gravity dams & Sliding response

Seismic safety assessment of gravity dams has become a major concern in many regions of the world while the effects of vertical seismic accelerations on the response of structures remain poorly understood. This paper irst investigates the effect of including vertical accelerations in the sliding response analysis of gravity dams subjected to a range of historical ground motion records separated in two groups according to their source-to-site distance. Analyses showed that the incidence
of vertical accelerations on the sliding response of gravity dams is signiicantly higher for near-source records than for far source records. The pseudo-static 30% load combination rule, commonly used in practice to account for the non-simultaneous
occurrence of the peak horizontal and vertical accelerations, yielded good approximations of the minimum safety factors against sliding computed from time-history analyses. A method for empirically estimating the vertical response spectra based on horizontal spectra, accounting for the difference in frequency content and amplitudes between the two components is investigated. Results from analyses using spectrum compatible horizontal and vertical synthetic records also approximated well the sliding response of a gravity dam subjected to series of simultaneous horizontal and vertical historical earthquake records.