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Nonlinear seismic analysis of arch dams

Dowling, Michael J. (1987) Nonlinear seismic analysis of arch dams. EERL Report, 87-03. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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A nonlinear finite element procedure for arch dams is described in which the gradual opening and closing of vertical contraction joints and predetermined horizontal cracking planes are considered. A special joint element approximately represents the deformations due to plane sections not remaining plane at each open joint and allows a single shell element discretization in the thickness direction to be used for the dam. Compressive and sliding nonlinearities are not included. Finite element treatments are also used for the water, assumed incompressible, and for the foundation rock, assumed massless, with all degrees of freedom (dof) off the dam condensed out. For efficiency in the computations, the condensed water and foundation matrices are localized in a way which maintains good accuracy. The response of Pacoima Dam to the 1971 San Fernando ground motion recorded on a ridge over one abutment and scaled by two-thirds is computed first for water at the intermediate level that existed during the 1971 earthquake and then for full reservoir. In the first analysis, the dam exhibits pronounced opening and separation of the contraction joints, allowing violation of the no-slip assumption. The presence of a full reservoir greatly increases the dam response, enough to bring some of the assumptions of the analysis into question. Reducing the ground motion scale to 0.44 with full reservoir drops the response back to a reasonable level, but the contraction joint separations remain.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
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Additional Information:PhD, 1988: PB-89-194443
Group:Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory
Series Name:EERL Report
Issue or Number:87-03
Record Number:CaltechEERL:1988.EERL-87-03
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Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:26382
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEERL
Deposited On:20 Feb 2008
Last Modified:13 Aug 2021 23:04

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