Earthquake Analyses of Earthen Dams with an Emphasis on Sustainability

Gerçek A., ÖZDEN G.

Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Environmental Geotechnology, Recycled Waste Materials and Sustainable Engineering (EGRWSE 2022), İzmir, Turkey, 15 - 17 September 2022, vol.370 LNCE, pp.243-252 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 370 LNCE
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-981-99-4041-7_23
  • City: İzmir
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.243-252
  • Keywords: Earth fill dams, Earthquake, Sustainability, Time domain analyses
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


For sustainable development, engineering structures should be manufactured safely using the most economical method and with minor environmental damage. While designing a structure or infrastructure, it is crucial to use our limited resources most efficiently and not compromise on safety while making these savings so that our future generations can live in prosperity. Earth-fill dams are preferred because of the use of natural materials of the surrounding area, the smaller carbon footprint of the soil material compared to concrete, and therefore being less damaging to nature than reinforced concrete dams. Based on this information, choosing earth-fill dams is more advantageous from the point of sustainability view. The safe design of earth-fill dams under seismic effects dates back to the 1930s, while the safety of dams built before this date against seismic effects was still a mystery. While site-specific earthquake hazard analyses and dynamic analyses in time domain are primarily performed in the design of large dams, these issues are ignored in medium and small-size dams, and their safety against earthquake hazards is calculated using pseudo-static or conventional equivalent static methods. With the use of these methods in dams of medium and small sizes, designs that are heavily conservative and less economic are being made. This study performed analyses on a sample earth-fill dam using conventional equivalent static, nonlinear pseudo-static, and nonlinear time domain solutions. Nonlinear analyses were made by means of finite element method. It was seen that the time history solutions promise more economic designs that are still stay on the safe side provided that nonlinear material parameters are correctly determined.