Assessment of racking deformation of rectangular underground structures by centrifuge tests

Özkan, M. Yener
Seismic safety of buried structures has become increasingly important over the past two decades, especially after the destructive earthquakes such as in Kobe, Japan (1995), Kocaeli, Turkey (1999) and Chi-Chi, Taiwan (1999). Some of the embedded structures including pipelines, subways and tunnels collapsed or suffered severe damage in those earthquakes due to inappropriate design. The main difficulty in seismic design is the incorporation of soil-structure interaction effect governed by the relative stiffness (flexibility ratio) between the soil and the embedded structure. This study aims to clarify the effect of flexibility ratio on the dynamic response of rectangular structures buried in dry sand. For that purpose, a series of dynamic centrifuge tests were conducted on two types of box-shaped models with different rigidities under various harmonic motions. The results reveal that the magnitude of dynamic lateral earth pressure and sidewall deformation is highly dependent on the flexibility ratio of the embedded structure. Based on the flexibility ratios, racking deformations observed in centrifuge tests and racking deformations estimated through analytical approaches were evaluated in a comparative manner.


Dynamic response of a flexible rectangular underground structure in sand: centrifuge modeling
ÜLGEN, DENİZ; SAĞLAM, SELMAN; Özkan, M. Yener (2015-09-01)
Major earthquakes such as Kobe (1995), Kocaeli (1999) and Chi-Chi (Taiwan) have shown that underground structures have suffered significant damage due to dynamic loading. Therefore, recently, much priority has been given to seismic safety of underground structures located in earthquake-prone regions. There is, however, not much experimental research on the dynamic response of buried structures. This research aims to better understand the dynamic behavior of relatively flexible rectangular underground struct...
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Citation Formats
D. ÜLGEN, S. SAĞLAM, and M. Y. Özkan, “Assessment of racking deformation of rectangular underground structures by centrifuge tests,” GEOTECHNIQUE LETTERS, pp. 261–268, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: