Seismic Retrofit of Gravity Retaining Walls for Residential Fills Using Ground Anchors

  • Aurelian Catalin Trandafir
  • Toshitaka Kamai
  • Roy Carl Sidle
  • Mihail Popescu
Original Paper


Failure of several gravity retaining walls in residential areas built on reclaimed land, during the October 23, 2004 Chuetsu earthquake in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, determined the authorities to consider the seismic retrofit of the walls in order to mitigate future similar disasters in the urban environment. This study addresses the effectiveness of ground anchors in improving the seismic performance of such retaining structures through a sliding block analysis of the seismic response of an anchored gravity retaining wall supporting a dry homogeneous fill slope subject to horizontal ground shaking. Sliding failure along the base of the wall and translational failure along a planar slip surface of the active wedge within the fill material behind the wall were considered in the formulation, whereas the anchor load was taken as a line load acting on the face of the gravity retaining wall. The effects of magnitude and orientation of anchor load on the yield acceleration of the wall-backfill system and seismically induced wall displacements were examined. It was found that for the same anchor orientation, the yield acceleration increases in a quasi-linear manner with increasing the anchor load, whereas an anchor load of a given magnitude acting at various orientations produces essentially identical yield accelerations. On the other hand, the computed earthquake-induced permanent displacements of the anchored gravity retaining wall decrease exponentially with increasing magnitude of anchor load. Additionally, the influence of backfill strength properties (e.g., internal friction angle) on the seismic wall displacement appears to diminish considerably for the anchored gravity retaining wall. A dynamic displacement analysis conducted for the anchored gravity retaining wall subjected to various seismic waveforms scaled to the same peak earthquake acceleration revealed a good correlation between the calculated permanent wall displacements and the Arias intensity parameter characterizing the input accelerogram.


Earthquakes Residential fills Anchored gravity retaining walls Seismic displacements 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurelian Catalin Trandafir
    • 1
  • Toshitaka Kamai
    • 2
  • Roy Carl Sidle
    • 3
  • Mihail Popescu
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Research Centre on Landslides, Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityGokasho, UjiJapan
  3. 3.Slope Conservation Section, Geohazards Division, Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityGokasho, UjiJapan
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Architectural EngineeringIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA

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