CEE Infrastructure Seminar Series: Seismic Stability and Deformation of Embankment Dams
Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 1:00pm

Thursday, April 25, 2019. 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
CIN 90 (in 5th Avenue Cinema). 510 SW Hall Portland OR, 97201
Guest Speaker: Faiz I. Makdisi, PhD, PE, D.GE

“Seismic Stability and Deformation of Embankment Dams”


The presentation will describe the effects of earthquakes on dams, and the state-of-practice for evaluating the seismic stability and earthquake-induced deformations of embankments and slopes. Methods for evaluating the stability of slopes and embankments during earthquakes have evolved from estimating factors of safety while applying to the slope a horizontal inertial force (termed the pseudo-static seismic coefficient), to estimating deformations using Newmark’s concept of yield acceleration and sliding block analyses, to detailed two-dimensional dynamic response analyses using equivalent linear approaches, and more recently, to evaluating deformations using fully-coupled nonlinear response and deformation analyses.
The presentation will describe procedures and examples from current practice for: a) estimating earthquake ground motions at a dam site; b) estimating the dynamic response and earthquake-induced accelerations within an embankment; c) estimating post earthquake factors of safety and yield accelerations using limit equilibrium slope stability analysis; and c) estimating earthquake-induced deformations. Simplified methods as well as detailed equivalent linear analyses, and recently developed nonlinear analyses will be described. Case histories of seismic retrofits of embankment dams will also be presented.

Faiz I. Makdisi is a Senior Principal Engineer with SAGE Engineers (a Business Group of Ganet Fleming) in Oakland, California. He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has over 39 years of specialized experience in geotechnical and earthquake engineering. Dr. Makdisi has been actively involved in studies of the seismic behavior of earth and rock fill dams and embankments. He developed and published (with the late Professor H. Bolton Seed) widely used simplified procedures for estimating the dynamic response and permanent deformations in earth and rock fill dams. Recently, Dr. Makdisi has been involved in development of seismic design criteria, evaluation of seismic stability, and design of alternative remedial measures for more than 25 embankment dams.
He has authored and co-authored many papers dealing with the seismic stability of dams and with various aspects of earthquake ground motions and seismic design criteria for critical facilities. He is a recipient of the 1977 Norman Medal award of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for the paper (co-authored with Seed, Lee and Idriss) on the analyses of the slides in the San Fernando Dams during the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. As a member of a team of Technical Advisors to the Los Angeles District, Corps of Engineers, on the design and construction of Seven Oaks Dam in California, Dr. Makdisi was a co-recipient of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chief of Engineers “Design and Environmental Honor Award for 2002.” In 2017, Dr. Makdisi was awarded the Danny K. McCook Medal by Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), for his lasting contributions to dam safety.