Seismic Safety of Earth Dams

by Tien H. Wu, Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH,
Leland M. Kraft, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Auburn Univ., Auburn, AL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 6, Pg. 1987-2006

Document Type: Journal Paper


This study considers the safety of a homogeneous earth dam which is designed by a set of procedures deemed representative of current pratice. Various uncertainties and errors are evaluated from published research results, and are used to compute the failure probability of an earth dam located in a seismic region and designed according to the conventional practice. Decision theory is used to obtain the optimum design. This approach permits the evaluation of the effects of various uncertainties on the safety and cost of an earth dam.

Subject Headings: Earthfill dams | Seismic effects | Dam safety | Uncertainty principles | Dam failures | Homogeneity | Failure analysis | Probability

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