Seismic response of embankment dams based on recorded strong-motion data in Japan

Dong Soon Park, Tadahiro Kishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


It is important to investigate strong-motion time series recorded at dams to understand their complex seismic responses. This paper develops a strong-motion database recorded at existing embankment dams and analyzes correlations between dam dynamic responses and ground-motion parameters. The Japan Commission on Large Dams database used here includes 190 recordings at the crests and foundations of 60 dams during 54 earthquakes from 1978 to 2012. Seismic amplifications and fundamental periods from recorded time series were computed and examined by correlation with shaking intensities and dam geometries. The peak ground acceleration (PGA) at the dam crest increases as the PGA at the foundation bedrock increases, but their ratio gradually decreases. The fundamental period broadly increases with the dam height and PGA at the foundation bedrock. The nonlinear dam response becomes more apparent as the PGA at the foundation bedrock becomes >0.2 g. The prediction models of these correlations are proposed for estimating the seismic response of embankment dams, which can inform the preliminary design stage.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)955-976
Number of pages22
JournalEarthquake Spectra
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019


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