Safety Factor of Dams and Retaining Walls

by Alexander Danilevsky, Prof.; Inst. of Transportation Engrg., School of Engrg., Univ. of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 47-61

Document Type: Journal Paper


Whatever the definition of the safety factor against overturning of dams and retaining walls, the state of minimum stability occurs when there is some water present in front of the wall. The correct definition of the safety factor of a gravity wall calls stabilizing moment the algebraic sum of moments of all the remaining forces applied to it. In the case of an L-shaped wall, the earth behind it is an intrinsic part of the structure, and its weight also contributes to the stabilizing moment. The forces intrinsic to the structure and those applied to it may not be indiscriminately shifted. They form groups not to be torn apart.

Subject Headings: Dam safety | Retaining structures | Terminology and definition | Water management | Safety | Gravity forces | Case studies | Walls

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