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Title:Seismic Performance of Highway Embankments
Authors:Hussam Mahmoud and Emad Hassan
University:Colorado State University
Publication Date:Apr 2019
Report #:MPC-19-382
Project #:MPC-383
TRID #:01710529
Keywords:earthquake resistant design, embankments, finite element method, forecasting, seismicity
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications



In order to predict the functionality of transportation networks following a seismic event, performance of embankments under real ground motions needs to be well understood. Understanding of such performance can be realized using experimental testing or finite element analysis. This study aims to add to existing literature through conducting analytical simulations for seismic assessment of embankments using real ground motions. Specifically, in this study the goal was to develop a simple non-linear finite element models that can capture the main characteristic of the real behavior of highway embankments. ABAQUS finite element software was used to build the model geometry and define material properties. Once developed, the modes were subjected to a suite of ground motions from FEMA P695, which were scaled based on the assumption that the embankments are located in Colorado. The results showed local functional damage in the pavement of the embankments from 17 earthquake scenarios. Assessment of global performance showed that the investigated embankment only experienced slight and moderate damage.

How to Cite

Mahmoud, Hussam, and Emad Hassan. Seismic Performance of Highway Embankments, MPC-19-382. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2019.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050