Seismic Analysis of Cantilever Retaining Walls

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Seismic Analysis of Cantilever Retaining Walls


This report presents the results of the first phase of a research investigation
into the seismic response of earth retaining structures and the extension of the
displacement controlled design procedure, as applied to the global stability
assessment of Corps retaining structures, to issues pertaining to their internal
stability. It is intended to provide detailed information leading to refinement of
the Ebeling and Morrison (1992) simplified seismic engineering procedure for
Corps retaining structures. Specific items addressed in this Phase 1 report deal
with the seismic loads acting on the stem portion of cantilever retaining walls. A
typical Corps cantilever retaining wall is shown in Figure 1-1. It is envisioned
that this information will be used in the development of a refined engineering
procedure of the stem and base reinforced concrete cantilever wall structural
members for seismic structural design.
The study documented herein was undertaken as part of Work Unit 38
9456h, “Seismic Design of Cantilever Retaining Walls,” funded by the Headquarters, 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (HQUSACE) Civil Works Earthquake 
Engineering Research Program (EQEN) under the purview of the Geotechnical 
and Structures Laboratory (GSL), Vicksburg, MS, U.S. Army Engineer Research 
and Development Center (ERDC). Technical Director for this research area was 
Dr. Mary Ellen Hynes, GSL. The HQUSACE Program Monitor for this work
was Ms. Anjana Chudgar. The principal investigator (PI) for this study was
Dr. Robert M. Ebeling, Computer-Aided Engineering Division (CAED), Information
Technology Laboratory (ITL), Vicksburg, MS, ERDC, and Program
Manager was Mr. Donald E. Yule, GSL. The work was performed at University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and at ITL. The effort at the University of Michigan
was funded through response to the ERDC Broad Agency Announcement FY01,
BAA# ITL-1, “A Research Investigation of Dynamic Earth Loads on Cantilever
Retaining Walls as a Function of the Wall Geometry, Backfill Characteristics,
and Numerical Modeling Technique.”
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