The research objective of this award is to understand and quantify earthquake-induced void redistribution in soils, a major liquefaction triggering mechanism in stratified ground. The venue is an advanced guided electromagnetic wave sensor that monitors the void redistribution in the real time. The sensing capability will be achieved by measuring the water content distribution in saturated sand with high spatial and temporal resolution. The research activities, under a strong interdisciplinary perspective, involve understanding the interactions of electromagnetic wave with particulate materials (that is, soils), integration of state-of-the-art electronics, design and screening of functional coating materials. Sensor performance will be evaluated in simulated earthquake bestbeds.
This project will lead to a sensing system that can quantify the extent of void redistribution, a primary soil liquefaction triggering mechanism during earthquakes. This will significantly expand our current knowledge on liquefaction in layered ground and help improve the infrastructure resiliency to earthquakes. This interdisciplinary research will advance sensor design, fabrication and system integration; direct and inversion scattering analyses of electromagnetic wave in dispersive materials (such as soils); and instrumentation that can be used in a variety of fundamental and applied research on ground liquefaction. The project will give graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary education in soil liquifaction. Outreach to K-12 students will be conducted through various partnership programs between Case Western Reserve University and local school districts.