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Earthquake safety assessment of concrete arch and gravity dams

Lin Gao (林皋) and Hu Zhiqiang (胡志强)

School of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

Abstract: Based on research studies currently being carried out at Dalian University of Technology, some important aspects for the earthquake safety assessment of concrete dams are reviewed and discussed. First, the rate-dependent behavior of concrete subjected to earthquake loading is examined, emphasizing the properties of concrete under cyclic and biaxial loading conditions. Second, a modified four-parameter Hsieh-Ting-Chen viscoplastic consistency model is developed to simulate the rate-dependent behavior of concrete. The earthquake response of a 278m high arch dam is analyzed, and the results show that the strain-rate effects become noticeable in the inelastic range. Third, a more accurate non-smooth Newton algorithm for the solution of three-dimensional frictional contact problems is developed to study the joint opening effects of arch dams during strong earthquakes. Such effects on two nearly 300m high arch dams have been studied. It was found that the canyon shape has great influence on the magnitude and distribution of the joint opening along the dam axis. Fourth, the scaled boundary finite element method presented by Song and Wolf is employed to study the dam-reservoir-foundation interaction effects of concrete dams. Particular emphases were placed on the variation of foundation stiffness and the anisotropic behavior of the foundation material on the dynamic response of concrete dams. Finally, nonlinear modeling of concrete to study the damage evolution of concrete dams during strong earthquakes is discussed. An elastic-damage mechanics approach for damage prediction of concrete gravity dams is described as an example. These findings are helpful in understanding the dynamic behavior of concrete dams and promoting the improvement of seismic safety assessment methods.

Keywords: arch dam; gravity dam; earthquake safety; dynamic behavior of concrete; strain-rate effect; joint-opening effect; dam-foundation interaction; non-linear modeling

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Copyright 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.