Hydraulic Fill Dams/Earthquake Stability

by Roney A. Heinz, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Editor; CIVIL ENGINEERING—ASCE, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 5, Pg. 55-60

Document Type: Feature article


The 1971 San Fernando earthquake near Los Angeles, Calif., generated concern for the stability of hydraulic fill dams. Two dams located near the fault were damaged severely. The shaking effect of the earthquake caused liquefaction and partial collapse. The water levels behind these dams had been lowered before the quake so overtopping did not occur. The State of California had the owners of all the hydraulic fill dams in critical locations evaluate their structures with modern dynamic techniques. Four dam-owning agencies report the corrections required.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic fills | Earthquakes | Earthfill dams | Geological faults | Damage (structural) | Soil liquefaction | Water level | Wave overtopping | California | United States | Los Angeles

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