Seismic performances of slurry walls

Mathew D. Graham, Ming Xiao, Louay M. Owaidat

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


The purpose of this study is to understand the seismic responses of slurry walls. Slurry walls have been widely used as seepage barriers in levees, but their behavior under seismic forces is relatively unknown. The types of walls that are evaluated in this research include cementbentonite (CB) and soil-cement-bentonite (SCB). A slurry wall with the following dimensions 150cm x 160cm x 20cm is constructed and tested on a 2.4 m x 2.1 m one dimensional shake table that is capable of replicating the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake. The load capacity of the table is 20.0 tons (177.9 kN) and the actuator provides 245 kN hydraulic fluid driving force through a 25 cm displacement stroke. A 150cm x 187cm x 180cm rigid steel-frame box that is anchored on the shake table contains the slurry wall and the sandy soil that is compacted on both sides of the wall to simulate a levee section. In each shake table test, the slurry wall and the confining soil are instrumented with accelerometers, LVDT transducers, linear potentiometers, and dynamic soil stress gauges to respectively record the accelerations, vertical and horizontal deformations of the wall, and transient dynamic soil pressures on the wall during the simulated earthquake excitations. After the test, the soil is removed so that the slurry wall can be examined for any cracks that are caused by the shaking. Furthermore, samples are taken at 40 cm from the top and the bottom of the wall. Triaxial compression tests along with flexible wall permeability tests are conducted to reveal the possible micro cracks that could be caused by the shaking. The experimental results reveal the during- and post-earthquake performances of the slurry walls, so that adequate remediation measures can be taken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeoCongress 2012
Subtitle of host publicationState of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering
Number of pages9
Edition225 GSP
StatePublished - 2012
EventGeoCongress 2012: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering - Oakland, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 25 2012Mar 29 2012

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number225 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherGeoCongress 2012: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOakland, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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