Seismic displacement criterion for soil retaining walls based on soil strength mobilization

Ching-Chuan Huang, S. H. Wu, H. J. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a seismic displacement criterion for conventional soil retaining walls based on the observations of a series of shaking table tests and seismic displacement analysis using Newmark's sliding-block theory taking into account internal friction angle mobilization along the potential failure line in the backfill. A novel approach that relates the displacement of the wall and the mobilized friction angle along the shear band in the backfill is also proposed. A range of horizontal displacement-to-wall height ratios (δ3h/H) between 2 and 5% representing a transitional state from moderate displacement to catastrophic damage were observed in the shaking table tests on two model retaining walls. This observation is supported by both Newmark's displacement analysis and a new approach that relates the movement of the wall to the mobilization of the friction angle along the shear band in the backfill. A permissible displacement of the wall as defined by the displacement-to-wall height ratio, namely, δ3h/H, equal to 2% was found to be of practical significance in the sense that peak friction angle of the investigated sand is retained along the shear band in the backfill. It is also suggested that δ3h/H=5% be used as a conservative indicator for the onset of catastrophic failure of the wall associated with fully softened soil strength along the shear band in cohesionless backfill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Volume135
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)

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