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Published March 1981 | public
Journal Article

Vibration tests of full-scale earth dam


Extensive full-scale dynamic tests, including ambient (unique in earth dam research) and forced vibration as well as popper tests were conducted on the Santa Felicia earth dam in Southern California. For the forced vibration tests, the dam was excited into resonance in both the upstream-downstream and longitudinal directions. During the ambient test, the naturally occurring vibrations of the dam were measured. The popper test involved the use of pressure waves originating from a controlled, submerged release of gas. During the tests, three-dimensional measurements of the motions of approximately 25 stations along the crest and seven stations on the downstream slope were recorded and then analyzed in both time and frequency domains. Modes of vibrations and associated natural frequencies as well as damping ratios were determined.

Additional Information

© 1981 American Society of Civil Engineers. Discussion open until August I, 1981. Separate discussions should be submitted for the individual papers in this symposium. To extend the closing date one month, a written request must be filed with the Manager of Technical and Professional Publications, ASCE. Manuscript was submitted for review for possible publication on April 17, 1980. This paper is part of the Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Earthquake Engineering Research Affiliates program at Caltech. The data reduction, interpretation and analysis were carried out in the Department of Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and in the Civil Engineering Department at Princeton University. The assistance provided by both departments is greatly appreciated. The field program was carried out with the assistance of R. Relies and M. J. Craig. The help provided by both Kinemetrics, Inc. of Pasadena and the United Water Conservation District of Ventura County, Calif. is also greatly appreciated. Finally, Dennis Ostrom of Southern California Edison took an active interest in trying the popper tests on the dam.

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