Methodologies Available for the Determination of Seismic Active Thrust Acting on Retaining Walls: A Critical Review

Abstracts

Design of retaining walls (RWs) in earthquake (EQ)-prone areas requires the knowledge of the distribution of lateral earth pressure behind it. The lateral earth pressure acting on RW in case of dynamic/ seismic loading comprises of two components: (a) earth pressure due to static loading and (b) dynamic incremental pressure due to seismic forces. Pseudo-static and pseudo-dynamic methods are mostly preferred methods used to estimate the seismic earth pressure acting on the RW. Analysis based on pseudo-static approach (PSA) assumes seismic forces as equivalent constant inertial force acting on the wall, whereas pseudo-dynamic approach (PDA) includes the effect of phase change and dynamic amplification of seismic waves. This state-of-the-art paper presents a systematic review on the methodologies available for the determination of seismic active thrust, which are based on PSA and PDA. In addition, several other methods, e.g. methods involving numerical techniques, methods based on arching effect, etc., are also reviewed in this paper. While doing so, various limitations of above-stated approaches are pointed out. Further, it is found that there is scarcity of any rational method for the determination of seismic coefficients used in the analysis based on PSA. In addition, the effect of damping characteristics and excess pore pressure ratio, on seismic active thrust, is attempted in very limited studies.

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Abbreviations

K h :

Horizontal acceleration coefficient

K v :

Vertical acceleration coefficient

Vs:

Shear wave velocity

V p :

Primary wave velocity

Ω:

Angular frequency of base shaking

T :

Time period of shaking

D :

Damping ratio

G :

Shear modulus of backfill soil

V s :

Shear wave velocity

P AE :

Seismic active force

p ae :

Seismic active pressure

K AE :

SAEP coefficient

P wd :

Hydrodynamic water pressure force

ϒ d :

Dry unit weight of soil

ϒ sat :

Saturated unit weight of soil

R s :

Excess pore pressure ratio

ϒ s :

Shear strain

η s :

Soil viscosity

W :

Weight of failure wedge

Φ :

Angle of internal friction for soil

δ :

Wall friction angle

i :

Backfill slope angle

β :

Wall inclination angle

K :

Coefficient of permeability

α :

Angle made by failure wedge with vertical

α′ :

Angle made by failure wedge with horizontal

a h :

Acceleration of seismic waves at the top of RW

a ho :

Acceleration of seismic waves at the base of RW

θ :

Back-face inclination angle

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Correspondence to Abhishek Kumar.

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Singh, S., Kumar, A. Methodologies Available for the Determination of Seismic Active Thrust Acting on Retaining Walls: A Critical Review. Indian Geotech J (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40098-020-00495-3

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Keywords

  • Pseudo-static analysis
  • Pseudo-dynamic analysis
  • Seismic coefficient
  • Damping ratio
  • Excess pore pressure ratio