Pseudostatic limit-equilibrium based slope stability analyses are carried out on a routine basis to evaluate stability of submarine slopes under earthquake loading. For slopes in deepwater settings, a major challenge in performing pseudostatic slope stability analyses is selection of an appropriate seismic coefficient. Most published displacement-based methodologies for seismic coefficient selection were developed using simplified sliding block models for seismic slope performance evaluation that are unable to capture the complex deformation mechanism of deepwater slopes during earthquakes. To address this challenge, this study employs two-dimensional dynamic finite-element based deformation analysis to investigate the earthquake response of submarine clay slopes characterized by morphology, stratigraphic architecture and geotechnical properties representative for the deepwater environment. Finite-element computed seismic slope performance indicators, including horizontal peak ground acceleration at the seafloor and earthquake-induced maximum shear strain within the slope, along with horizontal seismic coefficients required to trigger slope instability in limit-equilibrium based pseudostatic stability analyses are used to develop a rational shear strain-based correlation relationship for deepwater slope seismic coefficient selection.

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