Dynamic FEM Model of Oroville Dam

by John Vrymoed, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Engr.; Div. of Safety Dams, Dept. of Water Resources, California,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 8, Pg. 1057-1077

Document Type: Journal Paper


A dynamic finite element model was made of Oroville Dam. Oroville Dam is a 229 m high earth dam located in the foothills on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada in California. During August and September of 1975 the immediate area near the dam experienced seismic activity, with the main shock having a magnitude 5.7. Acceleration time histories were recorded on the crest and toe of the dam. The bedrock accelerations recorded near the dam were input into the finite element model, and the computed crest accelerations compared to the observed crest accelerations. A favorable comparison gives validity to the finite element model chosen.

Subject Headings: Dynamic models | Finite element method | Earthfill dams | Hydraulic models | Dams | Slopes | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | United States | Nevada | California

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