Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

Nonlinear earthquake analysis of concrete dams

Evaluating the seismic performance of dams requires dynamic analysis of two- or three-dimensional dam-water-foundation rock systems that recognize the semi-unbounded size of the impounded water and foundation rock domains, and consider nonlinearities associated with opening or slipping of vertical contraction joints and cracking of concrete during intense earthquake motion. My research focuses on developing and validating procedures for nonlinear response history analysis of dam-water-foundation rock systems that incorporate all the factors known to be significant in the earthquake response of dams. The "standard" finite element method needs to be extended to include wave transmitting (or absorbing) boundaries at the boundaries of the fluid and foundation-rock domains to model their semi-unbounded geometries. 

Once such computational capability is developed, the response of dams that have been damaged during past earthquakes can be computed and compared with the observed damage. The sensitivity of response to nonlinear modeling of concrete can be studied; the effects of local nonlinerarities (cracks and fissures) in rock in the vicinity of the dam, and other such questions would be of interest.


The main objective of my reseach is to develop procedures for nonlinear dynamic analysis of dam-water-foundation rock interacting systems. More specifically, this includes:

  • Development of finite element procedures for nonlinear earthquake analysis of dams
  • Validation of these procedures against independent benchmarks for 2D and 3D systems
  • Develop recommendations for modeling parameters such as domain sizes to be used with the procedures
  • Investigate sensitivity of response to nonlinear modeling parameters

Research group

Strucural dynamics


Professor Anil K. Chopra, University of California, Berkeley

Professor Svein N. Remseth, NTNU

Adjunct Professor Amir M. Kaynia, NTNU

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