-STRUCTURE SYSTEM ON LIQUEFIABLE SOILS? It will be published by Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics.
Update. This paper is now available on the EESD website.