Seismic Risk Assessments of Small Earth Dams

by Carl J. Costantino, City Univ of New York, New York, United States,
Y. T. Gu, City Univ of New York, New York, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


A procedure has been developed which attempts to assess the risk of damage or failure of small earth dams and embankments when subjected to seismic input motions. The procedure is based on a linear finite element response analysis of the two phase soil-water system which satisfies the Biot equations of motion. Solutions for intergranular stresses and pore water pressure are obtained as functions of frequency for unit values of the input motion. A Monte Carlo simulation procedure is then used to generate a spectrum of earthquake inputs from which complete time histories of response can be generated. Safety factor time histories are computed for each element of the finite element mesh using a generalized Mohr-Coulomb strength criterion. From this element data, a time dependent section safety factor is generated for a variety of potential failure surfaces together with estimates of dam crest movements from which probability of damage is estimated.

Subject Headings: Seismic effects | Dam failures | Ground motion | Finite element method | Water pressure | Seismic tests | Earthfill dams | Damage (structural) | Monaco | Europe

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