Insights from CPTu and Seismic Cone Penetration Testing in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Charlotte E L Gilder, Rama Mohan Pokhrel, Flavia De Luca, Paul J Vardanega*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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Seismic hazard assessment often relies on static piezocone penetration tests (CPTu) to estimate the cyclic resistance ratio (CRR) and for the evaluation of in situ soil behavior. This article presents CPTu data acquired in the Kathmandu valley sediments and makes use of established CPTu interpretation procedures to assess the soil in situ properties. Up to this point predominantly SPT data and limited shear wave velocity measurements have been relied upon to assess the variability and seismic response of soil deposits underlying Kathmandu. This article provides 1) additional data to add to the existing SAFER/GEO-591 database, 2) new shear-wave velocity measurements, and 3) initial estimates of CRR at the sites visited. Based on the work presented in this article, it is concluded that a more detailed methodology is needed for liquefaction assessment mainly due to the presence of saturated silts in the valley.
Original languageEnglish
Article number646009
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Many thanks are given to IN SITU Site Investigation for the significant in-kind contribution and particularly to Darren Ward and Sam Pyott for which the CPT work would not be possible. Additionally, the authors would like to thank NSET-Nepal, with particular thanks to Surya Shrestha and Narayan Marasini for their invaluable collaboration and support.

Funding Information:
The first author acknowledges the support of the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) (EP/R51245X/1). The authors acknowledge the support of the EPSRC project “Seismic Safety and Resilience of Schools in Nepal” SAFER (EP/P028926/1) and Professor Anastasios Sextos for his support and leadership of the SAFER project. The authors also acknowledge the support of the University of Bristol Faculty of Engineering: Research Pump Priming funding.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Gilder, Pokhrel, De Luca and Vardanega.


  • CPTu
  • shear-wave velocity
  • Kathmandu valley
  • ground investigation
  • geotechnical testing


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