Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 137–148 | Cite as

Seismic deformation and seismic resistance analysis of Shapai Roller Compacted Concrete Arch Dam based on field monitoring and dynamic finite element method

  • Li Zhuo
  • Jiang-da He
  • Hong-qiang Xie


Shapai Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Arch Dam is the highest RCC arch dam of the 20th century in the world with a maximum height of 132 m, and it is the only concrete arch dam near the epicentre of Wenchuan earthquake on May 12th, 2008. The seismic damage to the dam and the resistance of the dam has drawn great attention. This paper analyzed the response and resistance of the dam to the seismic wave using numerical simulations with comparison to the monitored data. The field investigation after the earthquake and analysis of insitu data record showed that there was only little variation in the opening size at the dam and foundation interface, transverse joints and inducing joints before and after the earthquake. The overall stability of the dam abutment resistance body was quite good except a little relaxation was observed. The results of the dynamic finite element method (FEM) showed that the sizes of the openings obtained from the numerical modeling are comparable with the monitored values, and the change of the opening size is in millimeter range. This study revealed that Shapai arch dam exhibited high seismic resistance and overload capacity in the Wenchuan earthquake event. The comparison of the monitored and simulated results showed that the numerical method applied in this paper well simulated the seismic response of the dam. The method could be useful in the future application on the safety evaluation of RCC dams.


