Authors: Das, R; Cleary, PW


Cite As:
Das, R & Cleary, PW 2008, 'Assessing the Fracture of a Gravity Dam Under Earthquake Load Using a Mesh-Free Method', in Y Potvin, J Carter, A Dyskin & R Jeffrey (eds), SHIRMS 2008: Proceedings of the First Southern Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 171-183,

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Failure by fracture constitutes a dominant mode of failure for concrete gravity dams. In this paper, the fracture of a gravity dam is modelled under fluctuating dynamic loads simulating an earthquake. It uses a mesh-free Lagrangian method called Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamic (SPH). The transient stress field and the resulting damage evolution of the dam structure when subjected to sinusoidal ground motion are investigated. The SPH prediction of the crack initiation location and pattern is consistent with that predicted in the literature using Finite Element Method (FEM). The dynamic responses and the fracture patterns predicted are found to be physically sensible. It is found that the frequency and amplitude of the kinetic energy varies as the structure undergoes progressive fracture.

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