Geotechnical Engineering Seminar: Seismic Design of the Mexico City Airport: Attaining Resilience in Soft Ground
Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 4:00pm to Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 5:00pm

PSU's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Presents the Geotechnical Engineering Seminar Series:

Seismic Design of the Mexico City Airport: Attaining Resilience in Soft Ground

Kirk Ellison, P.E., Arup

Thursday, April 12th from 4:00pm-5:00pm
PSU's Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
Engineering Building, Room 300
1930 SW 4th Ave
Portland, OR 97201

Snacks and coffee will be served.

More Information:

Poor soil conditions in the Texcoco lakebed to the east of Mexico City make it one of the most challenging locations on earth to build on for a number of reasons: deep deposits of compressible clay have a low bearing capacity, the ground is gradually subsiding due to groundwater extraction, and the region is subjected to frequent high-intensity ground shaking that is amplified by the unique characteristics of the lakebed deposits. Despite these geotechnical challenges, the Texcoco lakebed will soon be the site of one of the world’s largest airports: the Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico (NAICM).

Both the 1.6-km-long by 0.5-km-wide terminal building and the 89-m-high base-isolated air traffic control tower (ATCT) will be founded on pile-enhanced rafts (i.e. mat foundations with piles) that take advantage of compensated foundation techniques (i.e. the weight of the structures are approximately equal to the weight of the soil excavated). The piles have been carefully designed to help resist seismic loads and limit differential settlement while not taking so much load that the raft will lose contact with ground due to regional subsidence.

The presentation will focus particularly on the geo-seismic and soil-structure-interaction analyses performed for the project, including: calibration of the soil parameters through back-analysis of the site response from a number of recordings from past events, validation of the soil-structure-interaction approach based on back-analysis of the performance of an instrumented piled raft for a nearby bridge pier, selection of ground motion time histories and soil compliances (i.e. springs and dashpots) for structural analysis of the terminal building considering wave passage effects, and “rupture to rafters” analysis of the ATCT via simulations in which the soil domain, foundations and above-grade structures are all modeled explicitly and subjected to vertically-propagating ground motions.