Deformation Performance of the Karkheh Earth Dam with Mixed and Pure Clay Coreunder Seismic Excitations


1 amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran

2 M.Sc.,Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran- IRAN


The number of constructed dams has been largely increased due to high demands of water supplies, and earth dams are the most common types since they are more compatible to the environment. Nevertheless, the stability of these important structures during earthquakes has to be carefully evaluated and guaranteed. In the past, earth dams usually designed with pure clay core, but in recent decades they are widely designed and constructed with mixed clay core due to their better performance against vibrations particularly earthquake loadings.
This paper evaluates the displacement performance of the Karkheh Large Embankment  Dam with mixed- clay core, recently constructed in south-western part of Iran, under earthquake motions and compares the dynamic analyses’ results with those of pure-clay core. In this work, the Karkheh Dam with both mixed and pure clay core is numerically modeled using the FLAC 4.0software. After calibrating the model and completing the static and dynamic analyses under different excitations, belonged to some heavy past earthquakes, the results in terms of the maximum settlements, horizontal displacements of upstream and downstream shells are estimated, compared and discussed.
Based on the obtained results, it is noted that the dynamic performance of earth dams with mixed-clay core is more desirable than that of pure-clay core. It is also observed that the seismic settlements of the dam with pure-clay core averagely show an increase of 20 percents compared with that having the mixed-clay core.