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Numerical prediction of the dynamic behaviour of two earth dams in Italy using a fully coupled nonlinear approach

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gaetano EliaORCiD


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The paper deals with the seismic stability assessment of two existing earth dams in Italy using a fully-coupled effective stress non-linear approach implemented in a finite element (FE) code. The mechanical behaviour of the involved clayey and granular soils is described through advanced elasto-plastic constitutive models, calibrated on laboratory and in-situ test results. Before the application of the seismic motions, appropriate FE static analyses are performed in both cases to define the initial stress state and the internal variables of the material models. The stability of both dams during dynamic loading is proved by the inspection of the cumulated horizontal and vertical displacement time histories of the monitored solid nodes, which become constant immediately after the end of the seismic actions. Moreover, the computed crest settlements induced by the earthquakes are considerably lower than the dams service freeboards. Being the applied seismic actions characterized by high return periods, the presented results are indicative of a satisfactory dynamic performance of the two embankments during extreme dynamic loading conditions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elia G, Amorosi A, Chan AHC, Kawadas MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Geomechanics

Year: 2011

Volume: 11

Issue: 6

Pages: 504-518

ISSN (print): 1532-3641

ISSN (electronic): 1943-5622

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000043


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