Elasto‐plastic earthquake shear‐response of one‐dimensional earth dam models

Ahmed‐W M. Elgamal, Ahmed M. Abdel‐Ghaffar, Jean H. Prevost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A simplified analysis procedure for the non‐linear hysteretic earthquake‐response of earth dams is presented. The dam is modelled as a one‐dimensional hysteretic shear‐wedge subjected to base excitation. The hysteretic stress‐strain behaviour of the dam materials is modelled by using elasto‐plastic constitutive equations based on multi‐surface kinematic plasticity theory. The method is based on a Galerkin formulation of the equations of motion in which the solution is expanded using eigenmodes of the linearized problem defined over the spatial domain occupied by the dam. The technique is applied to analyse the non‐linear dynamic response of an earth dam subject to two very different input ground motions. The following investigations are presented: (i) comparison between the results obtained using two soil models depicting different nonlinear properties, (ii) comparison between the results of the one‐mode and the multi‐mode solution expansions, (iii) comparison with the results obtained through an elaborate finite element representation of the dam, and finally, (iv) comparison with the results obtained through the Makdisi‐Seed11 iterative procedure for earth dam analysis. The comparisons show that the proposed technique can be used to determine adequately the transient earthquake response of long earth dams. Furthermore, the efficiency and low computational cost make the technique very attractive; it can easily and systematically be extended to two‐ and three‐dimensional calculations of earth dam response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-633
Number of pages17
JournalEarthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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