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Shock and Vibration
Volume 4 (1997), Issue 4, Pages 251-259

Dynamic Response of Wall Backfill Retaining System

Sreenivas Alampalli1 and Ahmed-W. Elgamal2

1Transportation Research & Development Bureau, New York State Department of Transportation, 1220, Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12232-0869, USA
2University of California at San Diego, San Diego, CA 92093-0085, USA

Revised 12 November 1996

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


An in situ full-scale test is conducted to measure the dynamic response of a long cantilever wall that retains backfill soil. The recorded modal parameters of this retaining wall exhibited significant similarity to those of a clamped cantilever plate (rather than those of a cantilever beam or plane-strain analysis). Such a three-dimensional (3-D) response pattern is not accounted for by current analysis procedures. A simple 3-D finite element model is employed to further analyze the observed resonant configurations. The results indicate that such configurations play an important role in the seismic response of wall backfill soil systems of variable height, such as wing walls supporting highway approach ramps.