Seismic Effects on Earth Dam from Explosion

by Lyman W. Heller, (M.ASCE), Engr.; U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MI,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 11, Pg. 1038-1042

Document Type: Journal Paper


The motion of Rifle Gap Dam, a 120-ft (37-m) high, 1,500-ft (460-m) long rolled earth fill dam, was measured during its response to the ground motion effects produced by a deep underground nuclear detonation: a two-dimensional finite element model, representing the 100-ft (30-m) deep alluvial foundation and the dam, was used to compute the motion of the surface of the alluvium and of various points on the dam. The objective of the measurements and analyses was to determine, by full-scale test, the applicability of current seismic design procedures to the design of Corps of Engineers earth and rockfill dams that are subject to earthquake effects.

Subject Headings: Earthfill dams | Dam foundations | Ground motion | Seismic design | Finite element method | Seismic effects | Explosions | Two-dimensional models

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