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Effect of nonuniform seismic input on arch dams


Nowak, Paul Scott (1989) Effect of nonuniform seismic input on arch dams. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


Standard earthquake analyses of civil engineering structures use uniform ground motions even though considerable variations in both amplitude and phase can occur along the foundation interface for long-span bridges and large dams. The objective of this thesis is to quantify the effect that these nonuniformities have on the structural response.

The nonuniform, free-field motions of the foundation interface are assumed to be caused by incident plane body waves. The medium in which these waves travel is a linear, elastic half-space containing a canyon of uniform cross section in which the structure is placed. The solutions for the free-field motions that are due to incident SH, P and SV waves are calculated using the boundary element method.

An analysis of Pacoima (arch) dam located near Los Angeles, California, is performed for both uniform and nonuniform excitations. The important effect of nonuniformities in the free-field motions, sometimes leading to a decrease in the dam response and sometimes to an increase, is quantified.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Mechanics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Mechanics
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hall, John F.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:21 September 1988
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06042013-091930444
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7830
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:04 Jun 2013 16:46
Last Modified:04 Jun 2013 16:46

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