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Published October 1990 | public
Journal Article

La Villita Dam Response During Five Earthquakes Including Permanent Deformation


La Villita is a 60 m high earth and rockfill dam located 350 km southwest of Mexico City, Mexico. Since its construction the dam has been subjected to six major earthquakes, of which five are believed to be responsible for significant localized deformation in the dam. The dynamic response of the dam to these shaking events was recorded by a strong-motion instrument located near the crest on a portion of the dam, which appears to move as a sliding block. In addition, permanent displacements after each earthquake were recorded and documented. In this investigation, it is found that the strong-motion records not only indicate localized deformations (partial incremental failure) but also reveal the magnitude of the associated yield acceleration. The present analysis may lead to an increased understanding of the response of structures where stick-slip-type deformations take place.

Additional Information

© 1990 ASCE. This research was supported by NCEER Grant No. 87-3001 and NSF Grant No. 86-10887. The writers are grateful to R. Dobry for his interest in this work and for the review of the manuscript of this paper. The earthquake records were supplied by UNAM, Mexico, with the help of Prof. A. Gustavo Ayala, Prof. E. Mena, and Prof. Jacobo Bielak of Carnegie-Mellon University. R. F. Scott and A.-W. Elgamal acknowledge the assistance of the Comision Federal de Electricidad of Mexico, who kindly arranged visits to La Villita Dam, and supplied copies of reports of their observations.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 26, 2023