Stability of waterfront retaining wall subjected to pseudo-static earthquake forces

Deepankar Choudhury, Syed Mohd Ahmad

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Waterfront retaining walls supporting dry backfill are subjected to hydrostatic pressure on upstream face and earth pressure on the downstream face. Under seismic conditions, if such a wall retains a submerged backfill, additional hydrodynamic pressures are generated. This paper pertains to a study in which the effect of earthquakes along with the hydrodynamic pressure including inertial forces on such a retaining wall is observed. The hydrodynamic pressure is calculated using Westergaard's approach, while the earth pressure is calculated using Mononobe-Okabe's pseudo-static analysis. It is observed that when the horizontal seismic acceleration coefficient is increased from 0 to 0.2, there is a 57% decrease in the factor of safety of the retaining wall in sliding mode. For investigating the effect of different parameters, a parametric study is also done. It is observed that if φ is increased from 30° to 35°, there is an increase in the factor of safety in the sliding mode by 20.4%. Similar observations were made for other parameters as well. Comparison of results obtained from the present approach with [Ebeling, R.M., Morrison Jr, E.E., 1992. The seismic design of waterfront retaining structures. US Army Technical Report ITL-92-11. Washington DC] reveal that the factor of safety for static condition (kh=0), calculated by both the approaches, is 1.60 while for an earthquake with kh=0.2, they differ by 22.5% due to the consideration of wall inertia in the present study. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1947-1954
    Number of pages7
    JournalOcean Engineering
    Issue number14-15
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


    • Design
    • Factor of safety
    • Hydrodynamic pressure
    • Overturning
    • Seismic active earth pressure
    • Sliding
    • Soil and wall friction angle
    • Wall inertia


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