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Recent findings on seismic earth pressures


Marshall Lew, AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, Inc., 6001 Rickenbacker Road, Los Angeles, CA 90040, USA.



Despite a lack of evidence or credible case histories of engineered retaining walls and basement walls being damaged during earthquakes, design codes and standard of engineering practice have dictated that seismic earth pressures should be included in the design of earth retaining structures in seismic regions. Methods of estimating seismic earth pressures are based on experiments and theories performed and developed decades ago without consideration of geometric and material property equivalence or scaling. More recent experiments using centrifuges that can properly scale geometry and material properties have given new insights on the development of seismic earth pressures on various types of earth retaining wall systems with different types of retained soil. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.