This article presents a comprehensive study of dynamic soil properties [namely, initial shear modulus-Gmax; normalized shear modulus reduction (G/Gmax); and damping ratio (D) variation curves] and pore water pressure parameters of a river bed sand (Brahmaputra sand), sampled from a highly active seismic region (northeast India). Two independent high quality apparatus (resonant column-RC and cyclic triaxial-CTX) are adopted in the study. Resonant column apparatus was used to obtain the small strain properties (up to 0.1%) while CTX equipment was adopted to obtain the high strain properties along with the pore water pressure parameters. The results obtained from both the equipment are combined to provide a comprehensive data of dynamic soil properties over wide range of strains. A modified hyperbolic formulation was suggested for efficient simulation of G/Gmax and D variations with shear strain. Based on the CTX results, a pore water pressure generation model is presented. Furthermore, a nonlinear effective stress ground response study incorporating the pore water pressure generation, is performed using the recorded earthquake motions of varying peak bed rock acceleration (PBRA) in the region, to demonstrate the applicability of proposed dynamic soil properties and pore pressure parameters. High amplification for low PBRA ground motions (< 0.10 g) was observed and attenuation of seismic waves was witnessed beyond a PBRA of 0.10 g near the surficial stratum due to the induced high strains and the resulting high hysteretic damping of the soil. Also, increased excess pore pressure generation with increased PBRA of the input motion was observed and the considered soil stratum is expected to liquefy beyond a PBRA of 0.1 g. The established properties can be handy to the design engineers during seismic design of structures in the northeast Indian region. © 2019, Springer Nature B.V.