Simplified Procedure for Evaluating Embankment Response

by Faiz I. Makdisi, (A.M.ASCE), Project Engr.; Woodward-Clyde Consultants, San Francisco, Calif.,
H. Bolton Seed, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 12, Pg. 1427-1434

Document Type: Journal Paper


For many types of embankments, constructed of dry or very dense sands or clayey soils, an estimate of the magnitude of the deformations which might be induced by earthquake shaking can be made from a knowledge of the yield acceleration for a potential sliding mass, the maximum acceleration induced at the crest of the dam by the earthquake and the natural period of vibration of the dam. The yield acceleration, i.e., the average acceleration at which a condition of incipient failure is induced in the potential sliding mass is determined by the strength parameters of the soil and an appropriate method of stability analysis. A simplified procedure, which enables the determination, by hand calculation, of the maximum crest acceleration and the natural period of an embankment due to a specified earthquake loading is described in this paper. The method also allows, through iteration, the use of strain dependent material properties.

Subject Headings: Soil deformation | Clays | Earthquakes | Material properties | Landslides | Earthfill dams | Failure analysis | Soil strength

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