Dynamic Response of Variable Height Retaining Walls

by Sreenivas Alampalli, New York State Dep of Transportation, Albany, United States,
Ahmed-W. M. Elgamal, New York State Dep of Transportation, Albany, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


A full-scale dynamic test was conducted on a 140 ft long reinforced concrete retaining wall. The observed resonant configurations were similar to those of a cantilever plate and showed variability in motion along the wall height and length. A simple three dimensional (3D) finite element model was employed to further analyze the observed resonant configurations. The results indicated that such configurations play an important role in the seismic response of wall-backfill soil systems of variable height such as wing walls. Typical uniform height walls may be adequately analyzed using a 2D (plane-strain) model.

Subject Headings: Dynamic response | Retaining structures | Finite element method | Two-dimensional models | Dynamic models | Soil stabilization | Walls | Mathematical models

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