Investigation of water length effects on the modal behavior of a prototype arch dam using operational and analytical modal analyses

  • Sevim, Baris (Department of Civil Engineering, Gumushane University) ;
  • Bayraktar, Alemdar (Department of Civil Engineering, Karadeniz Technical University) ;
  • Altunisik, Ahmet Can (Department of Civil Engineering, Karadeniz Technical University)
  • Received : 2009.09.11
  • Accepted : 2010.11.17
  • Published : 2011.03.25


This study determines the water length effects on the modal behavior of a prototype arch dam using Operational and Analytical Modal Analyses. Achievement of this purpose involves construction of a prototype arch dam-reservoir-foundation model under laboratory conditions. In the model, reservoir length was taken to be as much as three times the dam height. To determine the experimental dynamic characteristics of the arch dam using Operational Modal Analysis, ambient vibration tests were implemented for empty reservoir and three different reservoir water lengths. In the ambient vibration tests, the dam was vibrated by natural excitations provided from small impact effects and the response signals were measured using sensitive accelerometers. Operational Modal Analysis software process signals collected from the ambient vibration tests, and Enhanced Frequency Domain Decomposition and Stochastic Subspace Identification techniques estimated modal parameters of the dams. To validate the experimental results, 3D finite element model of the prototype arch dam was modeled by ANSYS software for empty reservoir and three different reservoir water lengths, and dynamic characteristics of each model were determined analytically. At the end of the study, experimentally and analytically identified dynamic characteristics compared to each other. Also, changes on the natural frequencies along to water length are plotted as graphs. Results suggest that reservoir water complicates the modal behavior of the arch dam significantly.


ambient vibration test;dynamic characteristic;prototype arch dam-reservoir-foundation model;water length effect


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