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Experimental and Finite Element Studies of a Large Arch Dam


Durón, Ziyad Hassan (1988) Experimental and Finite Element Studies of a Large Arch Dam. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/e0rt-g677.


Forced vibration field tests and finite element studies have been conducted on Morrow Point (arch) Dam in order to investigate dynamic dam-water interaction and water compressibility. Design of the data acquisition system incorporates several special features to retrieve both amplitude and phase of the response in a low signal to noise environment. These features contributed to the success of the experimental program which, for the first time, produced field evidence of water compressibility; this effect seems to play a significant role only in the symmetric response of Morrow Point Dam in the frequency range examined. In the accompanying analysis, frequency response curves for measured accelerations and water pressures as well as their resonating shapes are compared to predictions from the current state-of-the-art finite element model for which water compressibility is both included and neglected. Calibration of the numerical model employs the antisymmetric response data since they are only slightly affected by water compressibility, and, after calibration, good agreement to the data is obtained whether or not water compressibility is included. In the effort to reproduce the symmetric response data, on which water compressibility has a significant influence, the calibrated model shows better correlation when water compressibility is included, but the agreement is still inadequate. Similar results occur using data obtained previously by others at a low water level. A successful isolation of the fundamental water resonance from the experimental data shows significantly different features from those of the numerical water model, indicating possible inaccuracy in the assumed geometry and/or boundary conditions for the reservoir. However, the investigation does suggest possible directions in which the numerical model can be improved.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Civil Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hall, John F.
Group:Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory
Thesis Committee:
  • Hall, John F. (chair)
  • Beck, James L.
  • Caughey, Thomas Kirk
  • Raichlen, Fredric
  • Jennings, Paul C.
Defense Date:11 September 1987
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
EERL Report87-02
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03142013-082003398
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemTechnical Report EERL 87-02 in CaltechAUTHORS
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7517
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:14 Mar 2013 15:43
Last Modified:13 Aug 2021 23:19

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