AbstractIn this paper, efforts to characterize and compare the full-scale in situ three-dimensional (3D) dynamic response of a low-plasticity silt deposit to multidirectional loading from two different sources, a vibroseis shaker named T-Rex and controlled blasting, are presented. Horizontal vibroseis shaking at a frequency, f, of 10 Hz, produced dynamic responses in the silt that ranged from linear-elastic to nonlinear-inelastic, inducing maximum equivalent direct simple shear (DSS) shear strains, γDSS,max, up to 0.15% and residual excess pore pressure ratios, ru,r, of 14.1%. Blast-induced shear waves with predominant frequencies ranging from 9.6 to 14.6 Hz excited nonlinear-elastic and nonlinear-inelastic responses in the silt deposit, with γDSS,max of 1.14% and maximum ru,r of 61%. Importantly, these responses were observed to be minimally influenced by high frequency compression waves. Multidirectional loading, and excess pore pressure, ue, migration and impedance were identified as the predominant factors for achieving the large ru,r in the silt deposit from these two in situ testing techniques. The cyclic threshold shear strain, γtp, to trigger ru,r observed from the T-Rex shaking equaled 0.007% to 0.011% and varied with the initial soil stiffness. The two testing techniques demonstrated that the in-situ shear modulus, G, reduced to 90% of the maximum shear modulus, Gmax, at γDSS,max≈γtp, whereas by γDSS,max≈1%, G further reduced to 10 to 30% of Gmax corresponding to ru,r of ∼60%. Changes in soil fabric were quantified using small-strain shear-wave velocity measurements performed before and/or upon initiation and after each stage of dynamic testing, and were linked to the observed increase and decrease in γtp for the shallower and deeper 3D elements, respectively, following T-Rex shaking. The side-by-side comparison of the dynamic responses and soil properties derived from these two distinctly different field-testing techniques validate the use of controlled blasting for quantifying in situ dynamic soil properties and responses.

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