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Construction, Rapid Drawdown, and Earthquake Simulation of an Earthen Dam

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Construction of earthen dams entails sequential place-ment and compaction of soil layers and the subsequent fill-up of the embanked reservoir. In the design of earthen dams, two potentially critical events must be considered: the rapid emptying (or drawdown) of the reservoir and the dynamic loading of an earthquake. The possibility of dam failure in these situations depends on the respective build-up and dissipation of the fluid pore pressure in the soil.
For the purposes of a macroscopic analysis, the soil in an earthen structure can be considered as a three-phase continuum consisting of solid particles, a wetting liquid, and a gas. Abaqus provides several material models and a coupled diffusion-displacement analysis procedure for modeling such problems. These capabilities can, thus, be utilized for assessing the safety and reliability of earthen dams.

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