Dynamic Analysis of the Slide in the Lower San Fernando Dam during the Earthquake of February 9, 1971

by H. Bolton Seed, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
Faiz I. Makdisi, (A.M.ASCE), Grad. Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
Kenneth L. Lee, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; School of Engrg. and Applied Sci., Univ. of California, Los Angeles, Calif.,
Izzat M. Idriss, (M.ASCE), Assoc.; Woodward-Lundgren & Assocs., Oakland, Calif., and Asst. Research Engr., Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 9, Pg. 889-911

Document Type: Journal Paper


During the San Fernando, California earthquake of February 9, l97l, a major slide occurred in the upstream slope of the Lower San Fernando Dam. Based on data obtained from tests on undisturbed samples, a detailed dynamic analysis of the seismic stability of the embankment is presented. It is concluded that an analysis procedure incorporating: (1) Consideration of the initial static stresses in the embankment: (2) the use of a dynamic finite element analysis procedure to determine the dynamic stresses induced in individual elements of the embankment by the earthquake; (3) the use of cyclic loading triaxial compression test data to determine the response of the soil elements to the induced stresses; and (4) consideration of progressive failure effects provides a satisfactory basis for assessing the stability of the embankment. This type of analysis indicates the development of a zone of liquefaction along the base of the upstream shell that would be sufficiently extensive near the end of the earthquake shaking to lead to a condition of instability.

Subject Headings: Dynamic analysis | Stress analysis | Finite element method | Soil analysis | Failure analysis | Earthfill dams | Earthquakes | Rivers and streams | California | United States

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search