Effects of Uplift on a Gravity Arch Dam

by Guy S. Lund, ATC Engineering Consultants Inc, Englewood, United States,
Howard L. Boggs, ATC Engineering Consultants Inc, Englewood, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


This paper evaluates the behavior of a gravity arch dam when subjected to normal static loads and internal hydrostatic pressure (uplift). The ability to model uplift has become necessary since some governing agencies require gravity arch dams to include uplift forces in structural analysis. The linear elastic finite element method (FEM) was used to model the dam's behavior. The analysis compares the effectiveness of a softened foundation modulus (simulating the inability to develop tension), to a cracked base along the dam/foundation contact. Uplift was simulated by applying equal and opposite linearly varying or uniform pressures to the dam and foundation for the uncracked or cracked base, respectively. The results show that uplift can be successfully modeled using linear elastic finite element analysis and that the applied uplift forces influence the internal stresses of the dam.

Subject Headings: Gravity dams | Arch dams | Elastic analysis | Uplifting behavior | Concrete dams | Gravity loads | Linear functions | Finite element method

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