Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 363–373 | Cite as

Seismic Passive Earth Pressure Behind Non Vertical Wall with Composite Failure Mechanism: Pseudo-Dynamic Approach

Original paper


This note shows a study on the seismic passive earth pressure behind a non-vertical cantilever retaining wall using pseudo-dynamic approach. A composite failure surface comprising of an arc of the logarithmic spiral near the wall and a straight line in the planar shear zone near the ground, has been considered behind the retaining wall. The effects of soil friction angle, wall inclination, wall friction angle, amplification of vibration, horizontal and vertical earthquake acceleration on the passive earth pressure have been explored in this study. The results available in the literature for passive pressure, on the basis of pseudo-static analysis are found to predict the passive resistance on the conservative side and the assumption of a planar failure surface is found to overestimate the passive resistance for higher wall friction. An attempt has been made in the present study to overcome both the limitations simultaneously. The present results are compared with the existing values in the literature and found a reasonable match among the values.


Passive earth pressure Earthquakes Composite failure Pseudo-dynamic analysis Retaining wall 



The first author wants to acknowledge the partial financial support provided by the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur to carry out the present work through a sponsored research project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyKanpurIndia

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