Simulation an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 on the Richter scale on the concrete gravity dam Abaqus

In this example, we intend to simulate an earthquake of 6.5 magnitude on the Richter scale applied to a concrete dam in the Abaqus software

In this picture you can observe the proportions of the dam

The dam is 103 m high and 70 m wide at its base. The upstream wall of the dam is assumed to be straight and vertical. The depth of the reservoir at the time of the earthquake is 91.75 m

The transverse and vertical components of the ground accelerations recorded during the Koyna earthquake are shown in Figure

transverse and vertical ground accelerations

For the purpose of this example we neglect the dam–foundation interactions by assuming that the foundation is rigid

Prior to the earthquake excitation, the dam is subjected to gravity loading due to its self-weight and to the hydrostatic pressure of the reservoir on the upstream wall

In this example we use three steps , first step for the gravity load , second step for the hydrostatic pressure and For the dynamic analysis in the third step the transverse and vertical components of the ground accelerations are applied to all nodes at the base of  the dam

 : Material properties

The mechanical behavior of the concrete material is modeled using the concrete damaged plasticity

    Assuming Rayleigh stiffness proportional damping, the factor required to provide a fraction of critical damping for the first mode is given as From a natural frequency extraction analysis of the dam the first eigenfrequency is found to be = 18.61 rad sec−۱ Based on this, is chosen to be 3.23 e-3 sec

you observe tensile damage in concrete dam

Evolution of tensile damage

This figure shows the horizontal displacement at the left corner of the crest of the dam relative to the ground motion

the horizontal displacement of the crest of the dam relative to the ground

Information about this tutorial

Full video (Step by step)


Cae file


inp file


Excel file (Material, concrete)


Excel file (Earthquake acceleration record)

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Is 29 minutes

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