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Shear-Wave Velocity Measurements in Embankment Dams

Publisher –

Author –
Phil C. Sirles*, Geophysicist, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado

Publication – [pdf] DAMS_Sirles_1988_Shear_Wave_Velocity_Measurements_in_Embankment_Dams

The U.S. Bureal of Reclamation (USBR) is presently emphasizing the importance of site-specific shear-wave velocity measurements for application in dynamic analyses of embankment dams. Results of approximately 50 USBR crosshole-seismic investigations show that significant variations in shear-wave velocity exist with depth, and that these measured variations qualitatively correlate with material type and structural loading conditions; however, they are much more
prominent than assumed, calculated or predicted velocity trends. Four case studies are presented where measured shear-wave velocity profiles are compared with standard penetration test data, material type and computed peak accelerations. The results illustrate that the near-surface shear-wave velocity distribution, and consequently the accelerations expected to occur, are indeed complex and site dependant.