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Liquefaction Hazard Zonation, case

study Bhuj, India.

Cees van Westen (E-mail : westen@itc.nl)*

P.K.Champati ray (IIRS) (E-mail: )**

*International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, ITC

P.O. Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands

The material in this exercise is for training purposes only. The results should not be
used in actual planning of the city of Bhuj as ITC does not guarantee the accuracy
and precision of the input data.
The GIS software that will be used in this exercise is the Integrated Land and Water
Information System (ILWIS), version 3.11, developed by the International Institute
for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC). Information: www.itc.nl

1.1 Objective:
The objective of this exercise is to assess the liquefaction hazard for the the city of
Bhuj using modeling techniques in a GIS, based on the methodology given by
HAZUS technical manual of FEMA, USA.

Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

1.2 Introduction
On January 26, 2001, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake
devastated this area, killing 20,000 people and
destroying buildings, dams, and port facilities.

The earthquake epicenter was about 70 kilometers

northeast of the city of Bhuj. The earthquake may have
occurred on the Kachchh Mainland Fault, which
extends from the region of the epicenter westward
along the curved boundary between the darker brown
region to the south and the lighter brown area north of
it. The compressive stresses responsible for the
earthquake are related to the collision of India with
Asia and the resulting rise of the Himalayas to the
That part of the Kachchh region which lies north of the
Kachchh Mainland Fault includes the Banni Plains and
the Rann of Kachchh. It is a low, flat basin
characterized by salt pans and mud flats. The salt forms in the Rann of Kachchh as mineral-laden
waters evaporate. During the earthquake, strong shaking produced liquefaction in the fine silts and
sands below the water table in the Rann of Kachchh. This caused the mineral grains to settle and expel
their interstitial water to the surface. Field investigations have found abundant evidence of mud
volcanos, sand boils, and fissures from which salty ground water erupted over an area exceeding
10,000 square kilometers.

The killer earthquake on 26th January, 2001, the 51st Republic Day of India was accompanied by
large scale discharge of subsurface (ground) water leading to reports of reemergence of the mythical
Saraswati or Indus river. High revisit capabilities of IRS WiFs images have been helpful in studying
the persistence of the released water in near real time. Three IRS images prior to the earthquake were
analyzed along with a series of post earthquake images of the area to arrive at meaningful conclusion
regarding the extent and period of the water surges. WiFs images are also found more useful to study
synoptic contiguity of water discharges due to their larger swath as compared to LISS-III images.

The water surges are established to be a temporary phenomenon associated with the earthquake. WiFs
images of 26 January, 2001 acquired barely 100 minutes after the quake shows emergence of many
water sprouts and channels. There is a relative increase in volume of water in the WiFs image of 29th
January (compared to 26th January) in some of the places. There after there has been a regular fall in
the volume of water, which seem to have completely disappeared on 4th February and 13th February
WiFs images. WiFs images of 23rd January, 2001, 20th January, 2001 and 7th January, 1999 were
used to assess the pre-quake surface water scenario of the area. Generally, cracks can develop in soil
after an earthquake and local ground water may come up along these cracks. This has been clearly
demonstrated using IRS WiFs images that all these are completely temporary phenomena.

Fig. 1: WiFs FCC image of 26th January, 2001 depicting the location of sites used for
detailed analysis. Site-2 images for a number of dates are shown subsequently.

Figure 1 shows the WiFs image of 26th January. The series of WiFs images of a number
of dates both before and after the quake (namely 23rd January, 2001, 26th January 2001,
29th January 2001, and 4th January, 2001) for one of the three test sites is shown in
Figure-2. All images are two-band false color composite with B4 (near infra red) band
assigned to red plane and B3 (red) band being assigned to both green and blue planes of
display. The water channels and sprouts appear in dark (black) color, while the dried up
water channels appear in cyan as a result of an increase in red (B3) band gray count over
near infra red (B4) band. The lower gray count of near infra red band is due to presence
of moisture.

Fig. 2a: WiFs image of 23rd January, 2001 before the earth quake
Fig. 2b: WiFs image of 26th January, 2001 (First image after the earth quake). Some of
water surges are marked using red arrows.
Fig. 2c: WiFs image of 29th January, 2001. This images shows maximum spread of water
among all analyzed WiFs images. Red arrows indicate water channels.
Fig. 2d: WiFs image of 4th February, 2001 showing already dried up water channels.

