DYNAMIC FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF ROCKFILL DAMS

Magdy H. Mowafy, Mohamed N. Salem, Tarek N. Salem, Hazem M. El Deeb

Abstract


A number of embankment dams have failed or suffered major deformations during earthquakes. Numerical modeling methods can provide a powerful tool to predict the re-sponse of dams to earthquake loading. In the present work, the seismic performance of rockfill dams is numerically studied using the software ADINA (Automatic Dynamic Incre-mental Nonlinear Analysis) based on finite element method. The study is carried out to inves-tigate the analysis procedures and safety evaluation of rockfill dams, and to improve its sta-bility under earthquake loading. The study also investigates the generation and dissipation of pore water pressure generated within the dam clay core, the effect of earthquake horizontal acceleration component, and upstream water level on the stability of rockfill dams. Results indicated that large deformations took place within the clay core of the rockfill dam that con-sequently caused large crest settlements accompanied by relatively high generation of pore water pressure within that core. Moreover, the crest vertical displacements which can be used as an index of dam stability were relatively large enough in some cases to be more than free-board that leads to overtopping.

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