One of the major causes of earthquake damage is liquefaction. However, it doesn't result in severe harm unless it leads to ground surface damage or ground failure. Therefore, prediction of potential for ground surface damage due to liquefaction is one of the important issues in microzonation studies for liquefaction-induced damage in areas with high seismicity. In 1985, based on a database compiled from Chinese and Japanese earthquakes, Ishihara considered the influence of the non-liquefied cap soil on the occurrence or non-occurrence of ground failure (mainly sand boiling), and proposed an empirical approach to predict the potential for ground surface damage at sites susceptible to liquefaction. However, some investigators indicated that this approach is not generally valid for sites susceptible to lateral spread or ground oscillation. In this study, a contribution to improve the approach by Ishihara is made. For the purpose, an index called liquefaction severity index (LSI) and data from two devastating earthquakes, which occurred in Turkey and Taiwan in 1999, were employed. The data from liquefied and non-liquefied sites were grouped and then analysed. Based on the observations reported by reconnaissance teams who visited both earthquake sites and the results of the liquefaction potential analyses using the filed-performance data, a chart to assess the potential for ground surface disruption at liquefaction-prone areas was produced. The analyses suggest that the procedure proposed by Ishihara is quite effective particularly for the occurrence of sand boils, while the bounds suggested in this method generally may not be valid for the prediction of liquefaction-induced ground surface disruption at sites susceptible to lateral spreading. The chart proposed in this study shows an improvement over the Ishihara's approach for predicting the liquefaction-induced ground surface damage. The microzonation maps comparing the liquefaction sites observed along the southern shore of Izmit Bay and in Yuanlin, and the surface damage and non-damage zones predicted from the proposed chart can identify accurately the liquefaction (sand boiling and lateral spreading) and no-liquefaction sites. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.