Seismically Induced Sliding of Massive Structures

by Eduardo Kausel, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.; also, Consultant, Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, Mass.,
John T. Christian, (M.ASCE), Consulting Engr.; Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, Mass.,
William F. Swiger, (F.ASCE), Vice Pres. and Sr. Consulting Engr.; Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, Mass.,
Lewis Edgers, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Tufts Univ., Medford, Mass.; also, Consultant, Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, Mass.,
Albert Stanley Lucks, (M.ASCE), Chf. Geotechnical Engr.; Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, Mass.,


Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 12, Pg. 1471-1488


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Massive structures are usually analyzed for the effects of earthquake loading by procedures that give conservatively large envelopes of loads and acceleration. When these envelopes are used to evaluate the sliding stability of the structures, the calculated factors of safety are unrealistically low. This study starts with an evaluation of the appropriate values of shear strength at the foundation-soil interface under both saturated and unsaturated conditions. Then a mathematical model is developed that includes the rotational, horizontal, and vertical degrees of freedom of the structure, as well as the sliding at the base. The model is used for a range of structural configurations, soil properties, and earthquake accelerograms. The results of the analyses show that sliding can be initiated at very low levels of seismic excitation, but this critical level of excitation required to cause sliding is higher than the critical level of excitation predicted by the simple pseudostatic methods of analysis now in use.

Subject Headings: Sliding effects | Landslides | Excitation (physics) | Earthquakes | Seismic loads | Building envelope | Structural safety | Shear strength

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