Effect of dam-rock interface irregularity of the seismic response of gravity dams

Dam failures may lead to catastrophic consequences, extending far beyond the immediate neighbourhood of the dam site due to sudden reservoir release or overtopping. The main objectives of this research project are: (i) to apply state-of-the-art simulation tools to investigate the seismic response of a real dam in Québec to formulate guidelines on the significance of including the effects of the irregularity of dam-rock interface and vertical component of earthquakes in the evaluation of the seismic response of dams. Selected monoliths of the dam are investigated under stochastically uncorrelated horizontal and vertical acceleration components corresponding to seismic hazard in Eastern Canada. A particular attention is devoted to the effect of the irregularity of dam-rock interface. Extensive transient analyses are conducted to obtain response indicators including displacements, shear forces, and tangential displacements at the joints and dam-foundation interfaces. The methodologies and the obtained results are synthesized in a technical report.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Najib Bouaanani


Sylvain Renaud




Engineering - civil


Construction and infrastructure


Polytechnique Montréal



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