Seismic Behavior of Gravity Retaining Walls

by Rowland Richards, Jr., (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Delaware, Newark, Del.,
David G. Elms, Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 4, Pg. 449-464

Document Type: Journal Paper

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First, the paper shows that in order to use the quasi-static Mononobe-Okabe analysis for the prediction of earthquake dynamic forces on a gravity retaining wall, wall inertia effects must be included. Second, a design procedure is developed in which the designer chooses an acceptable level of wall displacement: he then computes the design wall weight which will restrict displacement in an earthquake to the predetermined level. Wall inertia effects are shown to be of the same order as the dynamic soil thrust, and to be sensitive to vertical acceleration and to base and wall friction. Design recommendations are given which relate to proposed American provisions for seismic zoning.

Subject Headings: Retaining structures | Seismic tests | Seismic design | Seismic effects | Soil dynamics | Displacement (mechanics) | Inertia | Earthquakes | Dynamic structural analysis

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