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Structural diagnosis of a concrete dam with cracking and high nonrecoverable displacements.pdf (841 kB)
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Structural diagnosis of a concrete dam with cracking and high nonrecoverable displacements

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-03-20, 13:35 authored by Andre Campos, Carlos M. Lopez, Ana Blanco-AlvarezAna Blanco-Alvarez, Antonio Aguado
Expansions in concrete dams may be caused by chemical or physical sources; however, in certain occasions the evidences observed in the dam may not be attributed to a single cause. Mequinenza is an example of a concrete dam affected by expansions and high nonrecoverable displacements that cannot be explained by the most frequent pathologies. This paper presents new hypotheses that could justify such behavior by assuming the superposition of a global phenomenon of water induced expansion in concrete in the entire dam and a localized effect consisting in the opening of cracks in the construction joints located in one of the blocks. This is validated by conducting numerical analyses through 2D finite element models that consider the nonlinear behavior of the construction joints and use zero-thickness interface elements to simulate the potential cracking planes in the dam. The results confirmed the diagnosis proposed and the capability of the model to reproduce the behavior of the dam, revealing the significant contribution of the opening of the cracks to the non-recoverable displacements in the dam.


The authors acknowledge the economic support provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the projects BIA2010-20913-C02-02 and BIA2013-49106-C2-1-R. Furthermore, the authors wish to thank Endesa Generacion S.A. for the invaluable economical and technical support over the years. The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness supported the first author through the FPU scholarship.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities






CAMPOS, A. ... et al, 2016. Structural diagnosis of a concrete dam with cracking and high nonrecoverable displacements. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 30 (5), 04016021.


© American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This material may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This material may be found at https://ascelibrary.org/doi/10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000869.




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