An updated geospatial liquefaction model for global application

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 



We present an updated geospatial approach to estimation of earthquake-induced liquefaction from globally available geospatial proxies. Our previous iteration of the geospatial liquefaction model was based on mapped liquefaction surface effects from four earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Kobe, Japan, paired with geospatial explanatory variables including slope-derived VS30, compound topographic index, and magnitude-adjusted peak ground acceleration from ShakeMap. The updated geospatial liquefaction model presented herein improves the performance and the generality of the model. The updates include (1) expanding the liquefaction database to 27 earthquake events across 6 countries, (2) addressing the sampling of nonliquefaction for incomplete liquefaction inventories, (3) testing interaction effects between explanatory variables, and (4) overall improving model performance. While we test 14 geospatial proxies for soil density and soil saturation, the most promising geospatial parameters are slope-derived VS30, modeled water table depth, distance to coast, distance to river, distance to closest water body, and precipitation. We found that peak ground velocity (PGV) performs better than peak ground acceleration (PGA) as the shaking intensity parameter. We present two models which offer improved performance over prior models. We evaluate model performance using the area under the curve under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) and the Brier score. The best-performing model in a coastal setting uses distance to coast but is problematic for regions away from the coast. The second best model, using PGV, VS30, water table depth, distance to closest water body, and precipitation, performs better in noncoastal regions and thus is the model we recommend for global implementation.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An updated geospatial liquefaction model for global application
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120160198
Volume 107
Issue 3
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 21 p.
First page 1365
Last page 1385
Country Japan, New Zealand
City Christchurch, Kobe
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