Experimental Study on Mechanism of Wave-Induced Liquefaction of Sand-Clay Seabed

Thumbnail Image
File version

Version of Record (VoR)

Zhang, Jun
Jiang, Qin
Jeng, Dongsheng
Zhang, Changkuan
Chen, Xindi
Wang, Lizhu
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
File type(s)

In this study, a series of laboratory experiments for the response of wave induced clay-sand seabed were carried out to clarify the mechanism of liquefaction of clayey seabed. The experiments were conducted in an 80 m long wave flume. In the tests, the sand-clay beds were mixed with various clay contents (CC) from 0.5% to 15% and were tested for given wave conditions. The pore water pressure and the water elevation were measured in each test. Soil properties tests and scanning electron microscope (SEM) experiments on different seabed samples were carried out to further explore the mechanism of liquefaction. The experimental results indicated that the amplitude and accumulation of the excess pore water pressure (EPP) varied with different CC in the sand-clay bed. With the introduction of CC, micro-structure and properties (such as permeability and compressibility) of bed soils changed. Sand-clay bed presented more susceptibility to liquefy compared with pure sand bed. CC promoted seabed liquefaction, even if the added amount was very small (CC is 0.5%), however when CC exceeded a certain value (10% in this study), the mixed bed will not be liquefied. This phenomenon can be well explained by the micro-structure of sand-clay bed. CC within a sandy seabed, does not only affect the permeability, but also change the compressibility of seabed soils. For example, the microfabric of seabed vulnerable to liquefaction is loose. Clay aggregations generally gathered at the sand particle contact points. This microfabric is easily compressed under wave loads and allowed pore water to flow, resulting in the accumulation of pore water pressure. On the other hand, the microfabric of seabed that was resistant to liquefaction appeared to be more compact. Due to clay-filled gaps between the sand particles, the pore water is more difficult to flow when seabed was compressed. Furthermore, the tendency of seabed liquefaction is closely related to CC.

Journal Title

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

Conference Title
Book Title




Thesis Type
Degree Program
Publisher link
Patent number
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Item Access Status
Access the data
Related item(s)


Fisheries sciences

Maritime engineering

Science & Technology

Physical Sciences



clay content

Persistent link to this record

Zhang, J; Jiang, Q; Jeng, D; Zhang, C; Chen, X; Wang, L, Experimental Study on Mechanism of Wave-Induced Liquefaction of Sand-Clay Seabed, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 2020, 8 (2), pp. 66:1-66:16