Earthquake Simulator Research on Arch Dam Models


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Title: Earthquake Simulator Research on Arch Dam Models

Author(s): Ray W. Clough and Akira Niwa

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 73


Appears on pages(s): 83-106

Keywords: arch dams; concrete dams; cracking (fracturing); dy- -- namic tests; earthquake resistant structures; failure mechanisms; joints (junctions); models; research; scale (ratio); structural analysis; structuraldesign; vibration tests.

Date: 3/1/1982

The basic purpose of this research was to investigate the feasibility of studying the nonlinear earthquake response behavior of concrete arch dams on a 20 ft. square shaking table. Assuming a length scale of l/150, the essential similitude requirements for the model material are derived. The development of suitable plaster, celite, sand and lead powder mixtures is described, and the proportions and properties of adopted materials are listed. Shaking table tests are described of a segmented arch rib model designed of this material to simulate the monolith joint opening behavior of an arch dam, and preliminary results are presented. Also, the test of a model of Koyna Dam is mentioned, where the model behavior simulated the observed cracking of the prototype. The principal conclusion of the investigation is that shaking table research is a practical means of studying the nonlinear earthquake response of concrete arch dams, including their actual failure mechanisms.