Deformation monitoring Nonlinear dynamic finite element analysis RCC arch dam Wenchuan earthquake Power station 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anami K, Ishii N, Knisely CW, et al. (2006) Vibration tests with a 1/13-scaled 3-D model of the Folsom dam Tainter-gate and its prediction by theory. In: Proceedings of ASME 6th International Symposium on FSI, AE & FIV+N, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 23–27 July 2006. Volume 9, pp 703–710.Google Scholar
  2. Baziar MH, Salemi SH, Merrifield CM (2009) Dynamic centrifuge model tests on asphalt-concrete core dams. Geotechnique 59(9): 763–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen HQ (2009a). Analysis on Damages of high concrete dams subjected to strong earthquake and lessons for learning. Water Power 40(1): 10–18. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Chen QH (2009b). Seismic Damage Analysis of Shapai Hydropower Station. Water Power 35(5): 15–17. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  5. Cheng S, Zhang JM (2011) Centrifuge modeling test of dynamic response and deformation law of concrete-faced rockfill dam under different input waves. In: 2011 Second International Conference on Mechanic Automation and Control Engineering, Hohhot, China, 15–17 July 2011. pp 2982–2985.Google Scholar
  6. Chowdhury MR, Matheu EE, Hall RL (2001) Shake table experiment of a 1/20-scale Koyna dam model. In: Proceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 4359: 1568–1573.Google Scholar
  7. Du RQ, Zhang Q, Chen SH, et al. (2010a) Comparative analysis of damage behaviors under strong earthquakes for Dagangshan Arch Dam and Xiluodu Arch Dam. Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering 29(05): 6–10. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Du RQ, Lin G, Chen SH, Li YF (2010b) Failure analysis of high arch dam subjected to strong earthquake. Water Power 41(05): 567–574. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  9. Fan QX, Wang ZL, Su L (2009) Learn for the hydropower development on Jinsha River lower reaches from the Wenchuan earthquake. Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering 28(5): 29–34. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Fan SL, Chen JY, Wang JY, et al. (2009) Experimental study and numerical simulation for seismic failure of high arch dam on shaking table. Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering 28(03): 467–474. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  11. Ghaemmaghami AR, Ghaemian A (2008) Experimental seismic investigation of sefid-rud concrete buttress dam model on shaking table. Eerthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics 37(15): 809–823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mirzabozorg H, Varmazyari M, Ghaemian M (2010) Damreservoir-massed foundation system and travelling wave along reservoir bottom. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 30(8): 746–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hansbo A, Hansbo P (2004) A finite element method for the simulation of strong and weak discontinuities in solid mechanics. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 193(33–35): 3523–3540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huang DH, Song YP, Zhao GF (2000) Study on the equivalence strength for crack director of RCC arch dam. Engineering Mechanics 17(3): 16–22. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  15. Huang DH, Gao ZG, Song YP (2001) Study of Damage behavior of Shapai RCC arch dam. Journal of Dalian University of Technology 41(2): 244–248. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  16. Lemos JV, Gomes JP (2007) Modeling seismic failure scenarios of concrete dam foundations. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop, Guimaraes, Portugal, 1–4 April 2007. pp 341–349.Google Scholar
  17. Li CM (2004) Development overview of RCC arch dams in China. In: A Collection of Argumentative Essays for the National RCCD Construction Technical Seminar, Guiyang, China. pp 1–10. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  18. Li J, Chen JY, Bai WF (2010). Damage analysis of high arch dam under seismic excitation. Chinese Journal of Applied Mechanics 27(01): 125–129. (In Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lin P, Wang RK, Li QB, et al. (2009) Effect Analysis of structural safety of typical large dams in Wenchuan 8.0 earthquske. Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering 28(6): 1261–1269. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Morin PB, Leger P, Tinawi R (2002) Seismic behavior of post-tensioned gravity dams: Shake table experiments and numerical simulations. Journal of Stuctural Engineering-ASCE 128(2): 140–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mirzayee M, Khajin N, Ahmadi MT (2011) A hybrid distinct element-boundary element approach for seismic analysis of cracked concrete gravity dam-reservoir systems. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 31(10): 1347–1356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mu-Kwang Kim, Sei-Hyun Lee, Yun Wook Choo, et al. (2011) Seismic behaviors of earth-core and concrete-faced rock-fill dams by dynamic centrifuge tests. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 31(11): 1579–1593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pan JW, Zhang CH, Xu YJ, et al. (2011) A comparative study of the different procedures for seismic cracking analysis of concrete dams. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 31(11): 1594–1606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Saleh S, Madabhushi SPG (2010) An investigation into the seismic behavior of dams using dynamic centrifuge modelling. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 8(6): 1479–1495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Song J, Areias PMA, Belytschko T (2006) A method for dynamic crack and shear band propagation with phantom nodes. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 67(6): 868–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tinawi R, Leger P, Leclerc M, et al. (2000) Seismic safety of gravity dams: From snake table experiments to numerical analyses. Journal of Stuctural Engineering-ASCE 126(4): 518–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Uchita Y, Shimpo T, Saouma V (2005) Dynamic centrifuge tests of concrete dam. Earthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics 34(12): 1467–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang HB, Li DY, Chen HQ (2006) Experimental study on the dynamic failure of arch dams using a shaking table. Journal of Civil Engineering 39(7): 109–118. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Wang RK, Shao JD (2009) Shapai arch dam has withstood Wenchuan earthquake beyond fortification level. Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering 28(5): 92–96. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Yan ZY, Wang B, Zhou JP, et al. (2009) Earthquake damage investigation and analysis of large and medium-sized hydropower projects in Wenchuan earthquake-stricken areas. China Water Power Press, Beijing, China. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  31. Calayir Y, Karaton M (2005a) Seismic fracture analysis of concrete gravity dams including dam-reservoir interaction. Computers and Structures 83(19-20): 1595–1606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Calayir Y, Karaton M (2005b) A continuum damage concrete model for earthquake analysis of concrete gravity dam-reservoir systems. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 25(11): 857–869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhang ZQ (2001). RCC Arch Dam. China Water Power Press, Beijing, China. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Zhang XG, Song YP (2003) Equivalent strength and setting of crack director in RCC arch dams. Hydro-science and Engineering 12(04): 67–73. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  35. Zheng SA, Wang RK, Zhang JY, et al. (2008) Influence analysis of Wenchuan earthquake on the hydropower projects in the upstream of the Minjiang River. Water Power 5(11): 5–9. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  36. Zhong H, Lin G, Li HJ, et al. (2010) Study on the failure mode of arch dams subjected to earthquakes by model test and numerical simulation. Chinese Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering 29(4): 148–153. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  37. Zhou J, Lin G, Wang CL (1992) Seismic rupture model test of double curvature arch dam. Journal of Dalian University of Technology 32(2): 218–223. (In Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Water Resources and HydroelectricitySichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina

Personalised recommendations