Earthquake Engineering for Embankment Dams

The objective of this course is to provide instruction on the general subject of earthquake engineering of embankment dams. The course will begin with a historical perspective on dam performance during earthquakes and an overview of basic concepts about earthquakes. The course will then progressively address more specialized subjects including a) evaluation of seismic hazard and characterization of earthquake motions for dam design, b) field investigation methods and characterization of materials for seismic analysis, c) methods for analysis of dynamic response and seismic stability of dams, d) procedures for instrumentation and post-earthquake inspection, e) considerations pertinent to risk analysis, and f) defensive design measures. The lectures will include presentation of case histories pertinent to some of the subjects covered in the course.

Learning objectives attendees will receive from this course:

  • Understanding of the basic aspects of earthquake engineering of embankment dams.
  • Primary lessons from the seismic performance of embankment dams during past earthquakes.
  • Familiarity with inputs required to perform a seismic hazard analysis and how the results are used in seismic safety assessments of dams.
  • Understanding of the basic elements of dynamic response and seismic stability analysis of embankment dams.
  • Introduction to risk analysis concepts for embankments including potential failure mode analysis and likelihood and consequence assessment.
  • Familiarity with primary aspects of defensive design measures for seismic loads.
Special thanks to our sustaining members