Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Gabriel Candia a,b,*; Roozbeh Geraili Mikola c; Nicholas Sitar d
a Facultad de Ingeniería at Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile
b National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management CONICYT/FONDAP/15110017, Chile
c McMillan Jacobs Associates, San Francisco, CA, USA
d Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
Observations from recent earthquakes show that retaining structures with non-liquefiable backfills perform extremely well; in fact, damage or failures related to seismic earth pressures are rare. The seismic response of a 6-m-high braced basement and a 6-m free-standing cantilever wall retaining a compacted low plasticity clay was studied in a series of centrifuge tests. The models were built at a 1/36 scale and instrumented with accelerometers, strain gages and pressure sensors to monitor their response. The experimental data show that the seismic earth pressure on walls increases linearly with the free-field PGA and that the earth pressures increase approximately linearly with depth, where the resultant acts near 0.33 H above the footing as opposed to 0.5–0.6 H, which is suggested by most current design methods. The current data suggest that traditional limit equilibrium methods yield overly conservative earth pressures in areas with ground accelerations up to 0.4g.