An Overview of Earth Dam behavior Under Earthquake Movements

Document Type : Review


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran

2 Bs.c., Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran


In this review article, we examine the behavior of earthen dams under earthquake movements. Earthen dams perform satisfactorily when exposed to strong earthquakes. Their performance is usually related to the nature of the soil used for the structure. Most well-constructed earthen dams can significantly vibrate the earthquake without damaging effects. Dams made of compacted clay materials on clay foundations or bedrock withstood strong ground movement. Compared to older embankments built on sandy materials or of sand or silt with inefficient density and tailings dams, all of them showed almost some instances of failure, which was initially due to the liquefaction capability of these materials. They are considered a type of hydraulic structure in this period, and tailings dams are the most dangerous types of earth dams. The more accurate and durable equipment and tools are used during the construction and operation of the dam, the minor deformation is created in the dam, and the more controllable it becomes. Utilizing up-to-date knowledge and benefiting from the construction and maintenance experiences of the dam can help the optimal management of the dam during construction and operation. Earth dams have better flexibility to accept the dynamic load due to earthquake force than concrete dams.


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