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Title: Finite element analyses of transverse cracking in low-embankment dams
Authors: University of California, Berkeley. College of Engineering. Office of Research Services.
Lefebvre, Guy.
Duncan, J. M. (James Michael)
Keywords: Earth dams
Embankment cracking
Finite element method
Dam failures
Settlement (Structural)
Publisher: Soils and Pavements Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Contract Report
Abstract: The objective of this research was to study some of the factors leading to transverse cracking in low-embankment dams using finite element analyses. The factors studied were: (1.) the analysis procedure, gravity turn-on or construction sequence, (2.) the magnitude and time of occurrence of the settlement of the dam, (3.) the stress-strain characteristics of the dam material, and (4.) the shape of the abutment profile. The study showed that the zones of tension calculated using gravity turn-on analyses can in some cases be significantly different from those calculated using construction sequence analyses and that it is preferable to use construction sequence procedures for analyses of tension in dams. The analyses indicated that the sizes of the zones of tension increase with the magnitudes of the differential settlements and that settlement after construction results in more tension than does settlement during construction. Reducing the stiffness of the dam material has the effect of reducing the size of the calculated tension zone, but reducing the tensile strength of the material to a very low value has only a small effect on the size of the tension zone.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Contract Report

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