Occurrence of gas-extraction-induced earthquakes in the Groningen Province of the Netherlands raised the need for dynamic performance assessments of the regional flood defence system, consisting of an extended levee network. The soils underlying parts of the levees comprise Holocene tidal deposits, susceptible to liquefaction and cyclic strain softening. This paper describes the numerical methodology adopted to evaluate the seismic performance of such important flood protection structures, including: (1) the development of ground motions consistent with regional seismic hazard, (2) two-dimensional, effective stress, dynamic numerical simulations of levees, (3) use of calibrated advanced constitutive models to simulate complex soil behavior, (4) estimation of post-seismic deformations, and (5) validation against centrifuge experiments. The application of this methodology captured the important mechanisms governing these types of problems, resulted in an improved characterization of system behavior and allowed for a more rational and reliable prediction of levee performance.
Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 8, 2019, pp. 4559–4574