Seismic Analysis of Underground Structural Elements

by Hemant H. Shah, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Chf. Engr. Specialist, Sargent and Lundy Engrs., Chicago, IL,
Shih Lung Chu, (M.ASCE), Head; Struct. Analytical Div., Sargent and Lundy Engrs., Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pg. 53-62

Document Type: Journal Paper

Discussion: Valathur Munirathnam (See full record)


Considering soil as an elastic medium, Newmark has presented maximum strains in soil caused by a seismic stress wave. Straight underground structural elements can be designed conservatively using these strains and neglecting the slippage between the element and surrounding soil. It has been shown in this paper that underground elements with bends and branches are subjected to significant bending stresses due to the slippage. A simplified analytical procedure has been presented to account for this effect in the design of underground elements, e.g., piping, electrical cable ducts, and tunnels. The effect of modulus of subgrade reaction and the seismic wave velocity on these stresses is analyzed.

Subject Headings: Structural analysis | Structural members | Seismic tests | Underground structures | Seismic effects | Cables | Seismic waves | Soil stress | Stress waves | Strain

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