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Comparison of pseudo dynamic test results and numerical results of an RCC dam model

2015-07-21
Inspired from the simplified single degree of freedom modeling approach used in the preliminary design of concrete gravity dams, a single degree of freedom pseudo dynamic testing method was devised for the seismic testing of a concrete gravity dam section. The test specimen was a 1/75 scaled section of the 120 m high monolith of the Melen Dam, one of the highest concrete gravity dams to be built in Turkey. First, the single degree of freedom idealization of the dam section was validated in the first stage of the study using numerical simulations including the dam-reservoir interaction. Afterwards, pseudo-dynamic testing was conducted on the specimen using three ground motions corresponding to different hazard levels. Lateral displacement and base shear demands were measured. The crack propagation at the base of the dam was monitored with the measurement of the crack widths and the base sliding displacements. A smeared crack finite element model of the test structure was analyzed for the prescribed ground motions. Load-deformation responses and crack patterns of the test and simulation results were compared. It was found that global response parameters such as displacements and forces were in reasonable agreement whereas accurate estimation of the actual crack lengths was found to be a challenging task.