ANIDIS - L'ingegneria Sismica in Italia, ANIDIS XIX & ASSISi XVII - 2022

Dimensione del carattere:  Piccola  Media  Grande

Simplified assessment of the seismic vulnerability of small earth dams

Andrea Ciancimino

Ultima modifica: 2022-08-27


The seismic performance of earth dams is usually assessed based on the expected crest displacements induced by the soil densification and the triggering of sliding mechanisms. Nevertheless, a proper evaluation of the seismic response of the dams generally involves the use of advanced constitutive models able to reproduce the dynamic soil response. The calibration of the constitutive parameters is however a nontrivial task, as it requires a deep understanding of the mechanical response of the materials. When dealing with small earth dams, budget constraints often prevent a reliable geotechnical characterization of the soils, limiting in the common practice the applicability of dynamic numerical simulations. The performance of the dams is therefore assessed, at least at a preliminary level, by employing simplified empirical relationships that link a seismic intensity measure to the expected crest settlement. This study fits within this framework, presenting the results of the ReSba European project for the French-Italian Alps area. Two small earth dams, object of extensive geophysical and geotechnical surveys, are selected based on a first-level screening methodology. Advanced fully-coupled numerical simulations are performed to investigate the seismic response of the dams. The results of the analyses are then compared to predictions obtained by employing empirical relationships to show the abilities, and the potential drawbacks, of the simplified relationships.

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