Date of Completion

Spring 5-4-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Construction Engineering


Construction Engineering


Structural and Geotechnical Engineering

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr Adam Kaplan


The seismic soil-concrete interface stability of composite dams has been an area of interest to many researchers. However, the true interface behavior during a seismic event has not been well understood. During a ground shaking, bonding and de-bonding action along the interface may cause significant separation of soil and concrete surfaces, and such a separation may take place at any depth along the interface creating a stability concern for the overall dam. Moreover, the repetitive nature of bonding/debonding behavior may induce excess pore pressure along the interface, which in turn, may trigger a liquefaction failure or a hydraulic fracture in the soil. This study evaluates the potential for separation and excess pore pressure generation at the soil-concrete interface of Folsom Dam - located north-east of Sacramento, CA -using 2D Finite Element analysis software, GeoStudio-Quake/W. The separation and excess pore pressure distributions along the interface are investigated using nonlinear soil models with pore pressure generation capability and Koyna Dam and El-Centro earthquake ground motions.