An in situ test method for evaluating the coupled response between excess pore water pressure generation and nonlinear shear modulus behavior has been developed. This technique is an active, strain-based method that may be used to directly evaluate the liquefaction resistance of soils in place. The test is based on the premise of dynamically loading a native soil deposit in a manner similar to an earthquake while simultaneously measuring its response with push-in sensors. Dynamic loading is performed via a large, buggy-mounted hydraulic shaker (vibroseis) that is used to generate vertically propagating (downward), horizontally polarized shear waves (Svh-waves) of varying amplitude within an instrumented portion of a liquefiable soil deposit. The newly-developed, push-in sensors consist of a three-component (3D) MEMS accelerometer and a miniature pore water pressure transducer. The new test method has been used to conduct field experiments in liquefiable soil deposits approximately 3 to 4 m below the ground surface. These tests were successful at measuring: (1) excess pore water pressure generation, and (2) nonlinear shear modulus behavior in native silty-sand deposits as a function of induced cyclic shear strain and number of loading cycles. These accomplishments represent a large step forward in the ability to accurately evaluate the susceptibility of a soil deposit to earthquake-induced liquefaction. While typical test results are presented herein, this paper primarily focuses on the equipment, field testing practices, and data analysis procedures for the new test method.
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