Seismic evaluation of cemented material dams -A case study of Tobetsu Dam in Japan

  • Arefian, Amir ;
  • Noorzad, Ali ;
  • Ghaemian, Mohsen ;
  • Hosseini, Abbas
  • Received : 2015.05.19
  • Accepted : 2015.12.14
  • Published : 2016.03.25


Trapezoidal Cemented Sand and Gravel Dam, namely Trapezoid CSG, is a new type of dam. Due to lack of dynamic studies in the field of CSG dam, this research was performed to analyze Trapezoidal CSG dam using dynamic Finite element method with ABAQUS Software. To investigate possible earthquake-induced damages, fragility curves are plotted based on damage index, the length of the cracks created at the dam base and the area of cracked elements in the dam. The seismic analysis indicated that minimum and maximum tensions are generated in the heel and toe of the dam, respectively. According to the fragility curves, with increase in PGA, the possibility of the exceeding the defined limit state is increased. However, the rate of increment is significantly reduced after PGA=0.4 g. Also, the same result is achieved for the second limit state. The "area of cracked elements" is more conservative criterion than the "crack length at the dam base", especially at PGA<0.4 g. As conclusion, CSG dams, despite of being made of poor materials in comparison with concrete dams, show good resistance, and even in some situations, better performance than the weighted concrete dams.


CSG dam;numerical analysis;fragility curves;concrete damage plasticity;damage index;limit state


  1. Al Abadi, H., Lam, N.T.K. and Gad, E. (2006), "Seismic fragility curves for damage to buiding contents", J. Earthq. Eng., 161-168.
  2. Alembagheri, M. and Ghaemian, M. (2012), "Seismic assessment of concrete gravity dams using capacity estimation and damage indexes", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 42(1), 123-144.
  3. Altarejos, L., Escuder, I., Serrano, A. and Morales, A. (2012), Factor of safety and probability of failure in concrete dams, Risk Analysis, Dam Safety, Dam Security and Critical Infrastructure Management, Taylor & Francis Group, London.
  4. Anagnos, T., Rojahn, C. and Kiremidjian, A.S. (1994), "Building fragility relationships for California", Fifth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, 4, Chicago, USA.
  5. Braga, F., Gigliotti, R., Monti, G., Morelli, F., Nuti, C., Salvatore, W. and Vanzi, I. (2015), "Post-Seismic assessment of existing constructions: Evaluation of the shakemaps for identifying exclusion zones in Emilia", Eartq. Struct., 8(1), 37-56.
  6. Cai, X., Wu, Y., Guo, X. and Ming, Y. (2012), "Research review of the cement sand and gravel (CSG) dam", Front. Struct. Civ. Eng., 6(1), 19-24.
  7. Cai, X., Wu, Y., Yi, J. and Ming, Y. (2011), "Research on shape optimization of CSG dams", Water Sci. Eng., 4(4), 445-454.
  8. Colangelo, F. (2008), "On the computation of seismic fragility curves", Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Beijing, China.
  9. Ebrahimi Nezhad, M. and Poursha, M. (2015), "Seismic evaluation of vertically irregular building frames with stiffness, strength, combined-stiffness-and-strength and mass irregularities", Earthq. Struct., 9(2), 353-373.
  10. Eleftheriadou, A. and Karabinis, A. (2013), "Evaluation of damage probability matrices from observational seismic damage data", Earthq. Struct., 4(3), 229-324.
  11. Ellingwood, B. and Tekie, B. (2001), "Fragility analysis of concrete gravity dam", J. Infrastruct. Syst., 7(2), 41-48.
  12. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (1979), Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety, Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, Washington, DC.
  13. Fishman, Y. (2009), "Stability of concrete retaining structures and their interface with rock foundations", Rock Mech. Min. Sci., 46(6), 957-966.
  14. Fujisaki, K., Kawano, K. and Kuronuma, I. and Takei, A. (2014), "Fluctuation monitoring system for grain size distribution of cemented sand and gravel materials using digital image analysis", International Symposium on Dams in Global Environmental Challenges, Bali, Indonesia.
  15. Fujisawa, T. (2004), "Material properties of CSG for the seismic design of trapezoid-shaped CSG dam", 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
  16. Ghanaat, Y. (2004), "Failure modes approach to safety evaluation of dams", Proceedings of 13thWorld Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
  17. Ghobarah, A., Abou-Elfath, H. and Biddah, A. (1999), "Response-based damage assessment of structures", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 28(1), 79-104.<79::AID-EQE805>3.0.CO;2-J
  18. Hirose, T., Fujisawa, T. and Nagayama, I., Yoshida, H. and Sasaki, T. (2001), "Design criteria for trapezoid-shaped CSG dams", ICOLD Workshop, Germany.
  19. Karim, K.R. and Yamazak, F. (2003), "A simplified method of constructing fragility curves for highway bridges", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 32(10), 1603-1626.
  20. Kennedy, R.P., Cornell, C.A., Campbell, R.D., Kaplan, S. and Perla, H.F. (1980), "Probabilistic seismic safety study of an existing nuclear power plant", Nuclear Eng. Des., 59(2), 315-338.
  21. Kondo, M., Sasaki, T. and Kawasaki, H. (2004), "Characteristics of stress distribution in trapezoid-shaped CSG dam during earthquake", 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
  22. Kondo, M., Shida, T. and Enomura, T. (2014), "Dynamic analysis of seismic behavior of raised concrete gravity dam", International Symposium on Dams in Global Environmental Challenges, Bali, Indonesia.
  23. Lin, L. and Adams, J. (2007), "Lessons for the fragility of Canadian hydropower components under seismic loading", 9th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  24. Londe, P. and Lino, M. (1992), "Hard fill dam, the faced symmetrical Hard fill dam a new concept for RCC", Int. Water Pow. Dam Constr., 44, 19-24.
  25. McCann, Jr., Franzini, J.B. and Shah, H.C. (1983a), "Preliminary safety evaluation of existing dams", Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University.
  26. McCann, Jr., Franzini, J.B. and Shah, H.C. (1983b), "Preliminary safety evaluation of existing dams", Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University.
  27. Mirzahossein Kashani, S. and Ghaemian, M. (2009), "Seismic fragility assessment of concrete gravity dams", 29th Annual USSD Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.
  28. Mita, A. and Takahira, S. (2004), "Damage index sensor for smart structures", Struct. Eng. Mech., 17(3-4), 331-346.
  29. Nateghi, F. and Shahsavar, V. (2004), "Development of fragility and reliability curves for seismic evaluation of a major pre stressed concrete bridge", 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
  30. Raphael, J.M. (1970), "The optimum gravity dam. Rapid construction of concrete dams", ASCE, New York, 221-247.
  31. Roy, J., Tremblay, R. and Leger, P. (2015), "Torsional effects in symmetrical steel buckling restrained braced frames: Evaluation of Seismic design provisions", Earthq. Struct., 8(2), 423-442.
  32. Shahriar, A., Modirzadeh, M., Sadiq, R. and Tesfamariam, S. (2012), "Seismic induced damageability Evaluation of steel buildings: a Fuzzy-TOPSIS method", Earthq. Struct., 3(5), 695-717.
  33. Tekie, P.B. and Ellingwood, B.R. (2003), "Seismic fragility assessment of concrete gravity Dams", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 32(14), 2221-2240.
  34. Yang, S.H. and Yishan, L. (1981), "Water control", Beijing, Xinhua Publishing House, 562-575.