Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering

By Prof. B. K. Maheshwari   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 1142   |  Exam registration: 188
The course covers application of principles of Earthquake Engineering to Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. First, a required basic background related to Earthquake Engineering will be taught, this will start from geotechnical issues during earthquakes, relevant damages and subject introduction. Next, some background related to engineering seismology will be discussed followed by strong ground motion and wave propagation. Two most important topics: dynamic soil properties and liquefaction of soils will be covered in much detail. The course will also cover ground response analysis and local site effects. Further slope stability, landslides and retaining walls will be taught. Finally soil improvement for seismic mitigation will be covered.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students pursuing BE/ B Tech (Civil Engineering), ME / MTech or PhD in Geotechnical / Structural Engineering. Faculty members teaching these students and practicing engineers dealing with geotechnical issues.

PREREQUISITES: Soil Mechanics / Geotechnical Engineering

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Earth Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jul 2023
End Date : 13 Oct 2023
Enrollment Ends : 07 Aug 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 18 Aug 2023
Exam Date : 28 Oct 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction, Seismology and SGM: Introduction to geotechnical hazards during earthquakes including ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides and tsunamis. Geotechnical damages during past earthquakes, lessons learnt. Basic background of engineering seismology including seismic waves and size of earthquakes. Strong ground motion: Measurement, Parameters and their Estimation.
Week 2: SHA and Wave Propagation: Seismic Hazard Analysis including both DSHA and PSHA. One-dimensional and three-dimensional wave propagation, waves in semi-infinite body, Attenuation of Waves, Material and Radiation dampings in soils.
Week 3: Dynamic Soil Properties: Stress conditions by Mohr circle and stress path, soil properties for dynamic loads at low and high strains, methods of measurements. Field tests for measurements both at low and high strains.
Week 4: Dynamic Soil Properties: Laboratory tests for measurements both at low and high strains, model tests. Stress-strain relationship, equivalent linear model, cyclic nonlinear models, advanced constitutive models.
Week 5: Ground Response Analysis: 1-D GRA for undamped and damped conditions, effect of elastic rock, nonlinearity of soil. 2-D GRA using FEA, Boundary Conditions. Introduction to 3-D GRA and SSI.
Week 6: Local Site Effects: Effect of local soil conditions on ground motion. Design parameters and development of site-specific design parameters. Ground motion time histories.
Week 7: Liquefaction of Soils: Introduction, related phenomena, evaluation of liquefaction hazards. Susceptibility criteria: historical, geological, compositional and state parameters (CVR and SSL). Initiation of Liquefaction: FLS and Excess Pore Pressure.
Week 8: Liquefaction of Soils: Evaluation of initiation of liquefaction: Cyclic Stress Approach (CSR and CRR), Characterization of EQ loading using simplified (Seed and Idriss) procedure and using GRA. Characterization of Liquefaction Resistance using laboratory and field tests. Factor of safety against liquefaction, Procedure of IS: 1893 (2016) – Annexure F, Cyclic Strain Approach. Effects of liquefaction.
Week 9: Stability of Slopes and Landslides: Slope stability and EQ induced landslides, types and activity. Static slope stability analyses: limit equilibrium approach and stress deformation analysis. Seismic slope stability analyses: Pseudostatic, Newmark Sliding Block, Makdisi-Seed and Nonlinear Dynamic. Application to dams and embankments
Week 10: Earth Pressure and Retaining Walls: Types of retaining walls and types of failures. Static pressure on RE walls: Rankine and Coulomb Theories. Seismic Pressure on RE walls: Mononobe-Okabe and Steedman-Zeng Methods. Seismic displacements,
Week 11: Soil Improvement for EQ Loads: Introductions, Densification Techniques: Vibro Techniques, Dynamic Compaction, Blasting and Compaction Grouting. Soil reinforcement: Stone Columns and Compaction Piles. Grouting and Mixing Techniques. Drainage Techniques.
Week 12: Soil Improvement for EQ Loads: Geosynthetics: Introduction, Types of Geosynthetics, Applications and Modelling for Dynamic Analyses. Improvement for liquefaction: using natural and synthetic fibers, vertical Drains & PVDs including lab tests.

Books and references

1.Prakash S. (1981), "Soil Dynamics", McGraw-Hill Company, New York
2.Kramer S.L. (1996), “Geotechnical-Earthquake Engineering”, Pearson Education Pvt. Ltd., Singapore
3.Day R.W. (2001), “Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Handbook”, McGraw-Hill Company, New York
4.Ranjan G. and Rao A.S.R. (2004), “Basic and Applied Soil Mechanics”, New Age Int. Ltd., New Delhi.
5.Saran S. (2006), “Soil Dynamics & Machine Foundation”, Galgotia Pub. Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi.
6.Towhata I. (2008), “Geotechnical-Earthquake Engineering”, Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering

Instructor bio

Prof. B. K. Maheshwari

IIT Roorkee
Dr. B.K. Maheshwari is currently a Professor at Dept. of Earthquake Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India. He secured Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from Univ. of Jodhpur, Masters Degree in Earthquake Engineering from Univ. of Roorkee and Ph.D. in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering from Saitama University Japan. Dr. Maheshwari worked for about two years in industry in Tokyo, Japan and then joined Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as a post-doctoral fellow. Since Dec. 2004, Dr. Maheshwari is a faculty at Dept. of Earthquake Eng., IIT Roorkee. Prof. Maheshwari has about 25 years of research experience and working in the areas of Dynamic Soil-Structure Interaction, Liquefaction, Dynamic Soil Properties, Constitutive Modeling, Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis, Slope Stability, Landslides and Disaster Mitigation & Management. He has published about 140 research articles in journals and conferences of international repute. Under Dr. Maheshwaris guidance, six Ph.D. theses are awarded and another four are in progress. Prof. Maheshwari worked on 6 sponsored research projects. Dr. Maheshwari served as an Associate Editor of International Journal of Geomechanics, ASCE during 2015-18. He also served as an Editor of ISET Journal of Earthquake Technology during 2013-17. Dr. Maheshwari is an editorial board member of Indian Geotechnical Journal. Dr. Maheshwari is a member of ASCE, EERI, ISSMGE, IACMAG, a life fellow of ISET, IGS and Institute of Engineers (India). Professor Maheshwari served as a Head of Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management, IIT Roorkee during February 2015 to February 2018. He was the Organizing Secretary for prestigious 16th Symposium on Earthquake Engineering held during December 20-22, 2018 at IIT Roorkee.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 28 October 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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