Numerical Assessment of the Deformation of CFRD Dams during Earthquakes

Alejo Sfriso
Monday, October 6, 2008
First presented: 
12th International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, India.
Published paper

A numerical procedure for the preliminary estimation of the earthquake-induced settlement of concrete face rockfill dams is presented. The method is based on a simple constitutive model that accounts for the key features of the behavior of coarse grained materials that affect the response of CFRDs, namely pressure dependent elasticity and a peak friction angle dependent on both pressure and void ratio. The actual earthquake design record is replaced by a simple sinusoidal base acceleration having an equivalent effect on the dam. The numerical model uses isotropic hyperelasticity and isotropic hardening/softening plasticity combined with stressdilatancy theory, and thus is applicable to geometries and materials where only monotonic plasticity is expected to occur, as is the case of CFRD dams. A case study is presented where the procedure is applied to a CFRD 140 m high, located in Argentina and designed for a strong earthquake. The computed settlement compares well with an analytical estimation and with a decoupled numerical model of the same problem. The main advantage of the proposed procedure is that all material nonlinearities are accounted for by the constitutive equations, thus allowing for the usage of a simple mesh with no artificial sub-zonification.

Feature Author

Alejo Oscar Sfriso

Alejo Sfriso has 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering for infrastructure and mining works. He is an expert in the application of numerical methods for geotechnical design and analysis. Alejo belongs to twelve professional associations, including ISSMGE, IAEG, ISRM, IGS, ICOLD, IACMAG, ITA, ASCE and its corresponding chapters in Argentina. He was member of the Executive Committee of the Argentinean Society for Geotechnical Engineering in the period 1997 - 2015, being the President of the Society (2011-2015). Alejo serves as Professor at the University of Buenos Aires since 1989 and at the University of La Plata between 1996 and 2015, in the subjects of Soil Mechanics, Rock Mechanics and Foundations. He also serves as jury member for faculty positions and theses, reviewer of journals, member of advisory committees, conference organizing committees, and departmental councils at the Faculty of Engineering of University of Buenos Aires, among others.

Principal Consultant
PhD, Civil Engineer
SRK Buenos Aires
SRK Turkey