Nonlinear seismic response of tall concrete-faced rockfill dams in narrow canyons
The seismic behavior of tall concrete face rockfill dams in narrow canyons is investigated, based on numerical simulation of the staged construction, creep settlements, reservoir impoundment and seismic shaking of the dam. The study takes into account the flexibility of the canyon rock, the hydrodynamic effects and potential dynamic rockfill settlements. The static analysis uses a hyperbolic model for the rockfill, whereas the dynamic analysis uses a nonlinear hysteretic model, which accounts for the initial dynamic stiffness and produces hysteresis loops in agreement with the experimental data regarding the shear modulus and damping ratio. A damage plasticity model is used for the reinforced concrete, whereas frictional contact behavior is considered at the base and vertical walls of the concrete slab panels. An existing 150-m-high dam is used to investigate some key issues on the seismic behavior of such dams subjected to upstream downstream and vertical excitation. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of the tensile stresses within the slab panels, the compressive stresses at the slab-to-slab vertical interfaces and the opening of the joints. Moreover, the effect of potential dynamic settlements on both the slab stresses and joint openings is investigated. Recommendations for increasing the dam safety and reducing the water leakage through the dam body are given. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.