Transverse-Earthquake Induced Deformations of a Bridge Approach Embankment in the New Madrid Seismic Zone

Wanxing Liu
Ronaldo Luna, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Richard Wesley Stephenson, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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It is predicted that strong earthquakes, larger than M 7.0, may occur within next 50 years in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), the location of three of the most powerful earthquakes in United States history. Large displacements may occur during strong earthquakes that can cause an embankment to fail or lose its function. The hyperbolic stress-strain model with Masing rules was modified to account for strength and stiffness reduction due to change in the effective confining pressure. The Byrne model was combined with a hyperbolic model to calculate the pore water pressure caused by seismic shaking. This modified hyperbolic model was implemented into the computer code, FLAC, and calibrated against the 1971 Upper San Fernando Dam failure. It appears that the modified model is superior to the built-in Finn model in FLAC to predict the earthquake-induced deformation of the embankments. Then it was applied to study the seismically induced deformation of an approach embankment to Bridge A1466 in the NMSZ near Hayti, Missouri.