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Computational Science, Engineering & Technology Series
ISSN 1759-3158
Edited by: N.D. Lagaros, Y. Tsompanakis and M. Papadrakakis
Chapter 15

Seismic Distress of Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments

P.N. Psarropoulos

School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Full Bibliographic Reference for this chapter
P.N. Psarropoulos, "Seismic Distress of Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments", in N.D. Lagaros, Y. Tsompanakis and M. Papadrakakis, (Editors), "New Trends in Seismic Design of Structures", Saxe-Coburg Publications, Stirlingshire, UK, Chapter 15, pp 457-481, 2015. doi:10.4203/csets.37.15
Keywords: retaining wall, bridge abutment, dynamic earth pressures, wall distress, seismic design, dynamic soil-structure interaction.

Despite their structural simplicity, retaining walls and bridge abutments comprise soilstructure interaction systems, the dynamic behavior of which depends mainly on the geometrical and mechanical properties of the structure (i.e. wall or abutment) and of the soil, the kinematic constraints of the system and the characteristics of the seismic excitation. Seismic design of retaining walls and bridge abutments worldwide is most frequently performed via a direct or indirect application of the well-known Mononobe-Okabe method, which is based on the two rather simplistic concepts of "limit equilibrium" and "pseudo-dynamic acceleration". The present chapter, after an extensive review of the current practice for the seismic design of retaining walls and bridge abutments, illustrates the potential design errors that may stem from the drawbacks of the limit-equilibrium methods and describes certain important "open issues" in this field that have to be resolved in the future.

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