Other useful websites:
Damage report from EERI:
SRTM images of Bhuj area:
1.3 Evaluating the input data

The input data consists of a series of raster and vector maps.

Input data

Location map: LOCATION shows prominent places in the study area

Earthquake magnitude: 7.7
Epicentre: available as a point map: usgsepi
Lithological map: Geology with attribute table Geology
Village Boundary Map: VIL_BND with attribute data on damage
Raster images bhuj misr jan 15 2001 true color and bhuj misr jan 31
2001 true color

In the beginning, kindly see all the data files by displaying and selecting the
appropriate column from the respective attribute table.

Click on the geology vector layer (polygon file), the following screen
appears and select the formation in attribute table, to see the different
geological formations. In the representation select litho
Check the contents of the maps by using the Pixel Information

This area is underlain by sedimentary rocks of Mesozoic and Tertiary age and
Deccan Traps (basalt). Most importantly this area is predominantly covered by
Rann, i.e. salt waste, vast expanse of low lying area covered with salt, which gives
almost desert look. Other important feature is the vast tidal flat areas on the south
and south eastern margin of the area along the low lying coastal areas.

This vector layer has little bit additional information, beyond the study area, which
is clipped in the raster layer, which you can see by clicking on the geology raster
layer and then select the appropriate attribute coloumn and representation.

Now you can display the location and USGS epicenter point files on the geological

Select Layer, Add data layer, Point Map LOCATIONS

Select attribute Name and make sure the option Text is selected
Scroll around and check the geology around the study area.

Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

1.4 Calculation of PGA

Peak Ground Acceleration is calculated based on the distance from the epicenter,
magnitude and attenuation law. In this exercise we will use the following attenuation
formula originally given by by Joyner and Boore (1981) and modified as:

Log PGA = 0.249*M- Log(SqrtD)-0.00255*(SqrtD)-0.8 Eq 1

In the first place, the buffer distance from the epicenter is calculated.

Remember, all the relevant GIS and image processing operations appear on right
clicking the required data file

First rasterise the epicenter point map with georeference Bhuj

Using the rasterise point map as source map, calculate the distance
map by selecting distance option in raster operation menu. Give
epibuf as the out put file name.
Now display the epibuf map and click around to check the distance
(in meters) values from the epicenter

Finally, the PGA is calculated using the equation 1.

Enter the following expression in the command line

PGA= 10^(0.249 * 7.7-log(sqrt(epibuf/1000))-0.00255*(sqrt(epibuf/1000)) -0.8)

Display the PGA map and look around the PGA value, which is
calculated as per the attenuation law

Now the soil and geological information will be incorporated as amplification factor,
to estimate their influence on the PGA value.

Now open the geology attribute table and see the ampli column,
compare the values with the major geology, you will find the
following (see table 1):

Table 1. Soil amplification factor
Major rock type Soil amplification
Soil type
Quaternary Soft soil 1.4
Tertiary Rock 1
Deccan Traps Hard rock 0.8
Mesozoics Hard rock (except for soft sandstone bearing 0.8
formations like Bhuj, Khadir, Wagad and
Kaladonger Formation, which are given
value 1)
Mud Flat Saturated soil 1.5
Rann Soft soil 1.4

From the attribute table, the amplification map is created by entering

the following formula in the command line

Display the ampli map and check the amplification values

We can calculate now the final PGA by multiplying this ampli map
with the PGA map. We use the following formula.
PGAF= PGA * Ampli

While displaying the PGAF map, you might have noticed that some
of the values are larger than 1 near the epicenter. In order to take
maximum PGA value as 1, clip all values >1 as 1. Use the following
formula in the command line.

PGAFF=iff(PGAF >1,1, PGAF)

PGAFF is the final PGA map with soil amplification as given by the geology and
soil conditions of the region.

