Full-scale seismic test of MSE retaining wall at UCSD

Andrew C. Sander, Patrick J. Fox, Ahmed Elgamal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls have been designed and constructed for more than 40 years, and their popularity has steadily grown due to low cost, ease of construction, and excellent performance record. Observations from post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts have also indicated that these retaining wall systems exhibit good performance under seismic loading, often exceeding the performance of conventional rigid and semi-rigid retaining wall systems. However, significant questions remain with regard to seismic design procedures for MSE walls, due in part to lack of sufficient test data for dynamic loading conditions. Data from centrifuge and 1-g shake table tests on small- to moderate-size specimens have been limited by scaling effects and use of nonstandard materials and methods. The objective of this paper is to describe an ongoing research program at UCSD to conduct dynamic tests of full-scale (up to 7 m tall) MSE retaining walls using an outdoor shake table. The resulting data will provide important new information for the development of design standards for seismic regions and assessment of numerical models used to analyze the dynamic response of MSE walls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers
Subtitle of host publicationGeo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2014 Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages9
Edition234 GSP
ISBN (Print)9780784413272
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number234 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Other2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Full-scale seismic test of MSE retaining wall at UCSD'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this