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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2013, Article ID 136132, 10 pages
Research Article

Extended “Mononobe-Okabe” Method for Seismic Design of Retaining Walls

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran 1411713116, Iran
2Civil Engineering Faculty, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran
3Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

Received 7 May 2013; Revised 11 July 2013; Accepted 21 August 2013

Academic Editor: Ga Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Mahmoud Yazdani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mononobe-Okabe (M-O) method is still employed as the first option to estimate lateral earth pressures during earthquakes by geotechnical engineers. Considering some simple assumptions and using a closed form method, M-O solves the equations of equilibrium and suggests seismic active and passive lateral earth pressures. Therefore, the results are true in its assumption range only, and in many other practical cases, M-O method is not applicable. Noncontinues backfill slopes, cohesive soils, and rising water behind the wall are some well-known examples in which the M-O theory is irrelevant. Using the fundamental framework of M-O method, this study proposes an iterative method to overcome the limits of the M-O method. Based on trial and error process, the proposed method is able to cover many of the defects which regularly occur in civil engineering when M-O has no direct answer.