Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Tiznado, J.C., Rodríguez-Roa, F. (2011)

Seismic lateral movement prediction for gravity retaining walls on granular soils

Revista : Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Volumen : 31
Número : 3
Páginas : 391-400
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


At present, methods based on allowable displacements are frequently used in the seismic design of earth retaining structures. However, these procedures ignore both the foundation soil deformability and the seismic amplification of the soil placed behind the retaining wall. Thus, they are not able to predict neither a rotational failure mechanism nor seismic induced lateral displacements with an acceptable degree of accuracy for the most general case. In this paper, a series of 2D finite-element analyses were carried out to study the seismic behavior of gravity retaining walls on normally consolidated granular soils. Chilean strong-motion records were applied at the bedrock level. An advanced non-linear constitutive model was used to represent both the backfill and foundation soil behavior. This elastoplastic model takes into account both the stress dependency of soil stiffness and coupling between shear and volumetric strains. In unloading–reloading cycles, the non-linear shear-modulus reduction with shear strain amplitude is considered. Interface elements were used to model soil–structure interaction. Routine-design charts were derived from the numerical analyses to predict the lateral movements at the base and top of gravity retaining walls located at sites with similar seismic characteristics to the Chilean subduction zone. Thus, wall seismic rotation can also be obtained. The developed charts consider wall dimensions, granular soil properties, bedrock depth, and seismic input motion characteristics. As shown, the proposed charts match well with available experimental data.