1.5 Estimation of the liquefaction probability

Liquefaction probability is calculated based on the liquefaction susceptibility and
PGA values
P LiquefactionSC PGA = a
P LiquefactionSC = Pml Equation (2)

P LiquefactionSC PGA = a is the conditional liquefaction probability for a

given susceptibility category at a specified level of peak ground acceleration (Table)

KM = is the moment magnitude (M) correction factor

Kw = is the ground water correction factor
P ml = proportion of map unit susceptible to liquefaction (Table 3)

Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

Correction Factor for Equation (1):

K m = 0.0027 M 3 0.0267 M 2 0.2055M + 2.9188

M represents the magnitude of the seismic event = 7.7 in this case

So Kw = 0.986046

K w = 0.022d w + 0. 93
dw represents the depth to the groundwater in feet

Relationships between liquefaction probability and peak horizontal ground acceleration (PGA) are
defined for the given susceptibility categories in Table 2. These relationships have been defined based
on the state-of-practice empirical procedures, as well as the statistical modeling of the empirical
liquefaction catalog presented by Liao, et. al. (1988) for representative penetration resistance
characteristics of soils within each susceptibility category.

Table 2. Relationship between liquefaction probability and peak ground acceleration (Liao et al. 1988)

Susceptibility Category [
P Liquefaction PGA = a ]
Very High 0 9.09 a - 0.82 1.0
High 0 7.67a - 0.92 1.0
Moderate 0 6.67a -1.0 1.0
Low 0 5.57a -1.18 1.0
Very Low 0 4.16a - 1.08 1.0
None 0.0

Table 3. Proportion of map unit that will liquefy in the event of earthquake

Soil type Liquefaction Susceptibility Proportion of map unit

Liq_sc pml
Saturated soil Very high 0.25
Soft soil High 0.2
Rock Moderate 0.1
Hard rock Very low 0.02

Before calculating the Liquefaction probability, first the desired input components are calculated. As
the conditional probability is calculated as per the susceptibility category, a susceptibility class map is
prepared from the geology attribute table.

check the geology attribute table. The columns liq_sc and pml
indicate the values as shown in Table 3
Use the values stored in these columns to create attribute maps. Use
the following expression
Open the attribute maps and check the values
To calculate the liquefaction conditional probability, we use the
values given in Table 2. The calculation is implemented in ILWIS
Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

as given below in command line. The liq_sc values in the formula

indicates respective codes for different classes in domain liq_sc,
which may be checked before proceeding.

Liq_pcf= iff (liq_sc=1, 9.09 * pgaff 0.82, iff(liq_sc=2, 7.67 *

pgaff 0.92, iff (liq_sc= 3, iff(liq_sc=3, 6.67 * pgaff 1.0, 4.16*

PGAFF=iff(PGAF >1,1, PGAF)

Display the map and check the liquefaction conditional probability


Now once again check the geology attribute table for ground water table information
given in column dw. As the actual well data was not available, approximate values
are given as:

Table 4. Representative ground water table

Geological region Groundwater table depth in

feet (dw)
Mesozoics, Deccan Traps & Tertiaries, 200
mostly comprising high ground
Rann 10
Mud flat 1
Recent deposits (alluvium) 50

From the dw column values, a new column kw is calculated as:

Kw = 0.022*dw +0.93

Now an attribute map is created for column kw


Display the map kw for seeing the distribution of the values

Now all the required inputs for the Liquefaction probability estimation are available
in map form, hence we can proceed with its calculation

Type the following formula in the command line

Liq_prob = (liq_pcf*pml)/(0.986*kw)

The result can be classified as a Liquefaction Probability Class map

using density slicing
Display the map and check the liquefaction probability in the region,
you will observe that in the mudflat Rann region values are high
indicating higher probability, which was observed in reality too.
This can be cross checked by displaying the pre and post satellite
images of IRS-IC/ID-LISS-III data and by carefully observing the
liquid venting in places like Rann and Kandla mudflat region

Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

1.6 Lateral spreading

The expected permanent ground displacements due to lateral spreading can be determined using the
following relationship:

[ ] [
E PGDSC = K E PGD ( PGA / PLSC ) = a ] Equation (3)

[ ]
E PGD ( PGA / PLSC ) = a is the expected permanent ground displacement for a given
susceptibility category under a specified level of normalized
ground shaking (PGA/PGA(t)) (Figure 1, Table 5)
PGA(t) is the threshold ground acceleration necessary to induce
liquefaction (Table 5)
K is the displacement correction factor

This relationship for lateral spreading was developed by combining the Liquefaction Severity Index
(LSI) relationship presented by Youd and Perkins (1987) with the ground motion attenuation
relationship developed by Sadigh, et. al. (1986) as presented in Joyner and Boore (1988) and modified
for this study area (equation 1). The ground shaking level has been normalized by the threshold peak
ground acceleration PGA(t) corresponding to zero probability of liquefaction for each susceptibility
category (Table 5).

