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Liquefaction and Related Ground Failure from July 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence

Paolo Zimmaro, Chukwuebuka C. Nweke, Janis L. Hernandez, Kenneth S. Hudson, Martin B. Hudson, Sean K. Ahdi, Matthew L. Boggs, Craig A. Davis, Christine A. Goulet, Scott J. Brandenberg, Kenneth W. Hudnut, & Jonathan P. Stewart

Published July 21, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10179

The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence produced a 4 July M 6.5 foreshock and a 5 July M 7.1 mainshock, along with 23 events with magnitudes greater than 4.5 in the 24 hr period following the mainshock. The epicenters of the two principal events were located in the Indian Wells Valley, northwest of Searles Valley near the towns of Ridgecrest, Trona, and Argus. We describe observed liquefaction manifestations including sand boils, fis- sures, and lateral spreading features, as well as proximate non-ground failure zones that resulted from the sequence. Expanding upon results initially presented in a report of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association, we synthesize results of field mapping, aerial imagery, and inferences of ground deformations from Synthetic Aperture Radar-based damage proxy maps (DPMs). We document incidents of liquefaction, settle- ment, and lateral spreading in the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake US military base and compare locations of these observations to pre- and postevent mapping of liquefac- tion hazards. We describe liquefaction and ground-failure features in Trona and Argus, which produced lateral deformations and impacts on several single-story masonry and wood frame buildings. Detailed maps showing zones with and without ground failure are provided for these towns, along with mapped ground deformations along transects. Finally, we describe incidents of massive liquefaction with related ground failures and proximate areas of similar geologic origin without ground failure in the Searles Lakebed. Observations in this region are consistent with surface change predicted by the DPM. In the same region, geospatial liquefaction hazard maps are effective at identifying broad percentages of land with liquefaction-related damage. We anticipate that data presented in this article will be useful for future liquefaction susceptibility, triggering, and consequence studies being undertaken as part of the Next Generation Liquefaction project.

Zimmaro, P., Nweke, C. C., Hernandez, J. L., Hudson, K. S., Hudson, M. B., Ahdi, S. K., Boggs, M. L., Davis, C. A., Goulet, C. A., Brandenberg, S. J., Hudnut, K. W., & Stewart, J. P. (2020). Liquefaction and Related Ground Failure from July 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 110(4), 1549-1566. doi: 10.1785/0120200025.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Earthquake Engineering Implementation Interface (EEII)