Finite Element Analyses of Port Allen Lock

by James M. Duncan, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA,
G. Wayne Clough, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Duke Univ., Durham, NC,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 8, Pg. 1053-1068

Document Type: Journal Paper


The interaction between a U-frame or drydock lock and the surrounding backfill and foundation soils is complex. This interaction was studied for a particular U-frame lock, Port Allen Lock, by means of incremental finite element techniques which closely simulated the entire construction and loading history of the lock. The results of the study at various stages of construction and loading were compared to the observed behavior of the lock as established by a comprehensive instrumentation program. Good agreement was obtained in these comparisons. Significantly, it was shown that the finite element analyses were able to explain apparent anomalies in the measured stress and deformation values.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Ports and harbors | Comparative studies | Stress analysis | Backfills | Foundations | Soil-structure interaction | Load history

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