Effect of prior small to moderate seismic events on monotonic undrained shear strength of sand
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- NGI articles 
Original versionSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering. 2020, 141 . 10.1016/j.soildyn.2020.106465
In this study we investigate the effect of prior seismic shaking on the monotonic shear strength of saturated Ottawa Sand 20/30. We perform a series of stress-controlled undrained cyclic triaxial tests with different seismic intensities intentionally without causing failure, followed by drainage of the excess pore pressure and an un-drained monotonic loading test to determine the undrained shear strength. The experimental data show that small to moderate seismic events that do not fail the specimen can significantly increase undrained shear strength without much change in relative density. One prior seismic event with peak ground acceleration ~ 1.3 m/s2 may increase the undrained shear strength of a specimen at ~ 10 m depth by around 30%. The results also show that as the intensity of the shaking increases, the increase in the monotonic shear strength increases. However, the strengthening effect does not increase with the number of seismic events although a small degree of global densification in the sample is observed. The results of this paper will help assess the change in static slope stability after a single or multiple small to moderate events occurred without causing initial instability.