Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Sarah Gassman


For many years, the Cone Penetrometer Test (CPT), Flat Plate Dilatometer Test (DMT) and Standard Penetration Test (SPT) have been used as in-situ tools to assess the liquefaction potential of soils. Given the importance of evaluating liquefaction potential in the South Carolina Coastal Plain (SCCP), research was conducted to study the soil behavior of soils prone to liquefaction, develop site specific correlations between SPT, DMT and CPT testing parameters and evaluate the liquefaction susceptibility of the soils in the SCCP. The SCCP sites studied in this thesis are Sampit (SAM), Gapway (GAP), Hollywood (HWD), Four Hole Swamp (FHS) and Fort Dorchester (FD). Normalized Cone Tip Resistance, Q, versus Normalized Friction Ratio, F and Material Index, ID, versus Dilatometer Modulus, ED; charts were used to determine the soil behavior of soils prone to liquefaction. The soil behavior obtained from these charts was compared to the USCS results. From this analysis, the source sand layers at SAM, GAP, HWD and FD were found to be liquefiable, however, the source sands at FHS were considered as non-liquefiable due to the high fines content. A new DMT soil behavior chart is proposed based on the soil behavior of source sands which were classified according to physical measurements of relative densities obtained from laboratory tests on high quality soil samples. This chart was found to be in good agreement with the CPT soil behavior chart. The soil characteristics of the overburden layer and the current prediction of the water table indicated that the formation of sandblows is unlikely to occur at the Fort Dorchester site in future seismic events. CPT and DMT tests were also used herein to develop site-specific correlations between Q-KD and Q-ED/ó'vo for different types of soils. SPT-DMT correlations were also established for all soil types in the SCCP and were compared to previously published correlations. New correlations between these parameters were also developed for source sands at each site as well as for the combined source sands from all the five sites. Published relations between average Ic and Bq values were used to determine the soil susceptibility to liquefaction. Finally, a comparison between the geotechnical properties of the sites studied herein to sites where no liquefaction features have been found indicated that the sites studied herein are currently more susceptible to liquefaction than the other sites. Further research is required to evaluate the liquefaction potential at these sites.