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Seismic vulnerability assessment of mansonry gravity dams


To develop a methodology and quantitative tools for quantitative
assessment of the seismic vulnerability of masonry gravity dams.
Survey of masonry materials properties commonly used in existing
european masonry gravity dams. Definition of constitutive law
for stone masonry laboratory testing on large-scale interval
filling materials specimens. Full-scale dynamic experimental
investigation on typical masonry gravity dam. Numerical
modelling of seismic behaviour of dams. Improvement and
validation of simplified methods. Identification of safety
criteria and upgrading possibilities.

The quantitative assessment of the seismic vulnerability of
masonry gravity dams will be achieved by experimental, numerical
and theoretical approaches.

First, the hysteretic behaviour of the masonry under cyclic
loadings will be analyzed with the data on masonry walls or
panels, available in literature, and with appropriate laboratory
and in-situ tests performed. Based on this analysis, a new
constitutive law will be developed: it should be able to
reproduce qualitatively and quantitatively the observed rheology
of masonry, and its parameters can directly refer to practical
engineering concepts. The associated methodology to determine
the parameters will be applied to some laboratory tests on
masonry panels to validate the developed model.

Second, the dynamic response of a masonry gravity dam when
subjected to seismic loading will be analyzed numerically in
order to select the most significant key factors. This selection
and the results obtained with this numerical model, especially
the shape of the eigenmodes of the dam, will guide the specific
development of a simplified method, that is required to provide a
fast and reliable assessment of the vulnerability of the whole
structure. Therefore it should be able to take into account the
key factors in a simple formulation. With the previously defined
simplified model the parametric analysis may be improved and

Third, full-scale forced vibration experiments shall be conducted
on a typical masonry gravity dam. These experiments allow for
the investigation of the actual dynamic structural
characteristics which basically govern the seismic behaviour of
the dam in the elastic range; Full analysis of the prototype dam
will be performed with the numerical tools and with the
simplified method developed previously. For each method, the
domain of pertinence will be defined according to the
experimental tests and/or amplitude of seismic damages
(irreversible displacements or deformations).

The final goal is to provide safety criteria for evaluating
seismic vulnerability of masonry gravity dams and to propose some
remedial measures of reinforcement if necessary. The output of
this project could be used as basis for a future European dam
safety standardisation.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Coyne et Bellier
Allée Des Barbanniers 9
92632 Gennevilliers

Participants (2)

Grande Voie Des Vignes, Ecole Centrale Paris
92295 Chatenay Malabry
Via Pastrengo 9
24068 Seriate