August 15, 2005
NEES Liquefaction Experiment Uses HPWREN for Real-Time Data Communications
Extreme ground shaking during earthquakes can dramatically decrease the stability of saturated soils to the point where the soil becomes a viscous fluid. This behavior, called liquefaction, can cause severe damage to buildings and other structures as their foundations can slide or unevenly settle.
A groundbreaking collaborative experiment was initiated last week to help gain a better understanding of the nature of earthquake ground motion mechanisms. The experiment is being sponsored under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) by both the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/NEHRP External Grants Program (USGS Grant number 04HQGR0073) and the National Science Foundation (NSF)/NEHRP-George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program (NSF award number CMS-0402490).
The NEES program includes 15 geographically distributed major earthquake engineering experimental research facilities that are integrated through a unique IT infrastructure. The NEES components utilized in this experiment are the mobile laboratory from the NEES@UTexas facility, and the Wildlife Liquefaction array experimental site from the NEES@UCSB facility.
NEES@UTexas specializes in dynamic field testing using large-scale shakers. The focus of NEES@UCSB is on permanently instrumented field sites for monitoring ground motion, ground failure, liquefaction, and soil-foundation-structure interaction.
Data and the video feed are sent to UC Santa Barbara in real-time via a collaborative effort between NEES@UCSB and the NSF funded High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) program based at UC San Diego.
This experiment is a great example of multi-agency and multi-disciplinary collaboration addressing important scientific problems. The combined resources of these different agencies and institutions are able to accomplish far more than would be possible by individual participants alone.
A controllable camera is located at the Wildlife Liquefaction Array (WLA) site for telepresence viewing. Viewing the site to watch the experiment in action is facilitated by the http://tpm.nees.ucsb.edu/localvideo/ web site at UC Santa Barbara.
Participant Web Links:
Jamison H. Steidl, Associate Research Seismologist, Institute
for Crustal Studies, UC Santa Barbara
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