ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, vol.57, no.3, pp.571-581, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
The city of Burdur, which is built on an alluvium aquifer, is located in one of the most seismically active zones in southwestern Turkey. The soil properties in the study site are characterized by unconsolidated and water-saturated sediments including silty, clayey and sandy units, and shallow groundwater level is the other characteristic of the site. Thus, the city is under soil liquefaction risk during a large earthquake. A resistivity survey including 189 vertical electrical sounding (VES) measurements was carried out in 2000 as part of a multi-disciplinary project aiming to investigate settlement properties in Burdur city and its vicinity. In the present study, the VES data acquired by using a Schlumberger array were re-processed with 1D and 2D inversion techniques to determine liquefaction potential in the study site. The results of some 1D interpretations were compared to the data from several wells drilled during the project. Also, the groundwater level map that was previously obtained by hydrological studies was extended toward north by using the resistivity data. 2D least-squares inversions were performed along nine VES profiles. This provided very useful information on vertical and horizontal extends of geologic units and water content in the subsurface. The study area is characterized by low resistivity distribution (< 150 Omega m) originating from high fluid content in the subsurface. Lower resistivity (3-30 Omega m) is associated with the Quaternary and the Tertiary lacustrine sediments while relatively high resistivity (40-150 Omega m) is related to the Quaternary alluvial cone deposits. This study has also shown that the resistivity measurements are useful in the estimation of liquefaction risk in a site by providing information on the groundwater level and the fluid content in the subsurface. Based on this, we obtained a liquefaction hazard map for the study area. The liquefaction potential was classified by considering the resistivity distributions from 2D inversion of the VES profiles, the types of the sediments and the extended groundwater level map. According to this map, the study area was characterized by high liquefaction hazard risk.