El Infiernillo and La Villita Dams: Seismic Behavior

by Daniel Resendiz, (M.ASCE), Dir. and Research Prof.; Institutio de Ingenieria, UNAM, Mexico 20, D.F.,
Miguel P. Romo, (A.M.ASCE), Research Prof.; Instituto de Ingenieria, UNAM, Mexico, 20, D.F.,
Edmundo Moreno, Head; Dept. of Experimental Studies, Comision Federal de Electricidad, Mexico, D.F.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 109-131

Document Type: Journal Paper


El Infiernillo and La Villita rockfill dams in Southern Mexico underwent an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 (Ricter) on March 14, 1979, with epicenter about 68 mi(110 km) from each dam. As a consequence measurable deformations occurred in both dams, including settlement, slope distortion and cracking. These deformations and the earthquake accelerations on the rock foundations and on the embankments were recorded. The patterns of permanent deformation are analyzed and the relative contributions of compaction and shear distortion are estimated. In both dams the fraction of the observed crest settlement attributable to compaction was larger than that due to shear distortion, and a clear correlation was observed between cracking and settlement patterns. The observed settlements attributable to shear distortion were found to lie between those computed from sliding-block methods (lower estimate) and those from a method of accounting for overall embankment deformations (upper estimate).

Subject Headings: Distortion (structural) | Earthfill dams | Earthquakes | Dams | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Cracking | Shear deformation | Mexico

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