Full-scale shake table investigation of bridge abutment lateral earth pressure
During strong seismic excitation, passive earth pressure at the abutments may provide resistance to longitudinal displacement of the bridge deck. The dynamic pressure component may also contribute to undesirable abutment movement or damage. Current uncertainty in the passive force-displacement relationship and in the dynamic response of abutment backfills continues to motivate large-scale experimentation. In this regard, a test series is conducted to measure static and dynamic lateral earth pressure on a 1.7 meter high bridge abutment wall. Built in a large soil container, the wall is displaced horizontally into the dense sand backfill, in order to record the passive force-displacement relationship. The wall-backfill system is also subjected to shake table excitation. In the conducted tests, lateral earth pressure on the wall remained close to the static value during the low to moderate shaking events (up to about 0.5g). At higher levels of input acceleration, a substantial portion of the backfill inertial force started to clearly act on the wall.
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Copyright (c) 2009 Patrick Wilson, Ahmed Elgamal
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