System Identification of Earth Dams Using Seismic Records

by Mourad Zeghal, Princeton Univ, United States,
Ahmed M. Abdel-Ghaffar, Princeton Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Seismic Engineering: Research and Practice


A technique to identify the elasto-plastic dynamic properties of earth dams and, therefore to asses the capabilities and limitation of their models, is developed. The technique is based on a combination of a prior, experimental and theoretical information. Earth dams are modeled as a three-dimensional nonhomogeneous elasto-plastic structures. Local-global finite element technique is used to solve the forward problem and the optimization aspect is handled with a quasi-Newton algorithm with a model-trust-region-strategy and a secant approximation to the Hessian matrix. Application to the well instrumented Long Valley earth dam, using the 1980 series of earthquake records, showed insufficiency of hysteretic damping to fully account for the system dissipation mechanisms.

Subject Headings: Earthfill dams | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Hydraulic models | Three-dimensional models | Optimization models | Elastoplasticity | Dynamic properties

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