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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2015, Article ID 327362, 7 pages
Research Article

Effects of Contraction Joints on Vibrational Characteristics of Arch Dams: Experimental Study

1Department of Engineering Mechanics, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery of Polish Academy of Sciences, Ul. Fiszera 14, 80-952 Gdansk, Poland

Received 30 January 2015; Revised 21 July 2015; Accepted 26 July 2015

Academic Editor: M. I. Herreros

Copyright © 2015 S. S. Wang 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.


This study experimentally investigates the effects of contraction joints on the vibrational characteristics of high arch dams. Three scale models of the world’s second highest dam, the Xiaowan Arch Dam, are used as experimental specimens identified by zero, one, and two contraction joints. When a scale model vibrates harmonically at a specific frequency, its operating deflection shape is acquired by using a scanning laser vibrometer to scan the side surface of the model. The effects of contraction joints on the vibrational characteristics of arch dams are studied by examining the changes in operating deflection shapes. Experimental results demonstrate that (i) contraction joints can significantly affect the vibrational characteristics of arch dams, (ii) the operating deflection shape intuitively illustrates the vibrational characteristics of arch dams, and (iii) a scanning laser vibrometer has marked advantages over traditional equipment in accurately and efficiently acquiring full-field dynamic responses of a structure.