Seismic Instrumentation of Dams

by Bruce A. Bolt, Prof.; Seismological Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
Donald E. Hudson, Prof.; Earthquake Engrg. Research Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 11, Pg. 1095-1104

Document Type: Journal Paper


The desirability of installing seismic instruments on and near major dams is explained. Two types of instruments are required: (1) Strong-motion accelerographs for recording potentially destructive ground shaking and resulting dam vibrations; and (2) sensitive seismographs for determining the local seismicity. A minimum of two strong-motion accelerographs should be installed on the dam and a minimum of two should be installed in the immediate vicinity of the dam. Each accelerograph should record three components of motion, should have a natural frequency of approx. 20 Hz, a recording speed of approx 1 cm/s. The sensitive seismographs are intended to record the local seismicity in the vicinity of the dam site before construction, and to detect any changes in seismicity during reservoir filling. A minimum of three seismographs is recommended for installation in the vicinity of the dam site. A vertical-component seismometer (1 Hz - 5 Hz) with visual recorder and approx l0,000 magnification at 1 Hz is recommended.

Subject Headings: Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Instrumentation | Dams | Ground motion | Construction sites | Vibration | Natural frequency

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