Physical modelling of sliding failure of concrete gravity dam under overloading condition

Hong Hu Zhu, Jianhua Yin, Jian Hua Dong, Lin Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Sliding within the dam foundation is one of the key failure modes of a gravity dam. A twodimensional (2-D) physical model test has been conducted to study the sliding failure of a concrete gravity dam under overloading conditions. This model dam was instrumented with strain rosettes, linear variable displacement transformers (LVDTs), and embedded fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensing bars. The surface and internal displacements of the dam structure and the strain distributions on the dam body were measured with high accuracy. The setup of the model with instrumentation is described and the monitoring data are presented and analyzed in this paper. The deformation process and failure mechanism of dam sliding within the rock foundation are investigated based on the test results. It is found that the horizontal displacements at the toe and heel indicate the dam stability condition. During overloading, the cracking zone in the foundation can be simplified as a triangle with gradually increased height and vertex angle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-106
Number of pages18
JournalGeomechanics and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Concrete gravity dam
  • Fiber Bragg grating (FBG)
  • Overloading
  • Physical model test
  • Rock foundation
  • Sliding failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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