Figure 1. Expected ground displacement for a given susceptibility category under a specified level of
normalize ground shaking (PGA/PGA (t))

12x - 12 for 1< PGA/PGA(t)< 2
Displacement (inches)

18x - 24 for 2< PGA/PGA(t)< 3

70x - 180 for 3< PGA/PGA(t)< 4



0 1 2 3 4 5


Table 5. Threshold Ground Acceleration (PGA(t)) Corresponding to Zero Probability of Liquefaction

Susceptibility Category PGA(t)

Very High 0.09g
High 0.12g
Moderate 0.15g
Low 0.21g
Very Low 0.26g
None N/A

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Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

Correction Factor for equation (3):

K is the displacement correction factor

K = 0.0086M 3 0.0914M 2 + 0.4698M 0.9835
M is moment magnitude = 7.7 in this case,
K = 1.141

check the geology attribute table, column PGAt, which shows the
values as per Table 5:
Now create the attribute map, pgat


Calculate ratio, of PGA and PGA(t) as:


Now ground displacement (in inch) is calculated as

12,iff(pgapgat<3,18*pgapgat-24,iff(pgapgat<4, 70*pgapgat-180,100))))

with correction factor, it becomes

gdispf= 1.141 * gdisp

Display the map, which can be classified using slicing. The result is a
Ground Displacement Class Map

1.7 Intensity map calculation

Intensity can be calculated from PGA using Trifunac and Brady (1975) Modified
Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) :

MMI = (Log(PGA * 980) 0.014) / 0.3

Calculate the MMI, type the following formula in the command line:

MMI= (log(pgaff*980)-0.014)/0.3

Display the map and check the intensity values around the study area

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Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

1.8 Damage estimation

Now average intensity is calculated village wise to estimate the damage in the area.

Rasterise the village boundary map VIL_BND . Use the bhuj


Cross the VIL_BND raster map the mmi map. Only cross table is
required, name it vil_mmi. Dont generate any output map file as it is
not required

Display the cross table, vil_mmi, you will see how every village has
various MMI values. We will calculate the average MMI value for
every village. This can be done in this table, but in the present
exercise, it is imported to the VIL_BND table for comparing with
other attribute values. We use the join operation.

To join, the average mmi value, open the target table, VIL_BND,
select Column/join; select source table vil_mmi and source column,
function average and group by VIL_BND, output column, give mmi

Now you have the new column, mmi in your table VIL_BND. As you
see there are values in decimals, which can be rounded off using the

Mmif=round (mmi)

Now for different rounded MMI values, we can calculate the expected percentage of
damage in Pucca (non-engineered cement mortar house= RES2 of Radius) and
Kucha house (mud house = RES1 of Radius).

Table 6. Relationship between MMI and damage

MMI Predicted damage (in %) Predicted damage (in %)

for Kuchha houses (mud) for Pucca houses
10 80 60
9 62 40
8 35 25
7 15 5
6 4 2

In ILWIS, it is calculated using the following formulas in the

command line:

Edampucca= iff(mmif=6,2,iff(mmif=7,5,iff(mmif=8,25,iff(mmif=9,40,60))))


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Case study Bhuj: Liquefaction hazard modelling

The columns P_c, Kutcha_h in table VIL_BND indicate respectively the percentage
of actually damaged pucca houses and kuchha houses as found in a survey made by
Gujarat govt. The value 101 in those columns indicates no data. The actual and
predicted values can be compared. Results may look disappointing, dont worry, the
actual data is not reliable as we have observed in the field. Our observation reveals
that the actual damage is in the pattern of predicted, but mostly of higher order.

Now an attribute map can be generated to see the MMI distribution in villages using
the expresion:


This exercise can be done for any earthquake within minutes of knowing the
epicenter and magnitude, provided you have a geological map, soil map, water depth
and village boundary map ready in digital form. This can also be done for areas prior
to earthquake for hypothetical epicenter and magnitude.

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