Publish and Present
The three-mile long Port of San Francisco northern Seawall was built more than a century ago to reclaim hundreds of acres of tidal mudflat and transform them into a major deep water port. The Seawall was constructed by dredging a trench through soft Young Bay Mud, filling the trench with rock, and building a bulkhead wall. The Seawall retains up to 40 feet of potentially liquefiable heterogeneous fills. The soft foundation soils and retained fill are subject to significant strength degradation during strong shaking, which can lead to large displacements that can undermine the structural integrity and function of the Seawall. The geotechnical approach adopted to assess the Seawall seismic vulnerability emphasized collection of high quality geotechnical data and rigorous numerical analyses with appropriately calibrated constitutive models. The benefits include a reliable, rather than conservative, assessment of vulnerability which eliminates overengineering and allows the Port to confidently prioritize retrofit funds.