Geotechnical variability of the soils of Quito, Ecuador: a geodatabase study

Manar M A Othman, Rosa M Hen-Jones, Camilo Zapata, Eliana Jiménez, Flavia De Luca, E A Holcombe, Paul J Vardanega*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This paper presents a new geotechnical database for the soils of Quito, Ecuador. The geotechnical database is then used to investigate the best fit probability distributions for the key geotechnical parameters contained in the database. Using the Akaike information criteria for best fit selection, SPT (N), plasticity index, Vs30, peak friction angle (direct shear), and apparent cohesion (triaxial) are best represented by a Weibull distribution. The peak friction angle (triaxial) is best fitted with a truncated normal distribution. The database is also used to develop transformation models to allow for the estimation of more complex geotechnical parameters from intrinsic ones. This analysis shows that the transformation model between Vs30 and SPT (N) has high coefficients of determination and is statistically significant. Finally, the systematic collection of information in the database is used to investigate the assumption, based on engineering judgement by local practitioners, that soil derived from volcanic deposits and volcano-lacustrine sediments in the northern part of Quito has different geotechnical properties with respect to the southern zone of the city beyond the value of shear wave velocity whose difference is embedded in the soil classification map of the seismic code.
Original languageEnglish
Article number433
Number of pages20
JournalBulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding and support from UKRI Collective Fund under grant NE/S009000/1, Tomorrow’s Cities UKRI GCRF: Urban Disaster Risk Hub. The first author acknowledges the support of AL-Zaytoonah University of Jordan.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Geotechnical database
  • Variability
  • Probability distributions
  • Transformation models
  • Regression analysis


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