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Imaging the failure of a rock-fill dam following liquefaction

Heron, Charles M.; Lam, Aaron; Haigh, Stuart K.; Madabhushi, Gopal S. P.


Aaron Lam

Stuart K. Haigh

Gopal S. P. Madabhushi


Rock-fill dams are popular in developing countries due to their ease of construction and use of local materials. They are used to store water and to provide flood defences. The presence of such dams in earthquake-prone regions poses risks, particularly from ground liquefaction. In this paper, results from physical model tests on dams with different configurations are presented. Model dams with impermeable cores including sheet pile walls and clay cores were tested and the effect of reservoir water was investigated. High-speed photography was used to capture the response of the model dams allowing the movement of foundation soil below the dam to be established. It is concluded that the stiffness of the impermeable core has a significant influence on the ultimate deformation of the dam. The presence of reservoir water led to increased downstream movements of the dam and differential settlements between the upstream and downstream sides.


Heron, C. M., Lam, A., Haigh, S. K., & Madabhushi, G. S. P. (2013). Imaging the failure of a rock-fill dam following liquefaction. Dams and Reservoirs, 23(1), 15-24.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 25, 2015
Publication Date 2013-03
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2018
Journal Dams and Reservoirs
Print ISSN 1368-1494
Electronic ISSN 1756-8404
Publisher Thomas Telford
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 1
Pages 15-24
Public URL
Publisher URL