An Overview of Deformation-Based Design Approaches of Retaining Walls

Mar 15,20

Several retaining wall deformations and failures have been reported during historical earthquakes. The most well-known method for predicting the seismic deformation of retaining wall is known as Newmark sliding block method. The Newmark sliding block method requires the acceleration time history of an earthquake in the free-field. However, as the acceleration time history might not be available for a practical design, some investigators including Richards and Elms (1979) developed empirical correlations to evaluate maximum retaining wall displacement in seismic conditions. The Richards and Elms empirical correlation (R&E) has been suggested in different design guidelines including Army Corps (Whitman and Liao 1985) and AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (AASHTO 2007). In a more recent study conducted by Anderson et al. (2008) and as part of The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study, an updated correlation was provided based on various Newmark analyses. The updated NCHRP equation has been embedded in the recent guidelines including Caltrans. More advanced Newmark based pseudo-static methods have also been developed to evaluate the sliding deformation of the retaining walls. Examples include works performed by Biondi et al. in 2014 and Conti et al. in 2013...

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