Acceleration Response of a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Bridge Abutment under Dynamic Loading

Yewei Zheng, John S. McCartney, Patrick J. Fox, P. Benson Shing

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper presents results from dynamic testing of a half-scale geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) bridge abutment using a shaking table, with the goal of understanding the acceleration response of the backfill soil, bridge seat, and bridge beam under dynamic loading. The GRS bridge abutment model was constructed using modular facing blocks, well-graded angular sand backfill, and uniaxial geogrid reinforcement in both the longitudinal and transverse directions. A series of input motions was applied to the GRS bridge abutment system in the direction longitudinal to the bridge beam. The horizontal accelerations increase with elevation in the reinforced soil zone and retained soil zone. The average peak acceleration of the reinforced soil zone is slightly greater than the calculated value from the current design guidelines, indicating that the guidelines may not be sufficiently conservative. The acceleration response spectrum for the bridge beam indicates a slight attenuation compared with that of the bridge seat, likely due to the isolation effect of an elastomeric bearing pad between the bridge beam and bridge seat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 293
StatePublished - 2018
Event5th Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference: Slope Stability and Landslides, Laboratory Testing, and In Situ Testing, GEESDV 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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