Tse-Shan Hsu

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Feng-Chia University, Taiwan. 

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Zhengyang Wang

Student, Master Program of Civil Engineering Department,

Feng-Chia University, Taiwan.

Kuang-Chi Liao, Zong-Lin Wu, Cheng-Chieh Ho

Directors, Institute of Mitigation for Earthquake Shear Banding Disasters, Taiwan.

Yi-Min Huang, Tsai-Fu Chuang

Assistant and Associate Professors, Feng-Chia University, Taiwan.


Many countries in the world have adopted dam design and safety assessment methods that only focus on the effects of ground vibrations, which ignore shear banding effects and cannot always obtain results that meet actual needs. Therefore, current dam safety assessment results may indicate that a dam is safe, even when it can be severely damaged. In this study, seven types of shear-band displaced landform features that significantly affect dam failure potential are summarized by using the examples of the Shigang Dam in Taiwan, which was damaged in an earthquake, and the Banqiao Dam in China and the Malpasset Dam in France, which were both destroyed during rainy seasons. These features are used to evaluate the failure potential of the Feitsui Dam in Taiwan and the Three Gorges Dam in China. The results show that the Feitsui Dam has six different shear-band displaced landform features, while the Three Gorges Dam has only one. It is thus reasonable to speculate that the failure potential of the Feitsui Dam is much higher than that of the Three Gorges Dam. Based on the results of this research, it is suggested that future codes adopt this new method for dam failure potential evaluation to accurately guide dam design and evaluation procedures.

Keywords: tectonic earthquakes, shear banding, ground vibration, safety evaluation, failure potential evaluation.


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