Seismic Stability Analysis of Hawkins Hydraulic Fill Dam

by Kenneth L. Lee, (M.ASCE), Prof.; School of Engrg. and Applied Sci., Mechanics and Structures Dept., Univ. of California, Los Angeles, Calif.,
Wolfgang Roth, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. Engenharia Civil P.U.C./R.J., Rua Marques de Sao Vicente, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; formerly, Postdoct. Fellow, School of Engrg. and Applied Sci., Univ. of California, Los Angeles, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 6, Pg. 627-644

Document Type: Journal Paper


This 70-ft high hydraulic fill dam was constructed as a home-made do-it-yourself project on a ranch near Hollister, Calif. from 1912-1931. It is in one of the most seismically active zones in the state. Following a policy set for all hydraulic fill dams, as a result of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, a recent request from the State Division of Dam Safety required it to be analyzed according to latest techniques for seismic safety. The paper describes the analysis which was carried out and the basis for the conclusions that the dam should be adequately stable against the maximum credible earthquake. The major reason for this unexpected result for an old hydraulic fill dam is that it was constructed slowly in lifts at about 0.5 m to 1 m per year for 19 yr, predominantly of clayey soil, and with ample time for desiccation drying and consequent strengthening of the soil during construction.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic fills | Soil strength | Earthfill dams | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Dams | Earthquakes | Dam safety

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