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

M. M. Othman, R. Hen-Jones, C. Zapata, E. Jiménez, F. De Luca, E. A. Holcombe, P. J. Vardanega

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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
    JournalBulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023


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


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